North America

The Absolute Best Hikes in Banff National Park

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Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is truly a hiker’s paradise. Located just 1.5 hours from the city of Calgary, Banff is an easy weekend getaway. Read on to find out some of the best hikes in Banff, suitable for all fitness levels!

As a reminder, this post serves as only a guide and may not be up-to-date. Before any hiking adventure in Banff make sure to consult the official Banff website for current trail conditions and check apps like AllTrails for more details.

The Best Hikes in Banff National Park

There are an endless number of hikes available in Banff National Park. Hikes span from short 1 hour walks, to longer full day hiking excursions. In this guide you’ll find the best hikes in Banff for any fitness level.

Agnes Tea House Hike

Distance: 2.5 miles
Elevation gain: 1,300 ft
Time required: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: Easy

The Agnes Lake Tea House trek is a super accessible hike for any fitness level. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach the tea house from Lake Louise, most of which time you will be walking at a steady slight incline.

Spend some time at the Agnes Lake Tea House warming up with a hot drink. Be sure to bring cash though as cards are not accepted. Both Canadian and US Dollars are accepted.

From the tea house you can head back down to Lake Louise or continue on to another one of the best hikes in Banff, The Big Beehive hike.

girl on agnes tea house trek
Best Hikes in Banff National Park
Best hikes in Banff: Lake Agnes Tea House
Agnes Lake Tea House trek

Big Bee Hive in Banff

Distance: 6 miles
Elevation gain: 1772 ft
Time required: 3-4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Starting at the Agnes Lake Tea House, you can continue another mile to the Big Beehive Lookout, which offers stunning views of Lake Louise below. The incline is quite steep, making this one of the more challenging shorter hikes in the area, but most definitely worth it.

Lake Louise - View from the Big Beehive Hike
Big Beehive Trek, Banff
Lake Louise - View from the Big Bee Hive Hike
Views of Lake Louise from above

After you circle the lake you will face some pretty intense switch backs, eventually leading to a lookout point on the top. I promise, the views from the top are truly spectacular, making it one of the best hikes in Banff.

Moraine Lake Hike

The Moraine Lake shoreline hike is an easy hike along the shoreline of the famous Moraine Lake. It offers incredible views of the iconic lake from all angles.

Distance: 2 miles
Time required: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Moraine Lake just before sunset
Moraine Lake just before sunset
Moraine Lake just before sunset
No hike necessary to reach the lake

Johnston Canyon

Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation gain: 350 ftt
Time required: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

The Johnson Canyon hike is super family friendly, with a paved path and steps for much of the hike.

You should be able to reach the Upper Falls in about 1.5 hours round trip. This hike can easily be combined with the East End of the Rumble hike, making for an active day.

Johnston Canyon in a snowy day
Johnston Canyon, Banff
Hiking in Banff - Three Days in Banff Itinerary
A snowy hike in Banff


Tunnel Hike

Distance: 3 miles
Elevation gain: 850 ft
Time required: 1-1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Tunnel Mountain is a fun, easy hike that originates right in the town of Banff, perfect for those who are traveling without a car!

Allow yourself approximately 1.5 hours round trip for the hike, ascending at a steady pace and allowing time for some photos of course. At the summit you’ll find great views of the town below.

Best Hikes in Banff - Tunnel Mountain Hike
Best Hikes in Banff


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3 Days in Banff National Park

Peyto Lake

The view of the Peyto Lake is so great that I couldn’t resist adding it to my list of the best hikes in Banff. Consider it a bonus hike to the ones I’ve already mentioned above.

Not much more than a 10 minute stroll to the view point, but at least you can pretend that you got your cardio in.

Best Hikes in Banff - Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake, Banff National Park
Peyto Lake - Best Hikes in Banff
Best Hikes in Banff – Peyto Lake

What to Pack for the Best Hikes in Banff

It is important to make sure that you are always in appropriate outfits and gear when tackling these best hikes in Banff. Don’t be fooled by my pictures of dresses and converse, real hiking gear is a must! Here are some items that you shouldn’t forget!

Columbia Hiking Boots – proper shoes are a must when hiking in Banff! I personally have been wearing Columbia boots for the past 8 years and love them.

Down Sweater Full Zip Hoodie Jacket – the weather in Banff can be super unpredictable, especially in the shoulder seasons. A travel-friendly jacket is a great option for protecting against wind and cold, especially at higher altitude. I love this one from Patagonia!

Here are a few of my favorite layers (clearly a big fan of Patagonia over here):

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5 Best Hikes in Banff National Park, Canada pin
5 Best Hikes in Banff National Park, Canada pin


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