Explore the most popular River 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.

11 switch backs to get to split for larch valley. Beautiful view of the 10 peaks. Then 6 more switch backs to sentinel pass. Cold and windy at the top but worth the views!

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
2 hours ago

Started at 8:30 and made it to one of the Castle almost-summits. 10 1/2 hour day. Absolutely epic views from on top. Snow at the top made it a bit challenging. The views of Rockbound Lake from the upper bowl are amazing. Makes me want to go back sometime and reach Helena Peak and Stuart’s Knob. The two hour hike out from Rockbound seems endless after a long day, but wow, what rewards at the top. If you don’t want to challenge the summit, climbing up to the bowl above Rockbound offers spectacular views and takes maybe an hour or so from the lake.

Great views in all directions. Start hiking before sunrise to avoid crowds. The trail is quite easy the whole way up except for a small steeper section near the top which had some slippery mud. Would recommend if you are looking to go a little further than the teahouse.

hiking
3 hours ago

Excellent family hiking trail. Dog friendly.

hiking
4 hours ago

Trail and mountain is wonderful. However it’s full of rude and inconsiderate tourists that don’t have respect for our nature. People not staying on the trail and damaging the mountain.

hiking
6 hours ago

This was a good hike but doing it made me realize I need to work on my endurance more. It took us an hour and a half to get to the tea house and I had to stop several times on the way. The climb is all uphill with few breaks. However it was beautiful and I enjoyed the way down which only took us an hour. The falls just before the tea house was beautiful. The weather was cool-perfect for hiking but when we stopped we got cold pretty quickly. I was happy to sit inside the tea house to warm up before descending.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 hours ago

Parking at Moraine Lake is limited, but you should be able to get a spot if you arrive at least an hour before sunrise. The sunrise at Moraine Lake is incredible to see! We enjoyed this hike a lot!

hiking
8 hours ago

August 17th 2019. While there were millions of touristsD everywhere, Alan and I encountered 2 horses, 5 hikers, 1 mountain biker. Superb and my favourite - well worth the drive. Many bridges!

hiking
8 hours ago

Multiple breathtaking views on this hike! It is definitely hard for beginner hikers. Mirror lake alone was worth the hike and an awesome spot to stop for lunch! We didn’t get to experience the Teahouse since the line was much too long. Pack plenty of water and snacks.

Did this from the Moraine Lake direction and that is the option I recommend. Moraine Lake first thing in the morning is spectacular. Be warned, in high season (mid July through August) the moraine lake parking lot fills by 5am, seriously. I would recommend getting the “early bird” shuttle from the overflow lot on rt1 about 5 KM south of Lake Louise and taking the Lake Louise shuttle back. Please note that even the overflow lot fills by like 7:30-8:00. The hike is just spectacular! The switchbacks up to Larch Valley are pleasant and offer filtered view of the surrounding peaks. The walk to Sentinel Pass through the alpine meadows is beautiful and the view of the head wall is like something out of the Lord of the Rings. The views from the top are just incredible, obviously ;) The scramble down the Paradise Valley side is intimidating but the route is marked by stacked stone cairns so just take your time and be sure you spot them. Once in Paradise Valley the hike to Giant Steps is a must do. Please note that the AllTrails map shows a “Horseshoe Lake” trail that appears to allow you to walk down the creek a bit for other views of the falls and then a loop back to the main trail. This is false. Parks Canada has closed the Horseshoe Lake trail for rehabilitation and it’s overgrown and completely impassible. From Giant Steps, the easiest route to Lake Louise is to go left at the Highline trail but if you are still feeling strong after dealing with Sentinel Pass you can take the Sheol Valley / Saddleback Pass trail to Lake Louise and get an amazing view of Temple Mountain. This option is about 16 miles and 5300 feet of elevation. It took me about 9 hours to do this with lots of rest & photography stops along the way.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
10 hours ago

Nice day, long day, got package of Helena Peak and Stuard Knob, great summit view, worth it. Distance 28.2km, total elevation gains 1863m, total time 11h16m. Start from Castle parking lot at 8:40, summit Helena about 1pm, summit Stuard Knob at 3pm, then return, back to parking lot at 8pm.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
17 hours ago

such a beautiful trail but best to hike in the early fall. so busy in the summer

The views are stunning in all directions. I have made a video of this hike. It is on YouTube, and my channel is LIVEON ALBERTA. Check it out if you want to see the hike before you do it.

hiking
20 hours ago

This hike is beautiful and definitely worth it, but because we read the comments beforehand, we thought we had to cross the river. You don’t actually have to do this!!!! The trail is just marked very poorly. So, the first part of the trail is extremely muddy. Once you get to the river, you see a sign that has a hiker with a backpack on it that points to you crossing the river.... Instead of doing this, which leads you to the campsite, look to your left and follow that trail. That is the trail that all trails follows and it will lead you directly to the lake..

hiking
scramble
21 hours ago

Great hike. Overall, the hike was moderate with the last 30 minutes being hard.

hiking
22 hours ago

We only did the paved part of the trail which is really cool.

Best trail due to hardly any people. We were on the trail at 10 am. We went a little farther than the map and to the right. Then You can see the hoodoos. The last part of the trail is by a noisy road. The rest of the trail has different landscapes. Beautiful moss colored forest floor, meadows, and a great view of bow river with the mountains. We saw lots of elk dropping’s but no elk.

Magnificent views! This was a hard trail for me and my husband. I think it was the altitude and constantly going straight up. We saw a porcupine and numerous birds. Beautiful wildflowers. If you decide to hike this trail just remember the return is downhill which is so easy.

hiking
off trail
rocky
23 hours ago

Who wants to make this way, must be there early. The first day we were too late, and the road there already closed. There are then bus transfers, but the waiting time is certainly 1.5-2 hours. So the whole thing again the next day, we were already at 7.30 am at the parking lot, and also found a free space. (however it rained and was pretty cold). The way is nice to go, we have also made the last part of the route, the view is worthwhile. Definitely warm clothes, we only had about 4 degrees ...

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