Hiking Trails in Banff

THE 10 BEST Banff Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails in Banff

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What travellers are saying

  • Henry L
    6 contributions
    I started this hike at around 10 AM. The parking lot was not full, although there were a little over 10 cars, so I found a parking spot pretty easily. For the first 15 minutes or so, the trail is surrounded by trees. Once you go up a bit, the views open up and you can see the panoramic view of the Icefields Parkway, Mount Athabasca, and Hilda Peak.

    The trail gains its height with several switchbacks but it gets steeper fairly gradually, so even if you haven't done many hikes before, take several breaks and use hiking poles if needed, and you will eventually reach the top of the hill.

    The trails gets fairly flat on top of the hill, and soon you will be encountered with the amazing view of the Saskatchewan Glacier in the far distance, which is the largest outflow glacier in the Columbia Icefields.

    When you encounter an intersection, do NOT go right, as you will lose the view of the glacier. Instead, keep going straight or if you want a better view of the glacier, go left by following the yellow markers. In less than 10 minutes, you will see the complete view of the glacier with nothing blocking the view.

    I personally think this trail can be classified as "family friendly." My parents who are 65+ years old also did this hike with me. They had to take several breaks but even with those breaks, it took 1 hour for us to reach the top of the hill and see the glacier and nearly 2 hours to finish the entire hike (including stops for photos). Anyone who has done lots of hiking should find this trail very easy and should be able to finish the hike way less than 2 hours. FYI, my parents used hiking poles but I didn't find any need to use them, although you may want to use them when there is snow on the trail.

    This hike is a MUST if you are visiting Banff/Jasper because the trail is short and not steep but you can enjoy an amazing view (You cannot see the Saskatchewan Glacier on any road). You can also combine this hike with another if you are able and time permits. I did this hike in the morning and then Big Beehive hike at Lake Louise in the afternoon on the same day, and it was totally doable.

    Highly recommend!

    P.S. When I came down to the parking lot at around noon after hike, there were TONS of cars. Arrive well before noon if you want to get a good parking spot.
    Written August 12, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Robert W
    Corvallis, OR306 contributions
    The Tunnel Mountain Trail is very nice trail that has the advantage of being accessible from downtown Banff. The distance is just over three miles round trip from the trailhead with about 1000 feet of elevation gain. The surface is in very good condition. You will be rewarded with a wonderful view.
    Written October 17, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • KellyNagle
    461 contributions
    Excellent trail, even if it's a bit smoky. Cirque Peak is close enough to see well in the morning sunlight. Highly recommend going past Helen Lake up the Dolomite Ridge and then down past Katherine Lake. Very colourful rock formations with interesting textures and layers. Awesome views. Lots of wild flowers and butterflies. Some horseflies escorted us most of the way. Minimal mosquitoes July 15th. There is a hidden glacier and lovely waterfall if you continue past Katherine lake and go a bit right off the main trail. The Dolomites look better in the afternoon once the sun comes around.
    Written July 26, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ElainefromPA
    Gilbertsville, PA38 contributions
    Why not do it? Nice little trail with some unique rock formations and beautiful view of the glacial river. All paved and super easy.
    Written September 2, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jim B
    Grapeview, WA1,377 contributions
    We enjoyed the ride from Banff to Canmore and back on a beautiful, warm fall day. It parallels the highway so there is traffic noise, but it doesn't ruin the ride. It's just nice being on a trail where you don't have to worry about high speed vehicles passing. We found the majority of other cyclists we met to be very courteous. The views of the mountains along the way are beautiful! As an old road geek, I wondered if this trail followed the old highway alignment. Turns out that part of it does as we found an old stone highway mileage marker at 6 miles out of Banff. I'm assuming it was miles since Canada used miles instead of kilometers up until 1970 and this marker was much older than that.
    Written September 28, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • eVe 🇸🇬🇸🇬🇸🇬
    Singapore, Singapore683 contributions
    From downtown Banff at Banff Ave, we walked into the trail making our way after crossing the bridge to Fenland Trail (1.2km). The Bow River with the afternoon sun reflection was turquoise, so beautiful. We passed by a canoe rental kiosk and moved towards Banff Heritage Train Station. The return trip back to downtown Banff was surprisingly fast.

    There is another nice trail heading to Bow Falls in the opposite direction from Fenland Trail.
    Written September 16, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • david n
    Manchester, UK4,683 contributions
    .. just a few minutes from Banff centre and well-signposted. Took just over 30 minutes and was a lovely stroll in quiet and solitude.
    Written January 19, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • tsullivanmd3
    Chantilly, VA15 contributions
    An excellent hike worthy of the effort required on a very difficult trail. The initial climb up Cory Pass is long and steep after which the pitch flattens some although still a ways to the summit. The trail is poorly marked so strongly advise access to online trail app to help stay on track. We did not have such and got off track; luckily connected with others who had such access and made a world of different.
    There is a long hike along ridge line with superb views and several rock scrambles including a steep downward section. We are 68 and able to finish the loop although a bit slower than most.

    Along with the suggestion to have access to a trail app I would also advise not doing in inclement weather as trail would be very slippery.
    Written October 9, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Gluke Ye
    3 contributions
    We saw pikas and they were the cutest things. The only thing is that the water level was low when we went (mid-late August) so there was no water... The views are breathtaking regardless!!
    Written September 13, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kipley C
    13 contributions
    A nice respite from the hubbub downtown. We saw no elk..only horses and mosquitos. Wear sunscreen and bring bug spray. Yes, there’s horse poop on the trail, that’s what horses do. By design, the trail is meant to be shared by hikers and horses.
    Written July 31, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Justin C
    Alberta, Canada224 contributions
    My wife and I walked this trail on a weekday during an Alberta staycation while staying at the Banff Springs. The trail was easily accessible within walking distance, as the trailhead was just to the south of the hotel parkade.

    The trail is a 12km loop around the Spray River, with a clearing and picnic area at a bridge at the half way mark. There was a fair amount of elevation gain/fall with the walk. We walked the trail in late October, there was a thin layer of packed snow on the trail from frequent use and occasional bare areas of gravel.

    Lots of signs of wildlife around - human footprints were interspersed with lots of footprints of other fauna. Two other hikers waved us off from doing the east side of the trail after showing us a picture of a rather fresh looking bear footprint!

    I look forward to doing this trail again in the future either on my mountain bike or a rented fat bike!
    Written November 1, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Tom C
    Winnipeg, Canada60 contributions
    This was the first day of a four day hike through to Sunshine via Egypt Lake.
    The scenery is stunning and well worth the hike.

    The campground is good, with a nice food preparation area with bear lockers far from the campsites.
    Water is available from the lake, the area farther down from the food prep area is the easiest spot to get water from.

    This is a steep climb - 8.17km, 688m gain based on a crappy old phone.
    Written August 6, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Andrew R
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada68 contributions
    My Sister Dad and I went here for the Very First time and we had a half day and Just Skied to the First Cascade Bridge but just as Fun and Skied a few Minutes Beyond the Bridge and Beatuiful but might Still Climb Easy but Didn't make it to the Cabin as that was 12 to 13 km One way and First Bridge only 6.6 Km but Return trip would take too long and a full day ski. The Downhill on Return near t Bridge and was fun you can ski just to the first one and go a little distance and turn back Anytime. But the First Bridge area and through the forest is just as interesting trail starts at lake Miniwanka Parking lot Area at Locked gate on the left.
    Written December 28, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • AdventureSeekingFam
    Spring, TX76 contributions
    Brandon guided our group on a work retreat to do the Via Ferrata and we had a blast! I want to bring my family back here to do it again. Totally the best thing to do in Banff. Need to be a little adventurous though.
    Written September 20, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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