Panorama of the Tunnel Mountain hike near Banff, Alberta
Panorama of the Tunnel Mountain hike near Banff, Alberta

Tunnel Mountain hike

Around Banff
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Main street and Tunnel Mountain on the Tunnel Mountain Hike in Banff, AlbertaViews from the top of the Tunnel Mountain Hike in Banff, AlbertaRocky route of the Tunnel Mountain Hike in Banff, AlbertaWinter Gate on the Tunnel Mountain Hike in Banff, AlbertaTrail upon the Tunnel Mountain Hike in Banff, AlbertaTunnel Mountain from Banff Springs Hotel on the Tunnel Mountain Hike in Banff, AlbertaBanff from the Tunnel Mountain Hike in Banff, Alberta

Tunnel Mountain hike

Distance: 4.3km
Elevation: 300m
Time: 2-3h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.5 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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The Tunnel Mountain hike gives you a short respite away from the crowded streets of Banff. The viewpoint from the top of the trail is beautiful, making you feel like you’re immersed in nature, despite the hordes shopping on Banff Ave just a kilometer away.

Tunnel Mountain hike Map

Getting there

This can be accessed on foot from Banff Avenue in the Banff town site. There is parking on St. Julien Road if you choose to go by car.

I’ve done this 40 people have done this
I want to do this 97 want to do this route

About

When to do

All Year

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Downtown Banff

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Tunnel Mountain
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Tunnel Mountain

After picking up your morning coffee and pastries (might we suggest Wild Flour Bakery), head out on Wolf Street to start your hike up Banff’s Tunnel Mountain.

When you get to the “T”, continue right along St. Julien Road. Walk for 0.4km (approximately 6 minutes) until you see a grass-covered parking lot on your left-hand side. If you come to the Banff Centre, you’ve gone too far. The path to Tunnel Mountain is well marked and continues up from the left-hand side of the parking lot.

Cutting through the forest, you quickly cross over another road (Tunnel Mountain Drive, which has another car park, though it’s smaller). From here on up, the hike consists of moderate switchbacks to the top of Tunnel Mountain.

While walking, you get glimpses of the Banff town site and adjacent mountains. You will notice that the noise of the roads quickly disappears to be replaced by the sounds of scurrying chipmunks and squirrels darting in the trees as well as the gentle songs of the birds.

At your final switchback there will be a ledge on your right-hand side, with several areas that have a high degree of exposure. There are railings put up for protection, but be aware, and keep young children close by.

The final push to the top of Tunnel Mountain rewards you with a beautiful smooth rock viewing area. This is a great place to enjoy the sun, fine views and have a snack. There is an additional opportunity to explore past this point, with a 5-10 minute walk leading to a grassy meadow.

To descend from Tunnel Mountain, make sure you go back on the route you came up on.

Insider Hints

  • This is a busy hike; so starting early or late increases the possibility for tranquility and solitude. We recommend this as an after-dinner hike in summer, though ensure you start early enough to finish while the light is still good.

Comments

andrea.hothi 5 months ago

It is quite steep, but views are great and it's fairly easy. We took over two hours because my husband's back was hurting and we enjoyed the views at the top for a bit. There is a second summit if you keep going another 5 minutes that's worth checking out!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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2h 12m Time Taken
RobCruz 7 months ago

We felt so immersed in nature during the hike. Great feeling.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 30m Time Taken
kathkirz2 8 months ago

Not too hard, and you get a nice view of Banff up here. The trail was a bit busy on a warm Saturday, lots of families out!

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Larry D. 8 months ago

The weather was awful, but I still appreciate the scenery.

10.0 Overall Rating
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JMC 8 months ago

Decent incline with amazing viewpoint on the top. Superb beauty.

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Grant Ko. 8 months ago

I'm sure you'll gonna love this trail. The views along the way are just amazing. I can't take my eyes off this views.

10.0 Overall Rating
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MissGiggles 9 months ago

Great trail for first time hikers or anyone coming to Banff for the first time! This trail has a nice lookout of the whole town and it will make you work a bit but not so much that you'll be tired.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 30m Time Taken
Calel P. 1 year ago

Great views and fun trail to hike. The crowded streets were not that bad either.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Alexander Ivanov 1 year ago

Amazing hike with few switchbacks. It had slight elevations but nothing too major.

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Patrick Dumas 1 year ago

Got there early and luckily there was still plenty of parking. This one will take your breathe away, literally and figuratively.

10.0 Overall Rating
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16 Comments Show all

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