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“Challenging But Achievable...answers to common questions”
Review of Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling Peak
Ranked #3 of 62 things to do in Canmore
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 27, 2014

Below is a list of questions I had before I did this scramble and never got solid answers to. Hope this helps you.

1. Q: Can I do this scramble in a pair of running shoes, or do I need to go out and buy hiking boots? A: I did this scramble in some trail running shoes...standard running shoes with some more aggressive tread. I thought these worked fine. I saw a lot of people doing it in running shoes. My personal opinion, on good weather no-snow days, you don't need to go out and buy hiking boots.

2. Q: Just how hard is this? A: I am in pretty good shape, I run to/from my office several times a week and do hiking around my neighborhood all the time. I run half marathons and the occasional full marathon. Yet, going up Ha Ling I found myself breathing pretty heavily. I also am feeling sore legs the day after. I went as fast as I could. If you pace yourself and take your time, someone who is in reasonably good shape can do this climb.

3. Q: Do I need trekking poles? A: I went to Mountain Equipment Coop (in Calgary) and bought a pair of their cheapest trekking poles ($48 CAD). I was glad a had them. Yes, in hindsight, I think I would have been fine without them, but they did make it more stable and I felt more confident having them. I recommend poles.

4. Q: How long does this take car back to car? A: It took me two and a half hours, that includes 15 minutes of looking around the top. I went fairly fast.

5. Q: Is it scary? A: At the top I felt a little scared I guess, but I've grown up with a fear of heights. Other than if you are climbing around at the very top edge of the peak, there's no real spot where you could "fall off" the mountain. If you really lost your footing in a bad way, it's possible you could slide a few feet in the scree (rock above the tree line).

Spectacular views at the top. That made the trip worth it.

I did it rather early, I was going up by 8:00am. By the time I came back down to the parking lot, it was getting pretty busy. This is a popular area scramble. You will likely not be alone.

Overall I enjoyed the challenge and look forward to doing it again. Hope this helps.

Also, didn't use it myself, but there is a place to pee in the parking lot.

8  Thank Mike O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"tree line"
in 30 reviews
"tough hike"
in 11 reviews
"great hike"
in 28 reviews
"goat"
in 18 reviews
"hiking poles"
in 11 reviews
"loose gravel"
in 9 reviews
"bow valley"
in 20 reviews
"coming down"
in 10 reviews
"take your time"
in 13 reviews
"lots of water"
in 4 reviews
"great views from the top"
in 4 reviews
"bring a jacket"
in 5 reviews
"start early"
in 3 reviews
"running shoes"
in 7 reviews
"switch backs"
in 5 reviews
"elevation gain"
in 9 reviews
"bring water"
in 6 reviews
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195 - 199 of 263 reviews

Reviewed July 24, 2014

Directions to the trail: As we had a hard time finding the trail, I thought I should spell it out. Park at the Goat Creek parking lot. Then, walk across the road, up the hill, and over a bridge of water. There are no signs for the trail until you are at the forest, where there is a tiny plaque on a rock indicating you're in the right place.

My partner and I are quite fit and athletic, and within a half an hour our hearts were racing. The trail is quite steep. Also, to be perfectly clear, this is a mountain climb - this is very different than the grassi lakes trail. Once you clear the trees, it gets cold, windy, and the trail is gone. It's a scramble to the top. But, when you're up there, the view is incredible!

1  Thank KJ300052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2014

The climb and the view will leave you breathless. Hardest part is the descent at the top. Once you get past the scree it is smooth sailing. Our family of four ( kids 10 and 12) completed the entire round trip, rests included in 3 1/2 hours. We are looking forward to doing it again next year!

Thank Crystal M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2014

Great hike. About a 1000 metre elevation but an amazing view at the top. There are a few steep sections but fairly easy hike otherwise. Lots of families. Some loose rock near the top but there are paths to guide you through.

Thank jreuto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 8, 2014

My boyfriend and I hiked Ha Ling Peak a few weeks ago and I found it a little more strenuous than expected. It really is uphill almost the entire way up. I'm in decent shape (but have mild asthma) and had to take very frequent stops to catch my breath. Almost everyone else who was hiking that day were taking frequent breaks and seemed to be struggling at least a bit.

It took us about 2 hours to reach the peak, and about an hour to get back down. If you have bad knees (or ankles), this hike will strain them, especially on the trek back down. I had strained a ligament in my left knee the day before, so I was really hurting at the end of this hike. Wearing a knee brace would have been the smart thing to do.

Once you pass the tree line, it gets very steep. There are small rocks everywhere, make sure you are very careful here, I saw a woman trip trying to take a shortcut back down and almost tumble down the mountain side. It was a very busy day, so be patient when others are trying to pass you.

The views from the top are absolutely stunning! It's too bad it was a cloudy day. Bring lots of water, a camera, and maybe a small picnic lunch with snacks to enjoy before you get past the tree line. Once you pass that area it is EXTREMELY windy. Be careful!!

3  Thank bgagne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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