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
2 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.

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.

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.

Love this trail. GREAT HIKE FOR BEGINNERS who don't want to scramble but still want a good challenge

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!

Decent little walk, a nice place to pull off the highways and stretch the legs. Plus there are picnic tables and washrooms, but be prepared to pay, this stop is in a National Park and park fees are required. Giant Cedars maybe an overstatement, especially when you come from West coast.

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.

trail running
5 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 :)

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!

What a great trail! My favourite hike so far.

So convenient from Canmore, but a respectable hike. Great views without all that much effort. The "more difficult" trail could be pretty dicey if there's ice.

Snowy but the view at the end is amazing. If you climb up, you can take the gondola down for free after 5pm during winter.

Snowy and icy! Bring your spikes for the hike and you’re good to go!

Favourite lake in Banff!! ❤️

Ohh Devils Thumb, what can I say. The most challenging thing physically and mentally I’ve ever done! Also the most rewarding! My husband and I set out on this adventure for our 4th year wedding anniversary. We were definitely a little naive, this hike is no stroll in the park. Watch your footing and keep to the right. Unbelievable view from the top! This was the first mountain we’ve ever climbed. From start to finish approx 9 hours (with lots of breaks) and we have no experience. Definitely the highlight of our trip!

Great first hike heading into Banff. Beautiful views and waterfall was amazing too.

Hiked on Oct 9. The trail was snowy for the most part. Great hike overall! The clouds were overcast, but I still saw the beautiful views at the top. Prepare for more intense path inclines as you approach the summit.

Did this at sunrise. Lost the trail on the way up. Got the what we thought was a fork and went left, should have stayed right. It was so dark when we started i only saw 1 blue square the way up. Saw them all the way down.

Beautiful views (until the clouds came in and our heads were literally in the clouds :) ) lovely hike - very cold at the weather station when we went up. The hike is a steady climb with great reward. So much snow up there already.

hiking
11 days ago

This is a very easy trail that is paved most of the way with handrails! The waterfalls are beautiful - however this is such a well know place make sure to get up super early to beat lots of crowds or try going during the week.

Easy hike but we had spikes and we were happy we did as many people were slipping on the way down. Second lake is closed but it’s still worth seeing the first. A good hike to start with!

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