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.


Notice for June hikers: Due to snowy trail conditions, early season hiking routes are in effect until June 25th, at which point trail conditions will be assessed. There are limited Lake Louise pickups during this time.


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 Kootenay National Park Trails (Easy)
Monday Larch Valley (Moderate)
Tuesday Stanley Glacier (Moderate)
Wednesday Plain of Six Glaciers (Moderate)
Thursday Stanley Glacier (Moderate)
Friday Plain of Six Glaciers (Moderate)
Saturday Larch Valley (Moderate)

* Early season hikes are subject to itinerary changes due to trail conditions, please 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

Hiking Schedule*

Hike Days of Operation Rating
Kootenay National Park Trails Sunday Easy
Larch Valley Monday & Saturday Moderate
Stanley Glacier Tuesday & Thursday Moderate
Plain of Six Glaciers Wednesday & Friday Moderate

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

Regular Season Hikes: 

Hike to Kootenay National Park Trails – Sunday

Travel to three short hiking trails within Kootenay National Park such as Vista Lake, Fireweed Trails, Paint Pots and Silverton Falls. Enjoy connecting with nature with a variety of different views of the National Park. This trip is ideal for families and first time hikers!

  • Rated: Easy
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Return Distance: 8kms (4.5 miles)
  • Elevation Gain: 150m (492 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.

  • 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 Lake Louise

Hike to Stanley Glacier – Tuesday & 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! Eat your lunch directly beneath the ancient ice of Stanley Glacier before you head back down.

  • 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 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 Lake Louise

Early Season Hikes (currently operating until June 25th, 2018):

  • Friday June 15 – Castle Cliffs
  • Saturday June 16 – Lake Agnes
  • Sunday June 17 – Yamnuska
  • Monday June 18 – Ink Pots
  • Tuesday June 19 – Yamnuska
  • Wednesday June 20 – Lake Agnes
  • Thursday June 21 – Yamnuska
  • Friday June 22 – Castle Cliffs
  • Saturday June 23 – Lake Agnes
  • Sunday June 24 – Kootenay hiking trails (Silverton Falls in Banff National Park, Paint Pots, Vista Lake – see the Regular Season Hikes for details)
  • Monday June 25 – Ink Pots
  • Tuesday June 26 – anticipate moving to summer schedule

Yamnuska – Sundays, Tuesdays & Thursdays

This is a great hike with stunning wildflowers in early Spring and birds in the lower Aspen forest. On this hike we follow the hiking trail to the base of the sharper, more ragged cliffs where you will stop for this. This hike does not do the full route, as it is a scramble, but does offer stunning views, amazing wildflowers and the sheer beauty of the area.

  • Distance: 8km (5miles) return
  • Elevation gain: 533m / 1749ft
  • Time: 2-4 hours return
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Intermediate

Ink Pots – Mondays

This trail begins as a paved walkway at Johnston Canyon for the first 1.1kms to the Lower Falls, where water plunges 10m (33′) into a deeply carved pothole below. The trail becomes slightly more rugged as the hike continues to the Upper Falls, dramatic with water cascading down more than 30m (almost 100′) where the trail leaves the creek and widens en route to the Ink Pots. The Ink Pots are six clear greenish pools filled with spring water than remain at a constant 1 degree Celsius year round, and is one of the most popular hikes in Banff National Park.

Distance: 8km (5miles) return
Elevation gain: 520m / 1690ft
Time: 3-4 hours return
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Lake Agnes – Wednesdays & Saturdays

Starting at the front of Lake Louise near the Fairmont Chateau Hotel, this trail takes you to the famous Lake Agnes Tea House with fantastic views of the Nokhu Crags and Lake Louise. The trail quickly starts to climb uphill on switchbacks, passing by Mirror Lake and ending at the famous tea house. The Lake Agnes Tea House was originally built in 1901 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, as a refuge for hikers, and started serving tea in 1905. From here, there is the option to continue to the Big Beehive.

Distance: 6.8km return to the teahouse, 10km return to the Big Beehive
Elevation gain: 385m to the teahouse, 520m to the Big Beehive
Difficulty: Moderate

Castle Lookout / Castle Cliffs – Fridays

This is a short, steep path that climbs to a tremendous viewing area. From the lookout, the Bow Valley extends in both directions in almost limitless majesty. The steady, moderate climb up the fire access road turn into steeper grade on the trail at 2.2 kms. The moderate to steep uphill continues through switchbacks to the old fire lookout location. This south-facing slope offers easy season hiking with spectacular views of the Bow Valley, Pilot Peak, Storm Mountain and the Lake Louise area.

  • Distance: 5.8km (3.6miles) return
  • Elevation gain: 215m / 700ft
  • Time: 4-5 hours return
  • Difficulty: Intermediate to Difficult
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

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

All hiking tours start at 8:00am from Banff and run for approximately 7 hours, which includes between 4 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 4 – 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.
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

  • 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

Hiking Lake Louise
See Larch Valley with a Professional Hiking Guide with Discover Banff Tours
Hiking in Banff and Lake Louise
Hiking in Banff and Lake Louise
Group Jumping on a Guided Larch Valley Hike