Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Improvement District No. 9 with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful hike even with the very smoky conditions - second half is a good climb, we wanted to do Harvey Pass but with the smoke and my asthma - it was decided to come back to add that challenge when conditions are better! Will definitely be back to do this again!!

Arrive super early due to the mass of crowds, 80% of which are just there to see Morraine Lake. A short and easy scramble ( bring helmet )but by far the best view of the valley and lake you’ll ever get. A bonus is that you also get a great view of consolation lakes as well.

3 days ago

One of the most strenuous, beautiful, satisfying hikes/scrambles I have done to date. Arrived at sunshine around 8 and we took the gondola up to the base of sunshine villiage. Good thing as we would’ve never made it back before sundown. The mileage recorded here is off as the hike was actually under 50k but still it made for a very long day as we also scrambled up pharaoh peak at the 23 k Mark. I would highly recommend doing this over 2-3 days and not a single day as we did.

4 days ago

This is just a partial recording as my AllTrails stopped intermittently. Beautiful hike.

I loved this trail! It was just difficult for me to really make it worth it fighting through the crowd. It provided great views and I loved all the different lakes we saw. The bugs were not so great at some times, but my bug bracelets worked well. Definitely had to side step horse poop, but you are in the woods so who cares?

Unreal scenery.

We did the full loop plus hiking to Merlin lake in about 13 hours and headed out the same day. A very long day with variety of landscapes from dense woods, gorgeous creeks, wide open meadow, water falls and five spectacular lakes and last but not least, the historic Skoki lodge, located deep in the isolated Skoki valley. Completing this full loop in a single day will definitely need a good level of body strength however, the beauty of the area makes you forget about your tiredness. Be prepared for rapid weather change at any time. Overall this was a very pleasant hike and I highly recommend it at least once.

Great spot

I love the views once you're above the lake, and Lake Agnes to me is quintessential Rockies. I like this loop as a more challenging alternative than "just" visiting one of the tea houses.

My preference is to walk this counterclockwise, so that you can get the uphill sections done sooner, and also because I find the downhill sections at the back of the lake more approachable.

Bring cash for the tea house.

Take the time to explore around the beehive. The views are incredible.

Amazing views atop the Big Beehive, we took the trail counter clockwise and would recommend it because coming down from the beehive viewpoint towards Lake Agnes has steep cliff edges and going up that way was much safer than going down. Only hard part was going up towards the Big Beehive but it was well worth it. Definitely recommend this loop if you come to Lake Louise.

If you want to climb the very top and see Two Jack lake + Minnewanka lake, be ready that it is a short yet extremely steep climb. If it is a cloudy day, you won't be able to see that emerald water reflecting from the sun making it a less of a view. The top of the hike is challenging due to small rolling rocks. Saw some beginners falling, so have some good shoes:) Other than that, the forest is beautiful, full of mosquitoes, make sure you have a bug spray!

11 days ago

The Skoki loop is truly breathtaking and absolutely worth the somewhat demoralizing fire road slog in. Bugs are definitely a hassle - a bug jacket was a well used luxury item for me. We stayed at Baker Lake our first night, then at Merlin Meadows for the second. One thing we noticed is that there are apparently two ways through Deception Pass. We took the heavily signed route, but the one highlighted in this app is just west of the main trail and is a bit tougher to find. It is marked by some stone cairns about midway along Ptarmigan Lake for those that want to try it. We very much enjoyed the main route, which is well signed, just past the cairn-marked trail. The signed trail also seems the safer more established way, but as we did not take the highlighted route along the two lakes, I cannot speak to that particular trail.

The AllTrails app came in handy multiple times as there are many forks in the trails that lead elsewhere and are sometimes not well signed. Using my downloaded maps helped me to avoid some potential inconvenient strays from the route I intended.

Overall, we enjoyed Skoki thoroughly, with the exception of those hikers that feel it appropriate to blast their music in the backcountry, go off trail when they should not be, and decide it is ok to cook in their campsite and dump food waste in the camping area. Those inconsiderate humans were the worst part of the trip and are unfortunate constants in every backcountry experience - it would be lovely if everyone out there looked after each other and the environment so as to uplift the experience for all. Sadly that is often not the case out there. A little mindfulness of others and nature would go a long way.

The trail is very busy, due to Lake Louise fame, so it gives some familial ambiance. It is relatively easy, except the Big Beehive ascent, and offers good views on the Lake Louise and the glaciers.

Tips: if you have time or walk fast, complete your circuit by the Beehive Circuit and the Plain of glaciers lookout which is worth the extra path (after Tea house) (shared the recording).
In total, it gave a 20km hike or so, so a good walk with many different perspectives :)

12 days ago

Beautiful after the service road!

Lake was way prettier than expected and I’ll definitely come back for an overnight trip!

14 days ago

Found this to be insanely difficult, took about 10 hours round trip. We did not use any equipment but I would recommend a helmet and poles, lots of water and food.
Also It is more like 19km
once you get past sentinel Pass the trail begins, and becomes real very quick. Also it is very cold at the top, even in 30 degree august heat.

first time doing this hike. it was a good short hike...took us 1hour to get to the amphitheatre which was nice. When you start the hike about 15 mins in, once you pass the graffiti houses take a right at the turn off to see lake minnewanka. beautiful views!!

just a side a note...steep hike...so wear proper shoes! and sticks would be nice if it's your first time!

15 days ago

This was a very cool hike. The first few kms were in the trees with a easy-moderate incline. You then hit an opening in the trees with a view of a mountain with a huge rock slide down the middle. You will continue up to an area with huge boulders where a lot of hikers will sit and have lunch. Don’t quit there, the next kilometer or so get very steep and quite difficult. The view from the top of Lake Minnewaka is beautiful and worth it. Well then we decided to take a little adventure and head off the left side instead of going back down the trail and we hit the scree slope which was much faster getting down but was quite technical. The rest of the descent down was easy and fast. Total hike time for us was approximately 3.5 hours.

Great hike. The trail to the cirque is a long trek and has some decent incline, but it seemed to go on forever because you’re in the trees the whole time. The cirque is pretty but definitely continue up for the real reward. It is a slog from the cirque to the top but it’s 100% worth it for the view. We stopped at the pond on the way back. It took us 5 hours at a moderate pace with 30 mins at the top and a few more stops for photos. Bring bug spray!

Good hike, particularly on a cloudy day where we weren't looking for great vistas. Meadows and lake at the end are great. First half of hike on the service road is quite dull saved only by views back towards Lake Louise. Once out of the woods the hike is beautiful and the lake is better than we expected. We left at 7am and didn't see anyone until campsite at about 4 miles. More crowded on return trip.

definately took my time on last steep climb - majority is dirt vs scree so a little easier (I had my dog).. saw several groups not do last section. will do it again with better shoes and on a day with better air quality (smoke impacted our lake minnewanka views!).

Beautiful hike with amazing views from the top. hiked with our 2 young boys 4 and 8 with no problems.

Beautiful hike with lots to see. The trek to the top of Big Beehive is hard, and I’d recommend hiking poles and boots. A lot of people end up going back down the way they came, but it’s all new scenery if you do this loop!

Beautiful hike!

Finally checked it off the bucket list on Sunday. Left Calgary at 4am and got to the road to Moraine Lake at 6:20am. Parking lot was already full so I recommend going a little earlier. We waited an hour and finally got in! This hike is tough but so worth it. Plan for a long day, equipment is not necessary but will definitely help and be more safe. Happy hiking!

Great view over lake louise, lake agnes and mirror lake during the hike

Oh, and not sure about the posted distance...we had 19.05 km on two separate Garmin watches, from the Morraine Lake parking lot to the summit and back.

Johnny Hiker nailed it! Challenging both up and down. The views are stupendous and start from the beginning. Relentless scree-covered rock demands constant attention, but vertical gains are quick and steady. This is a very real mountain, and very popular. Lots of cairns to guide your way, and lots of alternate paths, but only one easier though the rock band. Prepare for a BIG day, and be careful even coming down on tired legs and rocky trail right to the end. A solid 5 out of 5!

We did this clockwise, starting with lake Agnes and big beehive, and added on the plain of 6 glaciers tea house. Roughly 10 miles in 5 hrs, with a stop at the tea house. Absolutely stunning views all along the way. It was pretty well trafficked close to both tea houses but we had some nice stretches of solitude. Some good heavy climbs.

Hot tip: there is a shuttle from Banff train station to the lake for $10 round trip. Leaves every hour or so. If you want to avoid the parking hassle, it’s a good option. Show up 15 min before departure to get a ticket.

Also a word on crowds in the summer (since there is a lot of discussion about it). Have you been to Rome? Been to Paris? This isn’t nearly that bad. You might have to search for a parking spot or jostle near the head of the lake but it’s just not as crazy as the forums would lead you to believe.

22 days ago

This trail is a killer. The first section up through Sentinel Pass is a nice uphill walk. Then, it gets real. The scree is really tough. There was a lot of sliding and falling. The rewards are great, but getting down is not the easiest.

I try to do this hike every year it’s one of my favourite hikes. Only problem is it’s hard to do on weekend cause so much tourist so if you see you got to start very early on the weekend or yuh do it during the week. Its a fun hike. Not to east and not to hard

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