Hikes you must do in Banff National Park
Compared to Jasper National Park, we didn’t have a lot of time to go hiking in Banff National Park. But we did manage to do 1 very long one and one smaller one. These are really the must-do hikes while you are in Banff National Park.
Peyto Lake hike
Trailhead: Bow Summit parking
Distance (round trip): 2.6 km / 1.6 mi
Elevation change: 80 m / 262 ft
Estimated hiking time: 1 h
This should be a must when visiting Banff National Park. After a short hike, you will arrive at the lookout with stunning views over Peyto Lake. The trails and viewpoints are currently closed and will reopen in 2021.
Lake Agnes + Plain of 6 glaciers
Trailhead: Lake Louise
Distance (round trip): 16.3 km / 10.1 mi
Elevation change: 545 m / 1788 ft
Estimated hiking time: 6 h
This was a very long hike. We started at Lake Louise, which was very crowded. Although we arrived around 8 am in September, we didn’t have a parking spot near the lake but a short walk away. If you aren’t that lucky, you might have to park further away and take the shuttle to Lake Louise.
We left all the people behind when we started the Lake Agnes Trail. The trail gradually inclines and ends at the beautiful Lake Agnes where there is a tea house. You can buy something to eat or drink there if you have cash with you. I would say, you can enjoy the peace and quiet by the lake, but that isn’t the case. It is a popular trail.
We followed the big beehive trail with switchbacks for a stunning panorama of Lake Louise and the Chateau. This trail is not busy at all but is more difficult compared to the Lake Agnes Trail. Next, we continue the trail till it connects with the Highline Trail which will bring us to the Plain of 6 glaciers trail. This trail is again very busy, and with a lot of people with little hiking experience.
The last part of this trail is exposed, so people who have a fear of heights: this isn’t for you. In the end, you have a nice view of the glacier. We didn’t get a picture of the glacier because there was so much wind and rain.
Along the way, there were avalanches in the distance: impressive to see. Then we headed back to Lake Louise via the Plain of 6 glaciers trail.
You could also split these hikes up: do Lake Agnes Trail and Plain of 6 glaciers Trail separately.
What are your favorite hikes in Banff National Park?
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