Surprise Corner Hike
Surprise Corner Hike

Surprise Corner Hike

Around Banff
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Surprise Corner HikeSurprise Corner Trail

Surprise Corner Hike

Distance: 1.9mi
Elevation: 197ft
Time: 0.5-1h

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Surprise Corner is a viewpoint that can be reached by foot easily from downtown Banff! The trail connects the Bow River trail system to one of the most popular viewpoints in town. Surprise Corner is a stunning scenic stop while visiting Banff National Park.

Surprise Corner Hike Map

Getting there

To get to Surprise Corner by foot, start in downtown Banff. You will join the Bow River Trail, and the best way to do this is to start on Banff Avenue and head south until you reach the Bow River Bridge. Instead of crossing the bridge, turn left between the bridge and the Legion, where you will connect with a multi-use trail system. Continue on this trail, and you will come to the Banff pedestrian bridge within roughly 164ft. Rather than crossing the bridge, stay on this side and follow the trail ahead. This will take you directly to Surprise Corner.

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When to do


Backcountry Campsites


Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

Surprise Corner Hike
Elevation Graph

Surprise Corner Trail Description

From downtown Banff, head south on Banff Avenue towards the Bow River Bridge. Take a left before crossing the bridge and join the Bow River Trail system. Continue on this multi-use path beyond the pedestrian bridge, where you will be able to follow the same trail to Surprise Corner.

This trail is equipped with various benches at viewpoints over the river, so take your time and enjoy the scenery. Expect togain 197ft elevation from town to Surprise Corner viewpoint. You will reach the namesake corner at an abrupt turn on Buffalo Street that leads to Tunnel Mountain and the Banff Centre for The Arts. A pedestrian crossing on the road will take you to a set of wooden stairs and a raised viewing platform. From here, you can see the surprise that the corner has to offer:postcard-like views of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel amidst the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies.

You may return to town from Surprise Corner or link up with another trail such as Tunnel Mountain or Hoodoos Trail.



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