Grande Prairie has been my home for the last few years. This year after traveling Asia for 5 months I returned home. This would be a short trip back home dealing with a few personal things but also getting ready for my next trip, the Camino de Santiago in October. I went on many hikes throughout the Peace Region. I wanted to be a tourist in my own backyard, and in the end I was more then pleased with what Grande Prairie and area had to offer! I became infatuated with the vast space of the prairies and the skies it generated, great big blue skies and if you were lucky enough you get to see the northern lights dance at night.
Only 20kms East of Grande Prairie lies Kleskun Hills Natural area. It has a heritage area thats open on weekends and just a beautiful area with steep hills to climb. It’s a short drive from the city for when you just need some peace and quiet to clear your head. I found that during the week you can have this whole place to yourself and will be free to explore and see Northern Alberta’s beauty and get an appreciation for the prairies.
You can head south of Grande Prairie for a quick hike around O’Brien park. This trail is forested and has two loops to choose from one short and one longer loop. I found the trail to be muddy on the long loop but if your in need for a quick hike and to let your mind go free this will do the job. With it only being about 15 km from GP it makes it very convenient place to hike.
You can also head further south to Grand Cache area, where the Willmore Wilderness Area offers many kilometres of trails good for hiking. I went to the waterfall called Eaton Falls. The trail head is right by the Sulphur Gates and the hike to the falls is about an hour. Once you arrive at the waterfall there is an open area where you can eat lunch and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. This is one of my favourite hikes in the area to do.
From Grande Prairie you can also visit the Red Willow Falls,heading east towards the BC border. This is a popular swimming spot for locals. It is quite hidden and might be hard to find for most, as there are no signs to it(I will leave directions to all locations at the bottom of the post). If you can get to Red Willow Falls it is a nice area to explore. If you wish to head further into the wild and keep driving quite aways away you can head to Kinuseo Falls, by Tumbler Ridge,BC. These falls are big and magnificent to see. If you live in the GP Area I highly suggest that you take the time to go see these falls. Be warned the road to the falls is mostly dirt and travel with car would not be advisable after a lot of rain.
Thanks for reading! Have you been to any of these places? Any of them you want to go to? Comment Bellow!(SCROLL DOOWN FOR BONUS PHOTOS!!)
O’Brien Park: http://www.albertaparks.ca/obrien/
Bonus: Here our some extra photos from around Grande Prairie!
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