Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Banff with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
11 days ago

Amazing hike, but lots of mosquitoes, i would 110% recommend bringing a full body bug suit if you're tackling this one.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful trail and offered plenty of access to water sources. Overnighting at Amethyst is a must if you’re doing this trail! If I were to do it again I would make a longer trip out of it by overnighting a few nights using Amethyst as a base camp and doing some exploring in the area.

backpacking
1 month ago

Did this hike as a part of 4 day backpacking trip last Aug. Could not do the full loop as we had only one car. But the trail from portal creek via Maccarib pass is absolutely stunning. Sunrise in Amethyst lake with the reflections of Ramparts on the lake.....that is a scene not to be forgotten ever.

backpacking
1 month ago

Redid this trail for second time. Used Astoria trailhead again. Went beginning of August, bugs were bad, but worth it. Nicest area we felt was at surprise point. Bugs weren’t bad, gentle breeze and a view that photos could not do justice. Would I go for a third time, no doubt about it. On the trail this time we did have a mountain lion jump out at us, it was a younger one but did it ever move fast

beautiful definitely worth the trek up... just keeping going and be patient and anyone can make it.

hiking
4 months ago

I did this hike solo in October. It made for a rather heavy pack as I had to pack for winter camping. The first campground is portal to my recollection. Be wary of the sign that tells you it’s 8kms to the campground. I am quite fit and light on my feet and it felt that me like it was more like 15. I didn’t hitch hike back, I redid the route and upon close inspection of the sign on my return, someone had actually carved in to the sign ‘more like 16’. I will be returning to do it again in July with warmer weather and intend to wear a gps watch this time. The first night I got about a foot of snow in the elevation. It was a lovely morning and although the trail was covered in snow, the route was still obvious. I did not encounter any wild life while awake, however I had a trail of prints in the snow around my tent. Not bear or cougar though! The sights are lovely and the trail is super easy (at least I thought so!) In the summertime this is known as one of the most buggy trails in Alberta so I would highly recommend that you go to Mountain hardware at the cross iron mills mall and pick up a head bug net, as they sell them for only five dollars - it will save you from going insane with all of the bugs. The trail can also be quite muddy in some spots... whatever. It’s nature!!

backpacking
8 months ago

This was my first backpacking experience and I would definitely say it was an awesome to start with. I would not have rated it as 'hard' as many sites consider it to be a beginner hike. It took us 4 hours from the gondola (Pro-tip : take the gondola to sunshine village and hike from there). Don't waste energy by carrying tons of water, buy the chlorine pellets and fill up from the river.

One of the most beautiful places we've backpacked. Bring clothing for heat and cold- we had snow and very hot days too. We were lucky to see Caribou 2 nights outside Amythyst campground.

Words cannot describe this trail. Spent 3 days in the valley. Hiked in to Amethyst lake. Spent the second day hiking to Erenite valley where you get up close to Alpine lakes and glaciers. The trail is "unmaintained" but seemed pretty well maintained to me. and hiked out through maccarib pass to the other trail head. Unreal experience, my only complaint is that we saw no wildlife other then a pine groesbeck, a couple spruce grouse and an osprey. Was really looking to see some large mammals but maybe next time. Seriously can't wait for my next trip to Jasper.

9 months ago

the most bugs I have ever seen, also saw a momma grizzly with two cubs and another big maybe poppa grizzly at the pass about 50 feet away

hiking
9 months ago

Take lots of water. It's a long steady climb to the incredibly beautiful Healy Pass (7.9km) then a steep down hill to the Egypt Lake shelter (3km). Yes, that means a 3k steep climb back out. Best for an over night at the lake or very early start/return. Tip: campsite #14 is full of large rocks. Best for small tents.

was on the trail last year, late August. bugs weren't bad, but it snowed and we froze cutting our trip short, also as we were coming out on Astoria trail literally ran into a Grizzly, only 2 meters away. make lots of noise especially along the river, it was right beside the bridge when we came around the corner. excellent views, and fresh water would love to do it again

Not as much wildlife as they said there was but the scenery is still beautiful! expect mosquitoes

backpacking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike! Some difficult portions though and the distances are misleading!

hiking
11 months ago

Amazing views. One of the best hikes in Banff. It is long so make sure to bring food and water and have lots of time. Muddy in sections and snow in other areas but very manageable and safe.

backpacking
Saturday, January 28, 2017

Great hike !
I started from the Marmot road. I camped to Amethyst campground and the spot was awesome in the morning and at the sunset. I proposed to end with the Astoria valley because of the section in front of Old Horn Mountain... It's rather boring at this point if you go up !
The negative about this trail is the Portal campground section. They are many flies and mud.

29 days ago

on Healy Pass

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Load More