November is always unpredictable in the Canadian Rockies. This year we were fortunate enough to welcome the colder weather a little later than usual, allowing us to have a much warmer and longer fall. However, it didn't take long for the snow to make its appearance in the valley. With snowfalls like this, it’s always a bit harder to find trails that remain safe and accessible during this transition season and throughout the winter. The hike of the month for November is Ha Ling, a classic Canmore hike, which I particularly enjoy.

Located in the heart of Canmore, Alberta, Ha Ling is a 7.9 km round trip trail with a vertical drop of 759m. Perched at 2407m in elevation, the summit offers incredible views of Canmore and the valley. You will have access to a few viewpoints along your hike to admire the mountains that surround Mont Ha Ling. Reaching the top takes about 2 hours and you’ll have to take the same path back down.

Because of the new rebuild of the trail, the ascent of Ha Ling is a lot easier all year around. (Local tip: Ha Ling is my favorite hike to admire sunset during the summer!)



Make sure you always bring extra warm clothes in your backpack to layer up at the top – even during summer! I wore my Pania vest from POLARTEC® knit fabric to keep me warm once I got to the summit. As for my pants, I opted for the Matkailu HV II, which were perfect for this hike due to their quick dry and wind resistant properties and moisture wicking finish. The wind can be very intense once you reach the alpine and the temperature in this microclimate always surprises you. During the winter, the trail is pretty easy to find in the snow due to its popularity. However, make sure you bring crampons with you, these will be a game changer, especially on the steep parts.

Credit for the pictures: Pat Hoffman