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Paradise Valley to Fairview Mountain Trail

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Banff National Park

Paradise Valley to Fairview Mountain Trail is a 5.7 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 March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,320 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

Starting at the shore of beautiful Lake Louise, this trail will lead you to the summit of Fairview Mountain. It is the first mountain on the south shore of Lake Louise when looking west. It is a popular hike and can get quite busy during the peak summer season. The trail heads south and slowly works it way around the toward the south face where the path then turns northward and becomes much more steep. There is a plaque embedded in a rock on the summit warning hikers not to attempt a descent down the north face rock bands and to return the way they came. Although the path seems easy at first, it quickly become s a technical descent requiring ropes and equipment. Numerous rescues have been made to retrieve stranded hikers who disregarded the warning.

hiking
9 months ago

Completed on October 2nd 2019. incline wasnt too bad until the ascent up the mountain. The last mile was quite challenging and my wife and I had to stop several times. A good bit of snowfall has come and is on the mountain face during the climb. Highly reccomend spike/crampons. The descent will be difficult without poles. I didnt bring any and got caught with cramps in both quads. all in all, definitely worth the effort to get to the top!

hiking
9 months ago

Completed 9/23/2019 Took us about 2.5 up and only an hour and 15 to get down. First part of Paradise Valley Trail was beautiful and fairly easy! Heading up to Fairview was a bit more challenging, the last mile or so is definitely a leg burner. We got caught in rain, snow and sleet and the winds were incredibly strong. Bring layers, poles, possibly micro spikes as there may soon be more ice and snow towards the top.

hiking
9 months ago

completed this hike on August long, challenging hike! rewarding views throughout! Last 1-2km was the most challenging up the scramble! But once at the summit ... so worth it little windy at the top! bring mits if you can! (wish I did)

hiking
blowdown
snow
9 months ago

This was for sure a hard hike - especially in September. Really windy and steep at the top, make sure you bring mitts or your fingers might fall off. Poles are essential aswell to help with the final grind. Snow at the top so dress warm

We found the trail very different to described on the map. Original Paradise valley trail from saddleback pass is not there. This trail is very well worn though.

Really nice hike. Especially now all the trees have started to turn golden! Took me 2.5 hours to summit Fairview then another 2.5 hours to summit saddleback and get back down. Not difficult or technical but definitely a leg burner!

Very quiet and VERY beautiful!

hiking
9 months ago

great hike,nice leg burner. great views. took 7 hrs total but we were taking our time

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Hiked Sept 2/19. Fantastic weather and views.

Worth the climb!! The path is very well maintained especially through the woods. Last 1 km is pretty steep but the views from the top make it well worth it. Bald summit with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains, glacier and lakes. Took our group of 4 about 4.5 hours start to finish.

My absolute favorite trail. Did this in August and the flowers were something like I’ve never seen before, I can see why they call it paradise valley. The summit itself was breathtaking and seeing glaciers behind you is mesmerizing. First 9000 footer!

hiking
10 months ago

A very rewarding hike! There was still some snow at the top, so if you intend to stay for a bit I would recommend a warm jacket. There also were a couple of spots where the trail would split and meet again, the paths on the right felt the safest. Beautiful 360 views at the peak, I would most definitely do it again :)

This was hard but very worth it. First time hiking for a couple of our group, took about 6.5 hours but we were not moving for about 2.5. Views were unreal.

hiking
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

I loved this hike!! I am a 40-something woman from Columbus, Ohio where the world is completely flat, and I found this hike to be the perfect blend of challenging and rewarding. As others have stated the last mile is the most difficult part. The views at the top were spectacular, and my boyfriend and I both agreed that this hike was our favorite memory from our trip to Banff N.P.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

I had originally intended to visit Moraine Lake but that place gets busy in a hurry. Do some planning for that one. So I headed up the Saddle Back to check the pass and had some great views above the cloud/fog covered valley. Decided to peak Fairview Mountain and was rewarded with some great views. The last kilometre can be a bit of tough hike/easy scramble but is very doable. Good footwear is recommended and maybe a hiking pole for the way down as there is some loose shale.

Didn't meet any bear. Trail is not as high trafficked as Beehive. Incredible views. Last kilometer is pretty hard and the trail is a bit sketchy, easy to slip and fall. But the view is worth it.

hiking
rocky
scramble
11 months ago

Hiked this beautiful trail on a sunny Sunday and was surprised to find only moderate traffic through Paradise Valley and low traffic on the climb to Fairview summit. This is a great day hike. Go early if you can if only to avoid the long lines to grab the shuttle from the Lake Louise overflow parking. The scramble for the last km or so to the top is a great burn but the views offer the most remarkable payoff. Take them in on your way up as you catch your breath as well. There was a good amount of room at the top and we were lucky enough to have it to ourselves.

hiking
rocky
11 months ago

A steep but easy hike. No scrambles at all. Trail was in perfect condition on July 27, 2019. Did this with our 11 year old girl. Started at 6.15, reached summit at 9. We had the whole summit to ourselves, but it was extremely windy. The view to Lake Louise is not as good since the mountain itself already blocks most of it. However, the views toward Lefroy, Aberdeen, Victoria and Temple are awesome. Started our descent at 10 am. We were planning to go to Saddle afterwards but at 11 am the thunderstorm came, so we decided to go back. Back at Lake Louise shore by 12.30. For such a short hike, the views are worth it. Check out our full review, written by our 11 year old girl from her own point of view here : http://cynkoes.wixsite.com/kc-hiking-scrambling/fairview-mountain

hiking
11 months ago

Technically easy and well-marked trail. Steepness sharply increases once you turn right to leave the paradise valley trail. Unfortunately the view of lake louise isn't as good as expected since the mountain itself blocks half of it. Extremely windy at the summit!!!

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
11 months ago

A very difficult hike, especially the last mile up to the peak. We had to scramble for the most part for the last mile. However, the views are incredible and worth it. The temperature drops almost 20 degrees farenheit at the top. Be prepared with extra layers for the summit as there is no wind protection and the wind chill drops the temperature significantly. The trail has a noticeable grade right at the start. I recommend getting there early because the parking lot is shared with the traffic for Lake Louise. This was the hardest hike I have done so far, but again the views are worth the effort. If you're not comfortable scrambling, then I would not recommend doing this hike. The way down can be a little treacherous as the rocks/gravel can lead to slips and falls. I fell down part of the descent and cut my hand. It took us a total of 4 hrs to do the hike. 2.5 hrs to the summit. We jogged down parts of the descent to cut our time down.

hiking
11 months ago

Very rewarding views while it is a fairly short hike. Great warm up section until the right turn into some harder work (right turn to Fairview Mountain - left to Saddle mountain). Good conditioning hike, not technical at all but super views of Temple and the Glaciers.

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