Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

Nice easy trail. very few people past upper Falls on the way to the ink pots.

Awesome trail, made it about 50m from the summit, had to turn around due to weather but incredible views.

nature trips
19 hours ago

Great hike, challenging for beginners, with lots of switch backs. The incline is consistent throughout. Even with multiple short stops/breaks it takes about 2 hours to get to the top. If you want to eat, buy the all you can eat voucher for "Northern Lights Cafe" at the bottom BEFORE you begin the hike (you cannot buy it at the top).

Pleasant hike. waterfalls are beautiful.

Go early to miss crowds

Amazing trail. Did it on a sunny July 11th. Very pleasant climb through a pine forest, followed by increasingly steep portions. The dragon's spine bears its name well: it's hard, but the surrounding views will give you all the motivation you could ever need. The summit has epic views 360 degrees, and a sheer cliff which is as beautiful as it is impressive. Very much recommended!

We reached the top in 3.5 hours. it's a hard hike if you are not fit. but if you are in a good condition you will be able to see the amazing view on Banff in few hours. Just be careful, you have to turn on the right just before the false summit. You have no sign on the trail and that's pretty sad. the way back into the forest is very boring. it will be challenging and you may be able to see some bears.

hiking
1 day ago

Very nice hike with some decent views. My 5 and 7 year old were able to do it no problem. Took us about 2 hours round trip from the bottom car park. A good workout for us not-so-experienced hikers!

Go early. Easy hike, i was really hungover and managed fine haha. It's mostly in the trees and the ink pots are pretty cool so it's worth doing. Make sure you get an ice cream from the little shed when you return from the hike, cheapest you'll find around Banff!!

This was a back-to-back for me, after hiking Corey Pass the previous day, it was a tough hike up and down, and I imagine would be with fresh legs too, but worth it for the view at the top. The first part is a long, steady grade, basically an approach to the second part, which is where the real hike begins. Be prepared for leg burning/deep breathing steepness all the way up to the summit from there. The scramble after the trees was a challenge but sticking to solid sections of rock was helpful and riding the smaller loose rock on the way down was fun.

hiking
2 days ago

Short hike that ends in one of the best views in the entire park.

The canyon was really cool, but crowded. There were lines by each of the falls viewpoints to wait to take your picture (about 2pm weekday), and some folks seemed completely oblivious to moving with the flow of traffic on the narrow walkways. Once you get past the upper falls, the crowd thins out a ton and it's a nice quiet hike to the ink pots. They were pretty cool and the surrounding views were nice, but if you're limited on time, I wouldn't consider the ink pots portion of the hike a must-see. Definitely go up to the upper viewpoint though.

Recommended starting early so that while you are hiking up you can enjoy the sunrise and have the summit to yourself. Great hike

The first bit is very crowded. Get there early to avoid the people and the full parking lot. The falls are beautiful though!
Once you get past the upper fall, it clears out. There are many switchbacks but the ink pots are a unique place to visit! Very cool place. We had lunch here then returned.

Nice hike but it was kind of late when we get there

We were inspired by a young lady who went all through the inkpots with crutches. We did the hike again after two years and the inkpots were much more beautifulthis year due to the amount of rain! It is a beautiful hike.

Very busy. It's a nice walk that you will enjoy.

It was super steep all the way up to the top, most of the part were uphill, loose rocks, hard to find the trail and very dangerous because it was super slippery and i got slippered many times! I won’t ever ever come back here again!

hiking
5 days ago

Love this hike. We do it annually, preferably in the fall when the tourist season slows down. It’s worth the trek to the ink pots. Take a pic nic and plan on enjoying the view at the top for a while. I don’t recommend taking kids that need to be carried all the way to the top. The upper falls is fine for kids. Can get very busy on summer weekends making climbing and parking tough if you go mid day.

Wonderful scenery but very busy.

Did this hike on July 14 2018. The hike up took only 30min and the view of Banff was nice. To be honest, I would never do it again unless someone in my group really wanted this off their bucket list.

I actually saw a jogger train on this hike and the hike itself isn't really challenging. I wouldn't have put this hike as moderate. Saw lots of older people complete this hike and it can be done with any skill level as long as you pace yourself.

FWIW, the sign said it is normally completed in 1-2hrs.

Fun walk/hike! It’s paved most the way past the waterfalls before it turns to stairs and then into a trail. Would be great for people not huge on hiking but enjoys nature. Can be quite crowded and sometimes you must wait before you can start walking on the bridge just due to the sheer volume of other people. We tried to get to Mystic Junction through this trail for an overnight camping trip but only made it as far as Jo 9. Still an amazing journey!

This is too long to hike

Nice and easy hike beautiful lakes

Would suggest trying to go through out the week. It’s super busy on weekends. Definitely worth it . So beautiful !!!

hiking
10 days ago

The most unreal views I’ve ever seen but a little too crowded for me. Try going early or later in the day, take side trails off the main path and hike down below the wooden overlook to escape the crowd.

Lots of fun, with the most unreal views at the top. You're definitely going to get your cardio in on this one. Took us 2 hours with lots of breaks.

Very nice view at the end of a short walk, but so, so crowded.

Very nice and easy hike. We took the chairlift to Mt Standish and hiked back, stopping at Rock Isle Lake. Nice wildflowers, many ground squirrels, and awesome views

Parking for this hike is best near the Bow Falls. There is another lot slightly closer to the trailhead, however it is reserved for a rafting company.
The path is very clear and is marked with signs and ribbons.
The first three-quarters of this hike was nice and quick. It was all in the trees, not too inclined, a couple of switchbacks. This part took my friend and I about an hour and a half to complete... then the real hike began.
Towards the last 2km of the hike, it started to get quite steep. However, since we hadn’t broken the tree line yet, the roots of the trees provided nice footing.
Once we emerged from the trees, you can see the summit and the dragonback ridge. From there, you only have about 1-1.5km of the hike left. It is quite steep and the loose rock does not make it easier to climb, but persevere! Getting to the top feels amazing.
It took us about 3h to get to the top and 2h to get down. Getting down the dragonback was definitely a little scary. The rock is loose but not small enough to “ride” down, so you have to take your time and find your footing.
All in all, cool hike! If you’re looking for a challenge, here it is!

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