Hiking the Skoki Circuit
Hiking the Skoki Circuit

Hiking the Skoki Circuit

4 days

Walking along the Ptarmigan Lake in the Canadian RockiesGroup of backpackers crossing the creek in the Red Deer ValleySkoki Loop backpacking tour in the Canadian RockiesGroup of backpackers walking in the Skoki Region with Mount Redoubt in the backgroundApproaching the Baker Lake while on backpacking tour in the Canadian RockiesClouds reflecting in the Ptarmigan Lake near Lake LouiseLunch time while on Skoki backpacking loopPtarmigan lake during the autumn

Hike the epic Skoki circuit over four unforgettable days

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!

Highlights of the Hiking the Skoki Circuit

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.


From $925USD
4 days
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Hiking the Skoki Circuit

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

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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:

Jul 27, 2022
Jul 30, 2022
From Canmore, Alberta
To Canmore, Alberta
4 days / 5+ Spaces Left
Aug 28, 2022
Aug 31, 2022
From Canmore, Alberta
To Canmore, Alberta
4 days / 1 Spaces Left
Sep 17, 2022
Sep 20, 2022
From Canmore, Alberta
To Canmore, Alberta
4 days / 5+ Spaces Left

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.

Hotels on Standard Tour

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.

What’s Included in 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.


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

Frequently Asked Questions about Hiking the Skoki Circuit

Located in Canmore, Alberta at the gates of Banff National Park, Yamnuska Mountain Adventures is one of Canada’s premier providers of mountaineering, rock & ice climbing, backcountry skiing, hiking, and trekking experiences in the Canadian Rockies. For over 40 years, we have hosted thousands of clients from Canada and all over the world. Our brand is known for quality mountain experiences, safety, and well-organized itineraries. We have some of the best mountain guides and hiking guides in the industry. All Yamnuska Mountain Adventures climbing guides are certified through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.

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Is this tour for me?

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.

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Got any questions regarding the tour? Interested in promotions for groups or want to customize this tour to fit your needs? We are here to help you!
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