Explore To Do - 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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Harder than expected! Took us 2.5hrs to reach the peak with breaks. Was a great hike- we are beginners so this one was a great experience! Jaw dropping views at the top! Breathtakingly stunning.

A quick but difficult leg burner. Views at the top are well worth the workout!

9 hours ago

Outstanding hike! The climb up was long but by no means overwhelming. When you reach the top the views are phenomenal. As everyone else has said, definitely do the clockwise route. It makes the end of the day much more enjoyable. Be sure to take bug spray for the way down as the woods are beautiful but swarming with mosquitos. Also bring poles if you have them. We met a couple of people who had turned around because they felt uncomfortable continuing without poles. They definitely help winding your way through the scree. All in all a great day!!

10 hours ago

Best hike I've done in Alberta, by far. As other folks mentionned, you must be prepared to face a good scramble once you're past Sentinel, as lots of loose rocks and steeper sections lay ahead. A climbing helmet and warm clothes are a definitive must, but hell it is worth the spectacular view on top!

Great hike! Definitely a more moderate hike but easy beginner scramble!!

16 hours ago

Great hike with a lot of variety in terrain. Beautiful views, a sort of meadow/grassy area just before the rock and scree on the way to the summit. For the last stretch might be easier to put away hiking poles for the scramble, but poles really help on the way down. Cold and windy at the top so be sure to bring warm layers. We started late and got to top around 1630 hrs. Had some light rain and temperature up there was only 7-8 Celsius.
We went same day as John Harris below, on Saturday July 21 and he describes the traffic jam due to construction just before the trailhead. It is faster when you leave than when arriving but be prepared to wait a while.

17 hours ago

Very nice hike that gets the heart rate going with a solid (not not unreasonable) incline for the first section before opening up in a beautiful valley leading to the lake. Of note are a few very small stream crossings that have good rock placements to help you out and lots of roots that require some attention at the start/end. Trail was quite busy when we visited (Saturday, 11am start) and the parking area was already full but we parked at the viewing spot for Bow Lake right near the entrance to the trailhead. Highly recommend tacking on at least part of the Dolomite Trail that takes you up to a fantastic viewing area above Lake Katherine!

18 hours ago

Awesome hike! It was exactly what I was hoping for. Got there around 12:30 and the crowds were fine. Definitely had plenty of solo time on the path. Took me about 65 mins ascending with long strides and no breaks. I’m in good shape but still got a great workout. Jogged most of the way down. The views at the summit were breathtaking and I managed to get some nice shots on the actual trail. Wear layers because the top was cold and windy but that’s to be expected.

One of the most beautiful scenic hikes! Alpine meadows, wild flowers, waterfalls, burnt forests. Good incline with a fair number of short but steep ascents so definitely not an “easy” hike for those of sedentary or average fitness level - if Johnston Canyon or Grassi Lakes Trail is your baseline for easy, Helen Lake would be moderate to tough. Several groups of hikers we passed to and from the lake warned us of grizzly sightings within 50 feet of the trail in the open meadow portion of the trail so we had to make a lot of noise for the last part of the trail. Bear spray is a must! Also it snowed lightly at the lake so bring warm wind proof layers.

Great hike up East Rundle today. Starts steep through the forest, next are some rock formations that are pretty easy to navigate, watch for the blue markers and cairns. Watch your lines, there are a lot of paths and some are easier than others. Above the tree line you hit the flat, a good place for a refuel before the summit approach. The scree starts early and hits a single switchback before heading the summit. Use the larger rocks on the side of the smooth trail for better footing, same on the decent. After the switchback, I liked the line next to the large wall, decently wide and a few hand holds to steady on. The summit is a wide platform with steep departures off three sides, watch your footing.
Carried a few bars, 3L of water (went through 2), light down jacket (used on summit and back the the flats on the decent), rain shell (didn’t use), battery backup and phone. Had shorts, T-shirt and trail runners on with no problem. Need shoes that have some tread, smooth bottom runners will make the scree portion difficult.

NOTE: One mile before parking lot the road is closed to one lane for construction. There was a timed light on each side of the construction that added ~30min each way.

Up and down in 3:30 at a decent pace. Was at the trailhead at 12 - not ideal as the weather and wind rolled in the last 30min on the decent. Will start much earlier next time.

Went up to the chain section on the way to Ribbon Lake, but could not muster the courage to climb up the chains. The hike to the falls was quite easy, with great views. There and back again took around 5 hours, and was approximately 22km. Really hoping to make it to the lake next time.

1 day ago

Amazing views from the top and great workout. Like others have said the return part can be a bit sketchy in some areas, but taking your time coming down is safe.

Great hike! Take your time up to Nevada falls, things get easier at Little Yosemite Valley... Until Subdome that is. I found Subdome to be more difficult than the cables. It seems like it goes on forever.

Bring good gripping shoes and gloves for the cables! I was at the summit at approximately 9AM, stayed for 15 minutes and encountered lots of hikers on the cables on the way down.

Hiked up via mist trail and down by JMT to lessen the strain on the knees.

Amazing hike, possibly second only to the Panorama-Four mile loop.

2 days ago

Easy hike but sore muscles the day after.

Beautiful views. The trip down is a bit tough on the knees - hiking poles are a must-have.

rock climbing
2 days ago

Most amazing hike I’ve ever done! Be sure to get a hiking permit from the national park website. They have a park ranger at the cables making sure that if you climb to the top, that you have a permit. If you start from half dome village and go to the top of half dome and back down...it’s about 18.5 miles round trip. Prepare yourself.

At least 3 liters of water
Harness with carabiner or some way to clip in to the cables.
Rubber gripped gloves to climb the cables
Extra socks
Gu energy as snacks
Hiking poles are not a must but a HUGE help.

Go slow and drink lots of water. And don’t quit!

3 days ago

Nice stop off of the side of the road if you’re looking for a quick hike. Not as spectacular as the paint pots in Banff but it was nice to see the different color clay soil.

3 days ago

June 30/18 - took the summer trail up, winter trail down. There was still avalanche debris on the summer trail when we were there. Otherwise Trail is clear and dry. Busy trail on the weekends! Great view at the lake. Nice place to stop for lunch.

4 days ago

The trail is very easy to follow and anyone who hikes often could do it easily. The lake is beautiful but if you continue on the trail to the meadow it has a stunning panoramic view of the mountains. Overall a great hike, not too long (about 4 hours round trip) and a beautiful payoff.

4 days ago

Hike of a lifetime! Sure as hell the hardest one I've ever done, but things like this make me want to sleep in a tent the rest of my days. My buddy Huston's watch said 18 miles from our campground 5 minutes from the Mist Trail in Upper Pines. Left at 5 a.m., summited around 12:30, stayed up top for 30, then got down in about 2 hours. 4 of 6 of my party did the cables, not too bad, the stairs beforehand are worse. Just put that body on autopilot, but don't forget to look up or else you might miss it!

4 days ago

Fantastic Hike. We started around 7am and only ran into 2 other people. It was cloudy when we started, but after the first 2,000 feet or so we got above the clouds and the views were incredible. I'd say it was very challenging, but well worth it. Probably my favorite hike at Banff.

Awesome hike on the way up. Steep and challenging, but well worth the trek once you reach the top. The only issue I had with this hike was on the way down. What looked to be a path was definitely NOT one. It led me off trail and into the forest for some bushwhacking. Luckily, I managed to get to a road and found myself a couple of kilometres from the EEOR parking lot. Important note: as you are descending, stay left!

Gorgeous views! Steep inclines but so worth it. We only went up a tad farther than the helipad as we started late and were running out of time. Well marked and easy to locate the trail.

This trail is a little on the difficult side because of the incline (or decline) of the trail. For the majority of the trail you are going 3 feet forward, 1 foot up in elevation. it is a very rewarding hike with absolutely beautiful views. at the top, someone has left a Canadian flag and Alberta Flag - it is great.

If you are fit and acclimatized to the the elevation, you should be able to get up and back in 1'45" to 2 hours. If you are taking your time, I would count on it being a 3 hour hike.

Worth all of the effort.

Great hike. The trail is a bit different from the trail map. Park service has changed the trail to first intersect with high Rockies trail. On the way up - turn left. Next trail head turn left. Up the trail there’s a bridge to the right. If you want to see the waterfall keep going straight. It’s a bit narrow, but definitely worth it. Going back, cross the stream and go the other way down (there’s a sign for cross country skiing). At the first trailhead turn left and right on the second trailhead- going down. Have fun - the waterfalls are worth the hike.

5 days ago

A bit of snow to contend with that's turning into slush as the temperature goes up in the afternoon. Great hike and so much fun.

5 days ago

What an excellent hike and overall experience! The hard work is certainly paid off with the views at the top.

We started the day at 3:45am from Upper Pines campground. We reached the cables around 9am and the summit at 9:30. Starting early is the best advice we received as there were only a handful of people on the cables and a dozen or so at the top. Traffic on the sub-dome had picked up considerably by the time we were descending. We returned to camp at 3:15 with plenty of time for a soak in the mighty Merced River alongside camp to assist in recovery!

Start early, bring ample water and food and enjoy the hike! 55,000 steps on the pedometer for the day...

This is a great trail run or walk. Although the views on the trail aren't really remarkable given the location, the views from the top are unforgettable.
For a 1-2 hour run/walk, you couldn't choose a more convenient one with such great views. Also, there is a $35 buffet at one of the restaurants at the top in-case you need to fill up on energy.

Be sure to bring your own water or water bottle as the bottles at the base are sold for $3.

As an even better end to most hikes, you can go to the hot springs which are located at the foot of the trail. Bring your swimsuit and leave it in your vehicle!


Yup yyyyytt

Great views. Would rate this trail as difficult with how steep it is, the scree and the length. Just my opinion!

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