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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hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
2 days ago

Absolutely unreal!!! crampons are a must; the trail wasn’t terrible until you’re out of the tree line. Little bit of exposure in some spots but not a problem at all if you take your time and don’t push your limits... pretty easy to lose the trail after the ridge but just stick with it and as long as you’re headed in the general direction of the true summit you’ll be back on track in no time

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
2 days ago

Absolutely unreal!!! crampons are a must; the trail wasn’t terrible until you’re out of the tree line. Little bit of exposure in some spots but not a problem at all if you take your time and don’t push your limits... pretty easy to lose the trail after the ridge but just stick with it and as long as you’re headed in the general direction of the true summit you’ll be back on track in no time

Unreal trail, short and sweet!

hiking
3 days ago

Please be aware that beyond Mirror Lake the trail is actually in avalanche terrain and not recommended in the winter!
Stay safe!

Crowded but safe. easier trail for friends

walking
7 days ago

A decent little walk. Something to bring the relatives on that don’t hike much. Agnes Lake is beautiful but the teahouse can get packed up pretty quick. Go early if you can.

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.

Great hike. Path is snow packed with very little ice right now, so could probably do it easily enough without spikes, but certainly easier with them. Get up there early to avoid the crowds, and you're in for a treat! Some amazing views on the way up, and the crowds really thin out once you get past the Upper Falls and head to the Inkpots. When we got to the Inkpots there was only one other couple there, so very peaceful! I just started hiking this past year, so certainly not a strong hiker, and this trail took us about 3 hours, including stops for photos and lunch.

did this trail on one of my last days in Banff and it was really beautiful!

hiking
13 days ago

Worth the drive if you are visiting other places in the area.

Peyto Lake is worth the drive -- make sure you walk the trail to get away from the crowds at the viewpoint!

Gorgeous trail, will be trying it again when the snow melts! We made it a bit past the party summit but turned back when the slippery snowy/muddy slope hit some exposure (wayyy too dangerous for my liking). Still a beautiful hike/easy scramble up to that point -- loved it!

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
14 days ago

Wow... We had a pretty unforgettable experience on this trail! We did it during May--it was hot and sweaty at the bottom, and we were literally waist deep in snow about two hours later. Then on the way down it rained for an hour. So I guess pack some layers! We didn't have crampons or poles or anything, so we had to turn back unfortunately. Loved the trail, highly recommend it, definitely challenging and for experienced hikers. I can't wait to come back and do it right someday!

hiking
14 days ago

It was a wonderful hike, I truly enjoy the experience. Beautiful views!

Tunnel Mountain is a short 4 km hike to an amazing viewpoint on top of the mountain overlooking the town of Banff and surrounding scenery.

The trail began from Tunnel Mountain Drive in Banff (Google Map it). It followed along long, nicely graded switchbacks along the side of the mountain through the forest. Some of the switchbacks were steeper than others and some of them leveled out which provided a chance to catch your breath. There were some glimpses of the views along the way through the trees.

The best views could be seen from the top of the mountain at the end of the trail. There were some bare rocks surrounded by forest which were perfect places to sit and admire the views overlooking Banff and the surrounding mountains and valleys. It was beautiful!

Would recommend this short hike for a good leg workout and opportunity to see great views.

hiking
15 days ago

The Fenland Trail is an easy and short 2.1 km hike in the town of Banff. There are great opportunities to see elk here! I visited in August 2017 and 2016.

The trailhead began along Mount Norquay Road. It was a pleasant and pretty walk along a flat looped trail through the forest and alongside a small creek. There were some views of the Rockies through trees along the way and I did see lots of elk along the trail, which was pretty cool. The trail was wide and well maintained.

The Fenland Trail was a beautiful and relaxing hike.

Peyto Lake is a stunning, pristine and vibrantly coloured lake along the Icefields Parkway drive, that is well worth stopping for. It is located about 40 minutes north of Lake Louise. I visited here in July 2017.

This is a popular place to stop for those driving this scenic stretch of highway, so I recommend arriving earlier in the morning to beat the crowds if possible.

From the parking lot on the west side of the highway, a short paved trail led to the wooden viewing deck which provided amazing views looking out to the lake. It was an uphill climb to the lookout, which was pretty steep in some areas as it gained considerable elevation and took around 10-15 minutes to get there.

Peyto Lake is absolutely spectacular. The colour of the water was an incredible vibrant blue that didn't even look real. It was surrounded by mountains and pine forests. I enjoyed admiring the views and taking photos from this classic lookout spot.

I recommend stopping here on your drive (you only need 40 minutes or so). Truly a beautiful place to see.

The Consolation Lakes Trail is a beautiful and scenic hike that begins from the parking lot at Moraine Lake.

The trail stemmed off from the Rockpile Trail to the left, just before the climb to the top of the rock pile. This 6 km round-trip hike started off by passing through a very rocky section where there was even some avalanche debris and snow piles along the path! The trail then entered into the forest and continued there for the remainder of the hike on a fairly flat path with some short uphill sections but then very little elevation gain after that.

At the end of the hike, the path emerged from the forest and opened up to a stunning rocky landscape with Consolation Lakes in the distance beyond the large rocks, a peaceful river flowing from the lake, and gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, sheer vertical cliffs, and tall jagged peaks. There was also an amazing view of the Fay Glacier at the far end of the lake. I felt so close to the mountains and even heard an avalanche. It was a fun challenge to climb over the large rocks in order to get closer to the lake. I enjoyed a snack while sitting on the rocks and enjoyed appreciating the incredible views all around me.

This hike was very rewarding for such a short and easy trail. Parking is limited at Moraine Lake, so I recommend arriving early (7 am or so) to ensure you get a spot.

The Lakeshore Trail at Moraine Lake is short, easy and scenic trail (3 km round trip) that starts from the Moraine Lake Lodge and follows along the shoreline of the lake along one side and leading to a boardwalk area at the end of the trail with a small waterfall coming down from the mountain. I visited here in July 2017.

The trail passes through a beautiful pine tree forest and there are openings in the trees along the way offering great views of the lake. It was interesting how it instantly felt 10 degrees cooler when I stood at the end of the boardwalk. There were amazing views of the glaciers and snowy mountain peaks!

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 hike to the Ink Pots starts along Johnston Canyon and is around 10 km round-trip. I arrived to the Johnston Canyon parking lot early in the morning (around 7 am) and was one of the first people there. I hiked here in July 2017.

Hiking Johnston Canyon was gorgeous in the morning and it was so peaceful being almost completely alone with nature on the trail. It was a challenging but rewarding hike to natural bubbling pools of water and amazing views.

After the Upper Falls, the trail began to climb out of the canyon. It was a pretty steep incline for most of the way to the Ink Pots and since this was my first major day hike upon arriving in Banff from the Canadian Prairies, I found it to be quite challenging and exhausting. The trail continued to gain elevation as it passed through the dense and lush forest which was beautiful and so peaceful. I was alone on the trail for most of the hike which was amazing. There was an opening in the trees at one spot along the trail which provided incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

From this point to the Ink Pots (about 1.4 km), the trail leveled out and then descended to the final destination which my legs were very thankful for!

The trail then opened up to a beautiful meadow surrounded by mountains with a river flowing through it and a collection of natural pools of turquoise coloured water, which bubbled up from deep inside the Earth’s core called the Ink Pots (you will see circles in the sand at the bottom of the pools which look like blots of ink and this is where the water bubbles up from). There were some wooden boardwalks and trails through the area leading to each pool, where you could get a variety of amazing views and great photo opportunities. The scenery was breathtaking!

I found this hike pretty challenging and strenuous, as it was mostly a steep and gruelling uphill climb after the Upper Falls to the Ink Pots, but definitely worth it. Hiking downhill most of the way back to the trailhead felt AMAZING.

The trail along Johnston Canyon to the Upper Falls gets quite crowded and busy around late morning during the summer season but very few people continue on to the Ink Pots, so hiking this trail will likely be a peaceful experience. I would still recommend starting early though in order to get a parking spot at the Johnston Canyon trailhead (be there for around 7 am or 7:30 am), as it took me a good 4 to 4.5 hours to complete the hike including the MANY stops that I made along the way to catch my breath, take photos and enjoy the scenery.

Make sure to bring a snack to enjoy at the Ink Pots and lots of water!

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.

Hiked to Inkpots via Johnston Canyon. Trail is well packed. Bring microspikes (no need for snowshoes just spikes). Falls were busy. I didn't stop just went straight to the Inkpots. Beautiful views today. I would recommend going through Moose Meadows if you're looking to avoid the crowds (not sure on Moose trail conditions there though)

Very few people beyond the upper falls. Had the trail to myself for portions. Overall easy hike if you are an avid hiker. You can hear avalanches in the distance which is cool.

Hiked down to the rock. Make sure you have spikes on to prevent a fall. Cool to see it up close.

snowshoeing
18 days ago

Top safety rating for me; trails are well defined and signs are everywhere, it’s definitely worth the hike down to the famous rock located at the second right down closer to the water, you’ll know it when you see it. Photos are great but not as astonishing face to face. The trail up to the Ink Pots is well worth dodging the crowds for a moderate to easy treck up to the Ink Pots where you can eat lunch or just to wander some more. Kind of sucks you gotta pay the Banff Parks Fee just to go to the canyon. Still a top notch hike and definitely one I recommend for most ages and hiking abilities. I will do it again!

Summited on Jan 1st. Incredible views all the way up, challenging steady elevation, fun scrambling, spikes necessary. Trail is still clearly defined.

Hiked 12/24/18. Great hike! Would definitely recommend bringing snow shoes if you plan to go all the way to the tea house.

Beautiful view and quick walk to the main look out! Don’t step off the path or you’ll find yourself waist deep in snow! There is a smaller hike near the look out which I believe was called marsh loop! Definitely worth it. Along the loop you’ll hit a fork in the path. If you head right and walk for about 3-5 mins you’ll find the most beautiful view of Peyto Lake.. even better then the main view. You can turn around there and head back to the main loop. Might not be the safest path when there is considerable avalanche risk. Not sure how long that path will remain during winter as it didn’t not look very travelled on when we were there.

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