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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A nice walk on a paved path through a lovely canyon. Don’t go looking for a hike, but the scenery is nice. It was a rainy day and still there were many people on the trail, don’t want to imagine it on a sunny day. The trail to ink pots is much better - packed dirt path and less people. These are definitely worth the walk, beautiful mountain backdrop and the ink pots are beautiful.

nature trips
1 day ago

Wonderful hike! The switchbacks are through shoulder high pine trees, making for beautiful vistas. The creek crossing is lovely, the forest beautiful, then you reach the box canyon and fully see the glacier - glorious. You hear the water in the creek and the rumble of the glacier above. The loop over the top plateau is quite steep and loose rock, super fun (better with hiking poles). Fantastic views. No bugs this time of year.

The hike to Helen Lake is relatively easy/moderate for an experience hiker and offers beautiful views of Bow lake along the first 1.5 miles and then beautiful views of the adjacent mountains the rest of the hike. The lake was very pretty with beautiful mountain backdrops. The hike to the ridge line form the lake isn’t too bad, just steep and also offers very nice views. From there we turned right and submitted an easier “peak” to have a view out over what we just hiked. We then turned around and started the trek to Cirque Peak. I wouldn’t recommend doing that portion of the hike if you are scared of heights. I am a little bit and was able to manage the scary sections slowly and staying as far from the edge as possible. But there are a few sections that are more of a scramble then a hike. We also were climbing this while it was snowing so everything was a bit slick. Unfortunately we had to turn back 600m from the peak because the snow got to be too much, but during one break through of sunshine we could see the valley and the view was worth the effort! I will say the trail is difficult to see so follow the cairns people have built and when the “trail” splits stay to the right to keep going up.

hiking
4 days ago

Rather boring thru unimpressive Johnston Canyon and the lower/upper falls. Paved path good for families and seniors. Lots of people dropped off by buses. We continued onto the Ink Pots via a rather steep hike (dirt trail); the crowds thin out. The Ink Pots are very interesting and worth the hike.

Very easy paved path with railing for the majority of the route. Beautiful waterfall/river/canyon views but extremely crowded. 10-15 minute lines at each viewpoint so we turned back after the second waterfall before going further to the ink pots.

Loved this trail! The waterfall Is beautiful and the ink pots are a beautiful hue if turquoise and and a nice place for a picnic.

Beautiful.

quick hike to complete in an hour. take the "more difficult" route for a more scenic hike and awesome gain elevation near the waterfall to the top. i would recommend you come back the way you came vs doing the "easy" route back down; it's boring but understandably save for those that need a level way to walk. beautiful view of canmore. don't forget to carry your bear spray. :D

7 days ago

Very easy hike- great for a family with small kids!

great hike! great view :) on a snowy day

Beautiful easy hike. It could get pretty crowded so just make sure you get there early so you can actually enjoy it

Stunning lakes! Quick and easy hike :)

The first part of this hike takes about an hour until you get to a plateau where the views get better, most people stop here and enjoy their lunches while looking at the Glaciers and mountains around. This first part is fairly easy with nice inclined at the begging and towards the end before the plateau.
If you feel energetic I highly recommend doing the loop from the plateau, as you look up the right side has a small waterfall, marmots and caves, took us about 1 hour 10 min to do the loop.
Hiking poles and hiking boots recommended for that last section.
It was pretty crowded by 10 am so go early.

11 days ago

Did this hike on a Friday (Sept 7) arriving at The main parking lot around 4pm to find ample parking. It wasn’t too crowded and we were one of the last people on Trail when we finished around 7:30pm. Arriving at ink pots was favorite of the hike with great views later in the day. There were some tough inclines but all enjoyable.

hiking
11 days ago

beautiful trails! go the extra hike to the upper falls and explore! its much prettier up there and way less busy :)

What an amazing view. With Num Ti Jah Lodge and the lake Glacier and falls what else is there to want. Arrived on sept 7th about 930 am and spent till lunch time hiking around the lake and doing photography. When we arrived there was very little parking but it seemed there were very few people out here. Calm waters for that glass looking photo till about noon as the wind decided to make an appearance. Kid friendly and great for all levels.

Too many people from parking lot 1 all the way up to upper falls but then a very pleasant trail with much less traffic up to the ink pots. Beautiful scenery. Enjoyed a snack next to the running water before making the return trip.

Best super view in this area.
But it’s not a moderate trail for sure.
Don’t forget your stick.

12 days ago

As many have commented, the portion of the trail to the upper falls is very, very popular and crowded. However, the canyon, creek, and falls are very pretty and worth dealing with the crowds. After the upper falls we still encountered many people but at least it seemed like a real hike. We enjoyed the views of the mountains at the ink pots, as well as the ink pots. We thought the trail rating of moderate is appropriate. Overall, this is a very nice hike despite the crowds

Very crowded trail (probably because it’s so close to town) with some decently nice views. The lakes were closed off when we went but you could still see them. Lots of people, some trash on the trails, very noisy, etc. If you do this hike, it would be best to go early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Also, opt for the “difficult” route. It’s not too tough and it’s much more pleasant/less traveled.

If you have time and energy, go all the way up to the plateau where you see a line of trees below the glacier. It is almost a mile beyond the end of the trail and rigorous climb up the shale but SO worth it! There are two trails to get there. When you get there, you will feel like you’ve stepped into a big secret! It’s a beautiful little forest, with a meadow and a bustling stream with incredible views right beneath the glacier! One of the prettiest destinations I’ve been to on a hike!

Great for meditation

We arrived about 7:30 five days ago and it was wonderful as not many people were there. We felt
like we had the place to ourselves. It was so beautiful. We hiked on to the ink pots. So uphill. We didn’t enjoy as there weren’t really any views and it seem to go on forever. The ink pots were pretty and the Mountain View was pretty, but not really worth it. I guess we’re getting spoiled with the majestic beauty all around us out here!

They are not joking when they describe this trail as heavily used. On the Falls Trail at times it felt like we were dealing with the TSA lines at an airport. Both falls are beautiful. If you want an alpine experience I recommend hiking all the way to the Inkpots - the meadow and stream are beautiful but the Inkpots were a little disappointing. The lower trail is easier because it's paved but still a workout! Getting to the Inkpots involved some very steep terrain so be prepared.

Fairly easy hike with a great view of Canmore, the river, surrounding mountains and of a waterfall! Be prepared for the trail to be wet.

Agree with others that this was a nice, easy trail that had a bit of everything. We arrived around 8:30am and had the trail to ourselves on the way out, did not start seeing people until we were on our way back. Nice way to end our trip to Banff!

15 days ago

Great trail and not very difficult. Views of the glacier and waterfall are well worth it.

An easy and pleasant hike for most of the trail, it let’s you enjoy the beautiful scenery as you hike around Bow Lake.
The last mile was the hardest and in our own personal opinion the falls are the same from afar as up close. So you can easily just stop at the top of the mountain before the rocky terrain starts.
We went late afternoon and barely saw other hikers.

17 days ago

Easy walk- I wouldn’t even call it a hike. I think anyone could do it. Nice forest views and the waterfall at the end was pretty. It’s a trail I would go running on.

17 days ago

great for kids easy hike dogs love do it again soon for sure

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