Best time to travel to Banff & Jasper National Parks

Grassi Lakes in Banff & Jasper National Parks

Beautiful emerald-colored lakes in the Canadian Rockies

Best time: May–November

Grassi Lakes
Grassi Lakes
Grassi Lakes
Grassi Lakes

Grassi Lakes is a hidden gem located at an elevation of 1,525 m (5,003 ft) near the town of Canmore, Alberta. The area belongs to the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park. Named after a local climbing guide Lawrence Grassi who arrived in Canada from Italy in 1912.

Stunning lakes can be reached by a 4.3-km (2.7-mi) Upper Grassi Lakes Trail Loop, that is best used from May through November. The trail features scenic forest lake views, waterfalls, and wildflowers in the summer. The trail starts not far the Canmore Nordic Centre. A wide dirt road goes into the forest and is quite easy for walking. In about 1.7 km (1.1 mi), hikers can see the Lawrence Grassi Waterfall.

Upper Grassi Lakes may have icy conditions, so hikers have to wear appropriate shoes. Lower Grassi Lake is located at the foot of cliffs belonging to Cairn Formation. They are frequented by rock climbers and have paintings that are more than 1,000 years old near the top of the canyon.

Practical info

When is the best time to hike to Grassi Lakes?

The optimum time to hike to Grassi Lakes is between May to November as the trail is open with pleasant weather in both seasons. Upper trail is icy even in summer, so wearing the right shoes is important. Hikers can experience mesmerizing views of the lake, scenic forest, waterfalls, and lively wildflowers in the summer season. Show more

Where is the exact location of Grassi Lakes, and how do I get there?

Grassi Lakes belongs to the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park that is situated nearer to the town of Canmore, Alberta, Canada. Travelers can use personal or public transport to reach the place located in Banff & Jasper National Parks. The trail being marked, route can be initiated via the E entrance of the parking lot of the Canmore Nordic Centre. Show more

What kind of wildlife can I see on the trail?

Animals like grizzly bears, black bears, deer, coyotes and elk are some who are found in the vicinity of the Grassi Lakes Trail. Visitors should take necessary safety measures to stay away from the animals and not throw food products or garbage in the area. Bear spray is available at local outdoor retailers as a safety precaution on the trail. It is recommended to stay on the designated trail from where these animals can be observed with care. Show more

What are some additional activities I can do while visiting Banff & Jasper National Parks?

Apart from exploring the breathtaking scenes of Banff & Jasper National Parks, travelers can experience many more activities such as skiing, dog sledding, hot springs, snowboarding, guided wildlife tours, and many small town expeditions. Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies and Banff Park Museum are ideal options for tourists interested in cultural and historical exploration. Show more

Can I swim or fish in Grassi Lakes?

Fishing is permissible in the Grassi Lakes, subject to visitors carrying valid fishing permits and abiding by rules and regulations as laid out by the Alberta government. Fishing is restricted to certain periods in the year, and all fish caught must be released back into the lake. Swimming is not suggested as the lake's glacial origins lead to extremely cold waters all year round. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Grassi Lakes (Map)

Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva