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 trail, good views, easy to walk up without any gear, would recommend ice trekkers if the weather gets worse.

hiking
13 hours ago

Ahahaha, the map says it all. That’s not a child scribbling or your lie detector test! This hike is a griiiind of relentless switchbacks. Can’t beat the views at the end though (for the most part there are not a lot of views on the way up due to the forest), and also the option for the free ride back down in the gondola (in certain parts of the winter season). Nice to have a restaurant option and little museum/shop also.

hiking
13 hours ago

3 stars just might be me being picky...if I lived in Banff and just needed a quick up/down hike I would do this. Being from a bigger city, though, I like the views of a hike to be without civilization in them... that said, if you want a view of Banff town & surrounding area, this will suit you just fine.

Great hike and amazing views !

Amazing view, but not the best experience. The lookout is so crowded, it’s like a mosh pit.

Note that the trail is icy. However, as of the 20th of October, the bus road is closed, and not as slippery. Best that you walk up this road if you don’t have cleats.

Hiked October 20, 2018, the temperature was great, but a bit windy. The views at the top were spectacular. We were supposed to continue on to the Jewel Pass but the path going up was full of snow and slippery so for safety reasons we opted not to, we took the same route going down, we aren’t seasoned hikers by the way. It was a good hike. I highly recommend it.

Hiked Oct. 20 beautiful views from the top and a fun challenge in the snow for the second half of the hike.

Cannot stress enough how amazing this hike was. Coming down from the thumb was a little scary, because it’s very steep and all loose rock on a little goat trail, so we slid down on our butts (which left us very dirty and embarrassed going into the beautiful post hotel after haha). But you start from Lake Louise, go up past lake Agnes + teahouse, and the beehives, and get a beautiful view of the both lakes (Agnes, Louise) and the beehives. 100% recommend.

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.

This is a great trail to get some fantastic views of the waterfalls Johnston Canyon has to offer. The trail is improved/paved until you reach the upper falls and then it is a well marked dirt trail that is easy to follow. After the upper falls we needed hiking spikes as the trail was rather icy in spots and for the final descent into the valley that holds the ink pots. Overall a moderate hike if you go all the way to the pots. The views at the Ink Pots are worth the hike themselves but the waterfalls are spectacular and really offer some great views along the way.

walking
2 days ago

Completed this one two days ago. The trail is already snowed in, but well used so it's doable in hiking boots only.
This is an easy walk with lightly ascending towards the lake. Very appropriate for kids, pups and cross country skiing as well.
The views are more than amazing this time of the year.

Great little hike close to town.

Currently the trails around both lakes are still closed at the top due to road construction above, but it's still a worthy short climb for a great view.

'Easy' and 'More Difficult' routes are clearly marked. Choose more difficult for a hiking trail that comes to a beautiful waterfall. Trail is currently clear of ice/snow.

Easy is a wider, all-gravel path. Ice for the top 1/3 of the trail, but nothing too worrisome if you're careful.

A total grind on the way up, with little change in landscape; but stunning views from the summit make it absolutely worth it!
Current conditions are 80% clear, but considerably slippery/wet/steep sections make crampons a good idea. The 'first summit,' makes a great stopping point for those who don't want to make the final push to the top.

Note on the Start:
I read very conflicting information on the start of this hike. If you park directly at the end of the reservoir, the start is about 200m walking back towards Canmore. It begins between the two scree fields, underneath two power poles with signage for keeping dogs on leashes. The trail goes quickly up into the trees and appears to split. To the left is a large sign warning of unexploded bombs, to the right, a small land surveying post. (You can go either way - we did both).

Left goes on a trail up into the trees, and eventually up and to the right, overtop the first cliff-section, on a decently well-traveled trail (currently pretty icy). Right goes directly up (and may save you 15 minutes) but is a scramble. Like everyone has stated, it's pretty hard to get lost on this hike, and once you get over the first cliff it's easier to find your way.

The view of the rest of the Rundles from the summit serves as a great reward at the end. Leave your notes from the day in the Memorial Box at the top.

Took the dogs up this morning. It was extremely icy in the shade so micro spikes were a definite must have. Where the sun hit the trail the snow had softened by the time I made the trek down but some form of traction device was still the way to go. Great cardio work out. Nice view of Lake Minnewanka near the top.

Great little hike...slippery at the top with hard packed snow...beautiful scenery...recommend taking more difficult way up and road down... would go again.

This is a very difficult climb due to the steepness the whole way, but stunning views make it a pleasurable challenge. The trail was slippery and muddy on the top half which made descending difficult, so I'd recommend going when the weather has been dry. (I went on a warm day when melting snow made things slick).
It took me 2 hours to hike from the parking lot to the platform, stopping along the way only long enough to swig water and keep going. The way back down wasn't much faster (1 hr 45 min) due to the steep descent, mud/ice, and tricky footing. If I go again, I'd bring a lunch and take my time more. Today I just brought water. Altogether : beautiful views and a killer workout, just pick a dry day!

on Chester Lake Trail

snowshoeing
5 days ago

Very easy to find the trail head, with designated parking/ washrooms. Many different choices of trails, from walking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing. It was a fairly easy hike up, I had beginners with me that were OK with the occasional break. The view when you get to the lake is beautiful. One of my favourite parts about this hike was the Gray Jays, if you do not like birds I highly recommend not sticking your arms/ hands out. They are very friendly.

We had snow shoes on, did not need them as the trail was well packed.

Absolutely stunning.
Clockwise-route, as previously stated.

I cannot express how much I loved this hike; stunning winter views made for an incredible day in the mountains. However, I cannot say that I would do it again until spring (or a melt!).
There is currently 2ft of snow throughout almost the entirety of the route, and there are many exposed areas and sketchy scrambles because of a mix of snow, rock, and ice. Don’t attempt without proper equipment (spikes, poles, snowshoes).

We went on a beautiful, sunny, 2-degree day, and by the time we reached the ridge the wind picked up significantly, which required a much more thoughtful continuation of the route. The exposed areas do make turning back very risky, so once you're in, you're in!

We were lucky to be following one other very experienced pair, which made trail finding on the way down the ridge easier. Without them, it would have been very difficult to find our way down with quickly changing conditions and lack of trail markers ( which may be covered by snow).

All in all, an incredible hike! Just be warned you should be fully competent with ridge hiking in snow/ice, have proper equipment, and be knowledgeable of the area.

hiking
5 days ago

October 11th 2018:

Such a good hike. Snow covered trails, kind of slippery at the beginning, cramps and poles recommended. starts off pretty steep, a bit of a slog, last 30 mins of the hike to the summit is slow and arduous, but at least the snow is packed and easily followed. moderate to difficult.

hiking
5 days ago

Super easy trail - it’s perfect for a late afternoon if you want to get out of the city and see some nice scenery. Its perfect for dogs too I took my male dog and hiked up to the hoodoo and back. This area can get busy so it’s best to go at a later time in the day.

Crampons + a good hiking boot are a must! Snowy and icy but the views are worth it.

Completed this hike on the 15th of October. Provides some breathtaking views, and only takes 30-45 minutes to reach the peak. Great reward for little effort! :)
As mentioned, it can be a bit slippery. However, no ice cleats needed, just take care.

trail running
6 days ago

Ran this trail yesterday as an alternative to ha ling as it is still closed.

Trails are pretty good, some icy spots on the way up. I used crampons in these areas just to be safe, but doable with good quality hiking boots/trail runners. I Definitely needed to bring wind stopper pants though, my insulated tights were not enough near the summit. Amazingly clear views.

Did this hike today. Spikes and poles recommended for sure. There was alot of muddy and icy sections. this hike goes straight up to the top with no easy sections. We did make it to the top and the views were beautiful. You overlook Canmore and the surrounding mountain peaks. It took us half a day with lots of stops for rest and photo taking. The way down was very hard on the legs, and toes for us. Needless to say, I am not in superb shape and am no athlete- this hike is hard for sure but I recommend for the challenge and scenery. Don't forget to pack a lunch for the top and take it all in. Good luck :)

We just did Chester Lake today with our 8-year old dog. It was an awesome hike! The views are beautiful and the hike is very doable. Gets the heart pumping a little on the way to the hike, but levels out quickly and it’s quite easy to the lake.
We will definitely be doing this hike again!

hiking
6 days ago

NAFTA and dairy quota talks aside;Trump and Trudeau supporters alike would find this hike enjoyable. It is an easy to moderate hike; we went well past the waterfall and saw some gorgeous boulders in the creek. There was a RC car group driving their toys on the rocks, for whatever reason. One and done for me.

hiking
6 days ago

Did this hike at sunrise 10/13. We had yaktraks but didn’t need them. Quick little summit great for a morning hike from lowed by breakfast in town.

hiking
6 days ago

Went up today at 12:30. Beautiful snow covered trail. Good switch backs all the way up. Yaktraks were very helpful!

hiking
6 days ago

Nice views at the lake, easy hike with slow graduation. I would rate this as heavily trafficked.

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