If you have been to Canmore, chances are you’ve seen Ha Ling Peak. One of the famous peaks of the Canmore Triple Crown (alongside East End of Rundle and Mt. Lady MacDonald), this seemingly daunting peak is actually quite attainable in just a few hours.
I opted to head out early, as summer in the Canadian Rockies is notorious for being crowded, and I wanted a good parking spot. I parked at the Goat Creek Day Use lot, just minutes outside the town of Canmore.
Once you have secured your parking spot, it’s pretty easy to find the trail. Cross the Smith Dorrien Road and continue walking up the service road. Cross the canal and you will see a sign on a rock signifying the Ha Ling Trail starting point.
There is a pretty obvious trail for most of the hike, and it is relatively easy to follow. Just follow it up into the woods. You will start to gain elevation pretty quickly as you follow the switchbacks. It’s a pretty interesting trek up, as you begin hiking over a path with tons of roots sticking up, and you are surrounded by trees. There are some views of the surrounding landscape, but it doesn’t really start until you get above the tree line.
When you get above the tree line, the views are insane, and keep getting better as you ascend. Keep following the trail, and it will start to go from dirt to scree. You’ve come this far, just a bit farther to the saddle, where you will see your first glimpse of Canmore. Keep left to the summit, and the view is even better! It may look like there are a lot of steep drop-offs, and there are, but there are also plenty of spots to sit back and take it all in. Make sure to get your photos here; you earned it!
Now it’s time to descend. Since there was construction, I just went back the way I came. I heard there was another descent route, but it was inaccessible at the time. I would consult the Tourism Canmore website about the construction progress and any trail information.
You will be done with this hike by the afternoon, assuming you started early. If you are feeling adventurous, try East End of Rundle as a second hike for the day, as it is right across from Ha Ling Peak. If you are really adventurous, try East End of Rundle and Mt. Lady MacDonald to complete the Canmore Triple Crown (I hope to do that this summer in one day… definite goals). I opted to head back to Canmore and eat lunch at Quarry Lake, as it has great views of Ha Ling. I also was on my way back, so I didn’t have time for another hike. Another suggestion is to go to Grassi Lakes, just a bit down the road (on the way back towards Canmore). It’s a short hike, with stunning views. You really can’t go wrong with any trail or adventure in Canmore, and that’s why I find myself constantly going back.
Founder and main contributor to This Adventure Life, Kirsten Alexis has passion for all things adventure and the outdoors. She is an avid participant in action sports, such as skydiving, paragliding, snowboarding, high-altitude trekking, mountain biking, surfing and more. She is passionate about inspiring others to live their wildest dreams as well as conserving the environment for others to enjoy for years to come.