Observation Peak is a 4.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, rock climbing, and nature trips and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.8 miElevation gain3,779 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsRock climbingWalkingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleSnowWashed out
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 (73)
Photos (59)
Recordings (44)
Completed (121)
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Rob Graves
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 7, 2021
Snowshoeing

Freezing cold today but loads of amazing snow!!!!! Please read Avalanche Canada before heading out.

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Hayden Cameron
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Skiing
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Hua Wei Chan
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Hiking
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pierre fournier
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Hiking
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BJ Kim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 30, 2020
HikingIcyRockyScrambleSnow

Challenged and gave up last Sunday (September 27, 2020). Hard to ascend due to all the gravel, but quite fun as it felt like a kind of mountaineering. But above the 2700m point, snow covered all over and it was impossible to find a trail. It was slippery and risky, as well as sketchy. If you dare, try left side of the dry river, there seems less snow than the route suggested here.

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Braden Masterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
HikingOff trailRockyScramble

Completed 7/31/2020 View of all the glaciers + icefields + Peyto lake + bow lake + big peaks = the best summit view I found this year! Finding where to park is the hardest part (gotta watch very closely for the gravel road on your right as soon as you reach bow summit) after that it’s largely just a very steep hike with some scree and simple hands on sections. Cairns almost the whole way up, once you’re past the cliff bands you basically just go straight up the scree slope. Never found this scree unpleasant however, as it is consistent and there are no dangerously large chunks. Blew my mind that no one else was on the trail the day we did this, so go here for a spectacular view and some solitude! Took us about 6 1/2 hours total with over an hour spent at the summit

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pierre fournier
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Hiking
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Émilie Moreau
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La vue est incroyable!! :) Il y a un faux sommet, rendu au 2e sommet je n'ai pas eu de vue en raison de la température.

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Cynthia Husni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Did this with my 12 y/o daughter. AWESOME VIEW! MINIMAL EFFORT! SO BEAUTIFUL! One of our favorites for this year and definitely one of the best summit views we've seen. It's mostly only a steep hike with only 2 short spots of easy hands-on scramble. Very straightforward and hard to get lost there. For pics and detail, go to : https://cynkoes.wixsite.com/kc-hiking-scrambling/observation-peak

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Erica Noddin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
Hiking

You’ll work for the views on this one. This trail is also not marked well so route finding is required once you get up a few km. There are a number of cliffs you can run into on the descent if you’re not careful. I’d highly recommend good boots, poles, and a helmet. GPS helped too. Scrambling is required about half way up - definitely not just a hike. Overall a great trail if you’re willing to work for the views.

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Stephanie Janes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 9, 2020
Hiking

Scree, so. much. scree. Beautiful Vista once you hit the false summit and then its a long walk to the true summit. I actually left my gear at the false summit and ran to the true summit, hence why it looks like I stopped before the summit. Probably a never do again kind of hike, the scree just kills me, especially in the heat!

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Taylor Temple
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
HikingGreat!

Hit trail head for 10am Steep off the get-go- minimal shade ensure you pack enough water as you will be in direct sunlight the entire hike. We kept left when the trail divided - trekking through the scree ( recommend for more advanced hikers) poles and gloves will make this experience easier- will connect back to trail -that will lead to another steep section of scree- that takes you to the first summit. 10/10 recommend walking the ridge to observation peak. Gorgeous views - wind picks up- highly recommend packing layers. Nice wind barrier set up to enjoy lunch at the summit. Keep left heading down the mountain- you will have to ride the scree down. Most efficient way down. Highly recommend this hike - be ready for a scree challenge

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Avi Silverberg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
HikingGreat!

One of the longest scree slopes you’ll encounter, which makes for quite the slog on the way up. We went up the gully on the left, and down the gully on the right. I’d recommend the same. The all trail map doesn’t show the true route so just watch for the cairns and you’ll be okay. Once you’ve gained the ridge and you walk to the summit, I don’t think there’s a better hike for getting a view of the Wapta Icefields. You can see Payto, Bow, Vulture, and Crowfoot glacier all in one view. It makes for quite the vista once you’ve reached the top. Saw some review where a guy did car-to-car in 4 hours. I would say for average levels of fitness this is a 6-7 hour hike, depending on how long you spend at the summit. I’d bring poles for the scree and a wind breaker for the summit. Watch for rock fall if you go later in the day as other hikers are coming down. Otherwise, the views are insane.

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Angelica Laliberte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 4, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

This is definitely a scramble that can test your route finding abilities. Lost the trail a bit on the way down and wound up having to scramble down some pretty exposed sections of rather brittle rock in order to get back to the trail. We’re both pretty experienced scramblers and were able to get back on track quickly and safely but make sure to do plenty of research before you head out. Bob Spirko’s reports, as well as explor8ion.com both have great reports with a lot of detail and great pictures to help you find your way! Did this on a rather cloudy day so can’t imagine how spectacular the views would have been on a clear day, but got to see a magnificent view of Bow and Peyto Lakes before ascending up above the clouds!

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Dylan Sewepagaham
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Hiking
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Farah Zawari
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Hiking

Steep all the way to the top. Poles would be great support

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Sharon Wang
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Hiking
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Guillaume Flúgos
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Hiking

Nice we did just the middle of the hike to have the view of the two like peyto and bow

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Maggie H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2020
HikingGreat!

one of the best view in Banff. My 12 years old daughter did this with me . It was hard to hike in loose scree. we went up by the left gully. came down from right side. it was fun to slide down in some loose sandy section. This is a scramble trail. Hiking boots and poles are needed. It was so beautiful on the top.

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Curtis Hull
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

Great views! Definitely a tiring ascent. Lost the trail on the way up but had fun traversing some boulders back to the trail. Tons of scree on the way to the false summit. Didn’t use poles which made the scree section exhausting on the way up (guess I must love pain lol), but still made it to the summit in 2 hours 15 mins. Super cool ridge section on the way to the true summit with awesome views of Peyto lake and surrounding mountains. Windy at the top. Fast and fun descent sliding down the scree, took my own path down most the way, just be careful it’s easy to pick up speed. Made it back to the car in a little over 4 hours, spent a decent amount of time at the summit enjoying the scenery. Definitely recommend gloves if you’re like me and like to use your hands instead of poles.

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BCJay H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
HikingGreat!

Some of the best views you will see! It is a grind as soon as you hit the drainage all the way to the sub peak, after it’s an easy hike. A great short section of scrambling in the middle if you stay on the ridges, definite rock fall hazard in the gullies if you go that route, huge cornice’s at the top. Poles highly recommended, if not you must love pain and coming down will be sketchy. Hard but definitely worth it.

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Jason Peter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingSnow

Trail is well laid out to a point after which it is pretty much a scramble to the top. We encountered a snowstorm so had to turn back around 500m away from the peak, but still got the good views before the weather turned bad. Don’t think we missed out on anything really.

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