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Best Hikes in Banff National Park

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Best Hikes in Banff National Park

Banff National Park, located in Alberta, Canada, is renowned for its spectacular mountainous terrain, crystal-clear lakes, and diverse wildlife. It offers a range of hikes that cater to all skill levels, from leisurely trails to challenging climbs.

The Best Hikes in Banff National Park

Johnston Canyon to the Ink Pots

This popular hike starts with a walk through the impressive Johnston Canyon, which leads to the Lower and Upper Falls. Beyond the falls, the trail continues to the Ink Pots, which are beautiful mineral springs in an open meadow. The total hike is about 12 kilometers round trip and is relatively easy, although it can be crowded.

Lake Louise Shoreline Trail

For a less strenuous option, the Lake Louise Shoreline Trail is a flat 4-kilometer return path that offers stunning views of the famous lake and the surrounding peaks. It's perfect for families and those looking for a leisurely walk.

Plain of Six Glaciers

Starting from the shores of Lake Louise, this trail takes you through an ancient glacial valley with the chance to see glaciers up close. It's about 14 kilometers return, with a teahouse along the way where you can rest and grab a snack.

Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley

This is a more challenging hike, especially popular in the fall when the larch trees turn golden. It’s about 11.6 kilometers round trip and takes you from Moraine Lake, through Larch Valley, and up to Sentinel Pass, offering spectacular views of the Ten Peaks.

Sulphur Mountain

For those who want a good workout and panoramic views without going deep into the backcountry, the Sulphur Mountain hike is ideal. It’s about 10 kilometers return if you hike up and down, or you can take the gondola down from the summit. The top provides a stunning view of the town of Banff and its surrounding mountains.

Sunshine Meadows

Recognized for its beautiful alpine meadows, Sunshine Meadows offers some of the best alpine walking trails with relatively little effort because you start at a higher elevation. You can hike several trails here, ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty.

The Cory Pass - Mt. Edith Circuit

This hike is more strenuous, about 13 kilometers loop, offering dramatic views of the jagged peaks surrounding Banff. It involves a steep climb to Cory Pass, followed by a descent past the back of Mt. Edith.

Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass

For a full day adventure, this hike covers about 15 kilometers return. Starting with a gentle climb through forest to Bourgeau Lake, the trail continues to Harvey Pass for outstanding views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Always check Banff National Park's trail conditions and closures before you go, especially due to wildlife activity or weather impacts. Be prepared for varying temperatures and carry bear spray as encounters with wildlife are possible. Banff National Park's trails provide a magnificent way to experience the natural beauty and grandeur of the Canadian Rockies.

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