Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Banff National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

snowshoeing
6 days ago

Soloed this trail to the ACC's Bow Hut in snowshoes back in May 2018. Snow conditions were soft and patchy. Definitely needed the snowshoes but skis were not an option at all. A lot of back and forth between snowshoes on and off. I had to traverse several avalanche slides and one rock slide. Difficult to maintain the actual trail at many times but still made it to the hut in a decent amount of time. Ultimately, blue bird skies made for a warm and enjiyable trek. Highly recommended in summer, fall and winter though, not so much in the spring!

IG @ml.explores The part of the hike through Sentinel Pass was phenomenal! It was a long hike with much elevation change but it's one of my favourite hikes of all time--so much to see at all points.

The view of the lake is spectacular...I was lucky to take some nice photos in a sunny-cloudy day. Make sure to stop after the bridge to view the lake kind of from the top (good for photo shooting). You will feel the spirits of Minnewanka! :)

Great shoulder season hike. Gets steeper as you get close to the lake. Managed to do Harvey Pass as well but it is challenging with the snow. Make sure you are prepared if you go past Bourgeau Lake.

Excellent hike. One of my favorites

hiking
1 month ago

Didn't end up doing the entire trail. We only got to the bridge (Steward Canyon). I'd reckon it about a 2 km in (at most) to the wooden bridge and then back. I went with older parents with bad knees and they were able to do it. Pretty easy up to that point. Nice views of the lake. We ran into about 10 people (one couple hiking with 2 young children and 2 mountain bikers) on the trail on a Friday morning around 8 am.

hiking
1 month ago

4 out of 5 because of the very long time spent in the forest, which by all means is nice, but is also the majority of the hike. Totally worth it, though. Great views at the pass and very pretty. Definitely wouldn’t rate this as hard by any means, so long as you have the endurance to do the length of the trail. The elevation gain is very gradual. No steep sections or ridges to negotiate.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail on October 20th. Conditions were very icy in the morning (micro spikes / cleats highly recommended) but as the day warmed up things began to thaw (pretty muddy and slushy). Beautiful views and still a good time to see some larches. We saw some bear tracks while still in the forest but did not see any bears.

backpacking
1 month ago

I would recommend crampons and poles, be mindful of avalanches this time of the year as well. Expect to be breaking trail if you do the whole loop. View from Skoki Mountain is definitely worth the effort.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a beautiful and not super challenging hike. I’d like to go again on a day where it wasn’t too cold and pouring rain, but what can you do! The weather is the only reason I’m giving it a 3/5. I’m sure there’s a beautiful vista we could have looked out over had it not been grey-out from the rain. Also a squirrel tried to drink my beer. Minus one star for the thief squirrel.

Completed on the 16th of October. The initial 5-6kms of forrest is nothing special. However, once you break out into the meadows you get some spectacular views! They make it worthwhile.
The trail is covered in snow/ice at this time of year. Cleats were a big help.

hi folks is it possible to hike all of these rookies summit in winter too?

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice trail despite the snow. Colors are still amazing! I’d rate this trail as moderate as the ascension was kinda smooth.

Very easy to access and clearly marked. A well-trodden path that could easily accommodate groups, kids, or dogs. We hiked this in the fall, so the upper 1/3 was icy with snow across the path, would recommend boots with good grip and potentially hiking poles for the slippery descent with the fall ice and light snow. Great views and fantastic fall colours

Some beautiful vistas and well worth the hike in the fall time. Colours at the peak are brilliant, but pushing on to the lake is worth the extra effort. Trail is really well marked and maintained. The second section to Egypt is a bigger elevation gain/loss, but with time and good company this is a fantastic fall hike

It was a fantastic day to get out and enjoy the hike to Lake Annette and then on to the Giant steps. There’s been a fair bit of snow so things were muddy and icy in areas but it definitely eliminated any tourist traffic. I only ran into 7 people on my way out. The majority of the trail along paradise creek is fairly low angle and in good condition. I took some video of the falls but can’t seem to get the uploaded. Loved the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I wouldn’t grade this hike as difficult. It’s a gradual up and down through forests and meadows. It’s beautiful. We started at the Sunshine parking lot and hiked to Healy Pass - Egypt Lake - back up to Healy Pass - Simpson Pass - Sunshine Village. For this hike we planned to hike to Healy Pass, and see how we felt and decide where to go from there. We just kept exploring and wandering and in the end hiked 24km in total. It was endless views and a fun day. We hitched a ride from half way down the service road by three friendly gentlemen. That made our day! The Sunshine shuttle wasn’t dog friendly. Quite disappointing. It was a very long day. I wouldn’t recommend what we did. It was too long of a day. Doing it once was enough for me. Another fun adventure tho!

We did this as part of a Loop : parked midway up Moraine lake road at the Paradise Valley parking lot (first we dropped off bicycles at Moraine Lake). We hiked paradise valley to Sentinel Pass, then over the pass and Larch valley to Moraine lake road. Then we biked back to the car. It was about 21km of hiking and 950m elevation but it was just gorgeous! Paradise Valley in particular was breathtaking. We had our dog with us and she made it, but the climb over the pass was very strenuous and I wouldn’t have taken her had I realized how much snow/rocks we’d have to climb over - it was ALMOST too much for those 4 little legs.

2 months ago

I was with Shahram and confirm it can be done in one day though little bit difficult. One of the best hikes I've ever done and will do in the future.
Lots of water on the trail can be used if having either filter or pills.
There are few campsites for those who want to enjoy more.
On the way back I recommend to follow the route Shahram recorded as the meadow was beautiful and quite. My phone crashed so I could not complete my recordings.

The beautiful colors of the lake really look gorgeous

Very nice hike. Forest hike, pretty lakes, and good climb to the pass.

We did this hike today with the most amazing weather. Once you get to Borgeau lake take a snack break and keep going to Harvey pass, we loved the views from up there. It took us 2 hours in a nice steady pace to Borgeau lake and from there a bit over one hour to Harvey pass. We saw 10 other hikers. Hiking boots and walking poles highly recommended.

Very pleasant and easy walk. Would definitely visit again. Oh, there was snow on the top the day I visit. (Sep 3rd) just so you know.

I did this hike combining it with Simpson Pass to make the hike a lollipop. Parking was plentiful and the trail was easy to find. With some side walking to take pictures my GPS said that we hiked 13.6 miles. Healy Pass and the meadows above the tree lines offer some incredible views. The trail was moderately busy with trail runners, backpackers, and day hikers like ourselves. Overall I would suggest skipping Simpson Pass as it was mostly uneventful and led steeply downhill in some places, adding more miles to an already long hike.

good

Did a 3 day , 2 night hike last week , was awesome ! Had some cold temps and bit windy but anything can be expected out there . Camped first night at hidden lake camp and then Merlin meadows the next . Great scenery and way too many postcard pics to be taken out there . Absolutely beautiful part of the world

on Bow Hut Route

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent overnight hike to the Alpine of Canada’s Bow Hut (or a day hike if you’re fast). Become an ACC member and save $10/night on accommodation. Loved the varied terrain, always changing scenery, and views of mountains, glacier, river, and valleys. Heaviest traffic is the first third of the trail. Trail is a little hard to follow in the rocky section about two-thirds of the way along - watch for little rock cairns, cross multiple little creeks. Can walk up to the glacier behind the hut. Overall a moderately difficult hike with high reward.

Amazing hike! GPS said it was about 25km round trip - we went all the way up to the ridge. This hike has everything from forested trail that opens into beautiful valleys, a waterfall, three lakes and a tough climb up shale rock face. This hike was pretty difficult after the first 5km but not unmanageable. We finished in roughly 6.5 hours with a few 15-30 minute breaks at two of the lakes. Take plenty of snacks and water; you’ll need them!

The start is very casual and actually quite flat with a very gradual ascend into a beautiful valley. Mostly hiking through a forest, by a creek and through a campground at the 5k mark. At the 8 -10 k mark you start to get above the tree line and the views are incredible. Once you climb over the saddle at the top of the pass this is a definite wow moment. We didn’t descend completely into fish lake as there was no reason to, but had lunch above the ridge overlooking fish lake. I would rate this as moderate only due to the length. One gorgeous hike.

backpacking
3 months ago

Awesome hike! The hike from the parking lot to the meadows is quite steep, but once you reach the meadows i'ts a pretty easy hike, with superior views. Don't forget to cross the stream halfway, there are three stone arrow markers on the trail, but I still missed them. Once you get to the overlook it will look like you're almost there. From there it's still quite a hike trough the forest to get to the lake.

I camped at the lake for one night, but should really have stayed for two nights. There is a narrow trail that you can take around the lake, which will get you to a spring and a cave. Be sure to go for a swim too!

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