Explore the most popular wild flowers 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.

hiking
6 hours ago

This was a fun hike! Unfortunately all of our hikes this trip were hampered by thick smoke from the BC wildfires, but luckily I think this is one that isn’t affected quite so much by poor visibility since the main attraction is the cirque which you arrive right underneath. A few minutes after you arrive the adorable little pikas should start popping out from the rock pile to yell at you! The first portion of the hike is quite steep. Once you pass the graffiti house it does let up a bit and become more of a moderate incline for the rest of the trip. The little side “trail” to the look out over Lake Minnewanka is great (would probably be way better on a smokeless day!). We did this hike with our two dogs... footing and trail width was great.

there was lots of groups going up and down children and seniors. think twice if you have bad knees as the decent is steep. stay on trail during the switch backs as our son was doing the cut across but the trail drifts left. Thank the Lord he found the path. Was a piece of hidden beauty at the top. So glad we stay in shape. Parking is great for cars and 1 to 2 truck with campers. Camp ground and a hostel south by 8km.

hiking
11 hours ago

One of my favourite hikes. We didn’t make it all the way to the top because my sister was feeling ill. Will definitely go back to try again. Took up about 6 hours total but we were going slow. Came across one black bear on the trail and two ladies coming down on our way up said they had come across two more. The path up until the waterfall is pretty easy, gets a little bit tougher after you cross the river.

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!!

hiking
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.

hiking
4 days ago

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

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.

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!

backpacking
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.

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful after the service road!

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

hiking
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!

hiking
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!).

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked on July 28, 2018

Tips
• Washrooms and gravel parking at the trail head.
• Parking may be limited so you might have to park across the highway at the Bow Lake lookout.
• Do not leave the trail as the surrounding area is extremely sensitive and potentially dangerous.
• Mosquitos are very active compared to other trails in the area so bring repellant.
• Bring bear spray and make sure it is easily accessible for the entirety of the hike.

The trail hosts stunning views for the latter 2/3 of the hike, whereas the first part of the hike runs through the woods. There are some steep sections as well as a few breathtaking lookout points on the way to the lake. Depending on the season, you’ll likely encounter some wildflowers and a stream crossing. Helen Lake can be quite cool compared to the rest of the hike so dress/pack accordingly. Overall, Helen Lake Trail offers beautiful views and is moderately difficult—suitable for experienced beginners.

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!

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!

on Helen Lake Trail

hiking
22 days ago

Spectacular hike. Gradual ascent so not difficult at all. Trail was busy on Saturday. Weather was perfect.

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.

hiking
23 days ago

What I really liked about this hike is that it’s not hard not easy just perfect hike. Your in the forest a lot which I really liked. The lake at the bed is beautiful. Nice hidden gem hike.

The first 2.2 miles are an uphill meander through the pines. It is a comfortable stroll that takes about 1.5 hours if you take your time. The trail finishes with a .6 mile uphill at a steep grade. It isn't a technical hike, but the last part burns the legs. Takes about 2.4 hours up stopping to enjoy the views. It's 70 minutes down.

hiking
23 days ago

Quick easy walk to a tall narrow waterfall. Trail gets tight towards the end with a couple of switchbacks. Thankfully not too much traffic.

hiking
26 days ago

Loved this hike! I enjoyed the wooded portion at the beginning as much as the amazing vistas once we emerged above the tree line. Spectacular!

Popular hike. Definitely worth the extra climb once you reach the bowl for stunning views of Minnewanka. Wear a good pair of boots, I just had trainers and was a little unnerving coming down the steep loose stone/gravel path.

hiking
27 days ago

Great hike. The first couple of miles are nice and moderate on a pretty smooth trail surrounded by trees. There aren’t great views out over the mountains at first because of the forest cover, but the scenery in there is great regardless. There’s a short detour trail near mile 2 that leads to a hidden bright blue pond that’s picturesque. The last ascent was quite steep and intermittently rocky but most definitely worth the effort- the views of the cirque and the views at the top are spectacular and unforgettable. I’d do this hike again for sure.

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