Grotto Mountain is a stunning hike just outside Canmore, Alberta! You start off in the trees, but quickly gain elevation into rockier territory. From there, you follow a ridge to the top, with jaw-dropping views the whole way!
We actually climbed part of this mountain twice, it’s a bit of a long story…
We had heard that there was an alternate route off the backside ridge and we decided to make it a loop. Not too long after we reached the summit, the route disappeared and we were left with a decision to make – keep going, or turn around and head all the way back.
Since we were losing daylight we decided to try option 3; bushwhack down from the point we were standing.
This turned out to be not such a great choice…
Halfway down the mountain we abruptly ran into a vast expanse of cliffs that swept away several thousand feet below, with no way to navigate through them.
So…. with darkness approaching, we had to climb most of the elevation back to the summit to catch the main trail.
Luckily, I remembered that there was a third way off this mountain.
It’s an old scramblers route that leads steeply down following a fissure in the mountain. We figured our best bet was to take this route down in the dark.
Head lamps on, we made our way carefully down the precipitous trail (did I mention the trail follows a cliff that drops hundreds of feet all the way down the mountain)! When we finally reached the end of the trail, we saw a sign posting for grizzly bear activity in the area!!!
Definitely not one of our finer moments!!!
If you decide to hike Grotto Mountain, be sure to stay on route, especially when you’re running out of daylight! This is probably obvious, but we tend to get carried away in the mountains.
And…. lest you think we’re totally crazy, we did have all our survival gear for an overnight stay in the mountains. No harm, no foul, and we’ve lived to be a lot smarter!
Happy Holidays Everyone!