With near 1000 miles of well-maintained trails, turquoise waters, alpine meadows, and luxurious forests, Banff Nationwide Park is likely one of the most lovely locations to hike in Canada. It’s Canada’s first nationwide park and residential to the resort city of Banff in addition to the hamlet of Lake Louise. The cities supply lovely mountain lodgings from the place you possibly can entry lots of the park’s trails.
Simply exterior of Banff City sits the Cave and Basin Nationwide Historic Web site, which you would possibly wish to go to earlier than heading out on the paths. It’s a great place to go to be taught concerning the historical past of Canada’s nationwide parks earlier than immersing your self in one among them. The positioning additionally features a cave and sulfurous sizzling springs you could discover after which be sure to move as much as Banff Scorching Springs for a dip within the soothing baths.
Greatest Hikes in Banff Nationwide Park
If you wish to get a hen’s eye view of the nationwide park, head to the bottom of Sulphur Mountain and take the Banff Gondola up. After taking that each one in, you’ll be prepared to move out on the marked trails. A lot of them are accessible inside a brief drive from the city of Banff or Lake Louise Village. Learn extra: Canoe Lake Louise and Banff Nationwide Park, Alberta.
There could also be some restrictions on trails and actions as Canada slowly opens as much as tourism, so make sure you verify to see what’s open earlier than beginning any hikes in Banff Nationwide Park. Go to the Park’s Canada web site for extra particulars. And the Alberta authorities web site for updates.
Whichever approach you determine to go, the towering mountains of the Canadian Rockies encompass you, making for picture-perfect surroundings at each flip. Up subsequent we’re going to inform you concerning the 12 finest hikes in Banff Nationwide Park. To go to Banff Nationwide Park you want a parks cross you should buy it right here.
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Tunnel Mountain Path
Though Tunnel Mountain has no tunnel, it does have hanging views of the Banff space from its summit. The trailhead is positioned near Banff metropolis middle 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 parking zone out there for these utilizing automobiles. The path begins with properly graded switchbacks and it will probably get just a little steep in locations so mountaineering 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 reasonable and is feasible to do with the entire household. It is a 2.8-mile path with an 875-foot elevation achieve.
Sawback Backpacking Path
If you wish to backpack and spend just a few nights beneath the celebrities, the Sawback Path is ideal. It’s a 45-mile path and comes with elevation modifications of 7150-feet. You will want to ebook your journey on the Parks Canada web site to order your tenting spots.
This path may have you taking part in in all types 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 maintain your bear spray useful.
You may get to the path through one among 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 it is a point-to-point path, you’ll must park at one finish and take a shuttle to get to the opposite finish.
Lake Agnes Path
There’s one thing fairly particular about discovering your self in an old school teahouse whereas surrounded by the enduring Rocky Mountains, turquoise blue lakes and bears, and deer in addition. If you wish to expertise that feeling, you’ll wish to do the hike out to Lake Agnes Teahouse, which has been serving tea since 1905.
The lake itself was named after the spouse of the primary prime minister of Canada, Woman Agnes MacDonald, who visited the nationwide park and fell in love with the lake. The teahouse 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.
You’ll begin your hike out on a paved path after which get into the luxurious forest and nature’s path. From there you’ll attain the glistening Mirror Lake, alpine meadows, the falls, and the favored rock face referred to as the Large Beehive. Lower than a mile from there you’ll descend to the Lake Agnes Teahouse the place some pie, sandwiches, tea, and sumptuous views might be ready for you.
It is a 4.5-mile hike with an elevation change of 1280 toes. It’s thought-about a reasonable hike and you may get to it from Chateau Lake Louise which is a mile exterior of Lake Louise village. The trailhead is correct off the parking zone of Chateau Lake Louise.
Helen Lake Path
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 plenty of journey and enjoyable available on this hike, however be sure to’re sporting the fitting footwear and clothes to have the ability to expertise it in consolation.
It is best to positively climb as much as the ridge above Helen Lake when 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 spherical journey distance is 7.5 miles. That may have you ever gaining 1475 toes. It’s thought-about a reasonable hike. You may get to the trailhead from the Icefields Parkway at Crowfoot Glacier Viewpoint.
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 unattainable. It’s positively a tough and tough climb, and that’s why mountaineering to the Cascade Amphitheatre is an effective different to get near the mountain with out having to summit it.
You’ll be mountaineering by means of the dense forest 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 gorgeous meadow of the amphitheater be ready for all types of wildlife sightings. There have been stories of bears and deer and even cougars within the space.
That is an 8-mile lovely hike with an elevation change of 3000 toes and is taken into account a reasonable hike. You may get to the Cascade Amphitheatre Snowshoe Path from the Mt. Norquay ski space. From the parking zone, you’re going to move in the direction of the Spirit chairlift which is able to get you onto the path.
Johnston Canyon Path off Bow Valley Parkway
One of the vital in style hikes in Banff Nationwide Park, the Johnston Canyon Path will take you right into a dramatic journey film kind-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 cling over the canyon (not for the faint of coronary heart).
You can be making considerably of a steep climb to the Higher Falls for actually dramatic views of the falls pouring down right into a pool surrounded by canyon partitions. It is a 3.1-mile hike with a 350-foot reasonable elevation achieve and is taken into account reasonable. You may get to the path by taking the Bow Valley Parkway off of the TransCanada Freeway.
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.
Bourgeau Lake Path
It’s thought-about a reasonable path that may 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 additionally be joined by chipmunks, squirrels, and pika when 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 gorgeous. Get pleasure from these views as a result of after that you simply’re going to be moving into steep switchbacks, some poles might be extremely useful.
After all of the huffing and puffing you’re going to succeed in 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.
This path has a 9.2-mile spherical journey distance close to Lake Louise with an elevation achieve of 2400 toes. You may get to the path by taking the exit for Sunshine Village Ski Resort off of the TransCanada Freeway. You possibly can park within the parking zone and there are restroom amenities.
Lake Louise Plain of the Six Glaciers Path
This is likely one of the most good progressively elevated trails within the nationwide park that permits for a leisurely hike. You get beautiful views of Lake Louise alongside the best way. It is best to be aware this path can get a bit muddy as you’re alongside the water plenty of the time so put on acceptable footwear.
You may also convey your canine alongside this path so that you and your four-legged buddy 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.
That is an 8.5-mile spherical journey hike that may have you ever making an elevation achieve of 1250 toes and is taken into account a simple path. To get to the path you will want to go to the Chateau Lake Louise parking zone. Do be aware that this specific parking space fills up quick because it leads guests to many trails in addition to the chateau.
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. In truth, try to be bringing your bear spray alongside no matter what a part of the Canadian Rockies you’re mountaineering. General it’s a tough hike, however actually provides you an exquisite style of the true rugged nature of the park. The Cory Go trailhead is on the Hearth Picnic Space which is positioned off 1A Bow Valley Parkway. It’s an 8-mile hike and one of many highest elevation trails within the park with a achieve of 3200 toes.
Saddleback Go Path
For a enjoyable hike that’s not going to go away you breathless and scrambling over rocks, you’ll wish to try the Saddleback Go Path. Not like plenty of different experiences in Banff Nationwide Park, this hike goes to cover plenty of the views as you hike by means of dense forest. However that’s okay, you’ll breathe within the scrumptious recent 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 will have the choice of taking the simple approach up or a steeper approach up after which come again down the other option to make for a little bit of a loop. There are indicators alongside the best way so you possibly can determine which approach you’re going to go.
It is best to be aware that it may be snowy alongside the path properly into April and Might so getting over the rocks could be slippery, particularly while you’re attempting to get to the highest. It is a 4-5 mile hike and may have you making an elevation change of 1980 toes. It’s thought-about a reasonable 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 parking zone. You possibly can entry the path from right here, simply be sure to be careful for the indicators to get on the fitting path as there are lots of hikes you possibly can entry from right here.
Larch Valley Path
Though all of Banff Nationwide Park appears distant and rugged, when you actually wish to get a style of a backcountry path then the Larch Valley Path is it. This path may also offer you probably the greatest 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 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. Mountain climbing 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 gorgeous views you’ll see is when you go on this path within the fall as larch bushes do look loads like pine bushes, however they really change shade within the fall. So that you’ll see Christmas bushes which are doused in yellow in September, October, and November. Though it may be tempting to go off-trail in some elements, persist with the designated trails as it’s harmful for you and for the wildlife when you don’t.
It is a 7-mile hike with an elevation change of 725 toes. It’s thought-about a tough hike so that you’ll want your mountaineering footwear and poles. You may get to the path from the Moraine Lake parking zone. This lot is tremendous busy so that you would possibly wish to park on the Lake Louise Lodge and head out from there. There are additionally shuttles out there from the Lake Louise space.
Moraine Lake Shoreline Hike
You’ll truly be mountaineering on the Rockpile and Lakeshore Path while you do that hike. This hike is for everybody within the household and could be achieved in beneath two hours. You’ll be doing a 2-mile trek that’s flat across the lake. There’s the famed Rock Pile in fact 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 provides you a shot of ten towering mountain peaks side-by-side, together with Mount Tuzo, Mount Bowlen, and Wenkchemna Peak. You’ll find yourself near a flowing and peaceable stream that’s the good place for a storybook picnic.
You possibly can even hire a canoe and benefit from the surroundings from the center of the lake. In 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 sporting water resistant footwear.
There’s nothing like paddling whereas having fun with the great thing about the encircling mountain peaks.You may get to the path from the Moraine Lake parking zone, however there are only a handful of parking spots. Alternatively, you possibly can park on the Chateau Lake Louise parking zone or take a shuttle from Lake Louise Village.
Steadily Requested Questions
What’s the finest hike in Banff?
That may be a very tough query to reply as Canada’s oldest nationwide park has superb hikes throughout. Among the finest might be the Tunnel Mountain hike because it provides you an expansive view of the entire park. For one thing that’s historic, rugged, and heart-warming, it is best to head out on the Lake Agnes Path and go to the Lake Agnes Tea Home.
What number of mountaineering trails are in Banff Nationwide Park?
There are tons of of trails within the park however the established ones whole 160.
Is it protected 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. For those who 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 anyplace from 1 mile to virtually 50 miles. The shortest of hikes will take you lower than an hour however the lengthy hikes just like the 45-mile Sawback Backpacking Path can take you 3-5 days relying in your tempo. After all, there are completely happy mediums between the shortest and longest trails as there are many day hikes out there that vary from 7 to 10 miles.