With near 1000 miles of well-maintained trails, turquoise waters, alpine meadows, and plush forests, Banff Nationwide Park is likely one of the most stunning locations to hike in Canada.
Now we have been to Banff Nationwide Park plenty of occasions in each totally different season and think about it one in all our favourite locations in Canada it doesn’t matter what time of yr. However to essentially soak up all that this park has to supply it’s important to get out and hike. From the better trails like Sulpher Mountain to extra strenuous hikes in Banff like Corey Go this information will enable you to select that are one of the best mountain climbing trails in Banff so as to add to your subsequent go to.
Our Greatest Banff Hikes
When placing this Banff mountain climbing information collectively we wished to ensure so as to add hikes for all ranges of bodily health. A lot of the ones listed below are doable with a mean degree of health however some require extra stamina and expertise. We wished to offer all the main points mandatory so that you can select the hike that’s finest for you. The great thing about mountain climbing in Banff Nationwide Park is that lots of them are accessible inside a brief drive from the city of Banff or Lake Louise Village.
Whichever approach you resolve to go, the towering mountains of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta encompass you, making for picture-perfect surroundings at each flip.
Up subsequent we’re going to let you know in regards to the 16 Greatest Banff hikes you gained’t wish to miss. To go to Banff Nationwide Park you want a Parks Go and you should purchase it right here.
Touring to Alberta? Learn extra: The 52 Greatest Issues to do in Alberta, Canada – The Final Information
1. Tunnel Mountain Path
Though Tunnel Mountain has no tunnel, it does have placing views of the Banff space from its summit. The trailhead is positioned near Banff metropolis heart and you’ll simply stroll to it. Whether or not you’re strolling to it or taking a automobile, you’ll wish to get to St. Julien Highway, which is simply off Grizzly Road in Banff downtown. There’s a car parking zone accessible for these utilizing automobiles.
The path begins with properly graded switchbacks and it may get a bit steep in locations so mountain climbing boots are a good suggestion. When you get nearer to the highest, you get a gentle climb. You’ll see views of Vermillion Lakes, the city of Banff, the Banff Golf Course, and the imposing Mount Rundle.
Regardless of the steep sections, the Tunnel Mountain path hike is taken into account straightforward and is feasible to do with the entire household. It’s also an ideal hike for dawn or sundown because it doesn’t take too lengthy and the views are unimaginable.
Elevation Achieve: 266 Meters
Period: 1 + Hours
Size: 4.5 KM
2. Lake Agnes Path and Beehive Circuit (Little and Large Beehive)
This hike is likely one of the high issues to do in Banff and probably the greatest Banff hikes as effectively. The hike itself shouldn’t be too strenuous and is well accessible from the small city of Lake Louise. The Lake Agnes Path begins out on a paved path that takes you alongside the north shore of Lake Lousise with beautiful views of the Victoria Glacier. You’ll then climb up into the spruce forest alongside some switchbacks earlier than you attain the glistening Mirror Lake, alpine meadows, the falls, and the favored rock face known as the Large Beehive.
As you permit Mirror Lake keep to the precise for one of the best views. I’m not going to lie, there’s one thing fairly particular about discovering your self in an old style teahouse whereas surrounded by the enduring Rocky Mountains, turquoise blue lakes and bears, and deer as well. Lake Agnes Tea Home has been serving tea since 1905 and is the proper place to seize a snack earlier than persevering with on to Little Beehive and Large Beehive the place the views are much more spectacular.
The Lake Agnes Tea Home itself was constructed by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901 as a spot the place hikers may cease and relaxation. In 1905 it began serving tea and hasn’t stopped since.
This hike is extraordinarily standard and will be actually busy within the excessive season. It’s because it is likely one of the best Banff hikes that may be accomplished in beneath 2 hours. We advocate doing it in October, earlier than the snow to keep away from all of the crowds. Regardless, of while you go to although, it’s undoubtedly value it.
Elevation Achieve: 650 Meters
Period: 2-4 Hours
Size: 10.3 KM
3. Sulpher Mountain
Sulphur Mountain is likely one of the hottest hikes in Banff Nationwide Park. Not solely as a result of it has spectacular views and is near the city Heart of Banff but in addition as a result of you possibly can take a Gondola up or down in case you like. In case you resolve to hike up (or down) you can be handled to panoramic views of the encompassing mountains and valleys.
The hike up is taken into account strenuous because the elevation acquire comes rapidly via a collection of switchbacks which ends on the high of the gondola for Sulphur Mountain. The trailhead is positioned on the Higher Scorching Springs car parking zone, and when you attain the summit, you’ll be capable to see spectacular views of Banff, the Bow River Valley, and the encompassing peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
As a result of that is so near the city of Banff it is likely one of the hottest issues to do. Which means in the summertime it will likely be extremely busy. However we expect the views are value it particularly in case you staying in Banff.
Elevation Achieve: 791 Meters
Period: 2-4 Hours
Size: 10.1 KM
4. Helen Lake Path
The Helen Lake Path makes for an idyllic hike the place you’ll be crossing rivers and streams and going via wildflower meadows and fir forests. There may be quite a lot of journey and enjoyable available on this hike, however be sure you’re sporting the precise footwear and clothes to have the ability to expertise it in consolation.
It is best to undoubtedly climb as much as the ridge above Helen Lake by way of Dolomite Go in case you can, from there you get pretty views of the less-known and subsequently undisturbed and purely blue Lake Katherine cupped within the mountain peaks.
The Helen Lake Path hike is positioned off the Icefields Parkway on the Crowfoot Glacier Viewpoint and is a good different to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise if these hikes are too busy.
Elevation Achieve: 755 Meters
Period: 5-6 Hours
Size: 16.7 KM
5. Bourgeau Lake Path
It’s thought of a average path that can take you thru forests of lodgepole pine and spruce all the best way to Bourgeau Lake.
The lake itself sits in a glacially carved amphitheater and it’s a good suggestion to pack alongside a picnic so you possibly can take pleasure in it while you get there. You may also be joined by chipmunks, squirrels, and pikas in case you’re fortunate.
The start of the path is fairly regular till you hit Wolverine Creek. The creek is quaint, however the waterfall that pours down from it’s completely beautiful. Take pleasure in these views as a result of after that you just’re going to be entering into steep switchbacks, some poles might be extremely useful.
After all of the huffing and puffing you’re going to achieve the blue-green brilliance of Bourgeau Lake and have views of Sunshine Meadows and Rock Isle Lake. It’s the proper place to cease, have a snack, and nod to your self that the huffing and puffing have been value it. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even mix this with a summit bid to Mount Bourgeau which is a 2,931-metre (9,616 ft) tall peak. This might make it a full-day hike so be certain to organize accordingly.
You may get to the path by taking the exit for Sunshine Village Ski Resort off of the Trans Canada Freeway. You possibly can park within the car parking zone and there are restroom amenities.
Elevation Achieve: 732 Meters
Period: 4-5 Hours
Size: 14.8 KM
6. Lake Louise Plain of the Six Glaciers Path
This is likely one of the most excellent regularly elevated trails within the nationwide park that enables for a leisurely hike. You get pretty views of Lake Louise alongside the best way in addition to Mount Victoria and the Victoria Glacier. It is best to observe this path can get a bit muddy as you’re alongside the water quite a lot of the time so put on acceptable sneakers.
You can even convey your canine alongside this path so that you and your four-legged pal can benefit from the greenery and mountain flowers alongside your stroll. The Plain of the Six Glaciers Teahouse is a beautiful place to cease and take within the nature that surrounds you whereas having fun with some tea and treats.
Word: you can even get to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea Home by mountain climbing from Large Beehive all the way down to the teahouse. The downhill hike is fairly straightforward from Large Beehive.
It is a 13.8 KM round-trip hike that begins across the Lake Louise shoreline. To get to the path you’ll need to go to the Chateau Lake Louise car parking zone. Do observe that this specific parking space fills up quick because it leads guests to many trails in addition to the Chateau.
Elevation Achieve: 587 Meters
Period: 4-5 Hours
Size: 13.8 KM spherical journey
7. Cascade Amphitheatre Path
Cascade Mountain is known as as such as a result of waterfall that cascades down one aspect of it. Taking a look at Cascade Mountain from afar paints an intimidating image and the considered climbing it appears unimaginable.
It’s undoubtedly a troublesome and tough climb, and that’s why mountain climbing to the Cascade Amphitheatre is an efficient different to get near the mountain with out having to summit it.
You’ll be mountain climbing via the dense forest in the beginning which isn’t all that fascinating, however when you get nearer to the amphitheater the timber begin opening up and the sky seems. And also you truly do really feel such as you’re in an amphitheater due to the looming mountain peaks surrounding you.
Earlier than you get to the gorgeous meadow of the amphitheater be ready for all types of wildlife sightings. There have been reviews of bears and elk and even cougars within the space.
It is a 13 KM hike with an elevation change of 3000 toes and is taken into account a average hike. You may get to the Cascade Amphitheatre Snowshoe Path from the Mt. Norquay ski space. From the car parking zone, you’re going to go in the direction of the Spirit chairlift which is able to get you onto the path.
Elevation Achieve: 914 Meters
Period: 4-5 Hours
Size: 13 KM
8. Johnston Canyon Hike off Bow Valley Parkway
One of the vital standard Banff Hikes, the Johnston Canyon Path will take you right into a dramatic journey film type of panorama. Let’s simply begin off with the truth that while you get on the path you’re going to be getting on some sturdy iron walkways that grasp over the canyon (not for the faint of coronary heart).
Now we have completed this hike in each the winter and the summer time and really cherished it extra within the winter. The explanations for this are that there are far fewer folks, the waterfalls are frozen, which makes for a special viewing expertise, and we received to see ice climbers on plenty of the falls. In case you do the hike within the winter be certain to seize some Ice Cleats from city as the paths have been fairly icy.
If you’re there in the summertime it’s nonetheless very spectacular. Be certain that to climb as much as the higher falls for excellent views of the falls pouring down right into a pool surrounded by canyon partitions. Then, if you wish to make extra of a day of it head out to the Ink Pots. You possibly can entry them from the highest of the higher falls the place it’s one other 2 KM out to the Ink Pots.
From the Bow Valley Parkway, you’ll be driving to the Johnston Canyon Lodge and Bungalows. You possibly can park there and entry the trailhead close to the lodge. Alternatively, you possibly can take the Johnston Valley shuttle to get there from the city of Banff.
Elevation Achieve: 608 Meters
Period: 2-5 Hours
Size: 11.7 KM return together with Ink Pots
9. Cory Go and Edith Go Path
If you wish to problem your self however restrict that problem to a day hike, the Cory Go and Edith Go Path is likely one of the finest trails in Banff Nationwide Park for you. Proper off the highest, you’re going to expertise some main inclines and also you’re going to must undergo a river, nevertheless, when you hit the summit the grading turns into extra even and the hike turns into simpler.
There have been bear sightings within the space so convey alongside your bear spray. Actually, you have to be bringing your bear spray alongside no matter what a part of the Canadian Rockies you’re mountain climbing.
General it’s a troublesome hike, however actually offers you an exquisite style of the true rugged nature of the park. The Cory Go trailhead is on the Fireplace Picnic Space which is positioned off 1A Bow Valley Parkway. It’s a 13 KM hike and one of many highest elevation trails within the park with a acquire of 1168 meters.
Elevation Achieve: 1168 Meters
Period: 5-7 Hours
Size: 13 KM
10. Saddleback Go Path
For a enjoyable hike that’s not going to depart you breathless and scrambling over rocks, you’ll wish to take a look at the Saddleback Go Path.
Not like quite a lot of different experiences in Banff Nationwide Park, this hike goes to cover quite a lot of the views as you hike via dense forests. However that’s okay, you’ll breathe within the scrumptious contemporary air and get an opportunity to see cute wildlife like ptarmigans and marmots alongside the best way.
The climax of all of it is while you get to the precise saddle and end up flanked by Saddle Mountain and Mount Fairview. You could have the choice of taking the simple approach up or a steeper approach up after which coming again down the alternative option to make for a little bit of a loop. There are indicators alongside the best way so you possibly can resolve which approach you’re going to go.
It is best to observe that it may be snowy alongside the path effectively into April and Could so getting over the rocks will be slippery, particularly while you’re making an attempt to get to the highest.
It is a 7.4 KM hike and could have you making an elevation acquire of 603 meters. It’s thought of a straightforward hike. You’ll get views of Mount Temple in addition to Lake Louise.
To get to the Saddleback Go Hike you’ll wish to get off the TransCanada Freeway on the exit for Lake Louise village after which drive on to Chateau Lake Louise and park of their extraordinarily busy car parking zone. You possibly can entry the path from right here, simply be certain to be careful for the indicators to get on the precise path as there are lots of hikes you possibly can entry from right here.
Elevation Achieve: 603 Meters
Period: 3-4 Hours
Size: 7.4 KM
11. Larch Valley Path / Sentinel Go
Though all of Banff Nationwide Park looks as if a distant and rugged a part of Alberta, in case you actually wish to get a style of a backcountry path then the Larch Valley Path is it.
This path is likely one of the finest Banff hikes for magnificent views of the Canadian Rockies from Banff Nationwide Park. At first, you can be going via dense larch forest however as you get greater up you’ll get views of Moraine Lake after which additional up a view of these Rocky Mountains.
The path brings you to Sentinel Go the place you get views of Paradise Valley. Mountaineering into Paradise Valley is a visit by itself; the path ascends 3750 toes. So proceed in your approach with the Larch Valley Path and save that for an additional day.
One of the vital beautiful views you’ll see is in case you go on this path within the fall as larch timber do look lots like pine timber, however they really change colour within the fall. So that you’ll see Christmas timber which can be doused in yellow in September, October, and November.
Though it may be tempting to go off-trail in some components, stick with the designated trails as it’s harmful for you and for the wildlife in case you don’t. That is an 11 KM hike with an elevation acquire of 792 meters. It’s thought of a troublesome hike so that you’ll want your mountain climbing sneakers and poles.
You may get to the path from the Moraine Lake car parking zone however as of Summer time 2023, you possibly can solely entry Moraine Lake by way of the shuttle service from the Lake Louise Space, Roam Transit, or different business transportation. This may value $8, seniors $4, and children aged six and beneath are free. Parking on the Lake Louise Lodge is really helpful or there are additionally shuttles accessible from the Lake Louise space.
No personal automobiles are allowed on the highway to Moraine Lake or the Parking Lot until you might have a disabled tag.
Elevation Achieve: 792 Meters
Period: 3-6 Hours
Size: 11 KM
12. Moraine Lake Shoreline Hike
You’ll truly be mountain climbing on the Rockpile and Lakeshore Path while you do the Moraine Lake Shoreline Hike. This hike is for everybody within the household and will be completed in beneath two hours.
You’ll be doing a 3 KM trek that’s flat across the lake. There may be the famed Rock Pile after all which you could select to hike over, however for a flatter family-friendly hike, you possibly can simply go round it.
Alongside the best way, you’ll see views of Fay Glacier and the Ten Peaks. The Ten Peaks Valley offers you a shot of ten towering mountain peaks side-by-side, together with Mount Tuzo, Mount Bowlen, and Wenkchemna Peak. That is the well-known “Twenty Greenback View” as this viewpoint was featured on the previous Canadian twenty-dollar invoice. Top-of-the-line views on the earth in our opinion 🙂 You’ll find yourself near a flowing and peaceable stream that’s the excellent place for a storybook picnic.
You possibly can even lease a canoe ($130 CAD/canoe/hour) and benefit from the surroundings from the center of the lake. In winter (observe that the highway to Moraine lake is closed to visitors in the course of the winter)and even in the course of the spring and fall the water ranges do get excessive so the pathway can get overfilled with water so make sure you’re sporting water resistant sneakers.
There may be nothing like paddling whereas having fun with the great thing about the encompassing mountain peaks.
Please be aware of the entry limitations and guidelines above as they’ve modified as of Summer time 2023.
Elevation Achieve: 136 Meters
Period: 1 Hour
Size: 3 KM
13. Bow Glacier Falls
It is a comparatively straightforward hike for all ages. The Bow Glacier falls hike begins at Num-Ti-Jah lodge and runs alongside the gorgeous Bow Lake, via a gorge, and at last onto a scenic waterfall cascading down a rugged cliff.
A lot of the path alongside the beautiful Bow lake is flat with a bit uphill climb in the direction of the tip. The hike is effectively value it only for the spectacular views of the gorgeous blue waters. The waterfall on the finish of the hike can be fairly spectacular and a terrific reward for considerably little effort.
The hike solely takes a few hours which makes it a terrific cease alongside the Icefields Parkway. We be certain to cease right here each time we go to.
Elevation Achieve: 270 Meters
Period: 2-3 Hours
Size: 8.7 KM
14. Sunshine Meadows
Sunshine Meadows is likely one of the hottest Banff mountain climbing trails with picturesque views of the Canadian Rockies, pristine views of the alpine lakes, blooming wildflowers, and alpine meadows.
It’s simply one of the vital stunning mountain climbing trails on the earth and seems like you’re strolling in a storybook or film.
The trailhead begins at Sunshine village resort on a rugged highway that takes you thru an instantaneous elevation acquire that gives a terrific view of the encompassing areas. You’ll comply with the shoreline of Grizzly and Larix lakes, cross a larch forest, and cease at Simpson Viewpoint for an unimaginable view over Kootenay Nationwide Park. To get to the trailhead you possibly can take a 20-minute gondola journey from Sunshine Village that gives scenic mountain views earlier than you begin your hike or take a shuttle bus.
Elevation Achieve: 320 Meters
Period: 2-4 Hours
Size: 8 KM
15. Healy Go
Healy Go is one other hike that begins from Sunshine Village and autumn is one of the best time to go to the Healy move as you get to expertise the larch timber in full bloom with stunning golden-yellow colours.
The move shouldn’t be thought of a straightforward hike because it’s lengthy and difficult with a gentle manageable incline. Nevertheless, you’re rewarded with spectacular views of the close by mountains, lush larch forests, and, blooming wildflowers. The primary downfall of this hike is that you’re within the forest for principally the primary 8 km so there may be not an excessive amount of to see. However when you emerge you’re handled to breathtaking views of Egypt Lake and the encompassing peaks.
As we stated above, the hike begins on a dust highway after which onto a dense forest stuffed with fir, spruce, and larch timber with occasional views of the mountain. That is additionally one of many solely Banff hikes on this record that offer you a great view of Mount Assiniboine, the very best peak within the park.
Elevation Achieve: 900 Meters
Period: 6-8 Hours
Size: 20.9 KM
16. Sawback Backpacking Path
If you wish to backpack and spend a couple of nights beneath the celebrities, the Sawback Path is ideal. It’s a 71.3 KM path and comes with an elevation acquire of 2122 meters. You’ll need to e-book your journey on the Parks Canada web site to order your tenting spots.
This path could have you taking part in in every kind of nature from cruising via alpine meadows to scrambling over boulders and negotiating tight switchbacks. You’ll even be crossing main wildlife corridors so be ready for that and preserve your bear spray useful.
You may get to the path by way of one in all two trailheads. One of many trailheads you possibly can entry by getting off the TransCanada Freeway on the Lake Louise Village exit and driving in the direction of Lake Louise Ski Resort. You’ll want to show proper onto Fish Creek Highway going in the direction of Skoki Lodge and the trailhead is positioned on the Fish Creek Parking Lot.
The opposite trailhead is positioned on the Mt. Norquay Parking Lot on Mt. Norquay Highway which is a brief drive from the city of Banff. Since this can be a point-to-point path, you’ll must park at one finish and take a shuttle to get to the opposite finish.
Elevation Achieve: 2122 Meters
Period: 3-6 Days
Size: 71.3 KM
Try extra superb issues to do in Canada
What’s the finest hike in Banff?
That may be a very troublesome query to reply as Canada’s oldest nationwide park has superb hikes throughout. Top-of-the-line might be the Tunnel Mountain hike because it offers you an expansive view of the entire park. For one thing that’s historic, rugged, and heart-warming, it’s best to head out on the Lake Agnes Path and go to the Lake Agnes Tea Home.
What number of mountain climbing trails are in Banff Nationwide Park?
There are lots of of trails within the park however the established ones complete 160.
Is it secure to hike alone in Banff?
It’s all the time higher to hike in teams, particularly in case of animal encounters. You also needs to all the time let somebody know the place you’re going earlier than you head out on the paths. In case you occur to reach in Banff alone, you possibly can all the time rent a information to take you on the paths.
How lengthy are the hikes in Banff?
The hikes in Banff can vary wherever from 2 KM to virtually 100 KM. The shortest of hikes will take you lower than an hour however the lengthy hikes just like the 72 KM Sawback Backpacking Path can take you 3-5 days relying in your tempo. In fact, there are glad mediums between the shortest and longest trails as there are many day hikes accessible that vary from 10 to fifteen KM.
Ideas for Banff Nationwide Park Mountaineering
- Be ready for the climate: Banff can have sudden adjustments in climate, so it’s vital to come back ready with acceptable clothes and equipment.
- Plan forward: Earlier than you go, analysis the path you intend to hike and be sure you have a map or GPS system, in addition to sufficient water and meals.
- Keep on the designated path: To guard the pure surroundings and keep away from getting misplaced, it’s vital to remain on the designated path and keep away from shortcuts.
- Be bear conscious: Hold a secure distance from bears and different wildlife, and carry bear spray if it’s accessible.
- Respect the park’s guidelines and rules: Observe all posted guidelines and rules, together with these relating to tenting and fires.
- Depart no hint: Pack out all trash and depart the park as you discovered it, so future generations can take pleasure in it as effectively.
- Get the precise info: All the time verify the park web site or customer heart for probably the most up-to-date info on path situations and closures, in addition to info on permits, campsite reservations, and bear exercise.
There isn’t a doubt that Banff Nationwide Park has a number of the finest mountain climbing on the earth. If you’re searching for pure magnificence, backcountry, or only a place to flee all of it then we all know that no less than one in all these Banff Hikes will attraction to you.
After numerous journeys to this a part of Canada, we will simply say that it doesn’t matter what your mountain climbing expertise you will see that a house you’ll keep in mind in Banff Nationwide Park.