hikes in Banff
Hiking around Banff 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 hike 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 is one of the classic hikes near Banff, and it's easy to see why. 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 hike near Banff. The hike is especially good in shoulder seasons where you can walk along the shores of Lake Minnewanka as long or short along 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): Another classic hike near Banff, 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 in Banff, and we do this hike 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.Read More
The best hikes in Banff
The Sunshine Meadows hike is the easiest way to get into the alpine in the Canadian Rockies. The trail starts… Read More
Yes, there are more than 10
Banff is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Banff that you should take a look at as well
Are we missing your favourite hike?
Tell us! If you've got photos, a GPS track and know the hike, we'd love to share your favourite hike with the rest of the 10Adventures community.