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Banff National Park


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Three Day Trips

Here are some suggested backcountry trips, but Banff National Park offers many more opportunities than those described here. It is always possible to add more days to your trip in any given area. The number of nights given is a minimum. There are several popular guidebooks, topographic and recreational maps available. Some of the books include:

  • Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, 2000 7th Edition, Patton and Robinson
  • Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, 2003, Pole, G.
  • Backcountry Banff, 2001, Potter, M.
  • Randonnée pédestre dans les Rocheuses canadiennes, 2002, Thivierge, P.

Information Centre staff would be pleased to assist you on your trip selection, or direct you to other available resource materials. Interested in day hikes? Pick up a copy of Parks Canada's Day Hikes in Banff National Park .

Egypt Lake
12.4 km one way; elevation gain: 655 m
A trip can be made from the Sunshine Village ski area parking lot, via Healy Creek, to the Egypt Lake campground or trail shelter and back, passing over Healy Pass. Stay two nights if possible to further explore the wonders of the area.

Map of Egypt Lake area

Campsite: E13 Egypt Lake or Egypt Lake trail shelter
Topographic map: 82 O/4.
Gem Trek recreational map: Banff and Mount Assiniboine

Bryant Creek area
45 km total distance; elevation gain: 455 m
Beginning at the Mt. Shark trailhead in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, this trail brings hikers to two campgrounds, and a trail shelter. Day trips can then be made to Wonder, Allenby or Assiniboine Passes. Be prepared for noise from helicopters. Seasonal trail restrictions on Allenby Pass and Assiniboine Pass during buffalo berry season. Learn more.........

Map of Bryant Creek area

Campsite: 2 nights at Br14 McBride's Camp; Br13 Marvel Lake or Bryant Creek trail shelter.
Topographic maps: 82 J/14, 82 J/13.
Gem Trek recreational map: Banff and Mount Assiniboine

Mystic Pass
37 km; elevation gain: 580 m
From the trailhead at the Mt. Norquay ski area, the first part of the trail follows the rushing waters of Forty Mile Creek. On the second day, pass by Mystic Lake and ascend toward the open alpine country of Mystic Pass (where snow may linger late into the summer). After joining the Johnston Creek trail, enjoy a relatively easy hike out to Johnston Canyon on the Bow Valley Parkway, via the Ink Pots. Portions of this area are frequented by commercially guided horse trips.

Map of Mystic Pass area

Campsites: Fm19 Mystic Junction (night 1); Jo9 Larry's Camp (night 2).
Topographic maps: 82 O/4, 82 O/5.
Gem Trek recreational map: Banff and Mount Assiniboine

Skoki Loop
34 km; elevation gain:1,136 m
Beginning at the Fish Creek trailhead (next to the Lake Louise ski area) this trip starts with a 4 km hike up the Skiing Louise limited access maintenance road. Climb over aptly named Boulder Pass and pass by Ptarmigan Lake before descending to Baker Lake. The second day involves travelling around Fossil mountain and past the National Historic site of Skoki Lodge to Merlin Meadows. After climbing Deception Pass, re-join the access trail at Ptarmigan Lake.

Map fo Skokie Loop area

Campsites: Sk11 Baker Lake (night 1); Sk18 Merlin Meadows (night 2).
Topographic maps: 82 N/8, 82 N/9, 82 O/5, 82 O/12.
Gem Trek recreational map: Lake Louise – Yoho