16 Greatest Banff Hikes To Uncover in 2023

With near 1000 miles of well-maintained trails, turquoise waters, alpine meadows, and plush forests, Banff Nationwide Park is without doubt one of the most stunning locations to hike in Canada.

We have now been to Banff Nationwide Park a variety of occasions in each totally different season and take into account it one in every of our favourite locations in Canada it doesn’t matter what time of 12 months. However to actually soak up all that this park has to supply you must get out and hike. From the simpler trails like Sulpher Mountain to extra strenuous hikes in Banff like Corey Cross this information will provide help to select that are the perfect 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 verify so as to add hikes for all ranges of bodily health. A lot of the ones listed below are doable with a median degree of health however some require extra stamina and expertise. We wished to offer all the main points obligatory so that you can select the hike that’s greatest for you. The fantastic 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 manner 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 received’t need to miss. To go to Banff Nationwide Park you want a Parks Cross and you should buy it right here.

Touring to Alberta? Learn extra: The 52 Greatest Issues to do in Alberta, Canada – The Final Information

1. Tunnel Mountain Path

Best Banff Hikes Tunnel Mountain Banff National Park

Though Tunnel Mountain has no tunnel, it does have hanging views of the Banff space from its summit. The trailhead is situated near Banff metropolis middle and you’ll simply stroll to it. Whether or not you’re strolling to it or taking a car, you’ll need to get to St. Julien Street, which is simply off Grizzly Avenue in Banff downtown. There’s a car parking zone out there for these utilizing autos.

Best Banff hikes Tunnel Mountain Viewpoint

The path begins with properly graded switchbacks and it could actually get slightly steep in locations so mountain climbing boots are a good suggestion. When you get nearer to the highest, you get a gradual 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 is usually an ideal hike for dawn or sundown because it doesn’t take too lengthy and the views are unimaginable.

Elevation Achieve: 266 Meters

Problem: Straightforward

Period: 1 + Hours

Size: 4.5 KM

2. Lake Agnes Path and Beehive Circuit (Little and Massive Beehive)

Best Banff Hikes Lake Agnes Banff National Park

This hike is without doubt one of the high issues to do in Banff and among the finest Banff hikes as nicely. 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 referred to as the Massive Beehive.

As you permit Mirror Lake keep to the suitable for the perfect 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 besides. 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 Massive Beehive the place the views are much more spectacular.

Best Banff National Park Hikes Lake Agnes

The Lake Agnes Tea Home itself was constructed by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901 as a spot the place hikers might cease and relaxation. In 1905 it began serving tea and hasn’t stopped since. 

This hike is extraordinarily widespread and will be actually busy within the excessive season. It’s because it is without doubt 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 whenever you go to although, it’s undoubtedly value it.

Elevation Achieve: 650 Meters

Problem: Reasonable

Period: 2-4 Hours

Size: 10.3 KM

3. Sulpher Mountain

Best Banff hikes Sulphur Mountain

Sulphur Mountain is without doubt 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 additionally as a result of you’ll be able to take a Gondola up or down in the event you like. When you resolve to hike up (or down) you’ll be handled to panoramic views of the encircling mountains and valleys.

The hike up is taken into account strenuous because the elevation acquire comes shortly by means of a sequence of switchbacks which ends on the high of the gondola for Sulphur Mountain. The trailhead is situated on the Higher Sizzling Springs car parking zone, and when you attain the summit, you’ll be capable of see spectacular views of Banff, the Bow River Valley, and the encircling peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

Gondola to Sulphur Mountain Hikes

As a result of that is so near the city of Banff it is without doubt one of the hottest issues to do. Meaning in the summertime it will likely be extremely busy. However we expect the views are value it particularly in the event you staying in Banff.

Elevation Achieve: 791 Meters

Problem: Reasonable

Period: 2-4 Hours

Size: 10.1 KM

4. Helen Lake Path

Helen Lake Hiking Trail in Banff

The Helen Lake Path makes for an idyllic hike the place you’ll be crossing rivers and streams and going by means of wildflower meadows and fir forests. There’s a whole lot of journey and enjoyable available on this hike, however be sure to’re carrying the suitable footwear and clothes to have the ability to expertise it in consolation. 

It’s best to undoubtedly climb as much as the ridge above Helen Lake by way of Dolomite Cross in the event you can, from there you get beautiful views of the less-known and due to this fact undisturbed and purely blue Lake Katherine cupped within the mountain peaks.

The Helen Lake Path hike is situated off the Icefields Parkway on the Crowfoot Glacier Viewpoint and is a superb various to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise if these hikes are too busy.

Elevation Achieve: 755 Meters

Problem: Reasonable

Period: 5-6 Hours

Size: 16.7 KM

5. Bourgeau Lake Path

Best Hikes in Banff National Park Sunshine Meadows on Bourgeau Lake

It’s thought-about a average path that may take you thru forests of lodgepole pine and spruce all the way in which 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’ll be able to take pleasure in it whenever you get there. You may additionally be joined by chipmunks, squirrels, and pikas in the event 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 simply’re going to be moving into steep switchbacks, some poles might be extremely useful. 

Best Hikes in Banff National Park - Bourgeau Lake trail

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 had been value it. In case you are feeling adventurous you can too 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 sure that 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 services. 

Elevation Achieve: 732 Meters

Problem: Reasonable

Period: 4-5 Hours

Size: 14.8 KM

6. Lake Louise Plain of the Six Glaciers Path

Plain of 6 Glaciers Best Hikes in Banff National Park

This is without doubt one of the most excellent step by step elevated trails within the nationwide park that permits for a leisurely hike. You get beautiful views of Lake Louise alongside the way in which in addition to Mount Victoria and the Victoria Glacier. It’s best to notice this path can get a bit muddy as you’re alongside the water a whole lot of the time so put on acceptable footwear.

You may as well deliver 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.

Notice: you can too get to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea Home by mountain climbing from Massive Beehive right down to the teahouse. The downhill hike is fairly straightforward from Massive Beehive.

Best Hikes in Banff National Park Tea House

It is a 13.8 KM round-trip hike that begins across the Lake Louise shoreline. To get to the path you will want to go to the Chateau Lake Louise car parking zone. Do notice that this explicit parking space fills up quick because it leads guests to many trails in addition to the Chateau. 

Elevation Achieve: 587 Meters

Problem: Reasonable

Period: 4-5 Hours

Size: 13.8 KM spherical journey

7. Cascade Amphitheatre Path

Best Banff Hikes Cascade Amphitheatre Trial

Cascade Mountain is called as such as a result of waterfall that cascades down one facet of it. Taking a look at Cascade Mountain from afar paints an intimidating image and the considered climbing it appears inconceivable.

It’s undoubtedly a troublesome and tough climb, and that’s why mountain climbing to the Cascade Amphitheatre is an efficient various to get near the mountain with out having to summit it.

You’ll be mountain climbing by means of the dense forest in the beginning which isn’t all that attention-grabbing, however when you get nearer to the amphitheater the bushes 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 attractive meadow of the amphitheater be ready for all types of wildlife sightings. There have been experiences of bears and elk and even cougars within the space. 

Wildlife on Banff hiking Trails

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 move in direction of the Spirit chairlift which can get you onto the path.

Elevation Achieve: 914 Meters

Problem: Reasonable

Period: 4-5 Hours

Size: 13 KM

Johnston Canyon Hike off Bow Valley Parkway

Best Hikes in Banff National Park Johnston Canyon Trail

One of the crucial widespread Banff Hikes, the Johnston Canyon Path will take you right into a dramatic journey film form of panorama. Let’s simply begin off with the truth that whenever 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).

We have now executed this hike in each the winter and the summer time and truly beloved it extra within the winter. The explanations for this are that there are far fewer individuals, the waterfalls are frozen, which makes for a distinct viewing expertise, and we bought to see ice climbers on a variety of the falls. When you do the hike within the winter be sure that to seize some Ice Cleats from city as the paths had been fairly icy.

In case you are there in the summertime it’s nonetheless very spectacular. Be certain that to climb as much as the higher falls for nice 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’ll be able to take the Johnston Valley shuttle to get there from the city of Banff. 

Elevation Achieve: 608 Meters

Problem: Straightforward

Period: 2-5 Hours

Size: 11.7 KM return together with Ink Pots

9. Cory Cross and Edith Cross Path

Cory Pass and Edith Pass Trail Banff National Park

If you wish to problem your self however restrict that problem to a day hike, the Cory Cross and Edith Cross Path is without doubt one of the greatest 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, nonetheless, 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 deliver alongside your bear spray. Actually, you need to be bringing your bear spray alongside no matter what a part of the Canadian Rockies you’re mountain climbing.

Total it’s a troublesome hike, however actually offers you an exquisite style of the true rugged nature of the park. The Cory Cross trailhead is on the Fireplace Picnic Space which is situated 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

Problem: Troublesome

Period: 5-7 Hours

Size: 13 KM

10. Saddleback Cross Path

Saddle Mountain Banff National Park Hike

For a enjoyable hike that’s not going to go away you breathless and scrambling over rocks, you’ll need to try the Saddleback Cross Path.

In contrast to a whole lot of different experiences in Banff Nationwide Park, this hike goes to cover a whole lot of the views as you hike by means of 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 way in which. 

The climax of all of it is whenever you get to the precise saddle and end up flanked by Saddle Mountain and Mount Fairview. You’ve the choice of taking the simple manner up or a steeper manner up after which coming again down the other technique to make for a little bit of a loop. There are indicators alongside the way in which so you’ll be able to resolve which manner you’re going to go.

Best Banff Hikes Saddleback Pass Trail

It’s best to notice that it may be snowy alongside the path nicely into April and Might so getting over the rocks will be slippery, particularly whenever you’re attempting to get to the highest.

It is a 7.4 KM hike and may have you making an elevation acquire of 603 meters. It’s thought-about a straightforward hike. You’ll get views of Mount Temple in addition to Lake Louise.

To get to the Saddleback Cross Hike you’ll need 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 sure that to be careful for the indicators to get on the suitable path as there are a lot of hikes you’ll be able to entry from right here. 

Elevation Achieve: 603 Meters

Problem: Straightforward/Reasonable

Period: 3-4 Hours

Size: 7.4 KM

11. Larch Valley Path / Sentinel Cross

best banff hikes - Larch Trail in Banff National Park

Though all of Banff Nationwide Park looks like a distant and rugged a part of Alberta, in the event you actually need to get a style of a backcountry path then the Larch Valley Path is it.

This path is without doubt one of the greatest Banff hikes for magnificent views of the Canadian Rockies from Banff Nationwide Park. At first, you’ll be going by means of dense larch forest however as you get larger up you’ll get views of Moraine Lake after which additional up a view of these Rocky Mountains.

The path brings you to Sentinel Cross the place you get views of Paradise Valley. Mountain climbing into Paradise Valley is a visit by itself; the path ascends 3750 toes. So proceed in your manner with the Larch Valley Path and save that for an additional day.

Best Banff Hikes Sentinel Pass

One of the crucial beautiful views you’ll see is in the event you go on this path within the fall as larch bushes do look rather a lot like pine bushes, however they really change colour within the fall. So that you’ll see Christmas bushes which might be doused in yellow in September, October, and November.

Though it may be tempting to go off-trail in some components, persist with the designated trails as it’s harmful for you and for the wildlife in the event you don’t. That is an 11 KM hike with an elevation acquire of 792 meters. It’s thought-about a troublesome hike so that you’ll want your mountain climbing footwear and poles.

You may get to the path from the Moraine Lake car parking zone however as of Summer season 2023, you’ll be able to solely entry Moraine Lake by way of the shuttle service from the Lake Louise Space, Roam Transit, or different business transportation. It will price $8, seniors $4, and youngsters aged six and beneath are free. Parking on the Lake Louise Lodge is really useful or there are additionally shuttles out there from the Lake Louise space. 

No non-public autos are allowed on the street to Moraine Lake or the Parking Lot except you have got a disabled tag.

Elevation Achieve: 792 Meters

Problem: Troublesome

Period: 3-6 Hours

Size: 11 KM

12. Moraine Lake Shoreline Hike

Best Hikes in Banff National Park Moraine Lake

You’ll truly be mountain climbing on the Rockpile and Lakeshore Path whenever you do the Moraine Lake Shoreline Hike. This hike is for everybody within the household and will be executed in beneath two hours.

You’ll be doing a 3 KM trek that’s flat across the lake. There’s the famed Rock Pile in fact you can select to hike over, however for a flatter family-friendly hike, you’ll be able to simply go round it. 

Alongside the way in which, 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 this planet in our opinion 🙂 You’ll find yourself near a flowing and peaceable stream that’s the excellent place for a storybook picnic.

Best Hikes in Banff National Park Moraine Lake Shoreline

You possibly can even hire a canoe ($130 CAD/canoe/hour) and benefit from the surroundings from the center of the lake. In winter (notice that the street to Moraine lake is closed to visitors throughout the winter)and even throughout the spring and fall the water ranges do get excessive so the pathway can get overfilled with water so make sure you’re carrying waterproof footwear.

There’s nothing like paddling whereas having fun with the great thing about the encircling mountain peaks.

Please pay attention to the entry limitations and guidelines above as they’ve modified as of Summer season 2023.

Elevation Achieve: 136 Meters

Problem: Straightforward

Period: 1 Hour

Size: 3 KM

13. Bow Glacier Falls

Best Hikes in Banff National Park 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 attractive Bow Lake, by means of 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 slightly uphill climb in direction of the tip. The hike is nicely value it only for the spectacular views of the attractive blue waters. The waterfall on the finish of the hike can be fairly spectacular and an ideal reward for considerably little effort.

The hike solely takes a few hours which makes it an ideal cease alongside the Icefields Parkway. We be sure that to cease right here each time we go to.

Elevation Achieve: 270 Meters

Problem: Straightforward/Reasonable

Period: 2-3 Hours

Size: 8.7 KM

14. Sunshine Meadows

 Best Hikes in Banff National Park sunshine meadows

Sunshine Meadows is without doubt 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 this planet and appears like you’re strolling in a storybook or film.

The trailhead begins at Sunshine village resort on a rugged street that takes you thru a direct elevation acquire that gives an ideal view of the encircling 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’ll be able to take a 20-minute gondola experience from Sunshine Village that gives scenic mountain views earlier than you begin your hike or take a shuttle bus.

Elevation Achieve: 320 Meters

Problem: Reasonable

Period: 2-4 Hours

Size: 8 KM

15. Healy Cross

Best Hikes in Banff National Park Healy Pass

Healy Cross is one other hike that begins from Sunshine Village and autumn is the perfect time to go to the Healy go as you get to expertise the larch bushes in full bloom with stunning golden-yellow colours.

The go shouldn’t be thought-about a straightforward hike because it’s lengthy and difficult with a gradual manageable incline. Nevertheless, you’re rewarded with spectacular views of the close by mountains, lush larch forests, and, blooming wildflowers. The principle downfall of this hike is that you’re within the forest for mainly the primary 8 km so there’s not an excessive amount of to see. However when you emerge you’re handled to breathtaking views of Egypt Lake and the encircling peaks.

As we mentioned above, the hike begins on a dust street after which onto a dense forest filled with fir, spruce, and larch bushes with occasional views of the mountain. That is additionally one of many solely Banff hikes on this listing that provide you with an excellent view of Mount Assiniboine, the very best peak within the park.

Elevation Achieve: 900 Meters

Problem: Troublesome

Period: 6-8 Hours

Size: 20.9 KM

16. Sawback Backpacking Path

Hikes in Banff National Park Sawback

If you wish to backpack and spend just a few nights beneath the celebs, the Sawback Path is ideal. It’s a 71.3 KM path and comes with an elevation acquire of 2122 meters. You have to to e-book your journey on the Parks Canada web site to order your tenting spots.

This path may have you taking part in in every kind of nature from cruising by means of alpine meadows to scrambling over boulders and negotiating tight switchbacks. You’ll even be crossing main wildlife corridors so be ready for that and hold your bear spray useful.

You may get to the path by way of one in every of two trailheads. One of many trailheads you’ll be able to entry by getting off the TransCanada Freeway on the Lake Louise Village exit and driving in direction of Lake Louise Ski Resort. You’ll want to show proper onto Fish Creek Street going in direction of Skoki Lodge and the trailhead is situated on the Fish Creek Parking Lot.

The opposite trailhead is situated on the Mt. Norquay Parking Lot on Mt. Norquay Street which is a brief drive from the city of Banff.  Since it is a point-to-point path, you’ll have to park at one finish and take a shuttle to get to the opposite finish.

Elevation Achieve: 2122 Meters

Problem: Troublesome

Period: 3-6 Days

Size: 71.3 KM

Take a look at extra wonderful issues to do in Canada

Our Suggestions

Hiking in Banff National Park

What’s the greatest hike in Banff?

That may be a very troublesome query to reply as Canada’s oldest nationwide park has wonderful 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 tons 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 must also all the time let somebody know the place you’re going earlier than you head out on the paths. When you occur to reach in Banff alone, you’ll be able to 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. After all, there are joyful mediums between the shortest and longest trails as there are many day hikes out there that vary from 10 to fifteen KM.

Suggestions for Banff Nationwide Park Mountain climbing

Tips for Banff National Park Hikes
  • Be ready for the climate: Banff can have sudden modifications in climate, so it’s necessary to return ready with acceptable clothes and kit.
  • Plan forward: Earlier than you go, analysis the path you propose to hike and be sure to have a map or GPS machine, 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 necessary to remain on the designated path and keep away from shortcuts.
  • Be bear conscious: Maintain a secure distance from bears and different wildlife, and carry bear spray if it’s out there.
  • Respect the park’s guidelines and laws: Observe all posted guidelines and laws, together with these concerning 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 nicely.
  • Get the suitable info: All the time test the park web site or customer middle for probably the most up-to-date info on path situations and closures, in addition to info on permits, campsite reservations, and bear exercise.


Top Banff Hikes in Banff National Park

There is no such thing as a doubt that Banff Nationwide Park has a few of the greatest mountain climbing on this planet. In case you are searching for pure magnificence, backcountry, or only a place to flee all of it then we all know that not less than one in every of these Banff Hikes will attraction to you.

After numerous journeys to this a part of Canada, we are able to 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *