Arnica Lake Trail

MODERATE 21 reviews
#47 of 132 trails in

Arnica Lake Trail is a 9.2 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.2 km
ELEVATION GAIN
753 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

15 days ago

MAKE SURE TO BRING MOSQUITO REPELLENT. Their were so many mosquitos and horse flies up there we couldn’t stand still for more than 12 seconds without being swarmed by over 30 mosquitos.

Bugs aside it’s a great little hike with a moderate but constant incline to the top. 26 and moderately fit here we along with other hikers took a few breaks on the way up. The lake is beautiful at the top. A great light teal blue.

20 days ago

Thank you Steve Larken for your in depth review - the lodge is a great stop afterwards as well!

hiking
29 days ago

Hiked on 2018 July 17 with spouse, 12 year old son and Labrador Retriever. Hot and sunny. Trail was in excellent condition. Descent down to Vista Lake is steady and easy ( remember this as you come back up at the end of the day...). There is a wooden bridge at the end of Vista Lake for a break, which you should take, as it's all uphill from there. I'm 52 and I'm in relatively good shape, but the ascent up to Arnica Lake was a bit of a challenge. The trail is well marked, but fairly steep and narrow with loose footing in places. We had to stop frequently to catch our breath, which was fine because there were many spectacular lookouts along the way. You can look back and see your progress as Vista Lake and the trailhead parking lot are visible from several spots. As we finally reached a slight descent there was a dried up lake bottom which we very briefly hoped wasn't Arnica Lake ( that would have been a great cosmic joke ) but quickly realized the trail continued past this and, of course, upwards once again. The last section between the dried up lake bed and Arnica Lake seemed to be the steepest climb, but that may have simply been due to our fatigue level. Arnica Lake is quite pretty and surrounded by cliffs, however the mosquitoes were horrendous, even being saturated with repellant. We ate very quickly for this reason and started our way back to the trailhead. It took us about 3 hours to reach Arnica Lake from the trailhead and about 2:30 back with frequent stops, especially on the way in. Remember that last 1.5 km from Vista Lake back up to the parking lot? Yeah. That. We met a total of 10'other hikers all day ( Tuesday ). Stopped at Storm Mountain Lodge after for a nice cold drink. Enjoy!!

8 months ago

Tried to hike to arnica lake this past weekend. Awesome views just past Vista lake as you go up the ridge on the opposite side, I didn't quite make it to the lake due to losing the trail and knee-high snow. I personally wouldn't do it again without snowshoes or until it's cleared out of snow a bit.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike that is consistent up and down. There is a fairly long down section on the way to the hike but it is consistent. Might be sketchy if there was snow.

4 stars because the views are great, the crowds were low, the path was easy to follow.

hiking
Monday, July 31, 2017

The first section of the trail from the trailhead to the east end of Vista lake is fairly open with a steady descent. Once you get across the creek (wooden bridge) then you start a long climb up to Arnica Lake, the trail initially is reasonably wide but it becomes fairly narrow in some spots. It's a long and reasonably steep climb to the lake, but well worth the effort.

Mosquitos on the edge of the lake were terrible, be sure to bring bug spray if you plan to have lunch at Arnica.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 22, 2017-the trail is narrow and runs along the mountain rounding down to the lake. There is a bridge to take you across the creek and the trails continues to climb up the mountain. We didn't go to the end of the trail and turned around at the half way point. We didn't see any people until heading down. Overall a nice quiet trail that is changeling due to the climb in elevation.

hiking
Friday, June 30, 2017

Hiked on June 29, 2017. A lot of up, with a ton of beautiful sights to take in almost the entire way to the lake! There is a small pond just before Arnica Lake that made for a nice spot to take a quick break and snap a few pictures. Arnica Lake is well worth the hike, however, I'd certainly recommend that you continue past Arnica Lake and either check out Twin Lakes, or stop at the top of the saddle and take a right all the way up to the base of Storm Mountain. A short, fairly easy scramble leads to incredible panoramic views of the area and makes for a great spot to have lunch. There was only small amounts of snow on the way to Arnica Lake and the trail was moderately trafficked.

hiking
Sunday, April 30, 2017

A beautiful hike, would definitely do again and perhaps continue a bit further. We stopped at arnica lake after being advised that the further trail to twin lakes was very icy. Did this hike at the beginning of oct.2016 and there were a few snowy/muddy patches but nothing too bad. Would like to do it again a bit earlier but it's a great shoulder season hike in the fall as well.

hiking
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Great hike . Did it end of Oct and lots of snow and elk tracks .
Lake was frozen over and pristine gorgeous, awesome day . Will be back in the summer for sure.
After vista lake , it's uphill all the way with no flat parts until the lake with various inclines . A grind , but totally do-able .

hiking
Saturday, September 03, 2016

All around great hike. Steep and narrow inclines with roots and loose rock along the way. Several creeks and look outs along the way. There is some flat ground near arnica lake to have lunch.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017