Create an account

Start your adventure today.


    Already a member? Login

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    568 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    11.4 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical DIFF
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Technical DIFF
    Directions to Trailhead

    Stanley Glacier

    Panorama of the Stanley Glacier hike in Banff National Park, Alberta

    Download an interactive map and guide on your phone today!

    Table of contents

    The Stanley Glacier hike in beautiful Kootenay National Park is a true delight. The trail goes from burnt forest with mesmerizing wildflowers, to alpine meadow, to the amazing Stanley Glacier. This gentle climb has it all – complete with beautiful cascading waterfalls too!

    Route Description for Stanley Glacier

    Proceed over the Vermillion River Footbridge and start up the trail. The burnt forest characterizes the beginning of the trail, as it was struck by lightning in 1968. The amazing wildflowers that grow in this area are truly stunning, and the lack of foliage allows for more frequent viewpoints. Watch out if you are attempting this hike during high winds, as the tree branches are brittle and can break off.

    Climb steadily up switchbacks until you reach a river formed by the runoff of the Stanley Glacier –this is roughly 2.0 km into the hike. Cross the creek then continue beside it as the forest around you slims. The climbing is not as strenuous as you enter a pristine alpine meadow with incredible views in all directions. Many waterfalls run down to either side of the valley in spring and early summer. The trail from here continues ahead, with the wonderful Stanley Glacier on your right-hand side.

    You can see a path rising on both sides of the valley up ahead. This is an optional ascent to a great viewing area, which adds 3.0 km and 240 m onto the hike (the GPS track shows this route). You reach the decision point 4.2 km into the trail, and the sign denotes that the end of the maintained route has arrived. If you want to continue, immediately enter a boulder field and start to climb up. It's steep, but the views make it worthwhile.

    The highest point you will reach is a group of trees on a plateau. From here you can choose to turn back and return the way you came or continue through the trees, across a stream and down the other side of the valley. We prefer the circuit as it gives different views of the side walked up. Rejoin the main path and continue down the way you came up, enjoying great scenery across the main valley to Mount Whymper.

    If you don't do the extension, then this is a perfect hike for the youngsters in the group. It is not too long, has plenty of scenery changes, and great views.

    Find other great hikes in Kootenay National Park:

    Insider Hints for Stanley Glacier

    • Stop off or stay at the wonderful Storm Mountain Lodge. The food is delicious and the historic cabins are usually reasonable.

    Getting to the Stanley Glacier Trailhead

    Going west along the Trans-Canada Highway from Banff, turn south at Castle Junction towards Radium highway 93. The Stanley Glacier parking lot is on the left side of the road, four kilometers from the provincial border.

    Route Information

    • When to do:

      June through October

    • Backcountry Campsites:


    • Toilets:


    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Stanley Glacier Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


    No reviews
    Write a review

    Add a review

    You must be logged in to post a comment.


    Let someone else do the hard work, book a custom tour in over 85 countries.

    Chat with us on our contact page or fill out the form below!

    Nearby Trails

    10Adventures Trail App

    Take your trails online! Keep track of your route along the way.

    Download for free today.

    Get travel inspiration and discounts

    Join our weekly travel newsletter