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Best views of Moraine Lake....if you can actually get there. And I mean to the parking lot. Best idea, if you’re just there to see the lake, is to take the bus from the lake Louise overflow lot. It’s free.

Great hike. Path is snow packed with very little ice right now, so could probably do it easily enough without spikes, but certainly easier with them. Get up there early to avoid the crowds, and you're in for a treat! Some amazing views on the way up, and the crowds really thin out once you get past the Upper Falls and head to the Inkpots. When we got to the Inkpots there was only one other couple there, so very peaceful! I just started hiking this past year, so certainly not a strong hiker, and this trail took us about 3 hours, including stops for photos and lunch.

walking
6 days ago

Very simple easy trail, barely a hike. Great views of the canyon and surrounding area through the whole way. Very busy when we went and unfortunately were seeing LOTS of people jumping the fenses and getting way too close to ledges for pictures.

did this trail on one of my last days in Banff and it was really beautiful!

hiking
10 days ago

It was a wonderful hike, I truly enjoy the experience. Beautiful views!

Tunnel Mountain is a short 4 km hike to an amazing viewpoint on top of the mountain overlooking the town of Banff and surrounding scenery.

The trail began from Tunnel Mountain Drive in Banff (Google Map it). It followed along long, nicely graded switchbacks along the side of the mountain through the forest. Some of the switchbacks were steeper than others and some of them leveled out which provided a chance to catch your breath. There were some glimpses of the views along the way through the trees.

The best views could be seen from the top of the mountain at the end of the trail. There were some bare rocks surrounded by forest which were perfect places to sit and admire the views overlooking Banff and the surrounding mountains and valleys. It was beautiful!

Would recommend this short hike for a good leg workout and opportunity to see great views.

The Consolation Lakes Trail is a beautiful and scenic hike that begins from the parking lot at Moraine Lake.

The trail stemmed off from the Rockpile Trail to the left, just before the climb to the top of the rock pile. This 6 km round-trip hike started off by passing through a very rocky section where there was even some avalanche debris and snow piles along the path! The trail then entered into the forest and continued there for the remainder of the hike on a fairly flat path with some short uphill sections but then very little elevation gain after that.

At the end of the hike, the path emerged from the forest and opened up to a stunning rocky landscape with Consolation Lakes in the distance beyond the large rocks, a peaceful river flowing from the lake, and gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, sheer vertical cliffs, and tall jagged peaks. There was also an amazing view of the Fay Glacier at the far end of the lake. I felt so close to the mountains and even heard an avalanche. It was a fun challenge to climb over the large rocks in order to get closer to the lake. I enjoyed a snack while sitting on the rocks and enjoyed appreciating the incredible views all around me.

This hike was very rewarding for such a short and easy trail. Parking is limited at Moraine Lake, so I recommend arriving early (7 am or so) to ensure you get a spot.

Moraine Lake is so absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous and it’s hard to believe that such a beautiful place exists and that you are in the presence of this awe-inspiring natural wonder. Words can’t even describe how awesome and perfect it really is. It’s definitely a must-visit in the Rockies. I visited here in July 2017.

I visited Moraine Lake twice during my solo road trip in the Rockies – arriving at sunrise to spend the day there and at sunset on a different day.

There are plenty of things to see and do at the lake and you could spend an entire day or more exploring the area. I spent about half a day there doing a couple of hikes stemming off from the lake.

The Rockpile Trail is a short uphill hike that literally winds its way up to the top of a large pile of rocks. At the top, you can find the most spectacular views of the lake from, the surrounding mountains and the densely forested valley opposite of the lake from several perspectives. The photo opportunities from here were incredible and there were a few benches where you can just sit and enjoy the spectacular views. The vibrant turquoise colour of the water is just outstanding to see and the entire lake and mountain backdrop is so picturesque. This area can get quite busy and crowded with people as the day goes on, but there were few people there in the early morning hours and it was nice to experience more solitude. In the evening before sunset, you can see gorgeous reflections of the snowy mountain peaks on the calm and intense blue water of the lake.

Would highly recommend this short and easy hike to get amazing views overlooking Moraine Lake.

The hike to the Ink Pots starts along Johnston Canyon and is around 10 km round-trip. I arrived to the Johnston Canyon parking lot early in the morning (around 7 am) and was one of the first people there. I hiked here in July 2017.

Hiking Johnston Canyon was gorgeous in the morning and it was so peaceful being almost completely alone with nature on the trail. It was a challenging but rewarding hike to natural bubbling pools of water and amazing views.

After the Upper Falls, the trail began to climb out of the canyon. It was a pretty steep incline for most of the way to the Ink Pots and since this was my first major day hike upon arriving in Banff from the Canadian Prairies, I found it to be quite challenging and exhausting. The trail continued to gain elevation as it passed through the dense and lush forest which was beautiful and so peaceful. I was alone on the trail for most of the hike which was amazing. There was an opening in the trees at one spot along the trail which provided incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

From this point to the Ink Pots (about 1.4 km), the trail leveled out and then descended to the final destination which my legs were very thankful for!

The trail then opened up to a beautiful meadow surrounded by mountains with a river flowing through it and a collection of natural pools of turquoise coloured water, which bubbled up from deep inside the Earth’s core called the Ink Pots (you will see circles in the sand at the bottom of the pools which look like blots of ink and this is where the water bubbles up from). There were some wooden boardwalks and trails through the area leading to each pool, where you could get a variety of amazing views and great photo opportunities. The scenery was breathtaking!

I found this hike pretty challenging and strenuous, as it was mostly a steep and gruelling uphill climb after the Upper Falls to the Ink Pots, but definitely worth it. Hiking downhill most of the way back to the trailhead felt AMAZING.

The trail along Johnston Canyon to the Upper Falls gets quite crowded and busy around late morning during the summer season but very few people continue on to the Ink Pots, so hiking this trail will likely be a peaceful experience. I would still recommend starting early though in order to get a parking spot at the Johnston Canyon trailhead (be there for around 7 am or 7:30 am), as it took me a good 4 to 4.5 hours to complete the hike including the MANY stops that I made along the way to catch my breath, take photos and enjoy the scenery.

Make sure to bring a snack to enjoy at the Ink Pots and lots of water!

Hiked to Inkpots via Johnston Canyon. Trail is well packed. Bring microspikes (no need for snowshoes just spikes). Falls were busy. I didn't stop just went straight to the Inkpots. Beautiful views today. I would recommend going through Moose Meadows if you're looking to avoid the crowds (not sure on Moose trail conditions there though)

Very few people beyond the upper falls. Had the trail to myself for portions. Overall easy hike if you are an avid hiker. You can hear avalanches in the distance which is cool.

Hiked down to the rock. Make sure you have spikes on to prevent a fall. Cool to see it up close.

Top safety rating for me; trails are well defined and signs are everywhere, it’s definitely worth the hike down to the famous rock located at the second right down closer to the water, you’ll know it when you see it. Photos are great but not as astonishing face to face. The trail up to the Ink Pots is well worth dodging the crowds for a moderate to easy treck up to the Ink Pots where you can eat lunch or just to wander some more. Kind of sucks you gotta pay the Banff Parks Fee just to go to the canyon. Still a top notch hike and definitely one I recommend for most ages and hiking abilities. I will do it again!

hiking
17 days ago

Have done this short hike several times in summer and it was just as beautiful in winter. Snow was well packed so didn’t use snowshoes.

snowshoeing
18 days ago

Easy trail with awesome scenic views.

I’m not entirely sure why this is such a popular hike. Maybe it’s because it’s not too challenging. Maybe it’s because the falls are pretty, or maybe because it’s not a terribly long “hike”.. The worst part of the experience is that you’ll be fighting crowds for views and hiking space. At least until you move on toward the ink pots. Likewise, the ink pots were not overly thrilling either, even if neat and hypnotic.

After the falls, you won’t get great views until you descend into the valley where the ink pots are. From there it is significantly prettier, and I think I’ve read that there are trails beyond. I’d recommend seeing the ink pots if you’re already tolerating the mass of tourists at the falls. It’s a good hike to get your legs and lungs adjusted before tackling harder hikes.

Great quick hike! There wasn’t much snow and we probably didn’t need our crampons. The switchbacks aren’t too steep and the view at the stop is breathtaking on both sides! We got there around 845am and omg saw a few people on the way up. We finished the hike at 1030am and there was a lot more people on the way up.

Was a last minute hike that we didn’t prepare to do, but was worth ever minute. Fair amount of tree coverage and wide path. Very hilly most of the way.

Same comments as the others. The first section is too busy but the frozen waterfall is worth dodging the traffic. Heading to the ink pots is more like a typical walk in the trees and good exercise. The ink pots themselves are neat but not nearly as interesting as previous comments would suggest.

Beautiful, quick hike. Directions within this map take you right to parking lot. Wasn't busy today and not too too much snow/ice. Some of trail was even dirt. Girlfriends managed to do without crampons, we saw a girl with uggs managing, however for piece of mind, I slapped on microspikes on way down. Lovely views at top.

Easy hike but truly stunning!

I did this hike in 2017. The waterfalls are cool, but it is highly trafficked by tourists. Once you pass the upper falls and start on the trail to the ink pots, it is much nicer. Steep climb. When we reached the valley where the ink pots are, it was amazing. It felt like we had just stepped out into a beautiful valley from a short hike from our car, not remembering that we had hiked many kilometres to see it.

1 month ago

This hike is no joke and would go on most Top 10 lifetime hikes (certainly on mine). It’s incredible and the views compensate for the steep scramble on the last third (which takes hours to get up and down). Very intense and should not be taken lightly. Going down can be a bit more daunting than going up.

I recommend bringing gloves for the scramble as you will be on all fours for some of it. Start early since it will take all day (I was on trail for about 8 to 9 hours). I love hiking with my dog but would never take my dog on this trail (at least up the scramble).

Easy hike really close to Banff town.
No longer than 1 hour, not very steep but amazing views from the top both to the valley and the town.
They have several viewpoints along the way, and reaching the summit is easy. Great for beginners.
You can leave your car at the beginning of the mountain just by the cabins (free parking) and hike the road that leads to the actual trailhead for 10 minutes.
Totally worth the effort.

Great hike with an incredible view at the end. If you are looking for a moderate winter hike in the area this is a great choice. The path to the falls had several groups on it and was busy for a winter trail, but once you passed the upper falls the trail was empty. The view of the mountains from the inkpots was perhaps more incredible than the inkpots themselves. The snow was packed most of the way. Ice cleats were helpful, especially when going down.

Easy hike, lovely views in the canyon - get here early as the trail gets busy!

Took the fam here last year, was awesome, busy but awesome.

Completed Nov. 12-18, mild winter conditions.

Epic trail for advanced hikers. (See bottom to skip details and for conclusion)

Easy to get to, park at bow falls parking lot and walk past the golf course and head right to start. The beginning 1/3 of the hike is very easy, trail is obvious and easy to follow. Moderate incline.

The next third spices things up, trail starts to go up and down before hitting the switchback portion. Once at the switchbacks the intensity increases and the incline gets much greater, but the views get better!

Then you hit the last third and this is where things get seriously real. Once you go through the gully and onto the dragonback, the trail gets extremely intense. Gets difficult to follow the trail (especially with snow on the ground), but all you’re really doing is scrambling up so it’s not a big deal. Lookout for the yellow markers on the trees.

At this point, be prepared to be on all fours for the last 1.5hrs as you get closer to the top. This is a real scramble and NOT good for the faint of heart. As you reach the peak the incline nears practically vertical. You are on loose rock and footing is tough. Every 10 steps you’ll need a break. The peak will appear close, but it’s a tough and draining couple hundred meters.

Conclusion: Epic hike, epic views. Don’t go with your fam for a casual sightseeing hike, or if you’re not confident in your abilities. This is a hike for those who want to conquer. Plan for a 6-8 hour round trip in the winter. Hiking Boots mandatory, spikes are a good idea. Pack for wind/cold at the top. Bring lots of food. Have a blast, it’s a hell of a hike.

hiking
2 months ago

This should really be rated as easy- if you can do it in jeans it’s not that difficult. Beautiful views of Banff at the top, great hike if you want to squeeze something quick and easy into your day. Wise to bring spikes in winter- there were a couple sections where they would have been appreciated.

I climbed the rocks but there is a path behind it as well. Beyond belief beautiful.

The hike isn't that long and is very easy and the views are absolutely breathtaking!! Definitely the most beautiful and crystal clear lake close to Banff!! My oldest son even drank water from the lake.

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