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

22 hours ago

Superb hike, everything one could ask for with diversity on the trail. Ranging from the switch backs with shade on the way up the early steep to the longer climb over to Cory pass and down through the forest on the decent. Feels longer than 13k.
We would agree with the trail rating but worth doing for sure.

hiking
2 days ago

This is no joke!
Steep incline on the way up but breathtaking views at the top. The scree on the descent was fun and the forest trail was a welcome change.
This is a challenge for even a physically fit hiker but well worth the climb.

4 days ago

Did this with the family ages 15 - 53. Loved this hike, but it is no joke! The first 1/4 has steep inclines that will challenge even “fit” individuals. Poles are very helpful for the scree field coming down. The combo of the 4 mile up hill climb with the overall 8.1 length make this hike more than moderate by my book.

This was my favorite hike in Banff. I would recommend doing it with fresh legs at the beginning of a stay in Banff as it’s a bit tough. Views are rewarding and worth the fatigue. Some light scrambling and climbing required. It has everything...Forrest, boulders, views, etc. Very easily found trailhead as well which is always nice. I agree with other posters that you should definitely go up Cory and down Edith.

We started early and were done by 1:30pm and had massages afterwards at the Fairmont Springs...a great reward!

This trail was great. It's a good uphill but not too challenging. I would classify more as moderate to hard but I have found that too be true for many of the trail ratings. The views are spectacular. I wish we had time to summit Mt Edith or Mt Cory while we were there but the winds picked up when we got to the top of the pass. Well worth the trip. We brought bear spray but never saw any signs of bears. Bug spray is recommended though.

hiking
9 days ago

Amazing hiking experience on this trail! Although the description says that this trail is "only recommended for very experienced adventurers", I'm a novice hiker with this only being my third hike ever completed! I completed this with a friend in about 6 hours.

Highly recommended to complete this trail clockwise as there is very steep terrain that would definitely be difficult to go down during the descent. We got lost a couple of times but were able to figure out the continuation of the trail. In terms of wildlife, we saw some Bighorn Sheep close to the halfway point. We were really hoping to see some Black or Grizzly bears but didn't! The most enjoyable part of the hike was around the halfway point in the rocky area. It was really fun navigating through the rocks and then ending up in the forest for the last stretch of the trail at such a high elevation!

hiking
13 days ago

Fantastic trail. Can be very challenging if you do some "off trail" like we did to much higher. Nice view to take a lots of pics but not for beginner

This trail is rewarding and challenging. I enjoyed the hike up to the pass and than down the scree hill back in to the forest. Although, bringing bear spray would be wise. The forest section has lots of evidence that bears frequent the area.

Amazing landscape, views for miles, trails for days, and beauty in all directions.

hiking
24 days ago

Outstanding hike! The climb up was long but by no means overwhelming. When you reach the top the views are phenomenal. As everyone else has said, definitely do the clockwise route. It makes the end of the day much more enjoyable. Be sure to take bug spray for the way down as the woods are beautiful but swarming with mosquitos. Also bring poles if you have them. We met a couple of people who had turned around because they felt uncomfortable continuing without poles. They definitely help winding your way through the scree. All in all a great day!!

Great hike. Wild flowers. Well kept trail. Easy

hiking
28 days ago

Fantastic Hike. We started around 7am and only ran into 2 other people. It was cloudy when we started, but after the first 2,000 feet or so we got above the clouds and the views were incredible. I'd say it was very challenging, but well worth it. Probably my favorite hike at Banff.

Fantastic trail! Beautiful views and varied terrain. Watch for bears - we saw some.

hiking
1 month ago

The views from this hike were exceptional. Definitely do the circuit clockwise (going up to Cory Pass first rather than Edith Pass) as Cory Pass is very steep and would be challenging to descend. The trail up to Cory Pass was a bit hard to follow at points and had a lot of side trails branching off so it was tough to tell what was the correct route. Once you reach the ridge it's easier to follow though. At the pass you can follow a trail up to Mt. Edith (which I did not but it looked like scrambling was required near the top). Descending into Gargoyle Valley after Cory Pass was beautiful and once you exit the valley it's pretty easy hiking through forest. Vastly different from the other side of Mt. Edith though with lots of different vegetation. Overall a physically challenging and sometimes hard to follow but very rewarding hike!

1 month ago

fantastic hike, take a left at the first Y and avoid climbing up scree.

1 month ago

I did this hike on June 25, 2018. I went up Cory Pass and came down Edith Pass. I'd recommend doing it this way. Going down Edith Pass from the top you are hiking on loose rock. I find it easier to slide down the steep loose rock slopes rather than trying to hike up them.
Hiking up Cory Pass was a lot of elevation gain at first. It did somewhat level out, but you were always gaining elevation. There is a bit of scrambling up and down part of the trail where it is mountain rock wall. However there are some signs when you start to feel lost at this scrambling section.
At the Pass I accidentally followed a trail to try and summit. Summiting was slow going and difficult. There is loose rock and dirt that easily slides out under your feet. I ended up turning around and sliding down the slope on my butt. I should have just gone up and over the Pass and started descending.
Going down from the Pass is a bit of a guessing game as to where the trail is. After you finish hiking along the gravel rock trail, you read a section with bigger rocks and some dirt. This area is easily navigated by following the cairns.
Once you reach the wooded area, the hike becomes fairly boring. You hike through woods with only a few breaks in the trees to see the mountains. There are mosquitoes in the forested hiking section, so be sure to bring bug spray. The trail goes by a creek a couple times and crosses the creek at one point. There are fallen trees everywhere, including across the trail. I had to step over or climb over more logs than I could count.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite scrambles! This is one of the most beautiful places you could go in Banff and it's extremely close to town.
It's a relatively technical scramble if you're planning to summit any or all the peaks.

hiking
1 month ago

We did the hike on June 22 this is our third hike of the year and we did it in four hours and 20 minutes. After the one kilometre walk to the Y section we went left up the steep section 1st and came back down the mountain in the valley side. It was overcast and rained a little bit on our hike but all-around a great hike there is still a little bit of snow at the top, but nothing more then a foot.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! We went June 15th, starting with Cory pass and completing the loop via Edith pass. Cory pass is quite steep and not very well marked, but not too hard to figure out. There are a few false trails made by runoff but they all seem to meet up eventually. Great variety of wilderness, amazing views from the top. We tried to get to the peak but we’re blocked by a combination of loose rocks and snow. We did the whole loop despite quite a bit of snow covering Edith pass. Not too bad if you’re coming down Edith pass as the deepest snow is on a steep section and you can slide your way down rather than trying to hike (you will sink up to your thighs!). Just keep an eye out for the next section of trail and after that there is just light snow cover to deal with. Highly recommended!

2 months ago

as of May 13th 2018, still covered in 3-4ft of snow once you reach cory pass from edith pass.

beautiful hike through the forest but had to turn around as it was impossible to see the trail!

2 months ago

Went up to the pass 2 days ago. We didn’t venture down into the pass, still tons of snow so the trail is lost. If you know the pass well, it’s doable, we weren’t familiar so played it safe. There were a few sections of snow crossing in the last mile or so, but nothing major. Steep climb up, but amazing views that are 100% worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Went there today and the top is still frozen with ice. Hiking up is difficult as it is so steep, going down is just as hard.

hiking
2 months ago

Corey pass had some pretty awesome views all the way up the hike but it was disappointing to me in several areas. For starters I hiked more than halfway crossing many “patches” of snow on the cliff sides. Ultimately I was forced to turn around due to the trail on the cliff side and the surrounding areas being completely covered in snow (could no longer see the trail). I don’t know how people are saying they hiked this a month or two weeks ago because it’s just not possible. Going down was a difficult challenge as well because the trail is not well maintained and you can’t walk down without slipping. Very loose gravel causing a very uncomfortable 4.5 miles down. Still happy I went just didn’t meet my expectations.

3 months ago

Its hard but breathtaking view and worth it so much!

4 months ago

First hike ever! Did this back in 2014 and it was amazing!

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful Dec. day for a hike. About -2 C. Bare trail for first 1/4, light snow/ice second quarter, started getting deep snow on third quarter and decided to turn back there as I saw fresh cougar prints in the snow. Not sure about difficulty. Maybe should be med/hard? 3 level rating system can give false ratings!

hiking
8 months ago

We did this hike on July 7, 2017 Cory pass, 7,777 elevation with a gain of 3,100 feet in 2.8 miles, one of the most strenuous hikes in Banff was our overwhelming over-ambitious focus for the day. Quite the way to break in a new pair of hiking boots as this was one of our first hiking experiences.
We ascended on difficult slopes with little or no traction to get a footing and with miles of sheer slate, rocky ridges along open slopes. Due to extreme uphill grades, excessive heat and high altitudes, we struggled to get to the top, but made it nonetheless! Granted, there was literally No turning back. Now we knew why we were told to take Edith Trail back.
What a spectacular view from the get go!
We knew we reached the top when we arrived at Gargoyle Valley!
We took about a half hour break for lunch then we began our descent on the Cory Loop, Edith Trail.
In total our elevation change was about 3000 feet, our distance was about 10 miles, and it took us 8 hours. At the bottom of Edith Trail we came upon a black bear about 20 yards from the trail. Back at the parking lot, we convinced a group getting ready to make the climb, not to bring their dad who was in no way ready or in shape to attempt this pass. Great experience overall and would recommend.

trail running
9 months ago

We went up in mid September, a few flakes of snow. Was this fun! Climbed for an hour, hit the pass and Gargoyles, wow! Came down in the valley over the screw, then onto the big boulders. Finished the descent with a beauty run to the parking lot.

hiking
9 months ago

While an extremely beautiful hike, with the weather this time of year it is extremely dangerous. If you’re going up now make sure you have snow shoes, the snow is 3+ feet deep once you hit about 3.25 miles in (probably more now). The trail is not visible anymore. The weather was so bad when we hit 3.5 miles we had to turn around right before the Mt. Edith/Cory Pass crossing.

hiking
10 months ago

Very nice hike. Not too difficult physically but the snow makes it quite technical.
Keep in mind that you need 3/4 of the time to go to Cory pass and only 1/4 to come back to the parking.. so if it starts snowing when you are behind the mountain, keep calm, the way back is much faster and easier.

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