Elk Lake via Cascade Amphitheatre Trail

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Banff National Park

Elk Lake via Cascade Amphitheatre Trail is a 16.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

Length16.3 miElevation gain4,645 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeSnow
Description
Waypoints (0)

Please see the park page here for information about current COVID-19 and road closures: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/covid-19-info The trail is well-groomed and easy to follow with signs at all intersections.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (7)
Photos (32)
Recordings (6)
Completed (13)
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Christian Persaud
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Great if you're looking for solitude but not much otherwise. The hike was mostly through the woods, and constantly had tons of bugs buzzing around. The subalpine meadow was neat but hard to appreciate after hiking for so long with not much payoff. The lake was about 2km from the campsite and we were planning on having dinner there but it was very mushy and no great spots to make food or eat. Wasn't super happy with this hike compared to other options, but if you're looking to get away, don't care too much for scenic views, and looking for quiet then consider this hike.

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Maren McLean Persaud
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BackpackingBugs

We camped at the Elk Lake site two weeks ago and didn’t have the best time. The trail is in fine condition and there are a couple of lovely views but not very exciting. And I’m used to mosquitos and bugs but on these particular days there was an apocalyptic level of mosquitos and flies from beginning to end. We might stop here again if we ever do a trip further into the backcountry in that area, but we were fine saying goodbye to Elk Lake. (Did see bear evidence; footprints, scat, etc. but never saw the bear)

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Lara Buchmann-Duck
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Snow
First to Review

We stayed at the Elk Lake backcountry campground this weekend and had a great experience! We had the camp area to ourselves for the night and didn't see anyone else until our hike back the next day. After setting up our tent we walked the 5k roundtrip walk to Elk Lake. There was still some deep snow on the trail and the lake was partially frozen. The trail from Norquay to the campground is mostly through dense forest and opens up into a meadow with great views before EK13. Trail was well groomed and easy to follow with signs at all intersections. I would recommend this moderate hike to day hikers or for those wanting to camp.

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Susan S
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Hiking
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Billy Docherty
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Hiking
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Dmitri Litvine
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AllTrails User
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Skiing
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