Cascade Ponds
Cascade Ponds

Cascade Ponds Trail

Around Banff
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Walking bridge through Cascade Ponds marsh Banff National Park

Cascade Ponds Trail

Distance: 1.4mi
Elevation: 289ft
Time: 0.5-1h

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Cascade Ponds is commonly known as a day-use area where visitors can claim tables and firepits with space for activities, games, and swimming. A less-frequented trail loops around the area, providing an excellent way for the whole family to explore the area. Cascade Ponds hike is a great addition to a day at the rest area.

Cascade Ponds Trail Map

Getting there

From the town of Banff, take Banff Avenue northbound towards the Trans-Canada Highway. You will cross under the highway and continue onto Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive. Turn right almost immediately following signs for Cascade Ponds. Stay right and follow the road to the parking area, where you will see covered picnic areas and public restrooms. Follow the small wooden staircase from the parking lot onto the grass and continue over the footbridge to begin the trail.

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When to do


Backcountry Campsites


Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


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Cascade Ponds Trail
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Cascade Ponds Trail Description

The Cascade Ponds hike is a simple, accessible trail that is best added onto a day at the ponds. Many visitors come here for cookouts, swimming, paddle boarding, and relaxing. The views are incredible for a space so close to the main roads. If you plan to spend the day here be sure to go early or mid-week to claim a space as the tables and shelters can fill up quickly. Wildlife frequents the area so carrying bear spray is a great idea.

Start from the parking lot and take the wooden staircase down to the grass. Cross the first footbridge that leads to the second. Watch out for swimmers jumping off the bridge railings! This is a popular local swim spot as the temperatures are milder than other lakes. You will take a right at a junction and join a quick out-and-back section to create a lollipop type loop. This will give you some extra views of the area before rejoining the loop. Continue along the trail and soon you will be away from the crowds. Take in views of Mount Rundle and Cascade Mountain from the solitude you will find as you move away from the main area.

Bring a camera and try to catch a reflection if the water is still. The Cascade Ponds hike will take you around the area and back to where you started. This is accessible for strollers, wheelchairs, and walkers.

Insider Hints

  • Arrive early to claim a picnic spot

  • Add this stop to your day spent exploring the scenic Minnewanka area



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