Banff National Park of Canada

LOOKING FOR TRIP IDEAS?

backpacker icon

Four 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.

Assiniboine Loop
55 km; elevation gain: 545 m
The trail begins and ends at the Mt. Shark trailhead in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Travel through three contiguous protected areas and behold the beauty of the sixth highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies (Mt. Assiniboine). Seasonal trail restrictions on Allenby Pass and Assiniboine Pass during buffalo berry season.
Learn more …

Map of Assiniboine Loop area

Campsites: Br 14 McBride's Camp (night 1);
Lake Magog Campground or the BC Parks trail shelter, Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park (nights 2 and 3) where separate BC Parks campground fees will be collected on-site;
Br 13 Marvel Lake, or stay at the Bryant Creek trail shelter (night 4).
Topographic maps: 82 J/14, 82 J/13.
Gem Trek recreational map: Banff and Mount Assiniboine

Mount Assiniboine
Mount Assiniboine
© Parks Canada

Sunshine – Assiniboine – Bryant Creek
55.7 km; elevation gain: 660 m
This trip is best suited to parties with two vehicles. Mt. Assiniboine can also be reached from the Sunshine Village ski area via the rambling alpine meadows of Citadel Pass. Either walk up the Sunshine Village limited access ski area maintenance road or ride the privately run shuttle up the 6.5 km to the base village. The trip exits via Bryant Creek at the Mt. Shark trailhead in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Seasonal trail restrictions on Allenby Pass and Assiniboine Pass during buffalo berry season.
Learn more …

Map of Sunshine, Assiniboine and Bryant Creek area

Campsites: Porcupine Campground, Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park (night 1);
Lake Magog Campground, Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park (night 2), where separate BC Parks campground fees will be collected on-site;
Br 13 Marvel Lake or Br 14 McBride's Camp (night 3).
Topographic maps: 82 O/4, 82 J/14, 82 J/13.
Gem Trek recreational map: Banff and Mount Assiniboine

Sunshine – Vista Lake
40 km; elevation gain: 1390 m
A series of high country trails link the Sunshine Village ski area (access via foot or the privately run shuttle) to the Vista Lake viewpoint on Highway 93. Explore the Egypt Lake area en route. After climbing over Gibbon Pass, the trail meanders past a series of scenic lakes before the final descent to the highway.

Map of Sunshine and Vista Lake area

Campsites: E13 Egypt Lake (night 1);
Re 21 Ball Pass Junction (night 2);
Tw7 Twin Lakes (night 3).
Topographic maps: 82 O/4, 82 N/1.
Gem Trek recreational map: Banff and Mount Assiniboine

Five Days Plus

Sawback Trail
74 km; elevation gain: 734 m
This trip takes you over three spectacular mountain passes. The trail traverses a good portion of Banff National Park, linking the town of Banff with the hamlet of Lake Louise. Trailheads are located at Mt. Norquay ski area and the Fish Creek trailhead. Portions of this area are frequented by commercially guided horse trips. There are many camping options–a possible 7-day itinerary is provided here.

Map of Sawback Trail area

Campsites: Fm 19 Mystic Junction (night 1);
Jo 9 Larry's camp (night 2);
Jo 18 Johnston Creek or Jo 19 Luellen Lake (night 3);
Jo 29 Badger Pass (night 4);
Ba 15 Wildflower Creek (night 5);
Sk 11 Baker Lake (night 6).
Topographic maps: 82 O/4, 82 O/5, 82 N/8.
Gem Trek recreational map:Banff and Mount Assiniboine

Mystic Pass – Flint's Park - Badger Pass
76.4 km; elevation gain: 2175m
Allow about seven days for this journey which begins and ends at Johnston Canyon. Enjoy the subalpine meadows en route to Flint's Park and climb over remote Mystic and Badger Passes. Badger Pass can be blocked with a snow cornice well into the summer months. This area is frequented by commercially guided horse trips.

Map of Mystic Pass, Flint's Park and Badger pass Loop area

Campsites: Jo 9 Larry's Camp (night 1);
Ml 22 Mystic Valley (night 2);
Cr 31 Flint's Park (night 3);
Cr 37 Block Lakes Junction (night 4);
Jo 29 Badger Pass Junction (night 5);
Jo 18 Johnston Creek (night 6);
Jo 9 Larry's Camp (night 7).
Topographic maps: 82 O/4, 82 O/5.
Gem Trek recreational map: Banff and Mount Assiniboine


Note: To read the PDF version you need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system.

If the Adobe download site is not accessible to you, you can download Acrobat Reader from an accessible page.

If you choose not to use Acrobat Reader you can have the PDF file converted to HTML or ASCII text by using one of the conversion services offered by Adobe.