This is a pretty good trail. A lot of roots on the path in the beginning so watch your footing. Once you round the corner and head back Northeast the trail levels off a bit, it will give you a little break. The views from this point are awesome! there are a couple of creeks to cross poles would be an asset. Getting closer to Helen lake there was still snow about shin deep. Nice hike.

hiking
muddy
5 days ago

We did this trail today with our two dogs. We saw the odd other hiking group but all in all this trail was nice and quiet. it was okay but with all the rain lately it was very muddy/wet. The first bit of the trail is an old creek bed and pretty narrow (wouldn't have been an issue if it wasn't as wet probably). When you get to the river you can go left and follow a path to get to the lake without crossing the river (fairly easy to follow, we had to back track once or twice because we got off the main path). (The river was moving pretty fast so I wouldn't have wanted to cross.) The water is so high right now that you can't easily get to the lake but if you are brave and willing to get a little wet you can walk through the marsh and cross a couple log bridges (someone was AMAZING enough to leave large stick walking poles to help you balance across them!!!) to reach the lake. I enjoyed myself, the lake is absolutely beautiful, but won't be in a rush to do this one again.

hiking
muddy
6 days ago

We had completed this trail, out and back, in 6 hours. We took many breaks for pictures. The journey to the lack was fairly easy with some sections of incline but not that many. Helen creek is running high but was did manage to cross it at a narrow point jumping on a couple rocks. Highly recommend decent waterproof shoes and some sections are muddy. Helene Lake was frozen but the sights at that point is spectacular! We’re coming back again to head to Cirque in the not too distant future. You will not be disappointed with the hike.

hiking
muddy
snow
11 days ago

Muddy and snowy patches at higher elevations. Beautiful expansive views in the latter half. First half is forested, rooty and sustained uphill. Second half is sparsely vegetated and meadowy, and quite muddy with patches of snow. We turned around at the Helen Creek crossing, where the kink in the official trail is. Creek had heavy water flow in and we could not find a crossing without getting wet up to the knees. Still a lot of snow melting. We could see it was still quite snowy after the crossing, but not impossible to traverse in boots. The lake is probably not completely thawed yet. One can cross the creek with a few quick jumps with gaiters on, or by taking the boots off and crossing in sandals. Anyway, best to carry gaiters and/or sandals to cross, and some extra socks. It was cloudy, windy and wintry at the creek crossing and we wore warm layers there. It got warmer when we were back below treeline. Great views!

snowshoeing
12 days ago

Lovely spot to do some snowshoeing. Beautiful views!

hiking
12 days ago

only first part of this trail open. kids friendly, very easy trail along the beautiful lake

hiking
muddy
snow
13 days ago

blowdown
bugs
muddy
15 days ago

This trail was interesting nothing like the above description on here. I wouldn't say all skill levels can easily do this trail. there were some very difficult sections, steep and narrow. lots of great stuff to see except for the section along the highway. I think this place is better for swimming and boating than hiking.

hiking
icy
24 days ago

I like this lake in the winter time.

hiking
28 days ago

Nice hike with family. A little bit muddy but not to bad. Trail was a little hard to follow and find at times.

hiking
1 month ago

Sunny. June, 2014.

hiking
1 month ago

Heat Wave. August, 2008.

on Hector Lake Trail

2 months ago

Hector Lake Parking           51.587681        N   -116.309808        W       

Hiked this trail in summer of 2018. Smoky due to wildfires, but incredible nonetheless. We actually went from Paradise Valley to Giant Steps to Sentinel Pass to Morraine Lake. 15 miles and difficult but worth it. It had an incredibly diverse landscape with our favorite noncommercial lake (Lake Annette). Spent about an hour there relaxing and skipping rocks. Had lush green forest, many beautiful lakes, many waterfalls at the Giant Steps, beautiful bog-like valley with mountains in the background, Rocky Mountains, very high overlook (essentially a summit), beautiful flowers in Larch Valley, and then obviously Morraine Lake. BEST HIKE IN BANFF

hiking
snow
4 months ago

This was a great area! There was fresh snow over a packed-down and clear trail. It was easy maneuvering and there are many options for routes to follow! We visited on February 29-2020. We did not have micro spikes and did not need them, but I would recommend gaiters.

hiking
5 months ago

Snowshoe in early January from the parking lot at Lake Minnewanka to Stewart Canyon bridge and back

snowshoeing
snow
6 months ago

hiking
snow
7 months ago

Great little walk to end the day. Lake was frozen over which made for some cool photos.

hiking
snow
7 months ago

hiking
snow
8 months ago

We did this hike 10-23-19. Great views on the way up of the glacier and surrounding mountains. However trail is snow covered at least 8-12 inches the whole way. Incline most the way to lake. Trail markings not bad until u leave the forest then it got a bit sketchy. We had to turn around 0.5 mi from the lake because the trail was no longer visible and there was probably 12-16 in snow. And my legs were spent after walking three miles in snow. And I’m in okay physical shape. But again a good trail to burn some calories and get good pics of the glacier.

hiking
8 months ago

Large cougar sighted along trail, 100 m past Aylmer 9 campsite.

hiking
9 months ago

Pretty easy hike considering the amazing views you get once you pass the tree line and start the trek along the plateau. It was quite snow covered at the lake so we didn’t attempt the summit. Will definitely come back in the summer to do though! Really great hike! Took us 6 hours out and back with lunch stop and a few tests too.

hiking
9 months ago

Hard to find the trail sometimes. Muddy at times. Otherwise, a great short hike!

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

Not super well maintained, but overall a great trail off the beaten path and away from the crowds. You don’t have to cross the river!!! Just continue along it and you hit the lake.

hiking
9 months ago

Quite easy trail to Helen Lake, the views along the way are pretty mesmerizing!

hiking
muddy
9 months ago

very easy trail to the lake. hikers should be aware of a wide and shallow river crossing. very cold water. bring water shoes and prepare to wade about knee high in water for a bit. view I'd wonderful. about 20-30 hike. parts of the trail were muddy and water filled, but easy to find a dryer route

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