Sulphur Mountain Trail

MODERATE 303 reviews
#7 of 130 trails in

Sulphur Mountain Trail is a 10.1 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.1 km
ELEVATION GAIN
744 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wildlife

muddy

scramble

snow

Sulphur Mountain Trail is an alpine switchback pathway which leads to the summit ridge of Sulphur Mountain. The mountain is based in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies and overlooks the small town of Banff in Alberta, Canada. Once at the top, visitors can also check out the historic Cosmic Ray Station on Sanson Peak. After 7pm or anytime during the winter, visitors can take the Sulphur Mountain Gondola ride down the mountain for free. Other times the gondola is $30. The Sulphur Mountain trailhead starts from the Upper Hot Springs parking area. This is a moderate hike with amazing views of the Bow Valley.

hiking
7 hours ago

Awesome hike! It was exactly what I was hoping for. Got there around 12:30 and the crowds were fine. Definitely had plenty of solo time on the path. Took me about 65 mins ascending with long strides and no breaks. I’m in good shape but still got a great workout. Jogged most of the way down. The views at the summit were breathtaking and I managed to get some nice shots on the actual trail. Wear layers because the top was cold and windy but that’s to be expected.

hiking
5 days ago

This is a great trail run or walk. Although the views on the trail aren't really remarkable given the location, the views from the top are unforgettable.
For a 1-2 hour run/walk, you couldn't choose a more convenient one with such great views. Also, there is a $35 buffet at one of the restaurants at the top in-case you need to fill up on energy.

Be sure to bring your own water or water bottle as the bottles at the base are sold for $3.

As an even better end to most hikes, you can go to the hot springs which are located at the foot of the trail. Bring your swimsuit and leave it in your vehicle!

-Will

hiking
9 days ago

Today I did this hike with 3 of my kids age 8, 10 and 13. Trail is steep but I would still consider it moderate for difficulty. We got to the parking lot at 8:30am, lots of places to park, the hike took us just under 2 hours with lots of short breaks. Trail was mostly switchbacks and lots of trees so not a lot of open views, that being said the trails were wide and easy to walk on. We thought it was closer to 6km one way. I was super surprised to see how big the crowds were when we got to the top And it was only a Thursday. We did ride the gondola down just for fun. When we arrived back the parking lot was packed and so many shuttles of people.
Try this hike but do it early to avoid the large crowds!

10 days ago

Went up the back route, was minimal traffic and pleasant scenery. Lots of chances to see the scenery from a wide service road which is currently in disuse. Lots of opportunities for pictures, rest, with a moderate incline that is consistent throughout. Came back down the front (75-90min) side which is very highly trafficked. Overall a decent hike.

12 days ago

We are not very fit at all, but we made it to the top in about two hours. Fantastic views from the top, especially from the Cosmos station. We did cheat and take the Gondola back down, which saved time and my wife's legs ;-)

hiking
13 days ago

Loved it. Not too bad of a hike. Very dog friendly. Amazing views

hiking
13 days ago

A tad bit more challenging than you would expect for the ‘moderate’ rating. Limited opportunity for views on the climb and the trail can be a bit repetitive given all the hairpin turns. But spectacular views at the summit.

Highly visited trail especially given the increase access due to the gondolas on site. Ok to do this hike solo - limited chance of running into wildlife.

hiking
22 days ago

Uphill climb basically the whole way, took us just over two hours to reach the summit. We started early, but still hit big gondola crowds at the top. Had good views along the way and you can’t beat the 360 at summit. We ate at the bistro (great food) and took gondola down. I carried our one year old and my wife was carrying out soon to be second child.

23 days ago

Actually a lot harder than I expected. Had done tunnel mountain a few times and as both were rated as “moderate”, I assumed they were similar. Not true — this one was actually very steep at times, and I’m pretty fit. Was well worth it. Amazing views at top of gondola departure. Word of warning: TONS of tourists at top (they take gondola up).
Go early — we left at 830 and by the time we were coming down after 1130, there were lots of ppl on trail (which makes it good for single hikers).

hiking
24 days ago

Was definitely a thigh burner, wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Was 6ish kms of up hill switchbacks. I’m not unfit but found it still quite difficult. Was a cool day too, wouldn’t want to do this on a hot day. The views were worth it if there wasn’t so many people up the top (because of the gondola) the hike way too many people up the top. But on the trail it was good. I felt this in the legs for days.

hiking
24 days ago

Lots of switchbacks and the trail was very well travelled. Heavy traffic, but can be avoided if you start early, we started at 8:30am and saw very few people on our climb up until we reached the gondola station, where it was extremely busy. On our descent the trail was much busier.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike, lots of switchbacks and well worth the views once you reach the top! Can catch the gondola down for free before 10am or after 7pm for hikers. Takes roughly 2 hours to get to the top.

hiking
26 days ago

Good for solo hiking as trail is usually pretty busy.

hiking
28 days ago

Nice hike yesterday. Definitely not easy, but not super difficult. Took 2 hours to get up. Took the gondola down because it hailed the whole way up and was soaked.
View on top is beautiful, but a lot of tourists that only took gondola up. Switchbacks basically the whole way up.. No bear sightings.. Did the hike solo, which is why I picked this trail. Was one of the only trails around with no bear warnings that day.
Trail is clean and well marked. Recommended.

hiking
1 month ago

Very crowded--basically just switchbacks up the mountain back and forth across the gondola route with a bunch of other people. Path is pretty wide and smooth. Gondola costs $32 to get back down.

Recommend turning left at the summit and walking along the south ridgeline trail. The views are outstanding, the terrain varied, and the solitude preferable.

hiking
1 month ago

The switchback section (basically the whole hike lol) can be sort of boring, but the view from the top is great! There's a star viewing station at the top and you can ride the gondola down for free after 7pm!

walking
1 month ago

For a beginner I definitely pushed my limits. I stopped for a few break. People on the trail were very kind. Only saw squirrels, chipmunks & birds for wildlife. The view of the town & mountains was beautiful.
Good luck & happy climbing!

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I did this hike yesterday.

Sulfur Mountain was an absolutely great hike for the beginner to moderate hiker! If you do not exercise regularly you will feel out of breath on the way up and you will “feel the burn” on the hike down.
We were visiting Banff and wanted to do a moderate hike that wouldn’t take us an entire day. Sulfur Mountain Trail was very easy to find and Free Parking (excluding park admission) was available.
Parts of the trail are dirt and parts of the trail are Rocky. If you do not have hiking gear I’d recommend going on a day that is dry. I’d also suggest to have shoes that still have decent tread on them. If they do not the hike down will be pretty strenuous and you could easily slip and sprain your ankle.

All in all beautiful beautiful hike and well worth the hike up to the summit of the mountain!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Was a decent hike. The switchbacks break it up nicely (if you like switchbacks). The trail head says 3-4 hours one way which is very generous. We did the whole thing up and down in 4 hours including having lunch at the summit.

1 month ago

We went up at 5pm and took the gondola back down, which is free after 7. We made it to the top around 6:30 and took in the view.

The hike up is still challenging because of the incline, but the trail itself is well maintained, easy to navigate, and beautiful. The views at the top are stunning.

There's a $35 buffet at the top that is decent. You'll be hungry once you make it.

1 month ago

Got a lot of mixed reviews for this one but I really enjoyed it! Basically switchbacks until the top, good workout. Gorgeous view!took the gondola on the way down (30$)

1 month ago

Moderately difficult trail but a good introduction to hiking in the area. Nice, long and steady hike with rewarding views of Banff along the way. Totally worth the trip instead of paying for the gondola. Hit the trail early to beat the tourists that start coming out around 11am. The observation deck at the top is super packed with tourists but a good spot to take a break and refill water bottles. Great hike.

1 month ago

Amazing view on top!

1 month ago

This trail had some breathtaking views. I would not consider a moderate difficulty trail but i stead would say it is hard. My wife and I carried two little kids up in packs designed for it and it was very hard at points and required alot of breaks. Glad we did it but I was more happy to ride the gondola back down.

1 month ago

great trail, lots of switchbacks and with the gondola going the same way it is crowded at the top. the views are amazing though!

1 month ago

Went there today April 28, the path is all snow but it's doable as long as you're careful! I did it with just hiking shoes, but cleats would've been helpful. Beautiful clear skies and 360 views of the Rocky mountains ❤️

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views of the Canadian Rockies! Was a bit challenging but the views up top are amazing!! There are places to eat, a gift shop and coffee shop at the top, along with a BEAUTIFUL 4th floor observatory deck. The big surprise is when you get to the top and can finally see behind Sulphur Mtn. Spectacular views!

1 month ago

Great view at the top! Lots of switchbacks

Did this hike today in late may and it was good. Very popular and busy. Quite easy. Views from the top were good and you could see all of Banff. The gondola and restaurants up top took away from the experience of hiking it and make it feel like a very touristy spot. But it’s a good quick heart racing hike if you want to ease yourself into harder trails.

2 months ago

Nice hike, dry and well-marked. Too busy at the summit but it's worth it. 3 hours return.

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