Banff Scrambling

Region in Alberta, Canada
Banff Scrambling Map

scrambles in Banff

With big mountains and stunning mountain lakes, scrambling in Banff National Park is an exquisite experience. We’ve compiled the 10 best scrambles in Banff National Park, that will lead you through stunning passes and beautiful valleys. Stay on the lookout for game as you explore the best Banff National Park.

THE TOP 10 SCRAMBLES IN BANFF, ALBERTA

Banff National Park, nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, is a wonderful base for outdoor activity with many great scrambles throughout the park.  Our Top 10 Scrambles range from introductory experiences through to moderately-challenging, all-day adventures.  Remember that scrambles aren’t hikes, and most of the calls for rescue come from people who set out on a scramble without knowing what they are getting into. Scrambling requires a head for heights, the use of your hands and often climbing moves. If you haven’t done this before, take a course to learn technique and be safe before trying this on your own.

Here are the 10 Best scrambles in Banff National Park:

#1. Mount Bourgeau (24.0km, 1530m, 7-10h): The scramble up Mount Bourgeau gives way to a commanding view of the Bow Valley near Banff. The trip takes you by scenic Bourgeau Lake and Harvey Pass on the way to the summit, which means you’ll still have an amazing day even if you abort your summit bid.

#2. Observation Peak (8.0km, 1150m, 5-7h): There is good reason it’s called Observation Peak! The scramble up Observation Peak gives a bird’s eye view of turquoise Peyto Lake and Bow Lake at the base of glaciated giants on the continental divide.

#3. Helena Ridge (24.5km, 1600m, 6-9h): Scrambling to the summit of Helena Ridge offers the best view of the amazing Castle Mountain Plateau. Along the way you’ll see scenic lakes, fossils, and lovely old-growth forest that will keep you entertained on the approach.

#4. Paget Peak (9.8km, 965m, 5-7h): Scrambling Paget Peak offers a spectacular view of the glaciated peaks of the Great Divide and a fantastic aerial view of turquoise Sherbrooke Lake. An old fire lookout en route offers a wonderful place for a sheltered snack and serves as a nice backup plan should the weather turn.

#5. Cascade Mountain (19.0km, 1550m, 6-10h): Scrambling up Cascade Mountain is a must-do scramble for anyone in the Canadian Rockies. Towering over the Bow Valley, the iconic Cascade Mountain provides a spectacular view of Lake Minnewanka, the Banff Town site, and hundreds of surrounding peaks.

#6. Bow Peak (13.5km, 950m, 6-9h): The scramble up Bow Peak takes you on an adventurous river crossing and an incredibly scenic forest walk to an isolated alpine pas. Giving way to incredible views of peaks and the icefields, the Bow Peak scramble is a classic Canadian Rockies adventure.

#7. Little Hector (8.6km, 1250m, 5-8h): Scrambling up Mount Hector gives way to a commanding and up-close view of Hector glacier from the summit of Little Hector. The lookout provides a scenic punch to the glacial lakes, mountains, and icefields surrounding the peak.

#8. Mount Richardson (21.8km, 1350m, 6-9h): Scrambling Mount Richardson calls for an ascension of the highest peak in the world-famous Skoki region. Go in late September and you’ll see striking yellow larches dotting the approach and mountain ridges, making this a particularly colorful scramble.

#9. The Onion (20.0km, 975m, 6-9h): The scramble up to The Onion brings you incredibly close to the Wapta Icefield. It is a very rewarding day out that has everything including tarns, glaciers, and great rock formations.

#10. Panorama Ridge (9.8km, 960m, 5-7h): This challenging scramble has incredible views combined with a very challenging ascent over moving scree. Some people rate this much higher, however the challenging ascent does hamper an otherwise brilliant scramble.

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The best scrambles in Banff

01. Mount Bourgeau
Difficulty

22.4km 1,442m 7-10h

The scramble up Mount Bourgeau gives way to a commanding view of the Bow Valley near Banff. The trip takes… Read More

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02. Observation Peak
Difficulty

8.2km 1,067m 5-7h

Aptly named, the scramble up Observation Peak gives a bird’s eye view of turquoise Peyto Lake and Bow Lake at… Read More

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03. Helena Ridge
Difficulty

23.3km 1,798m 6-9h

Scrambling the summit of Helena Ridge offers the best view of the amazing Castle Mountain Plateau. Scenic lakes, fossils, and… Read More

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04. Paget Peak
Difficulty

9.8km 965m 5-7h

Scrambling Paget Peak offers a spectacular view of the glaciated peaks of the Great Divide and a fantastic aerial view… Read More

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05. Cascade Mountain
Difficulty

19.0km 1,550m 6-10h

Scrambling up Cascade Mountain is a classic scramble in the Canadian Rockies. Towering over the Bow Valley, the iconic Cascade… Read More

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06. Bow Peak
Difficulty

13.5km 950m 6-9h

The scramble up Bow Peak takes you on an adventurous river crossing with an incredibly scenic forest walk to an… Read More

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07. Little Hector
Difficulty

8.6km 1,250m 5-8h

Scrambling up Mount Hector gives way to a commanding and up-close view of Hector glacier from the summit of Little… Read More

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08. Mount Richardson
Difficulty

21.8km 1,350m 6-9h

Scrambling Mount Richardson is a joy and takes you to the highest peak in the world-famous Skoki region. Go in… Read More

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09. The Onion
Difficulty

19.7km 840m 6-9h

The scramble up to the Onion brings you incredibly close to the Wapta Icefield which is (the source of Calgary’s… Read More

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10. Panorama Ridge
Difficulty

9.8km 960m 5-7h

The challenging scramble up Panorama Ridge has incredible views combined with a very challenging ascent over moving scree. Some people… Read More

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