Lake Minnewanka Lakeside Trail

MODERATE 45 reviews
#60 of 163 trails in

Lake Minnewanka Lakeside Trail is a 16.3 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 16.3 km Elevation Gain: 523 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wildlife

Note: Bikes and dogs are NOT allowed on the trail from mid-July to August due to increased bear activity in the area. Please check with the park page for information.

hiking
17 days ago

Turned around shortly after the bridge, as we didn’t have bear spray with us. Saw two (huge) grizzly bears just off the road near the entrance for the parking lot.

hiking
muddy
rocky
22 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful trail with amazing views on the lake the whole way! We even saw some mountain goats... A bit long, but fairly easy (not steep and well maintained path). We barely crossed anyone and had the beach for ourselves once at the campground!

hiking
1 month ago

Paved parking, washrooms & picnic tables at trail head. Parking is painful during high season, consider taking the bus from Banff. There is a little sandwich shop at the trail head during the summer. Good for an ice cream or cool drink after a good hike. The trail is well marked and in excellent condition for most of the way. There are a couple of narrow spots around a tight corner that might be hard to navigate for people with mobility challenges. Most visitors don't venture much beyond the bridge over the first river, so if you're adverse to crowds be patient, most casual hikers turn back in the first mile. The hike itself has wide paths through forested sections and narrow rocky parts above the shore of the lake. The views are beautiful but mile 2 might be intimidating if you don't like heights. It's a great trail with something for everyone. Make sure to head to the shore of the lake and skip some stones once you get to camping section #8 at the junction for the Aylmer Pass.

1 month ago

Well-marked beautiful trail that mixes forest and open views of the lake and mountains. It is a multi-use trail so watch out for bikers. Fairly flat so no overly strenuous areas to ascend/descend; just lots of rocks so be sure to wear comfortable shoes! The day area fills-up fast so get there early as it is very close to Banff so there's lots of tourists as well as campers. Take the side-route to the end of Stewart Canyon as well for extra photo opps. FYI *no dogs/bikes allowed from mid-July through August due to increased bear activity in the area. Only large hiking groups at that time*

hiking
1 month ago

After a couple days of long hikes we weren’t quite down to do the full trip but the bit that we did complete was great. This is a very popular trail with leashed dogs and a ton of mountain bikers. Nice views of the lake after you get out from behind the burnt trees.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

sunny

hiking
1 month ago

Had an amazing hike on this trail today. Parking lot was full so we parked down the road a bit. Started at about 12 and reached LM8 around 2. Spent a half hour at the water and we’re back at our car at about 5. Saw a lot of mountain bikers and hikers, but wouldn’t say the trail is crowded. The first hill just past the bridge is the biggest push you’ll have. Lots of rolling hills, also lots of rocks and roots so watch your footing. A few bugs when you’re closer to the water but nothing crazy. We did see a few deer off the trail, and a group near us said they saw a black bear about halfway to LM8 at the beach. Definitely recommend bear spray.

1 month ago

Trail dry & clear. 22 May 2019. Walked a half hour past the LM8 campsites then turned around. Saw 5 deer, but no bears. (Whew!) Beautiful views across the lake. Trail in good shape.

1 month ago

Beautiful look outs. I only got past the bend before I had to turn back. Wish I was able to continue all the way to Aylmers Lookout

hiking
2 months ago

will go on April 27. Checked park website, it is open now, not closed.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

We loved the variety of terrains on this trail! We started out on a fairly level path that followed the shoreline of Lake Minnewanka, crossed a tributary at Stewart Canyon, began ascending through a pleasant forest, and continued to climb as the woods thinned out in places and the soft ground of the forest gave way to rocky terrain. We were not determined to complete the trail, which is probably a good thing, since we decided to turn back when we encountered some significant sleet and found the severed lower leg of a deer about 5 feet from the trail. It was quite the adventure, and the views of the lake and surrounding mountains were amazing. Would definitely do this trail again.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Really beautiful lake. Came during the 2nd week of May and the lake was still partially frozen for a very unique view. I heard it gets extremely crowded during the summer & early fall. But today it wasn’t too crowded. Didn’t do the trail. Just hung out on the rocky beach. Gorgeous.

backpacking
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The trail isn't too difficult and the camp sight at LM8 is really nice with a little beach. Very enjoyable hike and backpacking experience. Only downside we could not bring the dog due to all the bears.

2 days ago

recorded Recording - Jul 07, 04:41 PM

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

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