Cascade Amphitheatre Trail

HARD 110 reviews
#44 of 213 trails in

Cascade Amphitheatre Trail is a 12.4 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and mountain biking and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 12.4 km Elevation Gain: 871 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
9 days ago

Did this in the summer, but the universe blessed us with a few cms of snow in July! Beautiful hike. We ended up hiking up the ridge past the amphitheatre which was incredible and so much fun. My 6lb dog joined us on this hike and he had an absolute blast!!! Prepare for a LONG day!

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

Trail is currently snowy (maybe 1 inch) but becomes deep within 0.2 miles of reaching the amphitheater. Icy in spots so cleats needed. We continued on to the first peak beyond the amphitheater- snow there is about 12 inches deep and spikes are not enough, so would not recommend this section unless you had more technical equipment.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
2 months ago

Hiked trail 10-24-19. First off, the trailhead is at the Norquay ski area. The trailhead is down the service road across from the first lift. (Spirit lift maybe?) We parked in the parking lot by the lodge and walked down the service road. This trail was quite a climb. A good work out. The views at end weren’t super great - I’ve seen better. But it was still a good hike. Especially because the hikes toward lake louise Or Icefield are so snowy it makes the difficulty increase greatly. This trail was a little Snowy at top and bottom. Not snowy midway in middle. Very manageable hike. We made it without yak tracks or poles. Overall mileage was 8.2 miles with the walk from the car. Only saw 2 other pairs of hikers. Saw herd of big horn sheep right off road on the drive up to ski area.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Great trail and well worth the effort, though don't let the first 3km fool you. It starts with a long gentle down slope, then a creek crossing, then switchbacks upon switchbacks until you finally arrive at the flat treed area which continues for a little longer and at last you arrive at the magnificent amphitheatre

hiking
snow
3 months ago

hiking
muddy
snow
3 months ago

A little snow from last weekend still on the trail as you get closer to the top, it made the rocks a bit slippery but other then that it was an excellent hike with an awesome panoramic view from the top! We found some black bear prints passing over trail so as always keep your eyes open

hiking
4 months ago

Just a slog through trees the entire way. The views at the end are not really worth the time. There are much better options out there for the time and effort.

hiking
4 months ago

We enjoyed this hike as a bit of a rest from a 15+ miler the day before (well not as much of a rest day as planned). While I agree with others that it is about a 4 mile trek in the woods before much of a view, the trail is easy footing and the grade is very forgiving going up and down. The first 2 miles are mostly downhill with a half mile on ski slope access roads for two lifts. Then it is a constant uphill for 2 miles after a nice stream crossing, with some views when the forest is less dense and one blowdown. We thought the amphitheater was very nice especially to view Cascade face looking over a grass meadow. Not a common site and makes for a nice picture. Definitely hike further up than where All Trails current map shows a prior hike (so the 7.7 miles became 9.8 for us). We went to the end of the trail and enjoyed the several grass meadows, marmots, Picas., Golden Mantled ground squirrel. We could watch hikers on Cascade Ridge add that to the bucket list. Bonus - a bunch of bighorn sheep on the ski area access road on drive home.

hiking
5 months ago

Strenuous hike but great view of the amphitheater at the end. Bring bug spray. Lots of inclines and v steep coming down (v slick when it rains).

hiking
5 months ago

Great workout. Amazing views. A Banff prize!

This is a “fine” trail. Entirely uphill one way then downhill coming back. I had bigger expectations and considering all the other hiking options I wish I had done a different trail. Might be worth it if you rerouted the end and kept going up to the summit, but as it is, ending in the valley, I would say it was just fine. The uphill was a good workout, which I appreciated. BRING BUG SPRAY. My husband said he saw a bear far off on the opposite ridge when we were in the valley but I don’t entirely believe him.

hiking
bugs
muddy
5 months ago

This is a really boring hike. It is entirely in the trees until the very end and for the effort, it is not worth it. The only time anyone should do this trail in my opinion is if they want to reach Cascade's summit.

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Very boring hike. The vast majority of the hike is the same, petty consistent long switchbacks with decent incline and no interesting scenery. The scenery part is a real deal breaker here because there are so many good bikes in this area, don't bother with this one.

hiking
6 months ago

This is an extremely challenging hike to the amphitheater. The first 1.5 miles are flat to slightly downhill, across the river it becomes a climb for 2.5 miles to the Amphitheatre through a forest with no good views. Took us about 2 hours to climb to the Amphitheatre. IMO the views were not as rewarding for all the work. We were not prepared to keep climbing up cascade mountain so we turned around. The climb down was challenging too because of how steep it is. It was a good workout though!

hiking
6 months ago

There is misinformation with the pictures uploaded to this trail. The Amphitheatre trail (7.7miles/2800ft) does NOT give you a view of Banff from the top of Cascade Mountain. To go to the top of Cascade Mountain you complete the Amphitheatre trail, but there is a lot more hiking to be done to see Banff (12.3miles/5800ft). The Amphitheatre trail will only give you a view of the amphitheatre and the valley between the Cascade Mountain and Mt Brewster. Regarding the Amphitheatre trail itself, it is a continuous steep trail, shaded, with no views until the end. I don't think the trail is rewarding enough if you are only going until the Amphitheatre. Hope this helps.

Good trail to follow. Not really nice views until the end.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome hike, good workout and amazing views (if you make it to the top, or even push higher up the looser rock near the summit). There is a very deceiving review left by Ms Wong which I urge you to ignore. Clearly someone decided to turn back a little bit to early... On a clear day, if you finish the hike, the photos you see on here are accurate.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Pros: shaded, trail is well-marked, good workout, not too many people Cons: view at the top is not worth it considering how strenuous the hike is. You are pretty much in the forest the entire time until the end. There is no lookout at the Amphitheatre and the photos posted by others are extremely deceiving, especially the cover photo. These photos need to be removed so others don’t get deceived and waste their time and energy like I did. There are also some areas of the path where there are tons of rocks making it easy to roll/twist your ankle.

We did this hike today. They said we should do the amphitheater, but we ended up at 2400 meters high with also a great view. We did a part of the cascade mountain trail. Amazing. Steep hike, we have to admit.

hiking
7 months ago

Did this on June 1 and absolutely loved it. Hardly any snow at all except for a tiny bit in the last 500m or so. Impossible to get lost on this trail, the whole thing is made up of clear, well maintained paths. I could have stayed up at the amphitheater for hours! Would absolutely recommend going early in the day- we started early and had the place mostly to ourselves for a good while, but the traffic seemed to pick up later on. Great trail to hike with dogs, too. We got up to the top in just under 2.5 hours.

7 months ago

attacked this on the 28th of May, beautiful forest walk at first, and the crossing at 40 creek is definitely worth a stop and filling your bottle up. the uphill switchbacks are grueling and steep. once you reach the top you come back into forest but this is still heavy in snow with atleast 2ft. some hard compact snow makes this path possible. you open to the last walk to the cascade amphitheatre. snow was in excess of 4/5ft in some places so decided to call it a day. 15.3km. beautiful views!

recorded Tyler L

hiking
snow
8 months ago

Good day. Ran into snow about 3/4 of the way up. Crusted over for the most part and we were able to stay on top. Beautiful views when the trees open up.

hiking
snow
9 months ago

Just hiked it on Friday April 19. the trail was quite snowy and unfortunately the ampitheatre was quite misty and in a state of white out when we reached it. fun challenging hike.

Mon Sep 10 2018

The views are amazing, the hike is tough but worth it.

Load More