Hiking the Skoki Circuit

Hiking the Skoki Circuit

Hiking the Skoki Circuit

Prices

From $875USD

Difficulty

Guided

Campsites

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Highlights

Hike the epic Skoki circuit over four unforgettable days

Hike one of the most rewarding backpacking routes in the Canadian Rockies, the wonderful Skoki Circuit.

See more stunning lakes, high alpine meadows, forests, and mountains than you could possibly count.

Spend each night cozied up in a new campsite, unplugging from it all and relaxing in the wilderness.

End your hike at turquoise Lake Louise, one of the most visited sites in Banff National Park.

While the selection of incredible backpacking routes in the Canadian Rockies is too long to name, the Skoki Circuit stands out for its jaw-dropping beauty. The Hiking the Skoki Circuit tour is an excellent way to enjoy this region of Banff National Park, taking care of the logistics so you can just soak up those views.

The Hiking the Skoki Circuit tour takes you through the mountains near Lake Louise, passing gem-blue lakes, wide alpine meadows, and above the treeline to gaze at the mountains that surround you. Hike each day, then get comfy each night in a campsite nestled under the summits. Laugh with your group as the sun sets over the peaks, reminiscing about the top-notch scenery you discovered that day. This isn’t one to miss!

Hiking the Skoki Circuit Itinerary

Day 1 Meet in Canmore, Lake Louise to Hidden Lake

Your adventure begins with a meeting in Canmore before hitting the road to Lake Louise. You’ll begin hiking at the Fish Creek lot near the Lake Louise ski resort. Hike to Halfway, Hut, a historic log cabin once used as a shelter for hikers on their way to Skoki Lodge. You’ll camp near this cabin tonight.

Before setting up camp, hike to Hidden Lake, a fantastic mountain bowl beneath Mt. Richardson. You’ll spend some time exploring the ridge before enjoying dinner.

Overnight Location
Camping in Banff National Park
Distance
7.3km, 510m elevation gain
Meals
Lunch, dinner

Day 2 Hidden Lake to Merlin Meadows

Get your first full day of hiking under your belt with a trip up the valley to Boulder Pass, where you can see Ptarmigan Lake surrounded by meadows and mountains. Skirt the lake to reach Deception Pass, then descend into the Skoki Valley. You’ll rest a moment at the Skoki Lodge, built in the 1920s and popular with backcountry skiers.

Continue from the lodge, hiking downhill for a short while to Merlin Meadows. You’ll camp here tonight, but first, hike up a headwall to Merlin Lake, a stunning spot!

Overnight Location
Camping in Banff National Park
Distance
8.5km, 275m elevation gain
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 Merlin Meadows to Baker Lake

After a warm coffee in your sleeping bag, start a circumnavigation to Fossil Mountain. You’ll climb to Cotton Pass, crossing through forest to a group of expansive meadows under even more expansive mountains.

Make camp at Baker Lake, then take some time to hike around the many ridges and peaks nearby. If you’re feeling more inclined to relax, you can do just that on the lakeshore.

Overnight Location
Camping in Banff National Park
Distance
8.1km, 225m elevation gain
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 Baker Lake to Lake Louise

Break camp for the last time, then head down to the trailhead via Ptarmigan Lake and Boulder Pass, high-fiving and cheering your completed route on the shore of the perfectly turquoise Lake Louise. From there you’ll be transferred back to Canmore.

Overnight Location
None
Distance
13.1km, 150m elevation gain
Meals
Breakfast, lunch

Hiking the Skoki Circuit Price and Dates

This guided backpacking tour is run as a fixed-departure tour where you’d be joining a group, however, custom private tours can be organized for those willing to travel with their group only (please contact us with your preferred date and the number of people in your group and we will create the itinerary just for you). Please note that due a very high demand and limited availability in campgrounds it is necessary to plan your trip a long time in advance.

Prices below are per person:

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Accommodation on the Hiking the Skoki Circuit Tour

This tour is based in campsites in the Canadian Rockies. Facilities may be basic or limited, so you should be comfortable with a true backcountry experience. Tents will be provided.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travellers
There are no single rooms available on this tour as all accommodations are communal. The minimum group size is 3 people, so please contact us about joining an existing group if you are a solo traveller.

Night 1-3

Camping in the Canadian Rockies

Spend each night camping in gorgeous spots in the mountains, enjoying an authentic backcountry experience with your group. Facilities may not be available.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Hiking the Skoki Circuit Tour?

Meals

3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners are included. Please pack any additional snacks you may want. Meals to suit dietary requirements are available but may incur an additional fee depending on your needs.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 3 nights are included. Accommodations before and after the tour are not included but can be added as a supplement.

Transportation During the Tour

You will be driven from Canmore to the trailhead on Day 1. You will be responsible for your own transportation to Canmore and back from Lake Louise on the final day. We recommend booking shuttles or renting a car.

Also Included

  • Tents
  • Expert guide services

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Meals, drinks, or snacks
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions
  • Visas if required
  • Anything not mentioned as included

Optional Extras

  • Special dietary requirement meals

Frequenty Asked Questions about Hiking the Skoki Circuit

How hard is the Hiking the Skoki Circuit tour?

We rate this tour as a 3/5. You don’t need any previous experience backpacking for this tour, but you should be fit enough to hike an average of 8-13km per day for consecutive days at high altitudes. You will also need to be comfortable sleeping in very basic conditions on this tour.

Do I need a visa to travel to Canada?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Hiking the Skoki Circuit tour?

3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners are included. Please pack any additional snacks you may want. Meals to suit dietary requirements are available but may incur an additional fee depending on your needs.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip. Please verify that your insurance covers the included activities on this tour. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Canmore to start this tour? 

Fly into the Calgary International Airport (YYC). We recommend renting a car or booking a shuttle as you’ll need to find your way to Canmore and back to the airport at the end of the tour.

Is the Hiking the Skoki Circuit tour guided? 

Yes, you will be led by an experienced guide. 

Do I need to carry my gear myself?

Yes, you will carry everything you need, as well as a share of the common food and equipment.

What should I bring? 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions concerning your packing list for this trip. As a start, we recommend bringing:

  • Boots
  • Multiday pack (55-75 litres)
  • Bladder or water bottle (1-2 litres)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Pillow
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Blister kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bug spray
  • Utensils and bowl
  • Trekking poles
  • Insulated jacket
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Hiking pants
  • Light footwear for camp
  • Rain gear
  • Personal toiletries

Where does the Hiking the Skoki Circuit tour end? 

The tour ends in Canmore.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Canada? 

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Canada?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

Reviews

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Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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Prices

From $875USD

Difficulty

Guided

Campsites

Start Your Booking

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Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 3/5. You don’t need any previous experience backpacking for this tour, but you should be fit enough to hike an average of 8-13km per day for consecutive days at high altitudes. You will also need to be comfortable sleeping in very basic conditions on this tour.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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+1 (587) 327-9828

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