- Glacier Lake
- Cirque Peak
- Wilcox Pass
- Cirque Lake
- Beauty Creek
- Parkers Ridge
- Bow Glacier Falls
- Peyto Lake
- The Athabasca Glacier
- Mosquito Creek
- The Big Bend
- Stutfield Glacier
- Maligne Canyon
Moderate difficulty, 4kms. This short hike is incredible in the winter. Pick up or rent some ice cleats before you give it a try as you’ll be walking across a fair bit of ice. Along the way, keep your eye out for pictographs and stop for a break to watch the ice climbers.
East End of Rundle (EEOR)
Difficult, approximately 6kms. You’ll have an incredible view of the town of Canmore and the Ha-Ling mountain. Wear sunscreen, take your time, and pack plenty of snacks and water.
Difficult, 10km. This is my favourite hike to date. Incredible views and diverse terrain. Make a day of it and pack yourself a picnic.
Easy to moderate difficulty, 11.7km. This hike is incredibly busy and you may find yourself in a crowd among tour groups, however is it also quite lovely. I recommend renting some ice cleats and checking it out in the winter when you can stop and watch the ice climbers. First thing in the morning will likely be the least busy.
Top of the Banff Gondola
You can hit the easy button and take the Banff Gondola up to the top, or challenge yourself a little more with the 5.5km trek up Sulphur Mountain. The trail is very well marked with clear switchbacks. Once at the top you’ll find a nice little stroll, partially on boardwalks, and you can even stop in at the restaurant to treat yourself to a summit beer.
Moderate difficulty, 16.9 kms hike. This is a great option if you want a longer trip without gaining too much elevation.
Difficult, 16.1 km trail. Well worth the adventure. Pack a lot of water and snacks and plan for a day to make it to the summit. The views are like no other. Enjoy the whistling marmots along the way.
Moderate difficulty, about 9 km , you’ll find the beginning and end to be the most challenging. Drop a car at tangle falls and start at the Wilcox campground. This is the perfect place to see bighorn sheep and admire the nearby glaciers.
An approximately 7.7 km moderate trail that offers the option about 1.5kms in to hike either to Cirque or Chephren lake. This hike is found along the Icefield Parkway and makes for a lovely stop along the way.
And easy 3-4 km trail off of the Icefield Parkway. This is a beautiful stop to see carved out canyons and waterfalls that will remind you of Johnston Canyon but without the crowds. This was a go to spot when I lived on the Icefield Parkway.
A moderate 5km hike with a beautiful view of the Saskatchewan Glacier at the top. The parking lot is right along the Icefield parkway and very easy to see. You’ll first be met by switchbacks in the trees but keep going! It’s worth it. The ridge flattens out at the top and becomes a very easy walk where you can enjoy the sub-alpine plant life and maybe even see some bighorn sheep.
Moderate difficulty, 8.7km. This hike will begin quite busy as many people stop to enjoy Bow Lake, but as you continue on you’ll run it to fewer people. The path around the lake is rather easy and will become difficult as you get to the farther side and start to see stairs.
To to the lake viewpoint is more of a walk than a hike. But it is still worth the adventure to see this wolf shaped lake named after Bill Peyto. The parking lot can be quite busy, so I recommend visiting during shoulder seasons, weekdays, or first thing in the morning.
The Athabasca Glacier
Book a tour with the Ice Walk company as travelling without experience on a glacier can be extremely dangerous. The owner of the company and all of his staff are fantastic. They have options for shorter hikes and day hikes. Plan to dress accordingly, as even on a hot summers day you will feel the cold from the katabatic winds. The tour will provide you will crampons and other necessary gear for travel on ice.
More of a walk than a hike, but Mosquito Creek Campground is a lovely place to stop along the Icefield Parkway when the wildflowers are in bloom.
The Big Bend
Just off of the big bend on the Icefield Parkway you’ll find remnants of the old Banff Jasper Highway. You can follow this trail along to walk over old bridges and even find an old car tucked away in the rocks. It is also common to find old cans or other evidence left over from the people who constructed the highway.
There is no parking lot or designated trail for this hike, but it is a moderate 8 km adventure that will bring you up close and personal with a glacier. First you will have to cross the Sunwapta river. It was about mid-calf height in October, but be careful on warmer days in the summer as the glacier meltwater can make it a lot trickier to cross. After you have crossed, follow the braided river to the left and you should be able to easily find your way to the glacier.