Explore future hikes - 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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Can anyone tell me if you need a park pass for this trail? Will delete this after I possibly get a response :) thank you!!

Strenuous but amazing hike with great panoramic views, especially at the top. First hour of switchbacks is the toughest part followed by a lovely walk through the Larch Valley. Take your time going up the final section and you’ll be rewarded with jaw dropping views at the top of the pass.

Amazing reward for a hike that doesn’t take very long. Took about 2.5 hours to ascend at a brisk pace. 1.5 hours coming back. The views from the top are incredible.

Incredible hike, well worth the final push! The view of the valley is near unparalleled. Bring lots of water and be prepared for the attack of the black flies. Also, be prepared the smoke and haze will likely obscure some of your view in the late summer due to wildfires.

beautiful and scenic, easy strolling. what emerald glow!

Absolutely stunning! We had to walk on a snow-covered ridge for about 20 minutes and I didn't have my hiking boots but regular trail shoes. The view above is breathtaking.

13 days ago

One of the most amazing views I've ever seen. Not only do you get to see bits of Moraine Lake with the gorgeous blue water, but if you can make it to the top you will not regret it. The hike itself is very steep, but it is well worth the struggle in the end.

Amazing hike with stunning views. We did it in September, it snowed for a little bit but didn’t discourage us, unforgettable experience! Trekking poles recommended.

Fabulous views from the Pass well worth the effort.

Epic hike. The views are stunning.

Took us about 2 hours there and 1.5 on the way back. Switchbacks are indeed exhausting, but the views are worth it. Make sure to leave early in the morning so you get a parking spot or you’ll have to wait around. Overall great hike!!

17 days ago

What an exquisitely beautiful hike!! Every step of the way. If you want to complete this hike before noon you must get here very early. Got here at 5:30 am and at least 100 cars already. Many wonderful trails all around this area so the lot fills fast. The steepest grind is at the beginning and end. Larch Valley is a gorgeous break. Poles would have been helpful on the descent. We are well into our 50s but completed it in about 5 hours with many stops to savor the views. Stunning hike.

Amazing views, especially in the fall with yellow larch trees. My favourite hike so far!

This is a nice easy trail around the lake. It goes through a very damp dense forest into a big opening and around the other side of the lake is pretty sunny. We use this as a nice 5 km stretching our legs for a big hike tomorrow. Go early as it gets very crowded. Emerald Lake was a beautiful Clay see you awake the colors are gorgeous and if you go before the crowds and canoeing starts the lake is like glass and you can catch the mountains reflections

on Emerald Lake Trail

21 days ago

This review is only for the “hike” around the lake. I put hike in quotations because it’s more of a stroll. Beautiful stroll through. If you want to enjoy a fairly easy hike, this will do it. It’s about 50/50 in terms of shade/exposed. Emerald Lake is really a sight to see - gorgeous water and towering Canadian Rockies. I went mid July, late morning and the weather was fine. Rained a little, but nothing to write home about. Recommend getting to the lake as early as you can - parking fills up quick (at least during the summer season).

22 days ago

Emerald Lake is phenomenally beautiful. The walk around the lake is basically flat and a very enjoyable stroll. We continued on to the basin, which honestly wasn’t really worth the trip. The streams at the top were fun to dip your feet in, but the views are much better on the other trails we’ve done during our week in Canada.

Fantastic hike. Truly a mix of all the Rockies has to offer. A glacial lake, a pine forest, waterfalls, streams and a glacier. Can’t go wrong. Lost almost all the tourists by the time we turned off toward the basin. Saw a few folks on the way. Very quiet around the back rim of the lake. It is crowded, but parking does open up as most people don’t stay too long and there’s parking along the road in. Arrived around 1pm and found a spot quickly.

Amazing views, worth the efforts to make it to the top of the pass. Switch backs aren’t as hard as the appear when you first see them from the valley! Stunning hike.

Very nice hike. The only difficult part is the final set of switchbacks (which look worse from the bottom than they really are) otherwise it is an easy moderate trail. We started early, 6:15am due to lack of parking, and only encountered a couple people at the top of the pass. By the time we started back the trail became very crowded.

Our best hike so far in the region. If you have a good cardio, this trail is moderate. The views from the plateau after the first steep portion are gorgeous. Start early if you want to enjoy summit. When we left summit, it began to be really crowdy. Definitely a must in the region!

Fantastic gem! 11 km hike in if you don’t get a bus pass, 3 months in advance.

26 days ago

The emarald color of the lake is incredible. Trail is mostly flat around the lake and little step at the end to see the lake from above

I think this was my husband and I’s favorite hike in Banff! It is definitely hard but worth it! Lots of switchbacks right out the get-go! The trailhead is very well marked though, after you complete the initial switchbacks a decent amount of progressive flatland allows for a nice breather. The trailhead starts out easy with gorgeous views of the glaciers and a wide open valley. Once you are done with the flatlands you will start to see the large mountain you are about to ascend straight ahead, with lots of steep switchbacks and some snow covered patches where you will need to take your time. Don’t let that intimidate you, the views are worth it! A must-do when visiting Lake Moraine.

My favourite trail in the Fall. Amazing colours in larch valley, breathtaking view on the top. Hike is rated as hard, but my 9 year old son made it to the top :)

Amazing views! It goes steady uphill but not very step at all. The first part goes in Switchbacks through the forest where you can see small parts of the lake (beautiful couloir!). The trail through the Larch Valley must be incredible in autumn. The Pass itself is not very long, you have to cross a little snowfield (21.07.2018) - no worries it’s easy! Amazing views from the top to the 10 Peaks & Paradise Valley.
It is very cold and windy, especially at the top. So bring warm clothes with you & maybe a Tshirt to change. It takes us only 1hour 45min to get up, downhill is a little bit faster. Nice half day hike!

The first part of the hike, around the lake, was very easy and flat. We actually saw a moose and her two babies swimming here, very cool. I highly recommend extending the hike to get all the way up to Emerald Basin. The hike is moderate, and very secluded, great chance to escape the crowds. Don’t be alarmed by the initial steep start, it flatter out after about 30 minutes. The view from the top does not display the lake, although it is still incredible and serene. I liked Emerald Lake better than Lake Louise, personally.

Awesome hike, very worth the views.

Incredible hike, it has everything from peak-a-boo views of Moraine Lake through the forest, beautiful 360 views of 10-peaks range in Larch Valley and breathtaking mountain views at the top, snow melt lakes and streams - it has it all. The switchbacks up to Larch Valley are a killer but keep going past the tree line and the views are well worth it - even if you don’t make it up to the top of the pass the meadow is incredible . The final switchbacks up to Sentinel Pass weren’t too bad although it is quite steep along the side and may prove a good challenge if heights make you nervous. Trail was very well maintained though and as long as you have good hiking shoes and take your time you will have no problems. Favorite hike in Banff thus far and spending a day near Moraine Lake is a must do!

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