Jun-Oct
Season
8:00am
Departure Time
7 Hours
Duration
13+
Age
Active
Activity

With hundreds of hiking trails how do you know which one to choose? Come with us! Our guides have picked their four favourite ‘signature’ trails.

Please note that our early season hiking schedule is currently in place until 21 June 2019, due to snow levels and trail conditions.

We have selected what we consider the best of the best when it comes to getting out there and spending time in the backcountry of the Rocky Mountain National Parks. From the explosion of wildflowers in the spring, to the clear glacier views in the summer, to the brilliant golden of the larch trees in the fall, hiking in the Rockies should not be missed.

Our Interpretive Guides’ priority is having a safe, fun and informative tour that connects you more to where you are visiting. We hike in small groups which is recommended for safety to reduce wildlife encounters. Hiking time is between four and six hours, which includes an alpine picnic lunch. Please note that you must have sturdy footwear and we recommend dressing in layers to adapt to constant weather changes.

Hiking Trail Schedule*

Refer to the Trail Routes tab for the full details on the distance, elevation, hiking time and difficulty rating for each trail.

Sunday Stanley Glacier (Moderate)
Monday Larch Valley (Moderate)
Tuesday Consolation Lakes (Easy)
Wednesday Plain of Six Glaciers (Moderate)
Thursday Stanley Glacier (Moderate)
Friday Plain of Six Glaciers (Moderate)
Saturday Larch Valley (Moderate)

* Early/late season hikes are subject to itinerary changes due to trail conditions, please refer to the information in the Trail Routes tab or enquire for further details.

Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Transport Options
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Lake Louise - limited)
DO A TOUR PRIVATELY?
  • If one of our group itinerary tours appeals to you, it can also be arranged for you on a private basis. LEARN MORE.

Guide Quote

Rob's Pick

"There's never a bad view on the Plain of Six Glaciers hike, and you're walking in the footsteps of the legendary Swiss Guides." - Rob , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Banff Guided Hike Reviews


Hiking Schedule*

Hike Days of Operation Rating
Stanley Glacier Sunday & Thursday Moderate
Larch Valley Monday & Saturday Moderate
Consolation Lakes Tuesday Easy
Plain of Six Glaciers Wednesday & Friday Moderate

* Early/late season hikes are subject to itinerary changes due to trail conditions, please see below or enquire for further details.

Regular Season Hikes: 

Hike to Stanley Glacier – Sunday & Thursday

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. You then 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 and may even find some fossils! You will 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)
  • Departs: 8:00am from Banff

Hike to Larch Valley – Monday & Saturday

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)
  • Departs: 8:00am from Banff, 8:45am from the Samson Mall in Lake Louise

Hike to Consolation Lakes – Tuesday

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 along a old growth forest trail to Consolation Lakes, where you’ll see the Fay Glacier stop Mount Babel. 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)
  • Departs: 8:00am from Banff, 8:45am from the Samson Mall in Lake Louise

Hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers – Wednesday & Friday

Your hike starts by hiking along 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. The trail turns into single track and the immensity of the the valley and its peaks becomes even more apparent. Near to your final destination is the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House where cakes and tea are served all day long – be sure to bring some cash! Just past the teahouse you will be treated to views of the six glaciers feeding into the valley and Lake Louise. If time and group ability allows you may be able to hike further to view historic Abbot Pass.

  • Rated: Moderate
  • Hiking time: 5 hours
  • Distance: 10.6kms (6.6 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 340m (1,100 feet)
  • Departs: 8:00am from Banff, 8:45am from the Samson Mall in Lake Louise, 9:00am at the Chateau Lake Louise

Early Season Hikes

Early season hikes typically operate for the first two weeks of June, subject to trail conditions.

Hike Days of Operation Rating
Castle Mountain Lookout Monday & Friday Moderate-Hard
Ink Pots Tuesday Moderate
Lake Minnewanka Shoreline Wednesday & Saturday Easy
Yamnuska Thursday & Sunday Moderate

Castle Mountain Lookout / Castle Cliffs – Monday & Friday

The short but steep trail climbs up the side of Castle Mountain. It starts off in the trees, around half way up the forest opens up and you pass by rocky cliffs & ledges. The final destination is an old fire lookout with 180 degree views of the entire Bow Valley. Please note that you will be ascending a short distance up the front side of Castle Mountain, not summiting the mountain

  • Rated: Moderate-Hard
  • Hiking time: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 7.4kms (4.6 miles)
  • Elevation gain: 520m (1,700 feet)
  • Departs: 8:00am from Banff

Ink Pots – Tuesdays

The first 2.6km of the trail follows Johnston Canyon, one of the most popular trails in Banff National Park. This includes walking alongside Johnston Creek, walking next to the creek on the bottom of the canyon, and walking on catwalks bolted into the canyon walls, with the creek below (some people who are afraid of heights may have problems on the catwalks). After the Upper Falls of Johnston Canyon, the trail steepens a bit and is mostly through the forest. The ink pots mineral springs that form beautiful round, blue pools, in the middle of a large meadow, with views of the surrounding peaks.

  • Rated: Moderate
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Distance: 10.8kms (6.7 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 520m (1,690 feet)
  • Departs: 8:00am from Banff

Lake Minnewanka Shoreline – Wednesday & Saturday

The trail starts near the Lake Minnewanka Boat dock. After 1km, you reach a bridge over Stewart Canyon, a lovely view. The trail ascends over Sheep Point, where you get lovely high level views over Lake Minnewanka, with Mt Rundle & Cascade as the backdrop. The trail lowers down and then follows the shoreline, staying in the trees, relatively flat. We aim to get to the LM8 campground for lunch (located 8kms into the trail), situated in a grove of aspen trees, but can turn around at any point based on the group’s ability.

  • Rated: Easy
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: Up to 16 km (10 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: Minimal (65m to 400m)
  • Departs: 8:00am from Banff

Yamnuska – Thursday & Sunday

This trail is in Bow Valley Provincial Park, east of Canmore. Yamnuska is a prominent, flat faced mountain visible on the north side of the highway as you drive in from Calgary. This hike takes you to the east end of the cliff face, known as Ravens End. The trail is a steady climb through aspen trees, then pine forest. About half way up the forest opens up and there are spectacular views over the eastern Bow Valley. You then gain the eastern ridge, and follow that up to where it meets Ravens End. 270 degree views to the north, east & south. A small gap in the cliff allows a peek through to the steep, scree filled backside of Yamnuska and the trail to the summit scramble. Please note that this hike does not go to the summit of Yamnuska, and does not include the infamous “chain” section – it is all on a regular trail.

  • Rated: Moderate
  • Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
  • Distance: 7kms (4.3 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 425m (1,400 feet)
  • Departs: 8:00am from Banff
Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Transport Options
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Lake Louise - limited)
DO A TOUR PRIVATELY?
  • If one of our group itinerary tours appeals to you, it can also be arranged for you on a private basis. LEARN MORE.

Guide Quote

Rob's Pick

"There's never a bad view on the Plain of Six Glaciers hike, and you're walking in the footsteps of the legendary Swiss Guides." - Rob , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Banff Guided Hike Reviews


Choose from the following lunch options:

  • Chicken Club Wrap: mayo, chicken, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a tortilla wrap
  • Roast Beef Sandwich: premium roast beef slices with lettuce, tomato, swiss cheese and horseradish mayo on a kaiser bun
  • Vegetarian Wrap: tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, lettuce and hummus on a tortilla wrap
  • Green salad with chicken (gluten-free): romaine lettuce, tomato, green onion, cucumber and diced chicken with french dressing

Lunches also include fruit, juice, salted potato chips and two bite brownies.

Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Transport Options
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Lake Louise - limited)
DO A TOUR PRIVATELY?
  • If one of our group itinerary tours appeals to you, it can also be arranged for you on a private basis. LEARN MORE.

Guide Quote

Rob's Pick

"There's never a bad view on the Plain of Six Glaciers hike, and you're walking in the footsteps of the legendary Swiss Guides." - Rob , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Banff Guided Hike Reviews


All hiking tours start at 8:00am from Banff and run for approximately 7 hours, which includes between 3 to 5 hours of hiking time. Guests return to Banff between 3pm and 3:30pm.
The full day tour includes transportation from most hotels in Banff on a 3 – 5 hour hike with a professional hiking guide. Lunch and hiking poles are provided, and some of the tours will also offer a pickup from Lake Louise. Please select your preferred lunch choice when making your reservation.
We pick up from most hotels in Banff, and you can select your preferred pick-up location during the booking process. For drop offs, our guide will ask you on the way back where you would like to be dropped off either in town or at your hotel. Some of the tours will also offer a pickup in Lake Louise from the Samson Mall (the Plain of 6 Glaciers hike will also meet at the Chateau Lake Louise), please contact us to book a hiking tour with a Lake Louise pickup.
There are four different guided hiking routes that run on various days throughout the week. Please see the ‘Trail Routes’ tab for further details. Please note that early season hikes, typically for the month of June, are subject to itinerary changes due to trail conditions. Please enquire when booking to confirm your hiking route.
Please be prepared for the mountain weather, it changes quickly. To ensure that you enjoy the day, please wear/bring: lightweight hiking pants, a breathable shirt (not cotton!), a warm layer (like a fleece jacket), a waterproof jacket, a hat and sunglasses, hiking shoes (sturdy, ideally waterproof or water resistant hiking boots or shoes – trainers or runners are okay, but boots are better), a small backpack, a water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray and your camera! You may also like to bring snacks (to supplement lunch if required). Your guide will bring bear spray and a first aid kit, so you will not need to bring these items.
These hikes are in small groups (up to 12 people per guide) and your trail guide will carry bear spray, and provide information on the best ways to travel safely, avoid a bear encounter and what to do in the unlikely event you should encounter a bear on the trail.
There is a 48 hour cancellation policy, which allows you to change/cancel or refund your booking up to 48 hours outside your booked tour (up to 7 days for group bookings).
Tips are not expected, but are certainly appreciated. If you think your guide did a wonderful job and would like to indicate that with a tip, it will be graciously accepted.

Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Transport Options
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Lake Louise - limited)
DO A TOUR PRIVATELY?
  • If one of our group itinerary tours appeals to you, it can also be arranged for you on a private basis. LEARN MORE.

Guide Quote

Rob's Pick

"There's never a bad view on the Plain of Six Glaciers hike, and you're walking in the footsteps of the legendary Swiss Guides." - Rob , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Banff Guided Hike Reviews


  • The minimum age is 13 years, and all children aged between 13 and 15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult and have a parent or guardian sign their waiver.
  • Children aged 16 – 17 years old may go on the hike without an adult, but a parent must meet the guide in the morning to sign a waiver.
  • Early season itinerary changes may apply, please enquire at the time of booking.
  • Due to weather and trail restrictions, we reserve the right to change the location of any of our hikes for the safety of our customers.
  • Please note that this tour requires a minimum of 4 participants, please call the day prior to confirm the tour.
Included
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide)
  • Use of hiking poles
  • Professional certified guide
Meal
  • Alpine Picnic Lunch
Transport Options
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Banff)
  • Hotel pick up and drop off (Lake Louise - limited)
DO A TOUR PRIVATELY?
  • If one of our group itinerary tours appeals to you, it can also be arranged for you on a private basis. LEARN MORE.

Guide Quote

Rob's Pick

"There's never a bad view on the Plain of Six Glaciers hike, and you're walking in the footsteps of the legendary Swiss Guides." - Rob , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Banff Guided Hike Reviews


Hiking Lake Louise
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