Banff Hikes

Region in Alberta, Canada

Hiking in Banff National Park is exquisite, with untouched beauty, varied views and plenty of animals. We’ve found the 10 best hikes near the town of Banff, and these great trails will have you hiking to stunning passes, exploring the beautiful Johnston Canyon as well as seeing stunning lakes near Banff. With such a large park, this region only focuses on the hikes close to Banff townsite.

The town of Banff, in the Canadian Rockies, is a wonderful base for outdoor holidays. There are many great hikes within 20 minutes of Banff. These trails include wonderful, family-friendly hikes through to challenging, all-day hikes. Here are the 10 Best hikes near the Town of Banff:

#1. Healy Pass (19.0km, 705m, 5-6h): This hike is chock full of stunning views. Combined with the pleasant trail and potential to experience the mesmerizing colors of the native larch trees in autumn, this is without a doubt our favorite route near Banff.

#2. Citadel Pass (21.9km, 885m, 6-8h): This stunning hike at Sunshine Meadows takes you to the end of Banff National Park and provides epic views the entire way.

#3. Bourgeau Lake / Harvey Pass (20.4km, 1075m, 6-8h): It’s a long day, but we barely notice. The mind-blowing views are all the sustenance you need to keep going – especially if you want to summit Mount Bourgeau as well!

#4. Twin Cairns and Monarch Viewpoint (7.2km, 175m, 1.5-3h): Though not as popular as other hikes at Sunshine Meadows, we love this hike and the views across to Goat’s Eye Mountain from Monarch Viewpoint are spectacular.

#5. Edith and Cory Pass Circuit (14.2km, 1075m, 6-8h): This hike has it all – incredible views across stunning varied and changing landscapes. There is a bit of scrambling on this route, which almost kept it off the list, so if you don’t like using your hands move onto #6.

#6. Lake Minnewanka Lakeside (up to 17.1km, 360m, 3.5-6h): This is a longtime favorite, and a beautiful walk along a stunning lake. The route is especially good in shoulder seasons where you can walk as long or short as your wish.

#7. Sunshine Meadows (7.6km, 175m, 2-3h): This is a great family-friendly hike, and the view of Rock Isle Lake is one of the best in all of the Canadian Rockies. Ride the Gondola or bus to the base of the ski area to take strain off tired legs.

#8. Johnston Canyon (6.3km, 125m, 2-3h): This hike is incredible if you go outside peak times, such as early / late in the day or else shoulder season. In summer, it’s very busy, which pushes it down the rating for us.

#9. Bow River Trail from Downtown Banff to Banff Springs Hotel (6.0km, 70m. 1.5-2): This is one of our favorite hikes to do nearly every time we are in Banff. It’s not only family-friendly, but also saves the hassle of parking. A must-do if you are staying in Banff.

#10. Aylmer Lookout (25.8km, 1085m 7-9h): We love this hike with beautiful views of Lake Minnewanka. The length, however, may put it out of reach for many casual hikers.

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01. Healy Pass

19.0km 705m 5-6h

The best hikes in Banff must include the hike up to Healy Pass. An exquisite hike, especially during Autumn with…

02. Citadel Pass

21.9km 885m 6-8h

If you’re going hiking in Banff, you need to get up to Sunshine Meadows for the incredible hike to Citadel…

03. Bourgeau Lake / Harvey Lake / Harvey Pass

20.4km 1,075m 6-8h

This hike to Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass is a sure-fire way to induce happiness. Though the numbers make this…

04. Twin Cairns and Monarch Viewpoint

7.2km 175m 1.5-3h

We love this less-visited part of Sunshine Meadows. You get to take in the Standish Viewing deck, Rock Isle Lake…

05. Edith and Cory Pass Circuit

14.3km 1,075m 6-8h

This incredible hike through Edith and Cory Passes is the most varied hike close to Banff. This circuit takes in…

06. Lake Minnewanka Lakeside

17.1km 360m 3.5-6h

A walk around Lake Minnewanka is a special treat for those in Banff. This trail winds along a beautiful mountain-fringed…

07. Sunshine Meadows (Rock Isle, Grizzly and Larix Lake)

7.6km 175m 2-3h

The Sunshine Meadows hike is the easiest way to get into the alpine in the Canadian Rockies. The trail starts…

08. Johnston Canyon

6.3km 125m 2-3h

The hike to Johnston Canyon is a great, albeit busy, family hike near Banff. The trail winds through the canyon…

09. Banff Bow River to Bow Falls to Banff Springs

6.0km 70m 1.5-2h

One of the best walks in Banff is the classic walk along the Bow River. This trail is perfect for…

10. Aylmer Lookout via Lake Minnewanka

25.8km 1,085m 7-9h

For one of the most beautiful views near Banff, the hike to Aylmer Lookout is a must-see. It’s especially great…

11. Boom Lake

10.9km 230m 2.5-3.5h

The hike to Boom Lake is a pleasant and popular excursion in Banff National Park. This route is great for…

12. Johnston Canyon and Ink Pots

10.7km 550m 2.5-4.5h

The hike to Johnston Canyon and the Ink Pots is a great, albeit busy, hike near Banff. The trail winds…

13. Cascade Amphitheatre

12.9km 675m 3.5-5.5h

The hike to the Cascade Amphitheatre is a popular hike near Banff. While the views once you get to Cascade…

14. Tunnel Mountain

4.3km 300m 2-3h

The Tunnel Mountain hike gives you a short respite away from the crowded streets of Banff. The viewpoint from the…

15. Stoney Squaw

4.5km 190m 1.5-2h

The hike around Stoney Squaw takes you to one of our favourite viewpoints near Banff. The first half is a…

16. Johnson Lake

3.0km 30m 0.75-1.5h

This hike around Johnson Lake is a great choice for beginners or those with limited physical abilities and it is…

17. Stanley Glacier

11.4km 568m 3-4h

The Stanley Glacier hike in beautiful Kootenay National Park is a true delight. The trail goes from burnt forest with…