Despite the crowds and the costs of visiting Banff National Park, this is a great place for hiking. With over 1000 miles of hiking trails, there are trails to suite all abilities and fitness levels.
If you are looking for solitude, steer clear of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake trails but they are very pretty areas and if you hike early enough in the day, it does not have to be overbearingly busy. Just don't expect to have it all to yourself.
Many trails are super groomed affairs but some of the higher up hikes are less so. It's best to inquire with park rangers about trail conditions and what to expect.
Equipment: Some of the easy flat trails can be done in simple running shoes but the majority of Banff's trails are best hiked in proper boots with good ankle support and soles with a better grip. Comfy socks make long hiking days more pleasant.
You are in the mountains so you should be prepared for all types of weather. Dress in synthetic layers, carry rain gear, and use a small day pack to carry some snacks and enough water to last the whole hike unless you are carrying a form of water purification. Never underestimate the value of a warm hat. It can save your life and does not way much. When hiking on scree, it's nice to have a hiking pole to keep your balance and ease knee strain on your descent.
If you go to national Parks in Canada you will end up doing some hiking . Some people come prepared while others Do Not. For those that " Do Not " here are some warm up trails that you can try.
Trail 1 is in Banff . Drive up Mt Norquay to the ski resort. Just before you reach the ski resort there is a sharp turn in the road ( to the left ) and a stone wall on the left hand side of the road. Stop there and walk east out on to a meadow . You get a birds eye view of Banff.
Trail 2 is in Banff . Walk up Tunnel Mountain . The trail starts on the west side of the mountain on Tunnel Mtn. road .The trail is an easy grade.
Trail 3 is at Morraine Lake
Trail 4. is at Emerald Lake
Trail 5 & 6 are at Lake Louise
See comments in General Tips
This was one of my favourite hikes along the Icefields Parkway. I love how you can park at the base of the mountain and within an hours walk be looking down onto a gorgeous valley and towering mountains across the other side.
This hike is only 2.4km each way.
The hike to Larch Valley ranks as one of the more popular outings, especially in autumn when the subalpine Lyall's Larches display a radiant golden glow. But note that this trail can be crowded in the autumn, especially on weekends.
Distance: 4.2 km (2.6 mi.) - Moraine Lake to Larch Valley
Trailhead: South end of Moraine Lake parking lot.
Pyramid Lake Road, 5 km from Jasper, Jasper, Alberta, T0E 1E0, Canada
Good for: Business
This is a fantastic place to stay if you are on a budget. The rooms are well equip with everything...more
Friend's of mine were visiting Alberta so we decided to splurge and share a room at the Fairmont...more