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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.

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!

hiking
16 days ago

Parker Ridge is a moderately challenging 5 km trail along the Icefields Parkway, located about 1.5 hours south of Jasper and north of the Saskatchewan Crossing. I hiked here in August 2017 along the drive from Jasper to Banff.

The trail was uphill the entire way, so be prepared for a climb. The first portion of the trail climbed through the forest along moderately steep switchbacks. It gradually became steeper as you hiked on and once you got above the tree line, where the landscape was wide open and barren. The trail continued to climb along switchbacks until it reached the top of the ridge. I definitely found it to be challenging and strenuous. Even in the middle of summer, there was still some thick snow patches near the top of the ridge.

At the top of the ridge, it was quite chilly and windy so make sure to pack a windbreaker and warm sweater. There were beautiful views of the Saskatchewan Glacier and surrounding mountain peaks which made for great photo opportunities. It was spacious at the top of the ridge and there were lots of other great viewpoints too if you explore a little bit.

There was parking in a small lot off the highway or along the shoulder of the Icefields Parkway. I would recommend the hike but be prepared for the weather and landscape. This is a challenging hike but there are rewarding views at the top of the ridge!

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 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.

This is one of my favorite “easy” hikes in the Banff area. It isn’t complicated at any point, doesn’t have much in the way of elevation gain, and leads to some spectacular views. Make sure you have bear spray. While I’ve never seen any, I’ve been warned there is a female grizzly that likes to forage in the area, and I’ve seen multiple black bears just down the road.

Depending on the time of the year, you may need to scramble over some snow and downed trees in the initial trail, and then spend some caution crossing slippery stones in a creek about a third of the way. There is a slight rise in ground when you get to the canyon, but it’s quick and easy with stairs to help you along. Finally you descend into the valley beneath the falls, and, again, depending upon time of year, can get pretty close to the waterfall. It’s not a long hike, and definitely worth the views. What I really want to do is find the path that takes you to the tarn that’s feeding the falls, and the incredible view of the ice field beyond!

Excellent challenging trail, yet open to all able bodied hikers. In the summer I saw many people of all ages and physical ability going up the trail. Walk at your own pace and it's a great trail with an amazing reward.

I really enjoyed this hike. We went Aug 1, 2018. The trail was not as busy as the Lake Agnes trail, it felt like a slower incline to hike, still a steep climb to the tea house. Beautiful views the whole way. The trail varied from switchback to hiking on rocks, and small pathways on dirt, it was awesome. We also continued on to the glacier viewpoint, it had spectacular views, it gets very rocky near the end, so tread carefully.

Quick hike with a nice view of the lake and the hotel. Much less crowded than the area by the lake. Snow was packed down. We hiked with ice cleats which were helpful but saw others successfully hiking without them.

Did this hike at the spur of the moment on a weekend getaway in Oct! Beautiful short hike. Micro spikes were required. Had the place mostly to ourselves except for a new friend we met!

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Got here right after sunrise and finished right as the bus loads of tourists arrived in the parking lot. Very pleasant surprise and absolutely gorgeous. Saw only 2-3 other couples hiking. Ends with a waterfall but that’s not even the best part of the trail. One of my favorites.

Hiked on 11.1.18
Microspikes and poles up to the tea house. Heard multiple avalanches..Attempted to walk to the lookout point but turned around about 3/4 of the way due to high snow, unsure footing and avalanche risk.
Overall excellent hike had the whole area to ourselves just be prepared.

Did this as part of our yearly trip in September 2018. Was an amazing day and the weather was beautiful family friendly hike for all skill levels

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike!

hiking
3 months ago

This is not an easy hike .. moderate at least .. especially at the moment since you spent the entire time trudging through snow and ice .. must have cleats or poles to get to the top .. well marked but thanks to AllTrails map for helping us though this route .. the view? Stunning. The experience? Absolutely worth it!

Great trail. Definitely need shoe spikes, can rent in town for $9.00.

hiking
3 months ago

Relatively difficult without spikes on a snowy day- so if you have them, use them. The trail gets pretty packed down, but there is enough traction on the sides that you can get up. The lookout is beautiful

I would definitely do this again, but there’s a rushing waterfall you have to pass so I’d go next time even earlier in the morning (~8am) to avoid jumping across wet rocks. Also bring gaters depending on the weather! Helen lake is pretty, but make the extra trek up to Cirque peak and have lunch up there if you can. Although it’s usually snowy up there.

This was one of the first trails I did, and it was a wonderful introduction into hiking. Go early in the morning as it gets very busy (there’s a teahouse up there - not Agnes teahouse, although that’s close by) and make the extra 1km trek to go have lunch in front of lefroy and upper Victoria glacier. You’ll see a few avalanches for sure.

A bit of an incline but this short beautiful hike has the most gorgeous view of the Chateau Lake Louise that you’ll see. Was snowy today so we were glad we had spikes.

Favourite lake in Banff!! ❤️

Loved this hike! Falls were breathtaking. Started mid morning and passed a few people on route going to and from- shared the falls with only one other couple. If you’re in the area, this hike is a must!

Awesome hike. A nice gradual incline with incredible views once you get through the forest. Did it in early October and it was quite snowy where snowshoes were needed for the last quarter of the hike.

Did this hike on Sept 29, 2018. Absolutely beautiful and relatively easy if you watch your step after the tea house, it gets a bit icy. We had to turn around after seeing an avalanche. Keep an eye out for trail reports if doing this in October.

If there is one must do hike in the Canadian Rockies .. must be this one for the view .. easy, short, breathtaking view!!

Hiked to the tea house in snow pack. Poles + Yaktrax on hiking boots made it manageable. Tea house closed however it was beautiful to sit and enjoy our home made hot tea from our thermos. Icicles (some falling) on the upper path; witnessed an avalanche on the lower Victoria glacier, Another group saw a bear w/ 2 cubs.

easy walk to the top

Easy walk with exceptionally stunning views!

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