Explore banff - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

banff Map
1 day ago

As someone who has hiked in New Zealand, Patagonia, Peru and more, this hike was disappointing. It’s all uphill with the excitement being the lake 5 miles in. Good workout but not very rewarding.

Other than the smoke, great mix of topography and great day hike. Take time to break at lake for a snack.

Once you reach the end - go on top of mountain to reach the glacier - fantastic view of lake and surroundings from there.

Trail is nice and in the shade. The lake is beautiful but unfortunately didn't get to see much because of the smoke. Better in the morning light.

Great hike!

Can anyone tell me if you need a park pass for this trail? Will delete this after I possibly get a response :) thank 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!!

July 17, 2018

Unreal scenery.

Strenuous but amazing hike with great panoramic views, especially at the top. First hour of switchbacks is the toughest part followed by a lovely walk through the Larch Valley. Take your time going up the final section and you’ll be rewarded with jaw dropping views at the top of the pass.

Amazing reward for a hike that doesn’t take very long. Took about 2.5 hours to ascend at a brisk pace. 1.5 hours coming back. The views from the top are incredible.

7 days ago

This is one of my favourite hikes in Banff.
Rockbound Lake is a must see..

8 days ago

This is my favourite hike in the Rockies. The hike to the lake is a well maintained path with a reasonable incline until you reach the alpine valley leading back behind castle mountain. Once you reach the valley, the trail flattens out and you'll meander your way back toward the lakes. The first lake is tiny, and not the real prize of the day. Snap some pics, and then continue to follow the trail up the headwall. This is the only "challenging" part of the hike, but in two switch backs you'll be above the headwall and basically at the foot of the lake. Views of the peaks on all sides are very impressive, and will make you feel tiny against the towering sheer cliff faces. It's worth making the lap around the lake, but you will need to be a bit careful to pick your way around the boulders on the south side. Also, bring a bathing suit and go for a dip! It's very rewarding and a great secluded beautiful spot in the park.

A few other tips:
- I've hiked to Rockbound a handful of times, and I appreciate it more toward the middle or end of August once the bugs have passed and the snow is melted. I've been once on Canada Day and the bugs were awful.
- There's a little stream in the woods on the east side of the parking lot. A great place to cool your feet at the end of the day.

Surprisingly strenuous uphill hike. We enjoyed it. Went with my kids and dogs.

Great trail. Not too tough but the boulders add a lot of interest and skill-testing. Gets you away from he madness of Moraine Lake and out to a peaceful and quiet oasis. The creek/river that parallels the trail has some spectacular little chutes and falls. Super for photos.

10 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous.

Incredible hike, well worth the final push! The view of the valley is near unparalleled. Bring lots of water and be prepared for the attack of the black flies. Also, be prepared the smoke and haze will likely obscure some of your view in the late summer due to wildfires.

Scrambling over boulders and watching a beautiful mountain lake. Could sit here all day.

After a full day of day hikes through Banff National Park, we stumbled upon this hike by accident. We already were exhausted so we made it to the bridge before we turned around (getting dark and my girlfriend was getting hangry). It was a great easy track up the switchbacks with awesome views. Lots of young trees with evidence of a past Forrest fire. Wish we had the time and energy to complete!

Great trail. If you push right at the beginning of the trail you get to have a more challenging start with a scramble with some climbing which gets up in elevation faster. Took us 2 h to get to the top and an hour down. Great view overall

Absolutely stunning! We had to walk on a snow-covered ridge for about 20 minutes and I didn't have my hiking boots but regular trail shoes. The view above is breathtaking.

This is the first section of the approach to the ACC hut on Castle mountain’s cliffs. The remains of the fire lookout provided a decent spot to sit before we carried on up the steep trail. A good access road for the mountain approach but I wouldn’t recommend this as a hiking destination. Nothing to see until you reach the lookout, and mainly a steep road to walk up.

13 days ago

One of the most amazing views I've ever seen. Not only do you get to see bits of Moraine Lake with the gorgeous blue water, but if you can make it to the top you will not regret it. The hike itself is very steep, but it is well worth the struggle in the end.

Nice walk through the woods, the lake is cute

13 days ago

Great hike, once you get past the 1.2 mile mark it’s relatively easy going. Great views of the ever changing moraine and seen a marmot up close too!

good scramble. super easy to get lost on the way down so try and bring a map. it took us 1.5 hours up and 2.5 down (we got pretty lost) overall great hike!

Amazing hike with stunning views. We did it in September, it snowed for a little bit but didn’t discourage us, unforgettable experience! Trekking poles recommended.

Breathtaking views but very, very easy to lose the trail on the way back down. We got incredibly lost in the scree near the top and it took us hours to find our way, with the sun going down - just pay attention on the way up, and your descent will be much easier.

As most other reviewers mentioned this is a long hike but with a wonderful reward. My recommendation is to start in the morning to catch the hot sun once you are at the second lake. If you can, definitely worth making it past the first lake (a 1/2km trek over a ridge) and the offshoot to the falls near the start of the hike. The falls don't connect with the main hike so it is out and back but the three tiered falls are pretty cool.
When you get to the 2nd lake take time to explore by hiking around the lake for better views.
I found this place magical, its beauty is out of this world.

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