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Cascade Mountain is a 12.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 12.5 mi Elevation gain 5,925 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Forest

River

Views

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

Description
Waypoints (3)
Getting There

Note: Users report that the road is closed to the trailhead however the trail is open. You will have to park farther and hike towards the trailhead. Fantastic scramble up the iconic Cascade mountain in Banff. Take the Cascade Amphitheater trail to the starting point of the Cascade mountain ascent. Difficult scramble with great views of the Banff townsite, Lake Minnewanka and surrounding mountains. Traversing the false summit needs to be virtually clear of snow to reach the true peak.

Park in the Mount Norquay parking lot. Head past the day lodge to the Mystic chairlift. The Cascade Amphitheater trailhead begins just North of the Mystic chairlift.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (199)
Photos (105)
Recordings (110)
Completed (489)
Steve Simon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!RockyScrambleSnow

Constant uphill stamina and endurance fest but enjoyable. Path from the trail head to the amphitheater was clear but after that we had some pretty interesting way-finding using a combination of visible paths, cairns, ribbons and painted markings to guide our progress. We went up and over the false summit on our assent and around it on the way down. I thought it was a medium scramble as most of the rocks are large (so more stepping than sliding) which I like. It took us about 10 hours to complete including breaks etc. There was snow when we ascended but it wasn't obstructing our path to the summit. Fantastic views at the top but a little hazy on the day we ascended. Overall, well worth the effort.

Philip Collins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!
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Jillary Swadas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020

The most longest hike I have ever had. We did this in 2019 september and the weather was still good. Once we got to the summit winds were soo gusty and terrible. My fingers froze in secs and I was shaking so bad definitely bring a wind breaker! The views will make all the grind worth it but we were just still really annoyed by how long the hike was! It took us 9 hours to finish this hike as intermediate and a beginner with me. The total ft recorded was at 9810 ft and not what recording says for some reason all trails messed up my recording and counted ski trails as well in my recordings making elevation gain to 4000 plus m. We followed all trails route all the way and had no issues in staying on the path. All trails got us to the summit without any issues.

Alissa Stack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
Hiking

Our first hike ever! It was more amazing than I could have imagined! We reached the false summit through the tough scramble and decided not to go to the summit. That scramble was pretty hard with it being our first clim. It wasn’t until after we got back to the hotel that we found out there’s a bit of a trail around the right side that would have made it easier for us to make it to the tippy top. What did we learn? Do your research ;)

BCJay H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
Hiking

Close but no cigar! Heavy cloud and lite rain had me thinking the day may be over before it began. Left the truck at 8:30, long hike to the amphitheater, where the trail forks, go up to the right (blue flagging tape). Brings you up onto a ridge, you have to cross a rock field, many ways through it, but moss covered quartzite, oh ya did I mention it was raining = SLIPPERY!! Near the end of the first summit angle down some ledges to the right, then traverse up and further right across some scree and slabs, good route finding, some hard work and you’ll be at the base of the false summit, the “correct” route bypasses the false summit to the right..... And that’s as far as I made it, this route is snow covered, I had my ice axe and crampons at the door!! But decided I didn’t need them “f@&!!!” Earlier trip reports below said you could go around the snow! Ya maybe with death wish, the snow was about 3ft thick, hard and icy under a couple inches of soft snow, there’s a gap between the cliff face and cornice which I went up halfway, but there was a big hollow under it and where it gets very steep I weighed my options, continue up this trap, one slip and your down and under, get on top and traverse across, 1000-1500 ft cliff with zero chance to self arrest. Didn’t have time to try and go over the false summit, end looks vertical from the left and right. Lessons: 1: be prepared with all equipment, 2: listen to others: both Parks Canada and Kane said “if you see snow from the highway, it’s in passable” 3: know when to turn back. Oh ya, the couple hundred meters uphill at the end hurts, can’t wait for the rematch!!

Kiran Sahi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsGreat!IcyOff trailRockyScrambleSnowWashed out

To summit the mountain, please read the scramblers guide in Banff national park website. It'll lead you to the false summit since the dome is entirely impossible to hike upwards in the scramble. All trails only has the amphitheatre correct, but the after portion to summit isn't recorded properly. please be advised that if you choose to summit that you have poles to help you in the scramble, and that there are many of routes people have made in attempt to summit.

Steven Dillon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
Great!

it's a great hike, the juice is worth the squeeze. But it's a BIG squeeze. there is a snow cornice at the second last peak that people walk over....its ridiculously unsafe. we went 40ft below this to be safe. long long hike but the view is awesome at the top. if a nervous hiker wait until that snow is completely gone.

Carolyn Gartke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2020
Hiking

Took 9 hours to Summit and back. Had two sections of slushy snow to traverse. Lots of mosquitoes to end of tree line. A long grind but a great trip.

Ju Kim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 16, 2020
Hiking

It was good, but... until amphitheater you can go up with thousands crazy mosquitoes. The way to the first peak is pretty nice and not really dangerous, after then... I thought I might die if I made a mistake.

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Evan William
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

Attempted to summit Cascade today, but snow before the false summit forced my buddy and I to turn around. The snow was melting and not thick enough to walk on. Any attempt to cross would likely mean the snow would collapse, potentially bringing you down with it. We scrambled up the false summit and found an alternative route to the true summit, but decided not to take that route because it was pretty much a full climb. On a side note, lots of cool fossils near the false summit of the mountain and a tough but fun hike today.

Edgar Milla
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
HikingIcyScrambleSnow

Today we made a 2nd attempt to summit cascade, got past the false summit but hit a dead end with a lot of snow still covering the worse possible spot between the between the false summit and the summit. There was not enough snow to walk on, and it was slick with the warm weather today. Any slip on that spot would probably be deadly. Several other groups tried to find another route but all ended up turning back. If instead of going around the false summit, you go over it, there is a line foot tracks down from a cliff and toward the ridge to the summit. Some groups checked out that route but decided it looked to slippery to try.

Sean Beacom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2020
Hiking

July 6, 2020 Trail was in excellent condition. Weather was optimal. I made it within 1.5 km of the summit but turned back. There’s a little bit of snow but totally summitable. Nice easy start to the hike followed by a good climb switch backing thru the trees. After you reach the amphitheater, the footing becomes a bit loose under rocky steps until the first false summit. Classic, great hike in Banff providing amazing views, wildflowers and even spotted a couple muskrats today.

View Sean's Recording
Edgar Milla
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
Hiking

The trail was nice and easy to follow. On our way to the minor summit there were several forking trails so look for cairns of arrows on the ground if you come to a fork. Avoid climbing straight up the minor summit. The “trail” kind of goes around it. We followed the larger cairns on the way back and it was a lot more straight forward. Unfortunately we had to turn around close to the summit due to terrible weather, but otherwise it was a great hike.

Taylor Groulx
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRockyScrambleSnow
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