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Banff Hiking

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.

Banff: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake & Banff National Park

2. Banff: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake & Banff National Park

Explore Canada's number one tourist destination on this guided tour of Banff National Park. Enjoy a tour that is tailor-made by your guide each day to factor in recent wildlife sightings, weather conditions, and crowds. Spend free time at Moraine and Louise Lake and visit a selection of other hot spots.  Be picked from select locations in Banff and board a comfortable and air-conditioned van. Get access to Banff National Park, which spans over 6,660 square meters and contains towering peaks, colossal glaciers, and neon-blue lakes.  Listen as your guide shares stories and provides you with all the great local insights you could want. Stop for 1.5 hours at lake Moraine (1st of June to the 12th or October) and lake Louise where you can relax, go for a hike, or rent a canoe or kayak.  Avoid the crowds and having to get up early just to get a parking spot. Expect to visit a selection of spots (depending on the day's itinerary) like Johnston Canyon, Lake Minnewanka/Two Jack Lake, Hoodoos Lookout, Mt. Norquay, Vermilion Lakes Road, and Marble Canyon . 

Banff: Banff National Park Guided Tour with Snowshoeing Hike

3. Banff: Banff National Park Guided Tour with Snowshoeing Hike

Journey along the famous Icefields Parkway, the undisputed world heavyweight champion of scenic roads, where jaw-dropping scenery is punctuated by more than 100 ancient glaciers, waterfalls cascading from dramatic rock spires, and frozen lakes set in sweeping valleys. Stop at the awe-inspiring Abraham Lake, where your local expert guide will show you where to find the lake's famous frozen ice bubbles, a natural phenomenon that you ice-skate or walk on. This tour also includes an easy (1.5km return) snowshoeing hike to the jaw-dropping Peyto Lake viewpoint, where you can gaze upon the vastness of the Canadian Rockies deep in the backcountry of Banff National Park. Along the way, make stops at all the well-renowned must-see spots as well as some spots that only locals know about.

Banff: Sunsets and Stars Evening Walking Tour

4. Banff: Sunsets and Stars Evening Walking Tour

Take an evening sunset walk and watch the stars come out while experiencing nature at remote trail locations. 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. Be escorted by professional mountain guides and see more of the area with the use of headlamps and lanterns. Hike along local trails around Banff and take the unique opportunity to watch the nocturnal world come to life.

Canadian Rockies: Helicopter Flight with Exploration Hike

5. Canadian Rockies: Helicopter Flight with Exploration Hike

Get ready for an awe-inspiring experience of the Rocky Mountain with this scenic helicopter flight and hiking tour. See the Rockies from a bird's-eye view. Admire the stunning views of the mountains, lakes, and glaciers from above. Then explore the region’s natural beauty on foot. Choose from a 20, 30, or 55-minute scenic flight. Each option includes incredible panoramas of waterfalls, emerald-green lakes, and mountain ridges. With the 55-minute flight, approach the Columbia Icefield, the largest expanse of ice in the Rocky Mountains. After the flight, land at the confluence of the Cline River and Waterfalls Creek. Continue to explore the wild beauty of this region on foot, hiking to the Twin Falls waterfall. Then climb back on board the helicopter and fly back to the heliport, enjoying the fantastic views of Abraham Lake.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

6. 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.

Banff National Park: Guided Signature Hikes with Lunch

7. 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)

From Calgary: Banff & Yoho National Parks Private Day Tour

8. From Calgary: Banff & Yoho National Parks Private Day Tour

The best of two national parks in the Canadian Rocky Mountain both Banff National Park and Yoho National Park — including Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake, Natural Bridge, and the towering Takakkaw Falls, on this full day of private sightseeing tour. Discover some of the most awe-inspiring natural scenery of the Canadian Rockies, with so much time to spot some of the area’s diverse wildlife, you won't be rushed to enjoy every moment of the places, Exclusive just for your group means no more waiting for others and we can explore more of the less touristy part of the area. Leaving from Calgary, Canmore, and Banff the tour is a private experience so you don't have to feel rushed at any stops. The first stop will be at the Most Beautiful Place on Earth: British Columbia, Yoho National Park's Emerald Lake, and Natural Bridge spend time taking photos and recording the white noise of the flowing stream of water, then continue to drive to the Yoho Valley to see the towering Takakkaw Falls. Going back to Alberta's Banff National Park, we will stop to see the World's Famous Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. We will have a chance to visit the Town of Banff to end the trip before heading back to your Hotel or Airbnb.

Banff: Lake Louise & Johnston Canyon

9. Banff: Lake Louise & Johnston Canyon

Embark on a full-day guided tour from Banff that provides you with lots of opportunities to be outside, exploring and enjoying a winter wonderland with ice-skating on Lake Louise, snowshoeing in deep powder snow, and admiring the frozen waterfalls of Johnston Canyon. Begin with pickup from select meeting points in Banff and relax onboard our comfortable, spacious tour van. Along the way, stop at all the well-renowned and must-see spots, as well as some spots that only locals know about.  Hear stories from your guide and get great local insights. Enjoy a mix of guiding with the opportunity to do some solo exploring, allowing you to experience the best of each stop on the tour at your own pace. Choose from a tour with or without ice-skates, allowing you to rent, bring your own or do another activity entirely. Soak up the winter scenery as you glide across Lake Louise and try to spot some wildlife as you snowshoe along wilderness trails. Capture some pictures of the icy falls along Johnston Canyon. Cozy up with some warm drinks along the way. Return to your meeting point at the end of your tour. 

Banff Legends and Landmarks - Historical Walking Tour

10. Banff Legends and Landmarks - Historical Walking Tour

Get a perfect introduction to Banff on this walking tour with a local historian guide. Explore local history and trail systems around the Banff townsite and get local tips on the best ways to explore other hotspots in the area.  Starting from Banff’s Cave and Basin National Historic Site, gear up with ice cleats or walking poles if needed (included). Explore the site and venture through different trails depending on the season to capture the best locations year-round.

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Frequently asked questions about Banff

What are the best day trips and excursions from Banff?

The best day trips and excursions from Banff are:

Banff National Park

Other Sightseeing Options in Banff

Want to discover all there is to do in Banff? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Banff

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 39 reviews

This was our first time doing this and the experience was great! We only got to do the lower part of the Rockies for the top was closed but got to go to some other beautiful lookout points to make up for this. The tour guides were great! Would recommend this for sure! The frozen waterfall was beautiful! Dress warm for it can get chilly out there!

My experience was satisfactory. Our guide was easy going and extremely knowledgeable when it came to the terrain we hiked and Banff as a whole. I would recommend this because it gives you a little more insight on the beautiful views rather than just going on your own. Thanks!

This was super worth it! We had Rob as a tour guide and he was very knowledgeable and super fun. The canyon was very beautiful to see with the snow and less crowded than summer. Would definitely come again!

The walk was beautiful and fun. Our guide, Emma, was extremely knowledgable and personable!

Enjoyable experience and the Johnston Canyon is a must-see!