For a downloadable PDF version of this guide CLICK HERE!
Ha Ling is a peak at the western end of Mount Lawrence Grassi. Ha Ling is a very popular well-trafficked trail because of its convenient location just south of the city of Canmore. Ha Ling is a moderately difficult scramble with steep consistent elevation gain and spectacular views from the summit.
Time Required: 3-5 Hours
Location: Just south of Canmore, AB
Distance: 6km round trip
Highest Elevation: 2450m
Elevation Gain: 700m
Difficulty: 6/10 – steep ascent
Season: May to October for summer hiking conditions
Additional Requirements: N/A
From Canmore: Take Three Sisters Drive up the hill and turn right on Three Sisters Pkwy (AB-742) towards the Nordic Centre. Keep on that windy road for 7.3km. On the right will be a large parking lot, you can’t miss it. From the parking lot it’s a quick walk to the trailhead.
WHAT TO BRING
- Comfortable Footwear: Hiking shoes. Make sure your shoes are broken in prior to tackling this hike to prevent unexpected blisters. You could get away with running shoes but having extra grip on the rock surfaces will definitely come in handy!
- Water: This hike has lots of elevation gain to reach the summit. Be sure to bring lots of water.
- Snacks: Bring some of your favorite snacks to enjoy along the hike and at the summit. Some of our favorite snacks are trail mix, bananas, beef jerky and licorice.
- Weather appropriate clothing: You will be exposed to the elements throughout this hike. You could get snow, rain, or sun on any day of the year. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
- Sunscreen: If it is sunny and you’re like Mattson, who easily burns, bring sunscreen!
- Insect Repellent: Insect repellent can greatly improve your hiking experience.
- Bear Spray: You are in bear country. Always hike with bear spray that is easily accessible.
- Camera: There are numerous photo opportunities you won’t want to miss.
- This Guide: Print a copy of this guide to reference throughout the hike
Wildlife: You will be hiking in bear country. It is always advisable to check in at the local Visitor Information Center to learn of any trail closures due to wildlife. Carry bear spray in an easily accessible location. Travel in groups of multiple hikers and make lots of noise to avoid an unexpected encounter.
Leave No Trace: It is important that we enjoy the outdoors responsibly and sustainably. Some key principles to consider when hiking to “Leave No Trace” are:
- Plan ahead and prepare: Proper planning allows adventurers to hike safely while minimizing damage to the land.
- Travel on durable surfaces: Stick to the trail when possible. If there is no trail, or you must travel off trail, stay on durable surfaces to reduce your impact.
- Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in, pack it out.
- Leave what you find: Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them.
- Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed wild animals.
- Be considerate of other visitors: Be courteous to others to allow everyone to enjoy their outdoor experience.
To learn more about “Leave No Trace” visit http://www.leavenotrace.ca
Summary: The hike begins at the Goat Creek Day use area. West of the parking lot is the trailhead and the hike quickly ascends through the trees. From start to finish, the elevation gain remains constant. Eventually you will rise above the tree line and have a final push over some scree to the summit.
Starting from the parking lot (Route marker #1 on the map), make your way back up to the road. If you’re facing south, you should be able to see a ramp that veers off to the left. Follow that road up the hill where you’ll come to concrete bridge. Cross this bridge, and make your way to the tree line.
Past the bridge near the tree line, you’ll see a couple of power poles. The trailhead to Ha Ling is right there, you can miss it. The first leg of your journey will be on a wide, root ridden trail with a consistently difficult elevation gain. The trail is very well travelled.
Follow the trail up the mountain. As you gain elevation the trees will become sparser and you will get more opportunities to enjoy the views you’ve worked so hard for. When you rise above the tree line, you will see the summit of Miner’s Peak and Three Humps on the east side of the saddle, Ha Ling Peak is the steep summit to the west.
The last leg of this hike is an easy scramble. Keep the summit in your sights, and take whichever path you think is easiest for you. We recommend trying to stay on the areas of slab and avoiding the scree. The rock slabs will provide better footing and a safer, more comfortable ascent. It’s common for it to be quite windy at the top of Ha Ling Peak. Bring a jacket to stay warm and most importantly, be careful! Once you reach the top (Route marker #2 on the map), take a break and enjoy the Rocky Mountain views and Canmore down below!
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Thank you for choosing Epic Trip Adventures as your guide. We are committed to continually updating our guides to be as relevant and accurate as possible. If you have feedback to improve this guide please leave it in the comments below.
We also want to hear about your Ha Ling Peak adventures. If you have stories, pictures or even a link to your own adventure video please share them below!
Have fun out there!