Banff Backpacking

Region in Alberta, Canada
Banff Backpacking Map

backpacking trips in Banff

Backpacking in the backcountry of Banff National Park is an unreal experience. There are so many options, you will be sure to find something to suit your style. Whether you are looking for your first backpack experience or you want to head out on an exceptional, multi-day trek, Banff National Park delivers. Banff National Park takes in some of the best scenery on earth, and getting into the backcountry gives new views and few people. Enjoy the solitude of pristine mountain lakes, clear air, stunning views while walking along good trails. Below are our favourite backpacking routes in Banff National Park.

THE TOP 10 BACKPACKS IN BANFF, ALBERTA

#1. Sunshine to Assiniboine (54.1km, 400m, 3-5 days): This is a bucket list trip! Hike from Sunshine Ski resort past wonderful Rock Isle Lake, over Citadel Pass and then down to Assiniboine Provincial Park. Once at Assiniboine make Lake Magog your base and explore this exquisite location. Hike out via Wonder Pass and Bryant Creek to the Mount Shark trailhead. Or take a helicopter, another great experience.

#2. Devon Lake (61.0km, 1900m, 3 - 4 days): The Devon Lakes trek is a journey to two remote alpine lakes in the heart of Banff National Park. At over 30.0km by trail from the nearest road and with 3 mountain passes to traverse to reach them, they are beautifully wild and isolated. This backpacking trip isn't only about the destination, however, as a full 22.0km of the journey (over 40.0km round trip!) is essentially above treeline with alpine meadows stretching as far as you can see.

#3. Skoki Loop (42.0km, 1450m, 3-4 days): Another bucket-list backpacking trip is a trip to the wonderful Skoki area. One of our favourite campgrounds is here, at scenic Baker Lake. This route takes in alpine passes, lakes, and loads of scrambling opportunities, which make it a bucket-list backcountry trekking destination.

#4. Gibbon, Whistling, and Healy Pass (43.5km, 2015m, 4 - 5 days): A backpacking trip through Gibbon Pass, Whistling Pass, and Healy Pass traverses three flower-filled alpine passes, multiple lakes, tarns and an old growth larch forest. Follow the good trail surrounded by glacier studded jagged peaks. This is a spectacular trip, showcasing all the magnificent beauty the Canadian Rockies have to offer.

#5. Egypt Lake (25.8km, 859m, 2-4 days): A backpacking trip to Egypt Lake takes you through Healy Pass, one of the prettiest places in Banff National Park. In early summer, Healy Pass is a carpet of wildflowers fringed by larches that turn golden in the fall. Egypt Lake certainly holds its own as a backpacking destination, there are many incredibly scenic day trips to take from here, such as to Scarab Lake or Pharaoh Lake.

#6. Glacier lake (17.8km, 210m, 2 days): Pretty Glacier Lake is a great weekend excursion, and a great objective for early-intermediate backpackers. We love the backcountry campground here, and the views of Glacier Lake are spectacular.

#7. Lake Minnewanka (8.0km-11.0km one-way, 360m, 2-3 days): This is a good early-intermediate backpack, with a short hike in without too much elevation. Even better is the absolutely stunning scenery. Imagine enjoying a mug of hot cocoa after dinner with the entirety of Lake Minnewanka before you! We love making a 3-day trip here, with a hike up Aylmer Pass or Aylmer Lookout on the 2nd day. LM20 and LM22 are good for longer hikes, and aren’t explored nearly as often.

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The best backpacking trips in Banff

01. Sunshine to Assiniboine
Difficulty

54.0km 1,555m 3-5 days

Hiking from Sunshine Ski resort to Assiniboine Provincial Park is a bucket list trek. This backpack is incredible, and the… Read More

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02. Devon Lakes
Difficulty

61.0km 2,032m 3-4 days

The Devon Lakes backpack is a journey to two remote alpine lakes in the heart of Banff National Park. This… Read More

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03. Baker Lake and the Skoki Region
Difficulty

33.1km 1,450m 3-4 days

Behind the Lake Louise ski hill is one of the best backpacking destinations in Banff National Park. Scenic Baker Lake… Read More

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04. Gibbon, Whistling, and Healy Pass
Difficulty

37.5km 2,015m 4-5 days

A backpacking trip through Gibbon Pass, Whistling Pass, and Healy Pass traverses three flower-filled alpine passes, multiple lakes and tarns,… Read More

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05. Egypt Lake
Difficulty

25.0km 1,164m 2-4 days

The backpacking trip to Egypt Lake takes you through the beautiful Healy pass and then down to some stunning scenery… Read More

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06. Glacier Lake
Difficulty

17.0km 210m 2 days

A backpacking trip to Glacier Lake is a great early-season objective as well as popular with novice and intermediate backpackers.… Read More

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07. Lake Minnewanka
Difficulty

24.6km 700m 2-3 days

This is a Banff backpacking classic, a perfect trip to head out Friday after work and come back Sunday. Enjoy… Read More

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