Explore Banff October - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Banff October Map
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Loved this hike! Falls were breathtaking. Started mid morning and passed a few people on route going to and from- shared the falls with only one other couple. If you’re in the area, this hike is a must!

5 starts for the lake itself but too crowded for my liking.

Did the 10km hike from emerald lake through the snow, it was not easy but well worth it .

hiking
14 days ago

Even on an overcast day the trail afforded very nice views, especially from the southern bend of Emerald Lake. I extended the hike over Yoho Pass (nothing special) and continued to Yoho Lake (isolated and very pretty) before turning back. Unless you really enjoy a long uphill in increasingly deep snow the work/view tradeoff for heading out to Yoho Lake probably isn't worth the effort at this point in the season.

walking
15 days ago

Hiked today the trail was icy in spots after the early snows. The trail was muddy in other spots, but passable. There are numerous spots to take pictures of the scenery.

Very pretty view of Peyto Lake right after the snow storm. Please wear the proper gear as we saw people slipping all over the place. Take the trek up to the left to view beautiful snow covered forests.

hiking
18 days ago

Super easy walk to a spectacular view. Could see it being really busy on a nice day

The view is a 5 star, but the crowd is a 1. It's a steep incline up and today when we went it was a little slick from snowfall. The view was beautiful and it's short walk to get to. However, the tourist were rude and it was elbow to elbow on the lookout. The best views are if you escape the crowd just a little going beyond the lookout platforms to the right and take photos with no one rushing you and even better views...this will require a slight adventure but nothing that was difficult to do.

This hike was a pleasant surprise. After having hiked the Plain of 6 Glaciers the day before, I would definitely rate this as an easy hike. Most of the hike is level and you will question if you are getting to the top of a mountain due to the ease of the hike. However, you'll know when you've hit the hardest part which is the steep incline of steps hiking up. Once you get to the top to see the falls, it's not a close up view of the falls so I wouldn't rate the view as spectacular. Having said that though, the hike was still beautiful and there were hardly any people crowding the hiking trail. Definitely a hike to do for the views of the lake and flowing glacier water. Total hike can take less than 3 hours and we had plenty of parking at 9:15am.

Heavily trafficed is an understatement! It is basically a narrow paved trail the entire way where you are weaving in and out of tourists walking at turtle pace like they do not have the entire Canadian Rockies to explore! Once you actually get to the lookout, you cannot get a single good picture because someone else is always there. I don't think I need to see this lake again, but was glad I braved the crowd to at least see it once in person.

hiking
21 days ago

Completed Wilcox Pass on Sept 23, 2018 on the way to Jasper. Fantastic Hike, well worth the stop! great rewarding family hike if you want a bit of a challenge too. You’re at high altitude so slow and steady wins the race! Completed in about 3 hours with plenty of stops to take pictures.

Well maintained switchback trail, once you pass the red Muskoka chairs the trail thins out but is still easily identifiable. We also saw the Herd of big horn sheep! Stopped once we reached the pass — noticed quite a few folks pushing further up (set aside 4-6 hours depending on your skill level for that.

We reached the pass where the tundra opened up and the views were breathtaking. Seeing the glacier on one side and an open tundra on the other is like no other! We even found a Geocash! So cool!

hiking
28 days ago

We just did the hike around the lake as had a stroller and three year old in tow. Was beautiful and very quiet; we only saw a handful of people the whole way round even though there were a lot of tourists in the parking lot and on the bridge at the beginning taking photos.

Short, Steep hike up the road from where the cars parked. Buses were allowed all the way up. Crazy, pushy tourists crowded onto the icy trail from the buses to the view of Peyto Lake.

hiking
30 days ago

A short hike, most of which is pretty easy going. The first part of the trail is pretty boring but the falls make up for it. Suitable for all levels including kids.

1 month ago

Great hike with awesome views

Hike to the basin. Totally worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Gave it a 3 because it was so snowy/cloudy/foggy that we couldn’t even see the water. Trail was snow/ice covered and very slippery. Definitely not worth the drive when it is snowing as the roads were snow covered with sheer drop offs with very few guard rails. People were driving with their flashers on and cars/buses were backed up (ie, at a stand still) trying to get up the mountain road. Cars were turning around to go back to Banff on a very narrow mountain road with curves and very limited visibility. We made it to The Crossing, spent the night, and with more snow being forecasted decided not to continue onto Jasper, but to go back to Banff. Disappointing.

on Emerald Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Really great trail! Parking lot is small so we had to park on side of the road but wasn’t too far. I took my 7 and 4 year old kids with me. We didn’t do the uphill part, but we did the trail that takes you all around the lake. It was 7.5 km and took us 2 hrs with stops for the kids to play by the lake, which you could do at 3 or 4 spots where the trail levels out to the lake. Easy walk, no major steep sections. Muddy in some parts, for sure. Lots of great views. Many people come to get a glimpse of the lake but few do the trail, making it relatively quiet along the way. Highly recommended.

Beautiful view! Saw the fox outline and mountains surrounding it so clearly. 12/10 would recommend.

walking
1 month ago

A short walk on a paved path to a great view of the tall, spectacular falls. Crowded parking lot and walkway.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this one last Saturday starting around 9 AM. We got there early and had a chance to explore the pass before the weather clouded over and rain arrived. A moderate switchbacked trail approach to the tree line and then a pleasant uphill walk among alpine tundra to the pass. We encountered a small group of bighorn sheep just off the trail that were wary but undeterred by our presence as they grazed among the rocks. The views seems to go on for miles and we walked along the faint trail beyond the pass marker for about a mile before the winds prompted us to turn back. At 7700 ft. it’s cold and windy but worth it. The views remind one of the Scottish Highlands and are otherworldly given the minimal effort expended to reach them. There is a side trail to an overlook of the Athabasca Glacier from the pass that we opted not to explore given the awesome views of the Columbia Icefield leading up the trail.

I didn’t find Takakkaw Falls really great. There were so many tourists around and climbing on the falls that it was hard to enjoy. I wouldn’t go again.

Hiking to Laughing Falls (approx 6-7 km round trip) was much more satisfactory in my opinion, with gorgeous falls at the end and a couple small falls and a lake on the route. Highly enjoyable easy trek.

hiking
1 month ago

A short and easy hike. Not many hikes give you such a great reward at the end!

Be prepared to get drenched with spray if you get anywhere near the falls (I did it on a cold day, luckily the hike back isn’t long!)

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.

One of the most scenic routes of the world!
Definitely worth stopping at several lakes or view points like Bow lake, Peyto lake and many other small lakes.

Lovely trail thru the forest. On different trails you can see many other small waterfalls !

Great hike along the lake !

Such a marvelous lake !

1 month ago

Really enjoyed this one! So many interesting views, and we saw a large herd of bighorn sheep which was a bonus. It was pretty busy on a Friday afternoon, but everyone was polite.

Those not looking for a big hike can stop halfway at the red Adirondack chairs looking out over the Athabasca Glacier, but the meadow up toward the top is absolutely stunning and worth seeing!

There’s a steady incline with some rocky portions, but not a tough hike by any means. We saw lots of different age groups (and a few dogs) up there.

Don’t miss this one!

We went late afternoon and it was very crowded! A lot of buses and tourists ! We were a bit disapointed but we walked the main trail anyway and took a trail away from the main path after the belvedere! What a good choice we made !! The view is much more impressive! And you can appreciate your moment without having thousands of tourists behind your back ! My advice: take the small trail after the belvedere!

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