Banff National Park is arguably one of the most stunning parks in Canada and attracts people from all over to see its breathtaking mountain summit views and crystalline lakes for themselves. While the views might give the impression that this park isn't for the faint of heart, that's not quite true... It's perfect for novice hikers, too!
Whether you're just in it for the view or want to boost your hiking game, Banff offers trails for every skill level, and rewarding views to match. There's no need to trek to a mountain summit to see the best parts of this wildlife area and, in fact, most of the easier trails are less than five miles round-trip. So strap on those hiking boots and hit the trails, because these hikes are just too easy to pass up.
The longest loop in this trail is only about two and a half miles and hikers can follow Cave Avenue after the Cave and Basin Historic Site to take it.
A shorter version would be the Marsh Loop, which spans just under one mile. The views along both are great and provide a valley view of the surrounding mountains.
If reaching the top of Sundance Canyon is your goal, expect even better views from the peak of the canyon to the summits of the mountains across the way.
Johnston Canyon Lower And Upper Falls
A bit more crowded during peak season, Johnston Canyon is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the entire park. The hike to get there is easy which also accounts for some of the traffic, but it's well worth the effort to get an early or late start.
The lower falls are just over half a mile while the upper falls is a bit of a longer hike, just over a mile and a half. Both views are worth it, and from the upper falls, hikers will have a vantage point to look over the entire area.
When most people see pictures of Banff, it's likely that they're looking at Sunshine Meadows. This area of the park is a haven for photographers since it provides views of a glass-like lake and snowcapped mountains in the background. Like a Bob Ross painting come to life, the hike to get here isn't too challenging, either.
Hikers can opt to take the bus up to the summit which prevents a moderate to hard hike up to the top and from there, the views are incredible. The hike at the top is just over two miles and is rated as easy, so there's no strenuous aspect, despite the fact that the starting elevation is pretty high.
For those who want a bit more of a workout, the trail continues onto the Grizzly-Larix Lakes Loop, making the hike a total of roughly three miles.
Surprise Corner To Hoodoos
The hike from Surprise Corner to Hoodoos is full of incredible views and comes at a leisurely pace, perfect for beginners or expert hikers who just want to appreciate their surroundings.
Hikers will follow Bow River and have the chance to see Tunnel Mountain along the way and will be rewarded at the end of the hike with gorgeous views of the surrounding area, including the Hoodoos rock formation. Hikers should take care to avoid the elk that roam the area, as they are wild and can charge when threatened.