If trail and mountain running for you is getting the best elevation gain/distance ratio, the Heart Mountain and Grant MacEwan Peak loop should be a go-to. Featuring close to 1000m of elevation gain over just under 11 km, this loop has it all; good views, a steep ascent, a bit of scrambling and some technical descending. You'll rarely be alone on this mountain as Heart Mountain is a very popular hike, but keep it as an after-work option in the Summer, or for a quieter weekday morning hit. Best done counter-clockwise.
- Distance: 10.5 km
- Elevation gain: 900 meters
- Time: 2 to 4 hours
- Difficulty: Challenging
- Where to park: Heart Creek Trailhead
- Surface: Technical trail. The Heart Mountain ascent features a few sections that require hands-on scrambling, as well as a 4th class rock step halfway up. The descent from Grant MacEwan Peak is loose and steep in some areas, but you won't need your hands.