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.

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Nice, relatively easy scramble through the forest opens up to a rocky, loose and steep climb up to the meadow. Then the route splits into two final ascent options, I followed the route posted and went right, ended up on a steep, exposed scramble up to the very top. On the way down I took the better (safer) route down. I recommend people to take the left hand route unless you are keen for a potentially frightening scrambling experience!

Great trail! Pretty busy today with hikers and back country campers! Super dog friendly! Steady incline throughout until the end it gets a bit steeper. Super beautiful scenery and river / falls all along the way! Loved this hike!

mountain biking
1 day ago

Beautiful lake, and just past it are some amazing rocks (called elephant rocks) that are fun to explore. Further on we went to the valley of three lakes... lake two was mostly dried up, but home to a group of at least 6 marmots which were eating and playing while we had lunch!! We did the first part on our bikes, then hiked the rest to and past Chester lake

This is my absolute most favorite hike! Tons of scenery throughout the whole way which helps you not focus on the inclines throughout the entire way. You will not be disappointed!

Love this 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!!

Absolutely phenomenal views of Mount Smuts, Mount Birdwood and Mount Fist. One of the most spectacular views I've ever seen in a day hike. Highly recommend. A little bit of exposure at the first climb to the left ridge but definitely pretty mild. Can't wait to do it on a non-smokey day!

This was our first full day in Banff National Park (Aug 17th) and got a later start than we’d like, but decided to visit Lake Moraine and begin our hiking adventures with an easy hike in preparation for the rest of our stay. Parking: of course no parking is available after 7am, but easy enough to catch the shuttle bus at the overflow parking at 11:30. The 10 min ride or so drops you off at the Rock Pile overlooking the lake. The lakeshore trail was easy and offered beautiful views of the turquoise water and had a waterfall at the end of trail. Unfortunately the views of the mountains were distorted by the smoke from ongoing fires in British Columbia but we still enjoyed the beauty and look forward planning another trip in hopes of clearer skies. Took about an hour with lots of other ca and a stop to eat a sandwich on the trail overlooking lake. We were there about 2 hours including a climb to the top of Rock Pile to take more pictures! Gorgeous place!

Definitely one of the coolest hikes I’ve ever done! It was reaaaaally smokey but we got some good shots still! When you find the parking lot, definitely start with the trailhead on the LEFT. I would not want to do the loop starting on the right. Cant wait to do it again when there’s isn’t so much smoke and we can see all the mountains!

Steep hike through out. went to lake and went back which took 4.5 hours at a steady pace. patches of gravel and boulder crossings. lake scene is worth it.

Did this one yesterday! Good for all levels. Awesome trail with awesome view. A bit crowded.

this was a great first day hike in Banff. did this last Saturday before all the smoke came in and saw a grizzly bear and her two Cubs! we took the trail over to lake Agnes on our way back which was a lot less crowded.

July 17, 2018

Very steep but very rewarding with a great view. Took us about 5 hours to complete

We joined up with this hike after starting at lake Agnes/big beehive. The trail offers some really beautiful views and the teahouse is fun, but the crowds take something away from the experience. I found myself getting a bit frustrated by lines of super slow hikers, especially on the way down. Definitely worth doing the hike - just be prepared to be patient if you're used to a quicker pace and a quiet trail

Not a very rewarding hike to say the least. The amount of incline and distance you have to travel was not worth the views of either lakes.

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.

great hike. Did this may long weekend, so many places had avalanches and it was hard to pass. the last avalanche shoot we couldn't pass it was really steep and we had no equipment to get safely across as it was step, slippery, and scary!

I wouldn’t classify this route as hard more of a moderate. 2nd favourite in the Canmore area

Loved this hike! A good challenge since the hike up the ridge is really steep but it's totally worth it once you get to the ridge. It was smoky so will have to go back for the views but it was still absolutely beautiful and with the quick elevation gain it gives that sense of accomplishment. Head to the far end of the ridge and you can do another little climb up to the flag -not sure if the flag is new as this was my first time up there. Climbing to the ridge and back down again was a challenge for us since the dirt was dry and made footing a bit precarious at times with all the loose rocks -for me poles were a must but I saw lots of people getting by without. My friend and I are slow and steady when it come to hiking and it took us 6 hours total, 4 hours of moving time and 2 hours total for breaks. No real breaks on the path up to Rawson, but lots on our way up the ridge and a long one up top since it was so beautiful.

This is a well travelled trail and it is no wonder why. Some of the most amazing views you could hope for. The trek to Rawson Lake and around it is fairly moderate. From the lake up to the ridge is challenging but doable. So worth it to go to the top for the amazing views and feeling of accomplishment

Lake Louise is iconic for a reason and you'll be sharing the path with plenty of people no matter what. Expect this, and you'll enjoy your day all the more. I enjoy this hike in the the shoulder seasons when paths are less busy. Whenever someone visits from out of town, this is usually one of my go-to hikes.

Bring cash so you can stop and enjoy a tea at the tea house at the end.

As with all hikes from the Lake. Arrive early if you want a parking spot.

One of the best views in Alberta!

on Galatea Creek To Lillian Lake

hiking
8 days ago

A steady incline going up. Overall amazing views.

If you want to climb the very top and see Two Jack lake + Minnewanka lake, be ready that it is a short yet extremely steep climb. If it is a cloudy day, you won't be able to see that emerald water reflecting from the sun making it a less of a view. The top of the hike is challenging due to small rolling rocks. Saw some beginners falling, so have some good shoes:) Other than that, the forest is beautiful, full of mosquitoes, make sure you have a bug spray!

Beauty hike! Started early which was a plus to avoid the crowd hiking. To the lake was a nice gently hike. To the ridge was steep and hard. But well worth the views!
Unfortunately did the hike when it was super smoky so could barely see upper kananaskis lake.

Definitely recommend doing this hike if you are looking for a good elevation gain in a short time.

absolutely amazing! despite it being +35 today we were able to enjoy the trail and the sights. Very well marked and heavily trafficked trail so you'll be sure to see a good chunk of people which can be great motivation. I would say that the trail from the parking lot to Lillian lake is moderate and the section from Lillian lake to Galatea lake is hard due to the large amount of loose rock. But it's worth is as the serenity of Galatea lake is amazing. It took us a total of 4 hours (2h each way) plus an hour break at the lake. would definitely do this one again!

on Chester Lake Trail

hiking
10 days ago

We went on Aug 7th. Calgary was over 30c but we felt pretty cool when we got out from the car 11:30am. It was constant incline in the beginning but not too steep and soon enough there is a meadow full of flowers and great scenery with mountains as others mentioned. We were slow on inclines and took quite few picture and water breaks so we got to the lake a bit less than 1 hour and a half. We also went on to the Elephant Rocks and 2 lakes. Took a long lunch break with food lovers and my son played around the rocks so we arrived the parking lot after 4 pm. We didn’t see bears but the other group saw 2 cubs and a mom at the meadow before the lake and lots of bear digs around the lake so definitely good to have bear spray and more people in the group. It was the best hiking with around 10k + 300-400m elevation gain trail!

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.

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