Redearth Creek

Difficulty
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Very Hard
Duration
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.
3-4h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
26.3 km
Elevation
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.
428 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of Redearth Creek XC ski trail in Banff National Park, Alberta

This multi-use forested trail is a pleasant cross-country ski, and you can go all the way to Shadow Lake Lodge. This trail sees a lot of fat-bike use and doesn’t see as much track-setting as other trails, but it is still a very pleasant intermediate ski. Many avalanche paths pose threats to the trail so be aware, and do not stop in runout zones.

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Route Description for Redearth Creek

The cross-country ski on the Redearth Trail to Shadow Lake Lodge is a classic ski in Banff National Park. This is a fun trip to do and stay a night at Shadow Lake Lodge, a set of pretty cabins at the end of this trail.

Note that in 2018 an avalanche ripped down over part of this trail, and though it is rated as Simple-Class 1 terrain, avalanches can still impact this trail. It is best to not attempt this trail in elevated avalanche risk without discussing it with Banff Park Rangers at either the Banff or Lake Louise ranger station.

In addition, the Redearth Creek trail sees diverse visitors as it is open to fat bikers, skiers, snowshoes, and winter hikers. At times the trail is in pretty rough shape, especially from mid-March onwards. Check out recent track-setting to make sure it will be in good shape for your ski.

Start from the parking lot and go through the gate. The trail goes to the right and immediately goes up a hill. Ski along the trail as you gradually gain elevation, passing snow-capped lodgepole pine along the way.

Avalanche paths exist at 3.3 km and 4.4 km. Between 6.3 km-8.0 km, and beyond the two bridges infrequent avalanche paths also exist. Check avalanche forecasts or consult your trip at a Parks Canada Visitor Centre prior to departure.

If you want to ski all the way to Shadow Lake Lodge, note that it is a steep climb for the last grunt up to Shadow Lake, and many people end up walking up (and also back down) this section. Many people turn back at the base of this hill.

If you ski all the way to Shadow Lake, then you get the best views on the trip from here. Expect to enjoy incredible mountain views on a clear day. Check out the historic Shadow Lake Lodge while you are here.

Return the way you came, being sure not to stop in any avalanche zones. The last few kilometres to the trailhead are an exciting way to finish up the trail while zipping downhill.

Insider Hints for Redearth Creek

  • Stay at historic Shadow Lake Lodge to allow more time in this memorable area.
  • Grab your coffee at Wildflour Bakery and Café in Banff before heading out.
  • Rent skis at Snowtips-Bactrax on Bear Street if needed. Light touring skis are often used, but if the trail has been recently track-set we prefer cross-country skis.

Getting to the Redearth Creek Trailhead

From Banff, take the Trans-Canada Highway west, and continue until you see a sign for Redearth Creek. Cross the highway at the next turn-around, and park in the parking lot. You will see a wildlife gate, and a trail kiosk. Please ensure the gate is closed when you are finished.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Mid-November to April

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Trailhead

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Avalanche Risk

    Simple

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

  • Type of XC Route

    Occasionally Track-set

Redearth Creek Elevation Graph

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