Banff
Hiking

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Our most recommended Banff Hiking

Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

1. Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Start with pickup from Banff and travel in a modern minibus along the Bow Valley Parkway to the Canyon. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the moderate 2.7 kilometer hike with 135 meter elevation to the Upper Falls. Walk along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way you'll learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed and stop at the Lower Falls, where you'll have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view. At the Upper Falls, enjoy a brief stop on the upper deck with a small refreshment break to enjoy the views. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. Once you've finished your hot chocolate, hike back down and your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

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Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

2. Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

Get picked up by your friendly guide from the meeting point in Banff, then enjoy the drive in a modern minibus. Take the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, a scenic drive through a wildlife-rich habitat. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the easy 1.1km hike with 65m elevation gain to the lower falls, walking along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way, your guide will highlight unique features by powerful flashlight and pause for moments of darkness and quiet to foster an appreciation for spending time in the canyon at night. At the turn around point, your guide will illuminate the expanding ice that encases the rushing water. Have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view of the lower falls while also enjoying a refreshment break with hot chocolate and a maple cookies snack. The return journey is your opportunity to travel without your headlamp (should you wish). Be amazed as to how quickly your eyes adjust to the darkness, enough for you to travel through the pine forest guided only by the ambient light of the moon and the stars above your head. At the end of the tour, your guide will then transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

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From Banff: Columbia Icefield Tour with Glacier Skywalk

3. From Banff: Columbia Icefield Tour with Glacier Skywalk

Begin the tour with hotel pickup in Banff and embark on an unforgettable experience. On the way to the Athabasca Glacier, listen as your guide shares stories and facts about the wildlife, geology, culture, and how glaciers have shaped the landscape of the area.  Enjoy spectacular vistas over the Canadian Rockies, turquoise lakes, and numerous glaciers. Stop at Crowfoot Glacier and Bow Lake to capture a perfect picture. The Athabasca Glacier is one of the "six toes" of the Columbia Icefield, and where you’ll have the unique opportunity to walk on a glacier and to sip from its virgin streams. Board a massive Ice Explorer and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime adventure as you ride directly onto the glacier. Afterwards, spend approximately 20 minutes walking on the extremely thick, 25,000-year-old ice. After a delicious hot lunch at Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre, take a short ride to the Columbia Icefield Skywalk. Perched on a cliff on the side of the Sunwapta Valley, this glass-floored platform stretches out for astonishing views. Stride boldly out for a thrilling adventure and enjoy the views of the mountains and glaciers around you, as well as Sunwapta River with its waterfalls and crystal-clear water below. The tour will end with hotel drop-off in Banff.

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Banff: Sightseeing, Lake Minnewanka Cruise, & Banff Gondola

4. Banff: Sightseeing, Lake Minnewanka Cruise, & Banff Gondola

Join a 6.5-hour tour to learn about culture, geology, and wildlife while exploring the spectacular sights of the renowned mountain town of Banff. Experience some of the most incredible sights and sounds that western Canada has to offer. Visit and learn about Banff, Bow Falls, Tunnel Mountain Drive, Surprise Corner, Hoodoos, and Two Jack Viewpoint. Then, head up the Banff Gondola to the peak of Sulphur Mountain for a 360-degree view. Climb aboard your four-person gondola cabin with large windows, sit back, and relax. During the eight-minute ride to the summit of Sulpher Mountain, take in the views of the town of Banff, Bow Valley, and six different mountain ranges. Set off on an exciting hike across the Sulpher Mountain boardwalk to explore the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, a National Historic Site of Canada. Complete the day with a historical tour of Lake Minnewanka on a lake cruise. Glide through the crystal clear water of this glacier lake and take in the views of the Canadian Rockies around you. Pick up interesting insights about the local wildlife and the underwater town below the lake. After a day of sightseeing and fun, return to Banff for depot drop-off.

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Banff: Nature Walking Tour

5. Banff: Nature Walking Tour

Discover Banff and its stunning natural surroundings through the eyes of an expert guide on a walking tour. A perfect introduction to the Rocky Mountains, this tour opens your eyes to mountain survival, bear encounters, and how locals have used the flora for medicinal purposes over the years. Head off on an adventurous and educational nature walk around Banff. You'll learn about how locals survive off the land in the summer and winter months, discovering medical plants in the forest. Hear first-hand stories and facts on bears, bear spray, and how to live safely among wildlife in the Rockies. Be amazed by the dramatic mountain ranges around you, the verdant forest, and clear lakes.

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Banff: Grotto Canyon Icewalk

6. Banff: Grotto Canyon Icewalk

Enjoy the drive from Banff in a modern minibus after your friendly guide picks you up from the meeting point. You'll take the scenic drive to Grotto Canyon in Canmore, a local's secret. On arrival at the Grotto Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking.  From here, you'll start the moderate 2.1 kilometer hike along the frozen creek bed through the narrow canyon to the spectacular icefalls. Walk directly on the ice and on the creek bed floor for a unique view of the canyon.  Your guide will point out the stunted pine forest and hidden ancient native pictographs, which were likely created by Hopi visitors from the Arizona region. Learn more about First Nation history in the Bow Valley. Warm up with hot chocolate and maple cookie snack before hiking back.

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Banff: Sunset Walking Tour

7. Banff: Sunset Walking Tour

Take an evening sunset walk and watch the stars come out while experiencing nature on Banff's trails with this guided our. Watch a stunning mountain sunset and feel the awe of seeing the first stars appear. Explore Banff National Park like never before and see nature by night. Feel safe with professional guides and the use of headlamps, lanterns, ice cleats, and micro spikes. Hike along local trails around Banff and take the unique opportunity to watch the nocturnal world come to life.

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Banff National Park: Guided Signature Hikes with Lunch

8. 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)

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Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

9. Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

Hike up through Johnston's Canyon on walkways extended into the canyon. Enjoy beautiful views while passing waterfalls or icefalls, depending on the time of year. Walk through the home of the migratory and endangered Black Swift. Learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the Canadian Rockies. After hiking through the canyon enjoy the quiet hum of the forest before arriving at a cool spring, the Ink Pots, with great views of Mt. Ishbel. Enjoy some time to relax at the Ink Pots before returning back to the carpark.

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Banff: Marble Canyon Snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park

10. Banff: Marble Canyon Snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park

This is an excellent trip for beginners as it covers mainly flat terrain with minimal elevation gain, and also suits anyone wanting a pleasant activity outdoors in the majestic Kootenay National Park. Your guide will pick you up from Banff in a modern minibus and take you along Highway 93 South, a scenic drive that takes you into Kootenay National Park. On arrival at the Marble Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on snowshoes over your winter boots, as well as give you an introduction on the art of snowshoeing. To start the tour, you'll hike along the bridges around Marble Canyon’s 40-meters deep gorge, worn away over centuries by the rushing waters of Tokumn Creek. Look down over the railings at the frozen falls below. Then, take a 3 kilometre winter walk along the nearby trails and search for snowshoe hare, moose and wolf tracks while exploring how the landscape is changing and animals are adapting. After this crisp winter walk, enjoy hot chocolate and a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert. At the end of your  adventure, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at the meeting point or your hotel.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Banff

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What people are saying about Banff

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 39 reviews

What a wonderful way to start our morning! There was 5 of us which included to 16 year olds and an 18 year old and they also loved it! Andrew was our guide and what an asset to that team he is funny, informative and made the tour even better! Definitely suggest booking this, and the morning as it’s much quieter.

Our guide Gina is the best! Interesting and fun bus trip to location with helpful tips and instruction on what to expect. Beautiful nature under a dark night sky. Hot chocolate and maple leaf cookies at half-point of walk. You even get to keep your cool headlamp.

Very knowledgeable guide. The weather was rainy but we did get some nice views. We finished early so the guide asked if we would like to visit a nearby canyon which we did. It was very considerate of him to offer us that/

Beautiful hikes - guide very knowledgeable and set a comfortable pace for all of us.

Had a wonderful time and a great workout!! Andrew was a delightful tour guide .