Explore Glacier/Banff 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Glacier/Banff 2017 Map
VIEW FULL MAP

this was one of my favorite trails!

A decent little hike if you want to get away from the crowds at Lake Agnes. Incredible views of Lake Louise and if you want, you can get a pic of mirror lake and lake Louise in the same frame. Just watch your step.

walking
1 day 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.

My favorite hike! Push yourself to get to the top! I was nervous about doing the switchback at the end because it looked steep with loose stones but I went up anyway and the views were incredible, so happy I did.

most beautiful trail i have ever done!! it is long and gorgeous the entire way. you hike along the hill side, and end up at a warming house! it hailed and snowed on our hike, but id do it again in a heart beat! it was so fun. check the shuttle time at end of trail, so you don't have to walk miles back to parking lot!

hiking
8 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!

hiking
9 days ago

We did this hike in early May and it was probably our favorite hike of the trip. Take it all the way to the top--you won't regret it!! The beginning is busy and pretty heavily trafficked but it thins out as you continue onward. Have fun!!

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!

Heavily trafficked and somewhat touristy for my taste, but still neat to see. Not too challenging, it's a paved walking trail. I went in warmer weather so can't speak to the experience in winter. Enjoy!

Very busy trail in January. Would recommend winter boots and mircospikes. Not a difficult trail but very beautiful in the winter.

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.

Johnston Canyon is a gorgeous canyon hike with beautiful scenery. I hiked here in July 2017.

I arrived to the parking lot along the Bow Valley Parkway early in the morning at around 7:30 am and was one of the first cars there. The drive from the town of Banff to the trailhead took around 30 minutes. The trail began along a paved pathway on a slight incline through the forest alongside the deep canyon. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous and there were plenty of amazing photo opportunities. There were some sections of the trail which followed along sturdy but narrow metal catwalks attached to the rock cliffs on the side of the canyon, which was fun.

At the 1.2 km mark, I arrived at the Lower Falls. There was a wooden bridge which crossed the canyon and river underneath from the main trail leading to a small cave in the rocks on the other side. The tunnel through the cave was narrow and dark to walk through but at the end, there was an opening which was directly in front of the powerful waterfall and provided a unique vantage point. Be prepared to get wet! The Lower Falls were so beautiful and there were fantastic views from along the bridge and from the main trail as well.

The trail became slightly more difficult between the Lower and Upper Falls, as it climbed more steadily along a moderate incline and continued through the forest and along catwalks, but was still completely manageable and would not be challenging at all for someone of average fitness. There were lots of small waterfalls to see in the canyon on this portion of the hike and many great viewpoints overlooking the canyon.

Shortly before reaching the Upper Falls, there was a well beaten but unmarked pathway stemming off from the main trail which I decided to follow as it led down a steep hill and into the bottom of the rocky canyon. There was a massive cave where I found stunning views of a very strange and uniquely shaped large rock in the canyon with a waterfall flowing on one side of it and a variety of lush mosses and trees growing on top of it. There were a few other people (mostly photographers) but once they cleared out, I had this whole place to myself. It was such an amazing place to photograph and a fantastic discovery! If you have time, I recommend stopping here.

At 2.4 km from the trailhead, I came to the Upper Falls. The falls weren’t visible from the main trail but a metal catwalk led over the canyon and ended at a small platform near the base of these gorgeous tall waterfalls as they fell over the edge of a cliff. The rocks along the side of the canyon beside the waterfall were also very interesting as they had such a smooth appearance and a swirl of brown and beige colours.

You can continue along the main trail past the Upper Falls on a short and steep climb to another viewpoint at the top of the waterfalls, which provided a unique perspective overlooking the gorge and the falls. The landscape was so beautiful from this area! From this point, I continued hiking another 3 km to the Ink Pots which made for a full half-day hike and they were amazing to see.

The trail was very congested, single file and slow going as I hiked back to the parking lot from the Ink Pots at around 11 am which made me very glad that I had arrived early.

Johnston Canyon gets incredibly crowded during the summer months and is one of the busiest hikes in the Banff area. I highly recommend getting there early in the morning in order to beat the crowds and enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Even though it is extremely popular, this hike is definitely a must-visit and both the Lower and Upper Falls are worth seeing. Remember to bring a camera to capture the amazing scenery and take advantage of the many wonderful photo opportunities, as well as water and snacks. There are modern washrooms in the parking lot at the beginning of the trail and wooden benches along the pathway to stop. It should take between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete the hike to and from the Upper Falls.

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 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.

Easy hike! beautiful view at the end and a fun place to swim or cool off. Young or old this is a good hike for everyone.

Gorgeous lake. Nice hike.

snowshoeing
13 days ago

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

16 days ago

The most constant stunning views of any hike I have ever completed. Hiked in August 2017 so the park was filled with smoke from the fires, but this hike offered stunning views along the ridge. Also offered a bit of adrenaline walking along a ridge with a drop that would not be very survivable. Overall would highly recommend and will surely hike again.

16 days ago

Hiked this last August while most of the park was closed from fire damage and smoke. Great reward at the end and saw 3 moose along the way, including a 22 point bull that walked across the trail about 25 feet in front of us.

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.

17 days ago

My favorite hike of all time. Cannot begin to describe the views. If you go to GNP in July or August, there's a good chance the trail will be open as it depends on how much snow needs to be cleared. If you time it right, you can do some of the hike with a ranger, who will fill you in on details about the park you may not otherwise know. It is very steep, with a few dangerous drop offs, but there is a handrail when the trail narrows. If you have the time, you can hike to one of the chalets. Keep your eyes out for the garden wall, so beautiful.

Amazing views of the lake, with peaks above you and waterfalls galore.. Very crowded with people in the summer months. Went with a group, which is recommended as to not have to try and figure out the bear spray.

This is one of my favorite “easy” hikes in the Banff area. It isn’t complicated at any point, doesn’t have much in the way of elevation gain, and leads to some spectacular views. Make sure you have bear spray. While I’ve never seen any, I’ve been warned there is a female grizzly that likes to forage in the area, and I’ve seen multiple black bears just down the road.

Depending on the time of the year, you may need to scramble over some snow and downed trees in the initial trail, and then spend some caution crossing slippery stones in a creek about a third of the way. There is a slight rise in ground when you get to the canyon, but it’s quick and easy with stairs to help you along. Finally you descend into the valley beneath the falls, and, again, depending upon time of year, can get pretty close to the waterfall. It’s not a long hike, and definitely worth the views. What I really want to do is find the path that takes you to the tarn that’s feeding the falls, and the incredible view of the ice field beyond!

Been to lower falls many times. Spikes are needed at this time of years. I would rate this hike moderate not easy at this time of year. Go the extra bit to the lookout.

A nice trail, not terribly hard but will be very busy during the summer months. Plan to get an early start if you want a quiet trail because it’s popular with families

hiking
19 days ago

Hiked September 2017. While smoke obscured our views, this was a great first hike in Glacier NP.

Absolutely stunning scenery, such as frozen waterfalls. Easy to walk even in the winter, regular winter shoes are sufficient for the trail. Well maintained. Saw ice rock climbers at the Upper Fall. Really interesting hike and elegant canyon!

Load More