Hike Alberta

Lake Louise

Where:                 Kootenay, Alberta
Hike:                     Marble Canyon to Paint Pots
Distance:              7 km
Flat, easy hike through charred forest and crystal rivers.

Where:                 Kootenay, Alberta
Hike:                     Stanley Glacier
Distance:             8.4 km
Time:                    3 hours
356m elevation, moderate hike. Start early as it is a busy hike, decent views and lunch spot at the end.

Where:                 Banff, Alberta
Hike:                     Cory Pass
Distance:             15 km
Time:                    6 hours
A wonderful loop with 915m elevation gain. The best direction to take is counter-clockwise Cory to Edith, it is a difficult trail with varied scenery. Some parts are tough, especially at the beginning.

Where:                 Banff, Alberta
Hike:                     Bow River to Hoodoos
Distance:             4.5 km (one way)
Time:                    3-4 hours
Easy walk along the river, views of valley and fascinating hoodoo rock formations. Option to take the shuttle bus back into town for free.

Where:                 Banff, Alberta
Hike:                     Mount Rundle
Distance:             11 km
Time:                    6-8 hours
Mount Rundle looms over Banff you cannot miss it, with a summit of 2949m the scramble has an elevation gain of 1577m. Scramble maps can be found at the tourist information centre, the trail is quite well marked but a map helps. It is a difficult hike especially the final 200m, scrambling to the summit with loose rock falling. The summit is wonderful with 360’ panoramic views of Banff, Canmore and Mount Assiniboine in the distance.

Where:                 Banff, Alberta
Hike:                     Shark Mountain – Mount Assiniboine
Distance:             Approx 60km Loop
Time:                    3-4 days
There are many ways to hike this loop, so take as much or as little time as you need. The following is the way in which I did it:

Day One– Mt. Shark Parking to BR14 camping. 13km
The campground must be booked through Banff National Park, before you venture out hiking. You have to pay for a permit and the overnight camping fee which is relatively inexpensive. The road to Shark Mountain is a 40km gravel and pothole nightmare, take it slow (unless you are in a 4×4) and leave plenty of time to arrive. Set out on the hike after midday and you will be there by dinner time. The first part is a rather dull hike along a cross country ski track; this also makes it easy.

Day Two– BR14 to Magog Lake Campground (via Assiniboine Pass). 14km
No need to rush in the morning as you will arrive in plenty of time. There is a bit of a climb at the end and gorgeous meadow views. Tea, cake and beer are served at Assiniboine Lodge from 4-5pm, so it is good to have your camp set up in time for that. Magog Lake Campground doesn’t need to be booked in advance, it is not part of Banff NP. There is a large overflow area so you will definitely be able to camp for the night, no matter what.

Day Three
Take this as a day to not have to carry all your gear, explore Assiniboine as it is incredible. Revel in the fact that there is no road access; only helicopter, bike and foot. Nub peak offers spectacular views without being too long or difficult, Lake Elizabeth is a good lunch spot, take insect repellant as there are mosquitos everywhere in summer.

Day Four– Magog Lake to Shark Mountain Parking (via Wonder Pass). 26km
This can be broken up with a stay at a campground if you aren’t feeling fit, hiking out in a day requires an early start and makes for a long day. The route offers views of glacier and mountain range over Marvel Lake, you will realise why it is called ‘Wonder Pass’. There is a lot of walking down, be prepared for the final part to seem infinite once you hit the Watridge Lake Trail. After your long day hiking out, the best place to sleep

Where:                 Lake Louise, Alberta
Hike:                     Mount Temple
Distance:             16km
Time:                    7-12 hours
Mount Temple’s summit is at 3543m and the scramble has an elevation gain of 1690m, I would recommend starting around 7.30am. It appeared that people were staying in their vehicles overnight in the car park, there is a lodge there so overnight parking (not camping) is allowed. Rent a helmet, as there is a lot of falling rock and be sure to get a leaflet from Lake Louise tourist information. The climb is difficult, with falling gravel and snow at the peak; it is easy to take the wrong turn as there is no marked path. Lake Louise overflow camping (essentially a car park) is $10.80/night.

Where:                 Jasper, Alberta
Hike:                     Sulphur Skyline
Distance:             8km
Time:                    3-4  hours
An elevation gain of 700m makes for an intense, yet fairly short, up hill hike. It is a busy hike but it’s easy to park and the views are lovely, perhaps set out in the early evening for a quieter walk. Head to Miette Hot Springs afterwards, they are better than Banff and you can have a shower too.

Where:                 Jasper, Alberta
Hike:                     Virl, Dorothy and Christine Lake
Distance:             8.6km
Time:                    3 hours
This is a pleasant, quiet and flat walk in the woods where moose cows roam with their babies. It is worth hiking all the way to the final lake, bring insect repellant for the hungry mosquitos.