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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Good Trail. Lower falls is must see if you can't climb all the way to upper falls...

Amazing view. Easy trail. Totally worth doing it! And my winner dog did it also!

hiking
2 days ago

A busy trail but the waterfalls are worth the wait.

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.

beautiful and scenic, easy strolling. what emerald glow!

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

Arrive extra early to get a parking spot in the lot, otherwise you’ll have to park along the road and walk in. It’s extremely busy and populated. Its become more of a tourist spot. It’s a very easy trail, good to do with kids or the family. There is a “hidden” cave which is fun to find and explore.

Pretty easy hike the hardest part was avoiding crowds. We arrived just before 9 and got a good parking space. If you are trying to do photography I would highly recommend arriving around 8 to avoid crowds.

Sooo crowded! Not a nature hike. So many people we could barely walk. Do not take dogs for this same reason. Maybe if you when at 6am it would be cool but with a fence and a paved trail it was not my kind of hike. Many other options in Banff.

Nice walk through the woods, the lake is cute

Beautiful falls, but many, many people. We went just a little beyond the upper falls and found some quiet spots next to the water to eat lunch and hang out, and that made it very worthwhile!

A good portion of this trail is paved, but I personally don't have any complaints about that. You still walk right past or through wetlands, lakes and forests.

In mid July the bugs are no joke, so there is a reason a majority of the reviews say to bring bug spray.

The end of the trail is extremely rewarding. once the paved portion ends, the scenery for the rest of the trail is spectacular!

Awesome trail for beginners! (Crowder than I thought) Great views. Love it.

11 days ago

Not too buggy, beautiful. Tho heavily trafficked, it is a well constructed trail and not bad. We went around 4pm. Be warned: ice cream stand at top. Use as incentive for reluctant walkers!

Amazing views, especially in the fall with yellow larch trees. My favourite hike so far!

This is a nice easy trail around the lake. It goes through a very damp dense forest into a big opening and around the other side of the lake is pretty sunny. We use this as a nice 5 km stretching our legs for a big hike tomorrow. Go early as it gets very crowded. Emerald Lake was a beautiful Clay see you awake the colors are gorgeous and if you go before the crowds and canoeing starts the lake is like glass and you can catch the mountains reflections

MAKE SURE TO BRING MOSQUITO REPELLENT. Their were so many mosquitos and horse flies up there we couldn’t stand still for more than 12 seconds without being swarmed by over 30 mosquitos.

Bugs aside it’s a great little hike with a moderate but constant incline to the top. 26 and moderately fit here we along with other hikers took a few breaks on the way up. The lake is beautiful at the top. A great light teal blue.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
15 days ago

This review is only for the “hike” around the lake. I put hike in quotations because it’s more of a stroll. Beautiful stroll through. If you want to enjoy a fairly easy hike, this will do it. It’s about 50/50 in terms of shade/exposed. Emerald Lake is really a sight to see - gorgeous water and towering Canadian Rockies. I went mid July, late morning and the weather was fine. Rained a little, but nothing to write home about. Recommend getting to the lake as early as you can - parking fills up quick (at least during the summer season).

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike mostly under the forest canopy. Elevation gain is early on in the hike. Trail ends in a picturesque valley at a scree field. Views of the lakes are minimal unless you hike the boulders here.

Easy hike, very beautiful and well maintained trail.

Easy hike but proper footwear helps for the scramble at the end to get to the lake. Minimal bugs and wasn’t very crowded today.

Go early in the season or in the fall to avoid the crowds. I’ve hiked part of this trail in the winter and it was quiet, peaceful.

The amusement park of hikes. Grandparents, toddlers and even people in dress shoes standing in line to get to the end of the platform to snap a pic and leave. We arrived at 4 pm to easy parking, but the trails were still very crowded. It was better when we left after 6 pm, so if you don't want to rise at the crack of dawn, try an evening visit. The crowds really do detract from the beauty of the surroundings. Some unmarked trails to the river were the highlight of the trip and the only reason the rating wasn't lower.

It is a fairly easy hike. The river, falls and canyons are awesome.

hiking
16 days ago

Emerald Lake is phenomenally beautiful. The walk around the lake is basically flat and a very enjoyable stroll. We continued on to the basin, which honestly wasn’t really worth the trip. The streams at the top were fun to dip your feet in, but the views are much better on the other trails we’ve done during our week in Canada.

Getting to the trail via the paved road can be a bit dull and, although there are some nice views of the river, I would cycle this portion (there is a bike rack at the foot of the trail). The trail itself is quite enjoyable with great views of the cascading water and some fun hiking. Go early to avoid the crowds which started around 9am.

Easy trail but worth the views at the end. It’s a great place to hang out in the pools for a picnic!

Perfect distance, loved the views along the trail. Manageable for my 9 yr old, paved paths are nice. They are narrow at times, and the hike is quite busy.

Fantastic hike. Truly a mix of all the Rockies has to offer. A glacial lake, a pine forest, waterfalls, streams and a glacier. Can’t go wrong. Lost almost all the tourists by the time we turned off toward the basin. Saw a few folks on the way. Very quiet around the back rim of the lake. It is crowded, but parking does open up as most people don’t stay too long and there’s parking along the road in. Arrived around 1pm and found a spot quickly.

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