9. Banff National Park: Guided Signature Hikes with Lunch
After being picked up you up from your Banff hotel in a modern minibus by your friendly guide, get ready for a day of exploring the backcountry of Banff National Park on foot. Your guide will give you an introduction to Banff National Park and today's hike as you head towards the trailhead. Choose between 4 hiking routes representing the best trails in Banff: Sundays & Thursdays - Hike to Stanley Glacier; Mondays & Saturdays - Hike to Larch Valley; Tuesdays - Hike to Consolation Lakes; Wednesdays & Fridays - Hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers.
Hike to Stanley Glacier
Journey through a land sculpted by fire and ice in Kootenay National Park. The trail switchbacks moderately for the first half of the hike, through regrowth from the most recent fire, allowing for unparalleled views down over Vermillion Pass back to Castle Mountain. Follow the trail between sheer towering walls of Mount Stanley and Storm Mountain until you leave the forest behind to emerge in a land of ice and rock where you may even find some fossils. Be treated to views of Stanley Glacier creeping down the side of Mt. Stanley towards the valley bottom. Rated: Moderate; Hiking time: 3-4 hours; Return distance: 8.4kms (5.25 miles); elevation gain: 395m (1,285 ft).
Hike to Larch Valley
Trail restrictions due to bear activity make this an ideal hike to take with a guided group. Beginning from the Valley of the Ten Peaks at Moraine Lake, the trail climbs, really climbs, up 10 switchbacks to Larch Valley on a well-maintained trail. After reaching the Valley, the trail easily ambles through a larch forest and then begins to gain elevation again towards Sentinal Pass and the Minestimma Lakes. Towards the Pass, views of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake and gigantic Mt. Temple (3,543 m/11,625 ft) will complete your experience. Please note that this hike does not continue to the top of Sentinel Pass. Rated: Moderate; hiking time: 4-5 hours; distance: 9.0kms (5.6 miles); elevation gain: 535m (1,500 ft).
Hike to Consolation Lakes
This trail begins in the Valley of the Ten Peaks at stunning Moraine Lake. The drive alone to this location is worth it in itself. We’ll spend our time hiking leisurely to Consolation Lakes, and upon our return explore around Moraine Lake, including a trip to the top of the Rockpile. Due to bear restrictions, this is a great trip to do in a guided group. Rated: Easy; Hiking Time: 3-4 hours; return distance: 5.8kms (3.6 miles); elevation gain: 255m (837 ft).
Hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers
Your hike starts by the Lake Louise shoreline to the back of the lake before ascending up an ancient glacial valley. As you get higher, the colour of the lake becomes even more stunning and the crowds begin to disappear. Just past the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse you will be treated to views of the six glaciers feeding into the valley and Lake Louise, with cakes and tea served at the teahouse (optional). Rated: moderate; hiking time: 5 hours; distance: 10.6kms (6.6 miles); elevation Gain: 340m (1,100 feet)