The "Most Popular" Hiking Trails at Banff National Park

From breathtaking mountain vistas to serene alpine meadows, hiking in Banff National Park provides an unforgettable adventure for hikers of all levels. This guide highlights the most popular hiking trails at Banff National Park, their lengths, difficulties, and the unique highlights.

The "Most Popular" Hiking Trails at Banff National Park

Banff National Park offers some of the most stunning and diverse hiking experiences in the world. There are many trails to hike as Banff National Park is massive, but we wanted to highlight the most popular parks to explore to make your life easy and allow you to deeper research into your hiking plans once you know which trails are the best, their lengths and difficulty levels. So, lets dive into the most popular parks that Banff has to offer.

Tunnel Mountain Trail

This trail offers spectacular views of the town of Banff, the Bow River, and Mount Rundle. As you ascend, you'll be treated to panoramic vistas that are perfect for photography. The summit provides a 360-degree view, making the effort well worth it.

Length and Difficulty

The Tunnel Mountain Trail is a 4.3 km round trip hike, making it one of the shorter and more accessible hikes in Banff National Park. The trail is rated as moderate, with a steady incline that is manageable for most hikers.

Johnston Canyon Trail

Johnston Canyon is famous for its stunning waterfalls and dramatic canyon walls. The trail features several catwalks that allow you to walk along the canyon's edge. The Lower Falls are easily accessible, while the Upper Falls require a bit more effort. Continuing to the Ink Pots, you’ll discover unique blue-green mineral springs in a peaceful meadow setting.

Length and Difficulty

The Johnston Canyon Trail spans 11.6 km for the full round trip to the Ink Pots. However, the shorter hike to the Upper Falls is about 5.4 km round trip. The trail is considered easy to moderate, suitable for families and casual hikers.

Lake Agnes Tea House Trail

Starting from the shores of Lake Louise, this trail winds through a lush forest and offers beautiful views of Mirror Lake and the Big Beehive. The ultimate reward is reaching the historic Lake Agnes Tea House, where you can enjoy a refreshing beverage while taking in the serene mountain lake scenery.

Length and Difficulty

The Lake Agnes Tea House Trail is a 7 km round trip hike. It is rated as moderate due to its elevation gain of about 385 meters.

Plain of Six Glaciers Trail

This trail provides an awe-inspiring journey through glacial landscapes, with views of Victoria Glacier, Mount Lefroy, and Mount Victoria. Along the way, hikers will pass through a variety of terrains, including forests, rocky outcrops, and moraines. The trail culminates at the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse, offering stunning views and a chance to rest before heading back.

Length and Difficulty

The Plain of Six Glaciers Trail is an 14.6 km round trip hike, rated as moderate to difficult due to its length and elevation gain of 365 meters.

Sulphur Mountain Trail

Hiking Sulphur Mountain offers a rewarding experience with panoramic views of the Bow Valley, the Banff townsite, and surrounding mountain ranges. At the summit, you'll find the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station and the Banff Gondola terminal, where you can explore the observation deck and visitor center. The gondola provides an alternative way to descend, making it a flexible option for hikers.

Length and Difficulty

The Sulphur Mountain Trail is a 10.1 km round trip hike, considered moderate due to its steady elevation gain.

Hiking in Banff National Park is a remarkable way to experience the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies.

Whether you're looking for a short, easy hike or a challenging all-day trek, Banff has a trail that will meet your needs. Each of these trails are the most popular trails to hike in Banff National Park, and each one offers its unique set of attractions.

From breathtaking viewpoints and historical tea houses to cascading waterfalls and serene alpine meadows, you are certain to collect some memorable kodak moments, so make sure your phone has plenty of battery.

Remember to prepare appropriately for your hike, respect the natural environment, and enjoy the spectacular scenery that Banff National Park has to offer.

Expert Tip: If you pack a fishing pole on your back, there are many places along these trails to fish for lunch to cook trail side :)


What is the easiest hike in Banff National Park?

How long does it take to hike the Lake Agnes Tea House Trail?

What can I see on the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail?

Is the Sulphur Mountain Trail difficult?

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