Hikes in Banff National Park

Region in Alberta, Canada

There are so many great hikes in Banff National Park that we have broken the region up into three regions: around the town of Banff, around Lake Louise and around the Icefields Parkway. You can see the best hikes in each part of Banff National Park by clicking on the icons below.

By breaking the best hikes in Banff National Park into three smaller regions, we can share more great hiking in the Canadian Rockies. The best hikes in Banff National Park take you to stunning viewpoints, whether they are in a secluded valley, along an incredibly blue lake or to a peak, with the Canadian Rockies below. Hiking in Banff National Park is famous for the abundant wildlife, stunning nature and beautiful views.

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Hiking regions in Banff National Park

Best Hikes in Banff National Park

Open details for Lake Minnewanka Lakeside

Lake Minnewanka Lakeside

Easy
17.1 km
360 m
4-5.5h

A walk around Lake Minnewanka is a special treat for those in Banff. This trail winds along a beautiful mountain-fringed lake and can be as short or as long as you want. It’s especially wonderful in spring and autumn when most other hikes are snowbound.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Skoki Lakes

Skoki Lakes

Very Hard
25.7 km
965 m
7-10h

Skoki Lakes is an epic hike in the Skoki region near Lake Louise. This route takes in Boulder Pass, Ptarmigan Lake, Packers Pass, the Skoki Lakes (Zigadenus and Myosotis Lakes) and then Deception Pass before coming back. This is a long day, though it is especially pretty in Autumn.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Wilcox Pass

Wilcox Pass

Moderate
9.8 km
409 m
3-4h

The Wilcox Pass hike offers hikers easy access to alpine meadows as well as incredible views of the peaks and glaciers on the eastern edge of the Columbia Icefield. This hike is a must-do when you’re on the Icefields Parkway, and a great trail to enjoy the Athabasca Glacier for free.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Sunset Viewpoint and Pass

Sunset Viewpoint and Pass

Very Hard
23.3 km
948 m
6.5-9.5h

The hike to Sunset Pass & Sunset Lookout follows a strenuous trail that hikes along a backcountry artery and through a meadow with views to the remote White Goat Wilderness Area. The steep initial ascent means crowds are low, but rewards are high. If you want a shorter day you don’t need to do both hikes.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Moraine Lake Hike (The Rockpile and Lakeshore Trail)

Moraine Lake Hike (The Rockpile and Lakeshore Trail)

Very Easy
3.4 km
38 m
0.5-1h

The Moraine Lake hike through Rockpile and Lakeshore trail in Lake Louise provides one of the best views of the Canadian Rockies and the stunning Moraine Lake. This hike is best enjoyed very early or in the evening due to large crowds and limited parking.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Edith and Cory Pass Circuit

Edith and Cory Pass Circuit

Hard
14.3 km
1,075 m
5.5-7.5h

This incredible hike through Edith and Cory Passes is the most varied hike close to Banff. This circuit takes in a number of different micro ecosystems – from a steep and dry ridge, to an arid pass, back through a lush forest. Be aware of some modest scrambling sections (both up and down) on the approach to Cory Pass.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.6
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Paradise Valley Circuit

Paradise Valley Circuit

Very Hard
20.3 km
1,045 m
6.5-9h

Quite simply, this is a top hike. On the Paradise Valley Circuit trail, experience spectacular clear lakes and waterfalls, beautiful views, a challenging scree ascent and a breathtaking descent. Once at Sentinel Pass get the stunning views of the Valley of the 10 Peaks and Moraine Lake.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Helen Lake and Cirque Peak

Helen Lake and Cirque Peak

Very Hard
17.2 km
1,007 m
6-8h

Hiking to Helen Lake and Cirque Peak is a local favourite. From Helen Lake up to Cirque Peak the hike provides incredible views. Be warned that this is a challenging day with steady uphill climbs, particularly the final push to the top of Cirque Peak, which also involves some scrambling.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Johnston Canyon Hike

Johnston Canyon Hike

Moderate
5.8 km
125 m
1.5-2h

Johnston Canyon Hike is a great, albeit busy, family hike near Banff. The trail winds through the canyon to the Upper Falls. It can also be extended to the Ink Pots, which boast pretty mountain views. In peak season start before 9am to avoid crowds on the trail.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.1
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Sunshine Meadows Hike

Sunshine Meadows Hike

Easy
7.6 km
175 m
2-2.5h

The Sunshine Meadows hike is the easiest way to get into the alpine in the Canadian Rockies. The trail starts at the base of Sunshine Ski hill, where you can take the Gondola to the Sunshine Ski village and hike from there. Rock Isle Lake is truly stunning!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.

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