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Grotto Mountain Hike


  • Grotto Mountain



  • May 18, 2024



  • Ed, Oak, Dave, Todd, Kellie, Jeff, Neil



  • 10 minutes east of Canmore on the 1A highway
  • turn left onto Indian Flats Road towards the Alpine Club and park along the road on the left hand side just before the left turn up to the Alpine Club
  • the trail starts enroute to the Alpine Club just past the woodpile to the right up a signed trail
  • you can also start at the Cougar Creek parking lot



Degree of difficulty:

  • 1375 meters to the top, but we got to 950 meters before time constraints required us to make the turn for home
  • 11 km to the top, and we went 9 km
  • 4 hours total time on the trail
  • the trail starts on an undemanding grade before turning very steep until it becomes switchbacks
  • after going up a couple of cliff bands, the trail breaks out of the trees and up a lengthy stretch that runs up a scree slope to a rocky ridge



Interesting notes:

  • there were very few people on the trail, although one young trail runner embarrassed us by flying by us as we gasped for every breath
  • this was our first time doing this trail and it proved quite challenging but we would like to go back under drier conditions and with ample time to make a slower more calculated summit ascent
  • the trail offers sweeping views of the Bow Valley corridor, Lady MacDonald, East End of Rundle, Ha Ling, Three Sisters, Wind Ridge, Centennial Ridge, Pigeon Mountain, and a few others
  • 230 meters before the summit is a hole in the rock formation
  • at the top, looking north and east, the summit offers views of Mount Townsend, Epic Tower, Mythic Tower, Little Mythic Tower and Cougar Peak
  • Grotto Mountain was named by James Hector and Eugene Bourgueau on August 12, 1858 after discovering a cave formation with a high arched roof and narrow mouth


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