As I said in a prior post, BANFF is as beautiful as every Instagram photo makes it look, however it’s really, really crowded. If you’re looking for challenging hikes, stunning mountain views, turquoise lakes, and fewer crowds, look no further than nearby Canmore and K Country. These areas house the still-quite-tall-and-impressive “foothills” of the BANFF Rockies, but have fewer crowds and more camping availability. We opted to hike East End of Rundle (EEOR), which is a pretty challenging, steep hike (3.5 miles roundtrip with almost 2900 of elevation gain then loss) up a lot of scree to a peak the overlooks a number of other peaks and blue lakes. I’ll be honest, it’s a somewhat punishing hike, but it’s quick and the views are really rewarding. Like nearly all hikes in Canada, this one is dog-friendly. Canmore also has the Grizzly Paw Brewery, which is dog-friendly.