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walking
1 day ago

A decent little walk. Something to bring the relatives on that don’t hike much. Agnes Lake is beautiful but the teahouse can get packed up pretty quick. Go early if you can.

I want to hike Ha Ling this weekend with the nice weather. is it actually closed or can it stil be done?

on Sulphur Mountain Trail

hiking
7 days ago

We hiked this trail in early June 2018 and, in the last 25% of the trail, there were snow and icy patches. Allow 1.5-2 hours one way up if you're reasonably fit and have good shoes, and 2-3 hours if less so.

This is an extremely rewarding hike through a shaded switchback dirt trail that will reward you with an even more breathtaking view all along the summit ridge! Amazing! Throughout the climb, we found plenty of openings through the trees to enjoy the view of Banff below.

Some parts do get steep as you near the summit. I would highly recommend hiking shoes with good traction and hiking poles, especially if there are chances of snow and icy patches. I would advise checking the weather the night before before hiking, especially if you have limited hiking experience or are with children and the elderly. It can prove challenging and bit scary when things get slippery.

This hike is insane. Quite scrambly at the top, so careful on a super windy day! Very difficult, had to stop many times, but great work out and beautiful hike

hiking
8 days ago

Worth the drive if you are visiting other places in the area.

Peyto Lake is worth the drive -- make sure you walk the trail to get away from the crowds at the viewpoint!

We tried this trail in early May. Pros: we had the whole thing to ourselves. Cons: we didn't make it very far! Saw and heard a bunch of avalanches, so be smart(er than we were). Loved the parts of the hike that we were able to do and can't wait to return someday and finish it!

Heavily trafficked and somewhat touristy for my taste, but still neat to see. Not too challenging, it's a paved walking trail. I went in warmer weather so can't speak to the experience in winter. Enjoy!

Very busy trail in January. Would recommend winter boots and mircospikes. Not a difficult trail but very beautiful in the winter.

Peyto Lake is a stunning, pristine and vibrantly coloured lake along the Icefields Parkway drive, that is well worth stopping for. It is located about 40 minutes north of Lake Louise. I visited here in July 2017.

This is a popular place to stop for those driving this scenic stretch of highway, so I recommend arriving earlier in the morning to beat the crowds if possible.

From the parking lot on the west side of the highway, a short paved trail led to the wooden viewing deck which provided amazing views looking out to the lake. It was an uphill climb to the lookout, which was pretty steep in some areas as it gained considerable elevation and took around 10-15 minutes to get there.

Peyto Lake is absolutely spectacular. The colour of the water was an incredible vibrant blue that didn't even look real. It was surrounded by mountains and pine forests. I enjoyed admiring the views and taking photos from this classic lookout spot.

I recommend stopping here on your drive (you only need 40 minutes or so). Truly a beautiful place to see.

Johnston Canyon is a gorgeous canyon hike with beautiful scenery. I hiked here in July 2017.

I arrived to the parking lot along the Bow Valley Parkway early in the morning at around 7:30 am and was one of the first cars there. The drive from the town of Banff to the trailhead took around 30 minutes. The trail began along a paved pathway on a slight incline through the forest alongside the deep canyon. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous and there were plenty of amazing photo opportunities. There were some sections of the trail which followed along sturdy but narrow metal catwalks attached to the rock cliffs on the side of the canyon, which was fun.

At the 1.2 km mark, I arrived at the Lower Falls. There was a wooden bridge which crossed the canyon and river underneath from the main trail leading to a small cave in the rocks on the other side. The tunnel through the cave was narrow and dark to walk through but at the end, there was an opening which was directly in front of the powerful waterfall and provided a unique vantage point. Be prepared to get wet! The Lower Falls were so beautiful and there were fantastic views from along the bridge and from the main trail as well.

The trail became slightly more difficult between the Lower and Upper Falls, as it climbed more steadily along a moderate incline and continued through the forest and along catwalks, but was still completely manageable and would not be challenging at all for someone of average fitness. There were lots of small waterfalls to see in the canyon on this portion of the hike and many great viewpoints overlooking the canyon.

Shortly before reaching the Upper Falls, there was a well beaten but unmarked pathway stemming off from the main trail which I decided to follow as it led down a steep hill and into the bottom of the rocky canyon. There was a massive cave where I found stunning views of a very strange and uniquely shaped large rock in the canyon with a waterfall flowing on one side of it and a variety of lush mosses and trees growing on top of it. There were a few other people (mostly photographers) but once they cleared out, I had this whole place to myself. It was such an amazing place to photograph and a fantastic discovery! If you have time, I recommend stopping here.

At 2.4 km from the trailhead, I came to the Upper Falls. The falls weren’t visible from the main trail but a metal catwalk led over the canyon and ended at a small platform near the base of these gorgeous tall waterfalls as they fell over the edge of a cliff. The rocks along the side of the canyon beside the waterfall were also very interesting as they had such a smooth appearance and a swirl of brown and beige colours.

You can continue along the main trail past the Upper Falls on a short and steep climb to another viewpoint at the top of the waterfalls, which provided a unique perspective overlooking the gorge and the falls. The landscape was so beautiful from this area! From this point, I continued hiking another 3 km to the Ink Pots which made for a full half-day hike and they were amazing to see.

The trail was very congested, single file and slow going as I hiked back to the parking lot from the Ink Pots at around 11 am which made me very glad that I had arrived early.

Johnston Canyon gets incredibly crowded during the summer months and is one of the busiest hikes in the Banff area. I highly recommend getting there early in the morning in order to beat the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Even though it is extremely popular, this hike is definitely a must-visit and both the Lower and Upper Falls are worth seeing. Remember to bring a camera to capture the amazing scenery and take advantage of the many wonderful photo opportunities, as well as water and snacks. There are modern washrooms in the parking lot at the beginning of the trail and wooden benches along the pathway to stop. It should take between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete the hike to and from the Upper Falls.

The Plain of Six Glaciers is an incredible day hike from Lake Louise with spectacular scenery. I have hiked the trail twice, in August 2016 and July 2017. This remains one of my favourite hikes in Banff.

This hike climbs high into the mountains through forests, a rocky avalanche path and along the ledge of a cliff and has some of the most beautiful views of glaciers, mountains, valleys and Lake Louise and eventually leads to a charming and rustic teahouse with delicious home-cooked food and beverages.

The trail began from the shoreline of Lake Louise in front of the Fairmont Chateau Hotel along the paved and flat Lakeshore Trail which followed alongside this beautiful turquoise glacial lake for the first 2 km. The trail then reached the far end of Lake Louise and a wooden boardwalk crossed over a portion of the lake and then started the ascent into the mountains.

There were vertical cliffs on the side of the path where you will probably spot some rock climbers. The well-graded trail then entered into a beautiful and peaceful forest where I saw some adorable hoary marmots on the rocks beside a small river. The path continued on a moderate incline for the remainder of the way as it gained a total of 365 metres of elevation with some steeper and more challenging switchbacks in the last section of the trail leading to the teahouse. It wasn’t too gruelling but it wasn’t simple either and there were some areas where the trail levelled out to give your legs a rest too. The hike was moderately challenging but I took my time and stopped for frequent breaks along the way which helped me.

The forest opened up to a wide open area with stunning landscapes and incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, the Victoria Glacier, a large rocky avalanche path, and Lake Louise in the distance behind you. The trail continued through this landscape for most of the hike and then followed along a narrow rocky ledge on the side of a cliff before switchbacking up to the teahouse on the last portion of the hike. I was surprised to see so much snow and avalanche debris on the hike as I got higher in elevation and closer to the teahouse! The scenery on this hike was breathtaking, impressive and just so beautiful with plenty of wonderful photo opportunities.

The final section of the hike consisted of a series of steeper switchbacks up the mountain leading through the forest to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House. The views of the Victoria Glacier were stunning and I felt so close to it! It was such a relief to reach the end of the hike after climbing the entire way there. The teahouse was a rustic and adorable two-storey log building with balconies all around it on both levels for seating. It was quite busy when I arrived there but managed to find a seat. I ordered the hand-ground hummus and salsa with tortilla chips and a hot chocolate and everything tasted incredible. The views from the teahouse were spectacular and it was so quiet and serene. There were outhouse washrooms here as well. From the teahouse, there is the option to continue hiking an additional 1.6 km to a closer viewpoint overlooking the six glaciers, however I was exhausted at this point and didn’t end up doing it, although I am sure it would have been amazing. If you’re lucky you may hear the rumbling of an avalanche in the distance here as well (I heard one last year but not this summer).

The trek down the mountain was such a welcome reward for my sore legs and the scenery was just as amazing coming down. I completed the entire 10.6 km round-trip hike in roughly 4 hours, including my stop at the teahouse.

Make sure to dress in layers and bring some warmer clothing on this hike, as the temperatures get quite a bit cooler as you gain elevation. Bring plenty of water and snacks and cash if you plan to eat or drink at the teahouse. Also be aware that this hike is mostly uphill on a moderate incline the entire way, with a steeper section shortly before reaching the teahouse. The air gets a lot thinner as you get higher in the mountains making it more difficult to catch your breath, so go slow and take breaks if you’re feeling exhausted. I found that my hiking poles really helped with the elevation and they took some of the pressure off my legs. This trail can get quite crowded during the day, so I suggest starting early in the morning in order to beat the crowds and secure yourself a good parking spot at Lake Louise.

The Plain of Six Glaciers is an incredible half-day hike from Lake Louise in Banff and I would highly recommend adding this one to your itinerary. This hike has some of the most amazing views and landscapes that I have experienced in the Rockies.

snowshoeing
12 days ago

Hiked 12/24/18. Great hike! Would definitely recommend bringing snow shoes if you plan to go all the way to the tea house.

Want to save yourself 65$? Skip the gondola and hike up (if you’re like me though and very out of shape be prepared for a tough one). All up hill but once you get to the top you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment.. especially when you look around and see all the suckers who paid way to much to get to the top!

Beautiful view and quick walk to the main look out! Don’t step off the path or you’ll find yourself waist deep in snow! There is a smaller hike near the look out which I believe was called marsh loop! Definitely worth it. Along the loop you’ll hit a fork in the path. If you head right and walk for about 3-5 mins you’ll find the most beautiful view of Peyto Lake.. even better then the main view. You can turn around there and head back to the main loop. Might not be the safest path when there is considerable avalanche risk. Not sure how long that path will remain during winter as it didn’t not look very travelled on when we were there.

Been to lower falls many times. Spikes are needed at this time of years. I would rate this hike moderate not easy at this time of year. Go the extra bit to the lookout.

Great trail, wonderful views, sufficiently challenging!!

Breathtaking view on the top

An easier hike with nice views. not many ups and Downs. the trail gets repetitive. Hiking the trail for a couple KM after Stewart Canyon has the satisfying views

Hiked May long, steep clear trail to follow and many people along the way.
Great to do as a half day hike as it’s relatively short.
Took us 3 hours at a moderate fitness level and as a first hike of the year.
Curious to do again this spring to see what work has been done for trail development.
As stated by others aim to hike and summit early to avoid crowds. We started at 9, and came across many people on the trails, so aim for earlier and you’ll be coming down as everyone is headed up!
Keep in mind it’s a leg burning up and down as it’s constant elevation all the way up, so bring good shoes and lots of water!
Enjoy

Absolutely stunning scenery, such as frozen waterfalls. Easy to walk even in the winter, regular winter shoes are sufficient for the trail. Well maintained. Saw ice rock climbers at the Upper Fall. Really interesting hike and elegant canyon!

I just hiked the backside from the trail head near Sundance Canyon. I walked from downtown Banff, so it was about 6.5 miles total to the summit. I wish I’d had snowshoes in a few places because the snow was soft and nearly knew deep when I broke through in a few places. This was my first hike in the snow, so I’m not sure how to rate it, but it seemed about twice as hard at Tunnel Mountain which I did yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful!!!!

Hiked in February. HIGHLY recommend crampons in winter - everything gets so hard packed by the shear number of people that it’s really slick. Great opportunity for videos of people slipping on ice wearing loafers. Would be a stunning hike without the crowds.

We did the peak in summer. Steep..best for cardio. Awesome views

snowshoeing
29 days ago

I went there for snowshoeing and it was quite a cardio but really nice! The view at the end worth it. The tea house is close tho, don’t expect to be open. Definitely would recommend it!

Well compacted snow trail. Good workout, awesome views at the top. $22 all you can eat and drink buffet with a free gondola ride down. Ideal.

Excellent in the winter.
Even got to see people ice climbing

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful the whole way up. Not too hard. Took me an hour and a half to get to the top.

Amazing!!! Great place to train! Took us approximately 1-1:10hr fairly easy pace. Amazing in winter!

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