Sulphur Mountain via Cosmic Ray Road

HARD 10 reviews
#88 of 136 trails in

Sulphur Mountain via Cosmic Ray Road is a 13.0 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Banff, Alberta, Canada that features hot springs and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and snowshoeing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

13 km
907 m
Point to Point

dogs on leash


nature trips



hot springs


wild flowers



historic site

26 days ago

This is a hike! The back way up is steep. I could not see any truck getting up this "fire road". It is a beautiful climb non the less. it's to bad it was so smokey out.

I highly recommend this hike as there was no one else on this trail up as opposed of the front more popular side.

1 month ago

Nice secluded trail with a nice view of Bow River. To get to the start of the trail, follow the paved road toward Sundance Canyon for 2-3 kms. You'll see a sign on the left for Sulfur Mountain Summit. After going up the trail for ~15 minutes, you come to a fork. Take the path right to head up toward the summit (left will take you on the dotted line back toward the paved road). The remainder of the trail is easy to figure out and has a nice view. There were no other hikers until we got to the top. Took us ~2 hours (not including the time we wasted when we took the wrong path at the fork) to get up and ~1 hour down on the front. Bonus - when you get to the hot springs parking lot, go halfway up the staircase to the hot springs and find a foot bath on the right - it's free and feels great!

2 months ago

A long slog on what is more like a fire road than a trail. Amazing view but it's the same one for three miles. The switchback is much nicer even with all the people.

4 months ago

Went up yesterday (mid May) and the last kilometre or so, right when you reach the switchbacks at the top is covered in heavy snow (waist deep in some places). Slippery, dense snow, too, despite the heavy sun. Bring spikes and poles and be prepared. I did OK with just Yaktrax, but I'm glad I wasn't just in boots.

Keep an eye out for fossilized worms and strange sea life on the rock faces as you ascend! I also saw a beaver (in the river before the ascent starts) hoary marmots, and mule deer.

4 months ago

To early in the season! Definitely took us long time with all the snow but the view was beautiful the whole way up! Could see how you would be way to exposed on a hot day , got a pretty bad burn, definitely recommend this hike though!

4 months ago

Definitely too early in the season for this hike! We fell through the snow, sometimes waist deep in it, around 200 times, without even exaggerating. The views all the way up are pretty spectacular though, it would be perfect once the snow has melted some more/more people have made it compact too.
The gondola is free back down apparently only until May. Which we were glad about seeing as it took us 5 hours not 4, with all the fluffy snow! Pretty sure we saw some bear tracks on the trail at one point too!

10 months ago

Much nicer coming up the back way than the front. Decent views, but nothing spectacular. Good steady non technical slog through the snow. Bonus taking the gondola down for free and hitting the hot springs after to chill.

I loaded all my clothes into the pay locker at the hot springs and the lock wouldn't work. Had to carry all my stuff to another locker. Terribly inconvenient.

10 months ago

First 2 km follow paved multi use trail, then just up, beautiful views pretty much the whole way up.

10 months ago

Nice alternative to avoid the crowds on the front side. Long steady incline without switchbacks. Lots of trees blown over onto trail. Bring good traction/spikes as its now snow covered towards top.

11 months ago

This hike starts with a long flat section on a paved path starting from the Cave & Basin before you begin the actual ascent. At the top it is incredibly busy from all the Gondola traffic and people who have hiked up the front side.

4 stars because there were amazing views up the valley almost the entire way up but it is very busy at the top and on the front side on the way down.