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Helen Lake Trail is a 10.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 10.4 mi Elevation gain 2,473 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Fishing

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Rock climbing

Skiing

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

Description
Waypoints (0)

On the Icefields parkway, park in the Helen lake parking across from crowfoot glacier parking overview. Nice trail into the meadows, passing a lake where you can fish for small brook trout.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (210)
Photos (422)
Recordings (141)
Completed (518)
Tom Prince
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingMuddy

July 11, 2020

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Laurie Belik
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
Hiking

Always a great hike - great views almost the entire way - not difficult - mainly clear to the lake with a few muddy sections. Poles recommended to help cross the creek which is running with melt volume - totally passable though. Not too many flowers out yet if that’s what you’re looking for - need another week I imagine. Lake still has chunks of ice. Dolomite pass- more snow on this route past the lake - ankle deep - gators might be helpful. There are two routes up to the small ridge enroute to ridge, dolomite pass and cirque peak. The one to the right is an easy ascent - one to left still easy but not as smooth. Once up top lots of snow over path to the pass. Walk along ridge is clear and beautiful. Cirque peak primarily clear but didn’t do it just watched a few others ascend- snow along one side. In hot day would need lots of water.

James Nestor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 06 2020
Muddy

This is a pretty good trail. A lot of roots on the path in the beginning so watch your footing. Once you round the corner and head back Northeast the trail levels off a bit, it will give you a little break. The views from this point are awesome! there are a couple of creeks to cross poles would be an asset. Getting closer to Helen lake there was still snow about shin deep. Nice hike.

Rand N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingMuddy

We had completed this trail, out and back, in 6 hours. We took many breaks for pictures. The journey to the lack was fairly easy with some sections of incline but not that many. Helen creek is running high but was did manage to cross it at a narrow point jumping on a couple rocks. Highly recommend decent waterproof shoes and some sections are muddy. Helene Lake was frozen but the sights at that point is spectacular! We’re coming back again to head to Cirque in the not too distant future. You will not be disappointed with the hike.

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Rahul Sharma
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
HikingMuddySnow

Muddy and snowy patches at higher elevations. Beautiful expansive views in the latter half. First half is forested, rooty and sustained uphill. Second half is sparsely vegetated and meadowy, and quite muddy with patches of snow. We turned around at the Helen Creek crossing, where the kink in the official trail is. Creek had heavy water flow in and we could not find a crossing without getting wet up to the knees. Still a lot of snow melting. We could see it was still quite snowy after the crossing, but not impossible to traverse in boots. The lake is probably not completely thawed yet. One can cross the creek with a few quick jumps with gaiters on, or by taking the boots off and crossing in sandals. Anyway, best to carry gaiters and/or sandals to cross, and some extra socks. It was cloudy, windy and wintry at the creek crossing and we wore warm layers there. It got warmer when we were back below treeline. Great views!

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Cindy Slupsky
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
HikingMuddySnow
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James Wade
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 05 2020
Hiking

Heat Wave. August, 2008.

Laura Fowler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Oct 23 2019
HikingSnow

We did this hike 10-23-19. Great views on the way up of the glacier and surrounding mountains. However trail is snow covered at least 8-12 inches the whole way. Incline most the way to lake. Trail markings not bad until u leave the forest then it got a bit sketchy. We had to turn around 0.5 mi from the lake because the trail was no longer visible and there was probably 12-16 in snow. And my legs were spent after walking three miles in snow. And I’m in okay physical shape. But again a good trail to burn some calories and get good pics of the glacier.

Kate Watson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 05 2019
Hiking

Pretty easy hike considering the amazing views you get once you pass the tree line and start the trek along the plateau. It was quite snow covered at the lake so we didn’t attempt the summit. Will definitely come back in the summer to do though! Really great hike! Took us 6 hours out and back with lunch stop and a few tests too.

Darius Haberstock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 23 2019
Hiking

Quite easy trail to Helen Lake, the views along the way are pretty mesmerizing!

Ryan Skea
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Sep 17 2019
Hiking

easy! amazing views from ridge summit!

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Becca Chapman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 09 2019
Hiking

Very steep, but beautiful hike. Easy trail to follow.

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Luis Elias Obregon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Sep 05 2019
HikingMuddyScramble

Great hike! Long but through beautiful scenery that changes a lot through the trail. It has some steep parts with a light scramble at the top. Overall, ease on altitude gain. Spectacular views all around. Don't pay attention to the 6km sign that is posted at the trail'a starting point. It's a 17km hike that'll take 4 hrs roughly.

Varadh J.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 28 2019
HikingBugs

This was a great trail through a variety of scenery. The views of the valley when walking through the meadows up top was lovely. So good in fact that you’ll forget the steep climb you will do to get there. Over all a great half day hike with the exception of the lake itself (though it might appear that i didn’t find the right lake and stopped just short). The lake we did see was more of a pond. However, don’t let that deter you. A lovely icefield hike

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Andrew Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 27 2019
Hiking

This hike has it all. Nice woods section, wild flower meadows, alpine heather meadows, lakes, majestic views, and if you want it, a peak to summit. I would rate the hike to Dolomite pass as moderate but distance apparently pushes it to hard. There were a good number of hikers up to Helen Lake, far fewer at the pass. But starting around 9 am we had lots of time and space to just our group. No issues with parking.

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Jess Traynor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 25 2019
Hiking

the best trail we did during our 2 weeks hiking in Banff. go past the lake and I promise it's worth the climb.

Mikayla Krech
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Aug 19 2019
HikingBugsMuddy
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Jill Stevenson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Aug 19 2019
HikingBugs
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Martha Campbell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Aug 19 2019
HikingBugs
View Martha's Recording
Cheryl Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Aug 18 2019
Hiking

Hike to Helen Lake. Trail was in great condition the whole way. Some muddy spots. About 3 or 4 small creeks to cross). Wild flowers were in full bloom. A lot of beautiful mushroom varieties along the trail. Take care crossing Helen Creek about 6km in. Rocks are obviously slippery. I didn't have time to do Cirque Peak or Dolomite Ridge but they are very doable. I'm told Cirque peak in about 1 hr extra from Helen lake. I'll be going back in September to finish this up hopefully. Only saw marmots. Views were incredible. Worth the hike and distance in.

M Arthurs
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 13 2019
Hiking

Was a nice hike. Great views of Bow Lake and Crowfoot glacier. Continue past Helen Lake for the better views. Worth the extra climb to see Katherine Lake, etc. Saw many marmots, picas along the way. Wildflowers in all their glory as well. We hiked on a rainy day and still had lovely views. Go early to avoid crowds. We arrived around 8 am and saw few on the way up, many on the way down.

John Davidson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Aug 06 2019
Hiking

Fantastic hike, it's two hours up at a decent pace. The first hour of incline is the hardest, but the woods open up to amazing alpine views. You can also do some hikes from the lake upward, so save time for that if you have it. Bugs are generally bad if its muggy or rain, so bring the deet (and bear spray, though we didn't see any bears that day.) Decent is probably 1:45 for most people. I strongly recommend waterproof hiking boots, although half of our group did not wear them. There is a creek crossing right near the lake that has potential to be a foot soaker if you're not wearing boots, and various parts of the trail are rooty with light creeks. But overall it's amazing up at the top.

Michelle Macdonald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 03 2019
Hiking

Beautiful hike! Starts off in the trees with some nice inclines but once you get to the meadows the views are gorgeous and the trail evens out. Within the trees there are a few creek crossings and depending on the weather I can see those getting high so be prepared for that. We brought our dog and he was able to make it around the lake and up the ridge. I highly recommend starting this one early, we were there at 8:30am and there were only about 6 other groups. On the way down the path was very crowded. This is a prime bear area and we did come across a young black bear near the beginning of the trail, so be loud and keep the bear spray handy.

Reid W.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 28 2019
Hiking

Little busy, but worth it. Flowers all along the trail. Definitely go the extra step past the lake and see the Dolomites.

Luke Steere
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 25 2019
HikingMuddy

Worth the work in the beginning. Opens up into an alpine tundra and fairly flat from there up to the lake. It’s worth the effort to go past the lake and continue up. Amazing views from the ridge of both sides of the valley.

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Jayna Gray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 17 2019
Hiking

The trail was in perfect condition and all the flowers were out! One of the most gorgeous hikes around here.

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