Triple Crown/Quad - Mountain views on Canmore

Triple Crown/Quad

– The Mountains of Canmore




Canmore is surrounded by 4 mountains – Ha Ling, East end of Rundle (EEOR) on the one side of the town and Lady Mac Donald and Grotto north of the HW. Each of these mountains is over 2000 meters high and already one of them is an amazing experience and a good hike.


However, the GeorgeTown Inn created the challenge of the Triple Crown (Ha Ling, EEOR and Lady Mac – excluding Grotto) and conquerors get a beer mug, if they take the challenge and show a selfie on top of each mountain So, led and organized by the Edmonton Trail Runners, as a group of around 80 runners we accepted the challenge and we tried the Triple Crown in one day – you don’t have to do it in one day for the beer mug. Also it’s not mandatory to run between the mountain trailheads, but you can ;).




We started at 7.30 am in the town center, passing the Nordic Center, which has incredible trails for mountain biking, shorter trail runs or cross country skiing in the winter, and Grassi Lakes, some beautiful turquoise lakes with rock climbing routes just beside it.


After around  7 km(1 hour) of slow running, we reached the trailhead of EEOR, we decided to run this one first because it has the most scrambling, excluding the last ridge of Lady Mac.


The EEOR has a distance of 6 km (round trip) with a elevation gain of 900 m (2953 ft), especially a meadow below the top, known as the “Bench” is a perfect place for a rest or picnic before doing the last scramble and with little luck some mountain goats will join you. Enjoy the incredible view to Ha Ling to your left and all the mountains ridges in Kananaskis Country. At the top you have a view down to Canmore and along the Rundle Range, which is another scramble adventure if the normal mountain trails are not enough for you. Downsliding first on rock and later through the forest is just fun.




We had a short rest at the parking lot before we went up to Ha Ling, which is the easiest but also the most crowded of the three mountains. Most of the trail is in the forest and just the last part is open which makes the view even more asthonishing. It takes between 1.5 to 4 hours with a elevation gain of 700 m (2297 ft) on 6 km (round trip).


The mountains on the other side of Canmore taking generally longer but are also less crowded than the previous ones. The trailhead of Lady Mac starts at cougar creek, which is perfect to cool your legs before or after attempting. The trail is not as steep as the others but longer and takes between 4 to 7 hours hiking it. It’s around 8 km (round trip) with an elevation gain of ~ 800 m (2625 ft) to the tea house, which is not really the top but enough to get your beer mug. Our legs were pretty done, so we decided not to do the ridge which required to be fit and concentrated but I would still recommend it to get to the real top if you just do one mountain and feel fit. The trail down is very smooth and easy to run if your legs are still fit.




After that day get your beer mug and finish the day in one of Canmores restaurants/bars.


My stats: 42.2 km (2 extra km to make it a marathon), 3.210 m (elevation gain) and 10.5 hours (7 hours moving time).


If the Triple Crown isn’t enough for you there is one more mountain to do!


Grotto is the longest mountain and probably the less crowded -the trailhead is hard to find. I started at the Cougar creek which is the connection to Lady Mac. Some nice forest trails lead you to the trailhead but you can also drive to the ACC hut to start there. The trail loop is around 8.9 km with a elevation gain of 1352 m. There are some different ways up and down but people I met and what I read, the left trail is way better than the right one. I just tried the left one which is at some parts already pretty steep. The best part is definetly the ridge, which is pretty open and not exposed, so with a fantastic view and easy to run to reach the true summit.


Enjoy Canmore and do at least one mountain of the Triple Crown, just to become addicted and try the other mountains the next day 😉.


(Pictures: Grotto, View from Ha Ling to Canmore, View from the "Bench" of the EEOR towards Ha Ling, The Three Sisters from the Cougar Creek)