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View from the Hoodoo Trail Lookout

Banff & Area Trails

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Tunnel Mountain

  • Distance: 4.8 km return
  • Elevation Gain: 260 m
  • Time Required: 1 - 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Located on St. Julien Road near The Banff Centre.

Hike up this little peak that the First Nations call the "Sleeping Buffalo" to gain rewarding views of the Town of Banff, the winding Bow River below and the mountains to the West, such as Mount Bourgeau. The trail starts somewhat steeply and then takes you into a series of switchbacks leading to the summit.

Sulphur Mountain

  • Distance: 11 km return
  • Elevation Gain: 655 m
  • Time Required: 4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Banff Upper Hotsprings parking lot.

This easy trail switchbacks its way up Sulphur Mountain and offers unparalleled views of the Bow Valley. Upon reaching the top, hikers can continue along the 1 km interpretive boardwalk to the Cosmic Ray Station (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Sanson Peak, where Norman Sanson used to live and take meteorological readings. If you like, save your knees and take the gondola down.

Commonwealth Walkway

  • Trailhead: Southwest corner of Banff Avenue and Buffalo Street, outside the Banff Park Museum National Heritage Site

The Banff Commonwealth Walkway was created to mark the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and celebrate Canada’s role as a member of the Commonwealth.

Banff’s Commonwealth Walkway features bronze plaques along four existing trails and at points of significant local interest. The plaques bear Her Majesty’s personal Royal Cypher and include details about royal connections to the mountain parks and Canada’s Commonwealth history.

Sunshine Meadows

  • Distance: 8 km return
  • Elevation Gain: 185 m
  • Time Required: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Sunshine Village

Rated the number 1 hike in Canada by Lonely Planet, Sunshine Meadows is a unique area on the Continental Divide that boasts carpets of alpine wildflowers in summer and golden larches in fall. A natural 8 km loop extension from Rock Isle Lake to Grizzly and Larix Lakes offers great views of the surrounding peaks including Mount Assiniboine, the "Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies." The Sunshine Village gondola and Standish sightseeing lift run Friday- Sunday and on all long weekends in the summer. Shuttle busses are available on all other days.

The Sunshine Meadows seen from above, Banff National Park, AB

Johnston Canyon

  • Distance: 4.8 km return
  • Elevation Gain: 120 m
  • Time Required: 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Johnston Canyon Parking Lot

This interpretive walkway follows the edge of Johnston Canyon - at times clinging to the walls of the canyon itself (handrails are included) - and leads hikers to the stunning, cascading waters of the Lower and Upper Falls. This hike is open in winter as well (look for ice climbers on the frozen waterfalls), but may require the use of ice cleats, available for rental in Banff.

Cascade Amphitheatre

  • Distance: 15.4 km return
  • Elevation Gain: 640 m
  • Time Required: 4 - 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Mount Norquay ski area

This hike begins at the Mount Norquay ski area, crosses a bridge over Forty Mile Creek, then zigzags its way through dense forest to the Cascade Amphitheatre. As you emerge into the amphitheatre, impressively enclosed by limestone cliffs, keep your eyes out for wildflowers. Adventurous hikers can make a full day trip of it and, with adequate preparation, tackle the summit of Cascade Mountain.

Cory Pass - Mount Edith Circuit

  • Distance: 13 km return
  • Elevation Gain: 915 m
  • Time Required: 5 - 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Trailhead: The Fireside Picnic Area

Cory Pass is known as one of the most spectacular and rewarding hikes in Banff. The sheer south face of Mount Louis surprises hikers as they crest the pass and offers ample reward for the hard work of getting there. Continue the circuit upon reaching the pass by descending down the other side and around Mount Edith, or return the way you came.

Hiking Cory Pass, Banff National Park, AB

Bourgeau Lake & Harvey Pass

Distance: 14.4 km return
Elevation Gain: 725 m
Time Required: 5 - 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: South side of the Trans-Canada Highway, 13 km west of the Mount Norquay Interchange.

Bourgeau Lake and the Harvey Pass area above it deserve a full day's trip. The trail climbs steeply through a forest of lodgepole and spruce before opening out into meadows that lead to Bourgeau Lake. From there, continue 2.2km (310m up) past several smaller bodies of water to the lake at Harvey Pass for impressive views of Mount Assiniboine, "The Matterhorn of the Rockies"

Are you coming to Banff National Park?

Make sure you purchase your Parks Canada Discovery Pass in advance for express entry into the park. All of the details, including frequently asked questions can be found in our Guide To The Parks Canada Pass. 

Plan Your Stay

Browse and book accommodation and lodging packages with our trip planning tool. To learn about the different types of accommodation available in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our Places to Stay page or Contact Us to speak to a local expert.