The best hikes in Banff must include the hike up to Healy Pass. An exquisite hike, especially during Autumn with the larches in full colour. Get impressive views from the pass and take an optional descent via Simpson Pass to add variety.
Drive 7.7km west of Banff on Trans-Canada Highway and take the Sunshine Village exit. Drive 8.2km on this lovely road to Sunshine Village ski resort.
|When to do|
June through October
Yes - Egypt Lake
Out and back
This Parks Canada Trail is well maintained, and allows for beautiful views of many gorgeous peaks and Egypt Lake. From the Sunshine Village parking lot take the main trail behind the main building.
The start of the trail keeps you shaded from the summer sun as you gradually climb. The hike starts with a wide, rolling trail which narrows as you go. The lush forest and the bridge over Healy Creek are stunning, submerging you in the idyllic natural universe of the Canadian Rockies.
After almost eight kilometers you escape the forest and find yourself in a beautiful alpine meadow. There is a very minor creek crossing at the beginning of this final section of the hike. You then will climb up through the stunning meadow, hoping to spot wildlife across the massive, wildflower studded expanse.
Reaching the gentle apex of the pass you will see sprawled out in front of you peak upon peak and stellar mountain vistas. Find a rock to along either side of the trail to enjoy lunch; it’s hard to go wrong with such a view.
The entire hike is well marked and the trail is well maintained.
NOTE: The GPS map shows a descent via Simpson Pass – returning the way you ascended is quicker and a better trail.
Descend via Simpson pass if you yearn for a change in scenery. Adds about 2.0km to the trip.
For a very long day or a gentle one-night backpack descend the other side of the ridge down to Egypt Lake, an exquisite area.
Buy snacks for your hike, or simply use the restroom at the Sunshine Village building.
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