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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hiking
8 hours ago

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.

Had a great time exploring this hike! Fun to walk the frozen stream if you’ve got spikes on. Can’t wait to see it in the summer.

hiking
2 days ago

Completed the trail yesterday on a perfect sunny Saturday. Tons of snow all the way up and we lost our way several times because very few people had done the trail since the last snowfall, but we were able to manage, even over the boulder field. The views though were worth the slog through the snow! We did eventually turn back just short of the peak because our boots and socks were completely drenched from the sometimes knee-deep snow (may want to bring snowshoes, although would be extremely cumbersome through a lot of the trail). We will definitely have to do it again in the summer!

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.

on Sulphur Mountain Trail

hiking
6 days ago

We hiked this trail in early June 2018 and, in the last 25% of the trail, there were snow and icy patches. Allow 1.5-2 hours one way up if you're reasonably fit and have good shoes, and 2-3 hours if less so.

This is an extremely rewarding hike through a shaded switchback dirt trail that will reward you with an even more breathtaking view all along the summit ridge! Amazing! Throughout the climb, we found plenty of openings through the trees to enjoy the view of Banff below.

Some parts do get steep as you near the summit. I would highly recommend hiking shoes with good traction and hiking poles, especially if there are chances of snow and icy patches. I would advise checking the weather the night before before hiking, especially if you have limited hiking experience or are with children and the elderly. It can prove challenging and bit scary when things get slippery.

Gorgeous trail, will be trying it again when the snow melts! We made it a bit past the party summit but turned back when the slippery snowy/muddy slope hit some exposure (wayyy too dangerous for my liking). Still a beautiful hike/easy scramble up to that point -- loved it!

hiking
7 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!

Did this hike in early July. The view is absolutely worth the trek. But it did get sketchy in some areas during the scramble. If you’re afraid of heights, I’d stay away from this one because you’re walking on a pretty narrow path on the side of the mountain for a little while

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.

Summited on Jan 1st. Incredible views all the way up, challenging steady elevation, fun scrambling, spikes necessary. Trail is still clearly defined.

Want to save yourself 65$? Skip the gondola and hike up (if you’re like me though and very out of shape be prepared for a tough one). All up hill but once you get to the top you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment.. especially when you look around and see all the suckers who paid way to much to get to the top!

Did this trek on Dec 28, 2018. The views on the way up and at the top are insane and totally worth the effort up there! The top third of the trail has a lot of loose rocks and a mix of fresh and packed snow. Do not try this without spikes!!! The very top is a scramble with loose rock so be careful! It also drops at least 20 degrees between the top and the last 50 feet so make sure you camera is easily accessible ... you’re going to want your warmest gloves for this one!

hiking
18 days ago

A great short hike. I definitely encourage hiking crampons rather than city/daily ice spikes.

Breathtaking view on the top

I just hiked the backside from the trail head near Sundance Canyon. I walked from downtown Banff, so it was about 6.5 miles total to the summit. I wish I’d had snowshoes in a few places because the snow was soft and nearly knew deep when I broke through in a few places. This was my first hike in the snow, so I’m not sure how to rate it, but it seemed about twice as hard at Tunnel Mountain which I did yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful!!!!

Completed this trail on Dec 19/2018. Navigating the boulder field in the snow was definitely the most challenging part. With all of the rocks covered in a layer of snow, very hard to tell where to step so progress was slow. I wish I read the other reviews prior to leaving, then we would have known to stay right.

Once we made it past the boulder field, the rest was fairly easy. Staying on trail was a touch challenging due to the fresh snow and no clear trail, but we found our way to the top.

The trail wasn’t icy, just covered with loose snow. However microspikes are still necessary for this time of year.

the direct route is in the trees most of the way and steep. the Northwest is definitely the way to go.

Wear good hiking shoes and bring poles if you're planning on going up on the ridge. I hiked this back in September when it was raining/snowing. I tried to make it up on the ridge, but it was way too slippery and dangerous without poles. Rawson Lake is beautiful though so it was still worth the hike.

Well compacted snow trail. Good workout, awesome views at the top. $22 all you can eat and drink buffet with a free gondola ride down. Ideal.

Cute cave to enjoy a drink.

Pretty steep and lots of scree but what an amazing view from the ridge line!! Now that it's more winter recommend bringing spikes, making sure to stay on trail and walking poles for sure!

December 10, 2018.

Rating: I find All Trails is often rating hikes more difficult than they actually are. This is not the case. This is a hard, steep hike, with a lot of elevation gain. There are some switch backs, but a lot is just straight up on bare or loose rock. (Currently dashed in snow)

Route: We took the Grotto Trail Hard Route up, as suggested by research; but then back down that route as well, as it was too windy to feel comfortable on the traverse. However, we got lost on our way up...and our way down. There are so many trails that branch out, you actually need to be constantly checking. And trust me, when I say don’t “bushwhack”, just go back and find the proper trail. I did find the trials hard to follow, probably due to snow coverage and no human tracks. There is flagging tape, which did help tremendously. Thanks to whoever placed those! But overall, hard to follow. And yes. There are times that you are walking alongside the cliffs, but not to the point that I personally find frightful. You can chose to stay further off the cliff side.

Conditions: Being a south facing hike with constant sunshine, there was minimal snow. But, it is still mid December on a mountain...There were sections that there was deep pockets of snow, (like knee height) but for the most part, easy to avoid. Today it was mostly cloudy with no issues in visibility, however it was insanely windy, to the point we just weren’t comfortable doing to loop.

Gear: Poles and spikes were more hindrance than help today. We did initially have our spikes on, but elected to take them off pretty quick. Poles were mostly just being dragged as it was steep and bare rock for the second 2/3 of the hike up.

Time: Reviews are saying 6-7 hours. I mean, yah, I’m sure that’s doable. However, our slow asses too 6 hours up, 5 hours down. Total of approximately 14km and 20,000 steps as per our Fitbit/Apple watch. Keeping in mind we do some adventuring. We did go off the trail and did go down the wrong trails several times. We did also take several breaks to just enjoy where we were. Hiked from before sunrise to after sunset. But the stars were beautiful.

***All and all, beautiful hike. Definitely would recommend. I will absolutely do it again in hopes to find a day with less wind.***

completed yesterday, don't go without micro spikes or crampons, pretty slippery but also very doable.amd rewarding. if you wear proper snow gear then it's not very cold at the top!

hiking
1 month ago

Decent hike once you get past the factories.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful the whole way up. Not too hard. Took me an hour and a half to get to the top.

Amazing!!! Great place to train! Took us approximately 1-1:10hr fairly easy pace. Amazing in winter!

Bring your bear spray. Proper hiking boots and attire make the hike nice. It could be done in regular runners. (I saw a lady hiking in flat shoes - she was not pleased with her shoe choice. The view at Rawson Lake was worth it from what she said!) Lot's of snow.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Beautiful trail that was quite well maintained. Used micro spikes for the most part and glad we brought our snowshoes to complete the final 500-700m as there was a good foot of snow.

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