Grotto Canyon Trail is a fun, easy hike that is very popular and appropriate for just about anyone of any skill level. Walking between the thundering rock walls of the canyon will awaken the rugged trailblazer inside even the most cautious and inexperienced hiker.

The trail is quite popular in the summer time, so expect to see many other families and groups of friends along your way. However, for those who want a more thrilling hiking experience, the trail offers adventurous and sparsely-populated detours for those who are up to it. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to resist scaling up some of the small ledges with a secure, but well worn rope or scrambling on all fours to the top of a rocky cave.

Adventurous or not, everyone will enjoy the Inukshuk garden. This garden, filled with peculiar little stone statues, is one of the main reasons to go on this trail. Inukshuks were originally used by the Inutit people to navigate and mark things like hunting grounds in the northern regions of Canada, when finding your way simply by the look of the land was made impossible by white-out snow conditions. Today, they are a well-recognized cultural symbol of Canada’s Indigenous history.

While the origins of this particular Inukshuk garden aren’t clearly defined, it’s safe to say that each one represents a hiker that loved the trail so much they wanted to leave their mark on it in a respectful way.

Before you pack your backpack and head out to this trail, it is worth noting that despite the fact that it is a fairly busy, wildlife sightings aren’t unusual. Always have a can of bear spray as well as a bear bell attached to your pack in order to prevent encounters. You never know whether a suspicious rustling in the bush is caused by a deer, an off-leash dog or something a little more frightening.

While my friends and I sat on an assortment of rocks in order to rest after a challenging scramble detour, we thought we caught a glimpse of something in the trees. We never found out exactly what it was, but due to the perceived size and distinct brown colour, we were fine with not getting a close up look.

Cassandra Woods
Social Media Coordinator