Sulphur Mountain via Cosmic Ray Road

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Banff National Park

Sulphur Mountain via Cosmic Ray Road is a 8.1 mile 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.

Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,975 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

forest

hot springs

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

historic site

hiking
1 day ago

Completed June 3 2020. Great first summit of the year. Definitely challenging, well marked trail, do not take the road all the way up, about 10 mins up go left through the two orange markers up the trail. Still some snow up near the top but enough melt to stay on the trail. 1 hr 50 mins up, 1 hr 20 mins down. Beautiful views and an incredible hike all around !

hiking
2 days ago

Absolutely amazing views! there was still some snow up there, but it's possible to make your way around.

hiking
snow
6 months ago

Wide, mostly maintained trail with a few fallen trees across the path, but easy to go around or over. Snow covered starting from the cave & basin, getting progressively snowier as we climbed. Incredible views on the way up and we were the only group. About 2-3 switchbacks from the top there were many more tracks and the snow became more compact and slippery. Very windy at the top but sheltered on the way up. We opted for the free gondola ride down, as the busier more switchback-y side looked very slushy/icy.

Good one.

hiking
9 months ago

Really enjoyed this, went as our day 1 hike in Banff. Enjoyed getting to stroll through the cave and basin. The path itself is wide, safe, and actually maintained, but we definitely stopped now and again to catch our breath as it’s a long stretch of moderate incline. Views of the valley were incredible! Very rewarding to get to the top, although it was a little surreal coming upon so many tourists. We ended up seeing a cute red fox on the mountain top and enjoyed a coffee break at the gondola plaza before heading down the switch back side.

Totally fine. Not very difficult with less of an incline than the front side and a little bit more interesting terrain. We didnt encounter anyone which coule make it a nice option if you're looking for some solitude. There's a 30 minute walk from Cave and Basin to account for, which is flat, paved, and boring. The first two thirds of the trail are beside a firebreak line. There are many more interesting hikes in Banff. I think i still preferred this to the switchbacks at the front side. Anyone in reasonable shape won't find this hard - its technically very easy and safe. Something to do if you live here and want something to do after or before work, or you're here for a long vacation and want a quiet walk.

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

11 months ago

a dam hard hike!

hiking
Thu Jun 06 2019

great trail, the down walk over the back of sulfur was definitely less trafficked than the front side and only saw one other person before reaching the horse trails by the water. plenty of Marmonts sunbathing on the way down aswell.

hiking
scramble
Wed May 29 2019

Great hike. Only in Banff for a day so wanted to make the most of it. The back route to the summit is far more rewarding with great views across the valley and particularly of Mount Edith. Didn't see a soul but saw plenty of deer and marmots. It's a fairly long slog to the top but I made it in approx 1.30hr. Too many tourists at the top for my liking but definitely worth continuing along the traverse of the ridge a few more Km for solitude and great views. The walk down is pretty straight forward. A good solid hike overall.

hiking
snow
Sat May 25 2019

Thu Aug 23 2018

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.

hiking
Sun Jul 29 2018

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!

Sun Jul 01 2018

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.

hiking
Sun May 13 2018

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.

hiking
Wed Apr 25 2018

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!

hiking
Tue Apr 24 2018

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!

hiking
Sat Nov 18 2017

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.

Sun Oct 29 2017

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

Sun Oct 29 2017

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.

hiking
Tue Oct 10 2017

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.

recorded Recording - Jan 01, 05:15 PM

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Sat Apr 06 2019

hiking
Fri Nov 09 2018

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