Castle Mountain Lookout Trail

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Banff National Park

Castle Mountain Lookout Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.0 miElevation gain1,830 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingSnowshoeingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockySnow
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

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (560)
Photos (376)
Activities (426)
Completed (1,332)
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Eddy V
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HikingIcyMuddySnow

Reached the parking lot around 10 am (on Saturday) and it was not very full. Lots of packed snow and ice so crampons are highly recommended. The trail is quite narrow with steep drops in some parts. With the snow partially melted the full width of the trail is not usable. Tread carefully. The Trail has quite a few switchbacks that are not apparent when glancing at the AllTrails app. Once we reached the top the view was with it.

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Akemi Hara-Ogle
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HikingGreat!IcyMuddySnow

We arrived at the parking lot around 2 pm on Saturday, and it was not busy at all. The trail is mostly snow/ice-covered with some muddy spots. I'm glad I had a pair of cleats, The trail is quite narrow with steep drops in some parts and has quite a few switchbacks. It took about three and half hours round trip. Once we reached the Lookout, the view was spectacular.

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Anaik Maeseele
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Hiking

Its a bit of a grind, but the views are oh so rewarding! Keep going! We did not hike with spikes but did have them, may help with the ice and packed snow on the switchbacks.

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Mahal Family
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HikingSnow

Well packed, easy to follow trail. Need crampons, especially last bit is narrow pathway and some steepness. DO NOT try shortcuts, there might be footstrps tempting to follow, but they are not shortcuts in real sense. It will take you longer, and lots of deep snow there. Completed on Sunday.

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Mallory Hartwig
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HikingIcySnow

Still lots of snow, a good time to get it done before it turns to slop! Last half gets steep, cliffy in spots, watch your dogs/children.

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Bethany Trotter
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Hiking

Great trail! Well packed & easy to follow. Steady incline without ever getting too crazy. Poles & spikes recommended. Now is a great time to go before it thaws and gets muddy & slippery. Once that happens it will need a while to dry out to be safe. Some of the trail is along a steep ridge, so watch pets/children. The views are pretty much constant. Highly recommend!

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Fahmida Tariq
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HikingGreat!
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James Leigh
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Hiking

Was clear to start. Snowed a bit. Worth it at the top for the view of the valley. Wasn’t too overcast at the top. My 5 year old slayed this. Fresh snow, packed down the trail. Only passed 3 other couples on the way down. Will hike again when dry

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Taylor Mostat
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HikingGreat!IcyMuddyRockySnow

Trail conditions on Saturday April 3rd: snow packed down and slushy/slippery. Crampons were super helpful and I would have done it without them especially when it gets closer to the end where the trail gets narrow and there is a bit of a climb. Fiancé did without and he was fine but he’s weird. We had two dogs with us and they did great. Overall it’s definitely a must do, looks of cool views and fun terrain. Definitely not just a chill hike though, be prepared for a steady incline the whole way, narrow passages and some scrambling in certain spots with quick switchbacks and rocks. We stopped at the top for a beer and halfway down for another but in total took us 2 hr 40 mins. Would definitely recommend!

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Tyrone Joseph
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Hiking

Ice in spots and a little muddy. Recommend spikes

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Stef Campbell
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Bird watching

not a bad hike. although i turned around before the trail ended because it looked like the last little bit hadn’t been used in a while due to the snow. because it was just myself and the dog we didn’t continue and turned around

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Brett Dennington
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Hiking

Overcast, rain and snow so view was limited, crampons really helped on the ice, meling ice, slush and bits of mud. Fantastic air, nothing better than tree air!Rubber legs kicked in on the way down. Us older farts have to be in reasonably good shape to make the grade if almost 15%. Will return for a clear day for the great views.

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Allison M
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HikingGreat!Icy

We hiked the trail on March 20. It was icy in spots and microspikes and poles are recommended. Spectacular views. We’ll definitely be back in the summer.

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Stuart Carlyle-Byford
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Hiking
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D’Arcy Lanovaz
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SnowshoeingIcy

Overall, an excellent hike. The snow is getting soft and slushy, but ice cleats the snow shoes are recommended. If you start early enough in the morning it will be very icy. It was fairly busy. As it was my first time I’m not certain if this is slow or normal for a Saturday. I would recommend getting to the trail head early to get a parking spot.

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Trevor Reid
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Hiking

The trail is challenging due To the elevation. The switchbacks are gentle at first then get steeper and narrower. Got to about 300m from the lookout and turned around. Overall I liked it. Bring both crampons and poles for this one... especially for the way down.

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Alan Chow
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Hiking

Simple and straightforward hike. Still fun with some great views in the end. Took 3.5 hours taking it easy with some breaks.

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Jonny Bliss
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Hiking

Nice afternoon hike. Gets a bit steeper near the end but nothing to bad. Crampons necessary if there is snow on the trail.

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Chris Mahon
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Hiking
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