Heart Creek Trail, located in the heart of Bow Valley Provincial Park, is surrounded by spectacular mountain views.  Families will enjoy the beautiful mountain views and multiple bridge crossings to keep little ones engaged. This kid-friendly trail is slightly longer for little feet but the minimal elevation makes it easier for them to complete the hike. If you’re lucky you might even spot some climbers on the side of the trail.

For over 45 hikes within the Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis and Calgary area, purchase the eBook or paperback book “Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies”. Includes stroller friendly hikes!

Hiking book for families

Grotto Creek Canyon and Grassi Lakes Trail are stunning nearby trails that are challenging but manageable for kids. Many Springs and Flowing Water Interpretive Trail are easier trails that are fun to add in if you have extra time or as an alternative if your family is looking for an easier adventure.

Heart Creek Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance and Elevation:  4.2 km (2.6 miles),  100 m (328 ft)

Facilities: Outhouse, Picnic Table, Parking lot. 

Hike Highlights: Creek, Bridges,  Mountain Views,

Optional Gear: Child Carrier

Trail Rider Rating: Moderate

*Trail Riders could access this trail. The challenging parts would be the narrow bridges, which would easily fit the one wheel, the elevation at the beginning of the hike, and the bit of hiking on the creek bed. If you do hike with a Trail Rider and try this hike out let us know how it goes!

Insider Tip:

 The destination allows you to only hear a waterfall and not see it. There is no need to be disappointed if you turn around before the end of the hike.


Just one hour from Calgary down the Trans-Canada Highway AB-1 W. Before reaching Canmore take exit 105 towards Lac Des Arcs. Turn left onto range road 91A and make your way to the parking lot.

Trail Head:

There are two ways to start Heart Creek. The main trailhead is located to the left of the washrooms and picnic table in the parking lot. The other trail starts by parking on the side of the highway and heading into the trees to connect with the creek bed. The main trail is easier to find but the trail on the side of the highway avoids some of the elevation and distance to the hike.

Trail Experience:

Note: All of the bridges are more like crossing two large flat logs side by side. Most of them have a railing on one side.

Heart Creek is an out and back trail. The first 500 m of the hike is the most challenging since that is where the majority of the elevation occurs. At the end of the initial elevation, the trail opens up to gorgeous mountain views and a small “field” before reaching the creek. After stepping over some running water and crossing over a few big rocks you will reach the first bridge!  The bridges are really two flattened logs that are side by side and they all have a railing except for the final bridge

After going over the bridge there will be a junction. Take a right to continue on the creek bed alongside Heart Creek. After hiking on the rocks for a short distance you will reach the dirt trail. Continue on the trail and enjoy traversing the bridges along the trail.

The hike is beautiful with mountain views and the many bridges are really fun to cross. The destination is not necessarily the most exciting which means that there is no need for disappointment if you need to turn around before the end. The end of the trail is a beautiful place to listen to a waterfall and throw rocks. Note that the waterfall is not visible on the hike.

Return the way you came.

Nearby Attractions

Across the highway is Dead Man’s Flats with a few amenities. For some additional mountain time, spend the rest of the day relaxing by Quarry Lake.

Want more hikes like this one?

PRE-ORDER the paperback book Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies here.

Purchase (Ebook) Hikes for Families: A Guide to the Canadian Rockies here.

By Annika Mang
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2 thoughts on “Heart Creek Trail”

  1. Actually you can see the waterfall at the end of Heart Creek, it just takes a little effort. I’ve seen it and stood in it several times.

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