For a lovely, short hike in Canmore, follow Three Sisters Creek to two waterfalls. On a clear day, you can see the peaks the creek is named for from the bridge!
When you’re feeling kind of lazy, but want mountains and waterfalls without crowds, try Three Sisters Creek! We were pleasantly surprised by how pretty this little hike was, and we enjoyed a picnic at the picnic table near the creek. The only thing missing was extra socks (one kid fell in the water as she was messing around).
Start out on the broad, well-marked Highline Trail and follow it through the trees, keeping an eye out for bikes (Highline Trail is a popular mountain biking trail). The trail is pretty flat but climbs ever so gradually. Stay on Highline Trail until you reach a rustic picnic table by the creek. From here – or the bridge – you get a great view of the Three Sisters on a clear day.
Just past the picnic table, turn left at the junction and take the small path along the creek. In about 300 metres, you will reach a small dam – a relic from the coal mining era – and small waterfall. Cross the creek downstream of the falls (before the falls), and keep to the left side of the creek to reach the Second Falls. It’s only 420 metres from First Falls to Second Falls, but you can miss them completely if you don’t know where to go!
Where the path broadens and goes uphill, go to the right. By staying on the left side of the creek – you might get your feet wet here – you will end up at the base of the falls. In winter, use caution around snow bridges (it’s better to walk in in the creek rather than on snow bridges that could break), and stay back from the falls (risk of falling ice).
We thoroughly enjoyed this little hike and loved seeing not one, but TWO waterfalls, and The Three Sisters. We can’t wait to see how this trail is transformed in summer when wildflowers bloom!
Here’s a summary of landmarks along Highline Trail/Three Sisters Creek:
- 0 km Hubman Landing Road
- 1.29 km picnic table by Three Sisters Creek
- 1.58 km First Falls
- 2 km Second Falls
Three Sisters Creek Waterfall Trail At a Glance
- Distance: 2 kilometres one way
- Elevation gain: 150 metres
- Stroller friendly? No – rock hopping and creek crossings required
- Parking: Street parking on Hubman Landing Road. Click here for Google Map directions.
- Trailhead: The trail starts behind the gate at the end of Three Sisters Boulevard. ***The starting point is the end of the Highline Trail.***
Know Before You Go
Highline Trail, the trail you start out on, is a popular mountain biking trail. Watch for bikes, and move to the right when a bike is approaching.
This hike involves creek crossings and rock hopping, so your feet might get wet! In late summer, this could be fun, but in winter, getting wet feet could be dangerous (bring extra socks and plastic bags to line wet footwear – just in case). There is also a risk of slips and falls, so trekking poles are recommended. From late fall to spring, we also recommend traction devices because the snow on the trail gets packed down and slippery.
Wildlife is often spotted in the area, so carry bear spray year round (cougars and wolves don’t hibernate and young bears especially will wake up mid-winter if they hear/smell something interesting). Brush up on bear safety tips in our story: 10 Bear Safety Tips for Hikers and Backpackers.