Trail Condition Report

Banff National Park of Canada

Updated: January-16-19

GENERAL CONDITIONS
  • Variable conditions. Most trails are a mix of compact snow with icy sections! Good footwear, cleats and hiking poles are recommended!
  • For backcountry trails conditions, please contact one of our visitor centres. Banff: 403-762-1550. Lake Louise: 403-522-1264.
SAFETY WARNINGS
  • Ice skating: Skating on natural ice in the Rockies involves some serious risks. The Red Cross recommends an ice thickness of at least 6". It`s up to you to assess the thickness of the ice. More info here.
  • Legacy Trail winter warning: A winter warning of the Banff Legacy Trail is in effect. Use of the trail is not recommended as it is not maintained during winter. Hazards may include snow plow debris, closed gates, icy sections and deep snow.
  • Avalanche conditions at higher elevation! The alpine snowpack is deep and avalanche hazard exists. Expect fresh slab avalanches following storms, avoid steep, sun exposed slopes and carry all of your avalanche gear. Check the Avalanche Bulletin for the latest conditions.
CLOSURES/RESTRICTIONS
  • Road Closures - The Moraine Lake road and the Yoho Valley road (Takakkaw Falls) are now closed for the season. The western section of the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive is also closed during winter. You can still access Lake Minnewanka via the eastern section.
  • Sundance Area Closure: Sundance Trail from the Cave and Basin National Historic Site to the junction with the Sulphur Mountain West Side Trail, the Sulphur Mountain West Side Trail, and the northernmost 4 km of the Sundance Pass Trail. More info here.
  • All Closures - For a complete list of ongoing closures and restrictions, please visit our Important Bulletins page.
SHARE YOUR TRAIL PICTURES WITH US!
  • Have you been hiking in the last few days? Share a few pictures with us as well as your impressions. This will help us keep this report accurate for other hikers :) banff.vrc@pc.gc.ca
[Trails in the Banff area] [Trails in the Lake Louise area] [Important Bulletins] [Road Conditions] [BanffNow]


Cross-Country Ski Trails - Banff Area


RECENT GROOMING:
January 8: Brewster and Healy Creek
January 7: Goat Creek; Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court
January 6: Redearth Creek
January 5: Cascade Valley
January 4: Spray River East/West
Condition Comments
Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court Good Rows 500-600-700 trackset for classic and skate skiing. No dogs allowed on these. Rows 100 to 400 are multi-use (snowshoe, fat-bike, winter hike, ski). Dogs allowed on rows 100 to 400 only.
Spray River West Trail Good Double trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed
Spray River East Trail Good Single trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside the tracks, not on the tracks
Goat Creek Good Single trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed
Cascade Valley - Lake Minnewanka to Cascade River Bridge Good Double trackset for classic skiing and center lane groomed. No dogs allowed.
Cascade Valley - Cascade River Bridge to Stoney Creek Good Single trackset for classic skiing and side lane groomed. No dogs allowed.
Sundance Trail Partial Closure FireSmart work in progress on Sulphur Mountain, closures are in effect. Sundance Canyon will continue to be accessible from Healy-Brewster trailhead. Dogs permitted. Adhere to all posted warnings and closures along the trail. More info here.
Healy Creek Good / Fair Single trackset and side lane groomed from Sunshine road to Brewster Creek Jct. Skiier tracked only from Brewster Creek Jct to Sundance Trail Jct. Dogs permitted.
Brewster Creek Good Single trackset with skating lane. Dogs permitted
Redearth Creek Good Single trackset for classic skiing and side lane groomed. No dogs allowed.

Snowshoeing Trails - Banff Area


Condition Comments
Surprise Corner to Hoodoos Viewpoint Good Compact snow
Upper Stoney Squaw Loop Good Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Sulphur Mountain Westside Closed FireSmart work in progress, temporary closures may be in effect. Adhere to all posted warnings and closures along trails.
Ink Pots via Moose Meadows Good Compact snow

Winter Walking Trails - Banff Area


GENERAL CONDITIONS Thin layer of fresh snow over icy sections. Cleats/hiking poles/sturdy boots are recommended.
Condition Comments
Fenland Trail Good Compact snow with slippery sections. Sturdy footwear recommended.
Marsh Loop Partial Closure FireSmart work in progress, temporary closures may be in effect. Adhere to all posted warnings and closures along trails.
Spray Connector Good Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. Cleats recommended.
Stewart Canyon Good Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Johnson Lake Good Icy sections, cleats recommended
Johnston Canyon - Lower Falls Good Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. Cleats recommended.
Johnston Canyon - Upper Falls Good Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. Cleats recommended.
Tunnel Mountain Summit Good Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Sulphur Mountain - Eastside Good Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Sundance Canyon Partial Closure FireSmart work in progress on Sulphur Mountain, closures are in effect. Sundance Canyon will continue to be accessible from Healy-Brewster trailhead. Dogs permitted. Adhere to all posted warnings and closures along the trail. More info here.

Fat Biking Trails - Banff Area


Condition Comments
Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court Good Rows 100 to 400 are multi-use (fat bike, snowshoe, ski, hike). Rows 500-600-700 are reserved for cross-country skiing.
Tunnel Mountain Drive Good Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Spray River East Trail Fair / Poor Hard packed snow
Sundance Trail Partial Closure FireSmart work in progress on Sulphur Mountain, closures are in effect. Sundance Canyon will continue to be accessible from Healy-Brewster trailhead. Dogs permitted. Adhere to all posted warnings and closures along the trail. More info here.
Banff Avenue Trail Good Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Tunnel Bench Loop Good Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Lake Minnewanka Good Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections

Crosscountry Skiing: Castle Junction Area


GENERAL CONDITIONS:
Fair
Construction is occurring in the region. Please respect posted signage.
Trails track set every Friday. Dogs are permitted on the trails below, provided they are on leash at all times.
Condition Comments
Castle Junction Fair Trackset classic. Dogs permitted
Castle Mountain Lookout to Protection Mountain Campground Fair with icy sections Trackset classic. Dogs permitted
Baker Creek to Protection Mountain Campground Fair Trackset classic. Dogs permitted

Hiking/Snowshoeing - Lake Louise Area


GENERAL CONDITIONS:Good
Sturdy hiking boots, cleats, snowshoes and hiking poles recommended.
For those wishing to venture beyond the limits of the trails listed below, assume that they are travelling in avalanche terrain and should be prepared with the appropriate knowledge, skills and equipment. For more information, visit a Parks Canada visitor centre.
Condition Comments
# 16 Louise Creek Snow covered Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. Cleats recommended.
# 14 Lake Louise Lakeshore Snow covered Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. Cleats recommended.
# 18 Mirror Lake Snow covered Avalanche risk: Beyond Mirror Lake, the trail is rated as Challenging Class 2 terrain for avalanche exposure and travel requires appropriate training and equipment
# 19 Taylor Lake Snow covered Avalanche danger after reaching the lake
# 15 Fairview Lookout Snow covered Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. Cleats recommended.
# 26 Laggan's Loop Snow covered Snowshoeing recommended
# 17 “Highline” Trail to Paradise Creek Snow covered Avalanche risk: Rated as Simple Class 1 terrain - at km 1, the trail crosses the runout zone of an avalanche path which rarely runs

Cross-Country Skiing - Lake Louise Area Trails


GENERAL CONDITIONS:
Good
RECENT TRACKSETTING:
Jan. 14 - Fairview
Jan. 13 - Pipestone; Hector; Drummond; Merlin
Jan. 12 - Moraine Lk Rd; Lake Louise shoreline
Jan. 11 - Upper Telemark and Peyto
Jan. 10 - Campground loop; Bow River loop; Tramline
Jan. 9 - Lake Louise (lake surface); Great Divide or old "1A"; Lower Telemark
Condition Comments
# 6 Great Divide Good Double trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks.
# 9 Bow River Loop Good. Single track set classic. Dogs permitted on leash. Fat bikers, snowshoers and hikers please travel beside, not on, the track set
# 3 Lower Tramline Good Double trackset classic. Dogs not permitted. For those who are fat biking, snowshoeing or hiking, please travel beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 3 Upper Tramline Good Double trackset classic. Dogs not permitted. For those who are fat biking, snowshoeing or hiking, please travel beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 5 Upper Telemark Good Double trackset
# 7 Peyto Good Double trackset
# 8 Lower Telemark Loop Good Single trackset. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks
# 23 Merlin Good. Single track set classic. Dogs permitted on leash. Hikers and snowshoers please walk beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 1 Moraine Lake Road Good Double trackset classic with skating lane. Dogs not permitted. For those who are fat biking, snowshoeing or hiking, please travel beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 2 Fairview Good Double trackset. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks.
# 11 Townsite Good Single track set classic. Dogs permitted on leash. Hikers and snowshoers please walk beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 20 Pipestone Loop Good. Single track set classic. Dogs permitted on leash. Hikers and snowshoers please walk beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 21 Hector Good. Single track set classic. Dogs permitted on leash. Hikers and snowshoers please walk beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 22 Drummond Good. Single track set classic. Dogs permitted on leash. Hikers and snowshoers please walk beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 10 Campground Loop Good Double trackset with skating lane. Dogs permitted
# 4 Lake Louise Loop Good - Double trackset Slushy sections on the packed trail on the lake. Shoreline section recommended

Hiking/Snowshoeing - Bow Summit Area


GENERAL CONDITIONS: Good
Condition Comments
# 24 Peyto Lake Viewpoint Good Snowshoes or ice cleats recommended
Date Modified: