Trail Condition Report

Banff National Park of Canada

Updated: March-20-19

 GENERAL CONDITIONS
  • Spring conditions: Mix of melting and compact snow, ice and mud. Good footwear, cleats and hiking poles are recommended!
CLOSURES/RESTRICTIONS
  • The Eastern part of the Bow Valley Parkway (1A) is closed. The Johnston Canyon trailhead is still accessible via Castle Junction or Lake Louise.
  • Sundance Area Closure: The Sundance Trail is closed from the Cave and Basin National Historic Site trailhead for forest thinning work. The Sulphur Mountain Westside Trail is also closed. Sundance Canyon can be accessed via the Healy Creek trailhead on the Sunshine Road, 7 km west of Banff. More info here.
  • 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.
  • All Closures - For a complete list of ongoing closures and restrictions, please visit our Important Bulletins page.
SAFETY WARNINGS
  • Special Avalanche Warning for the Mountain Parks: More info here.
  • 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.
  • Cougar Warning: A cougar warning is now in effect for all areas surrounding the Town of Banff. More info here.
[Trails in the Banff area] [Trails in the Lake Louise area] [Important Bulletins] [Road Conditions] [BanffNow]
       

Cross-Country Ski Trails - Banff Area


RECENT GROOMING:
March 14: Lake Minnewanka to Upper Bankhead; Lake Minnewanka to Cascade bridge; Cascade Bridge to Stoney Creek
March 13: Spray River East/West, Goat Creek
March 13: Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court
February 16: Redearth Creek
February 15: Brewster Creek
Condition Comments
Sundance Trail CLOSED Fuel Reduction Project in progress. Partial closures affecting Sulphur Mountain, Sundance Trail and Marsh Loop. Sundance Canyon will continue to be accessible from Healy-Brewster trailhead. More info here.
Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court Poor / Fair 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 Poor / Fair Double trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed
Spray River East Trail Poor / Fair Single trackset for classic skiing and side lane groomed. No dogs allowed.
Goat Creek Good Single trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed
Lake Minnewanka to Upper Bankhead Poor / Fair Double trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed
Cascade Valley - Lake Minnewanka to Cascade River Bridge Poor / Fair Double trackset for classic skiing and center lane groomed. No dogs allowed.
Cascade Valley - Cascade River Bridge to Stoney Creek Poor / Fair Single trackset for classic skiing and side lane groomed. No dogs allowed.
Healy Creek Poor / 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 Poor. Flood ice 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 Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Upper Stoney Squaw Loop Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Sulphur Mountain Westside CLOSED Fuel Reduction Project in progress. Partial closures affecting Sulphur Mountain, Sundance Trail and Marsh Loop. Sundance Canyon will continue to be accessible from Healy-Brewster trailhead. More info here.
Ink Pots via Moose Meadows Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended

Winter Walking Trails - Banff Area


- A COUGAR WARNING is now in effect for all areas surrounding the Town of Banff.
- Eastern part of the Bow Valley Parkway is closed. Johnston Canyon trailhead is accessible from Castle Junction/Lake Louise.
Condition Comments
Sundance Canyon from Cave and Basin CLOSED Fuel Reduction Project in progress. Partial closures affecting Sulphur Mountain, Sundance Trail and Marsh Loop. Sundance Canyon will continue to be accessible from Healy-Brewster trailhead. More info here.
Marsh Loop Partial CLOSURE Fuel Reduction Project in progress. Partial closures affecting Sulphur Mountain, Sundance Trail and Marsh Loop. Sundance Canyon will continue to be accessible from Healy-Brewster trailhead. More info here.
Fenland Trail Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Spray Connector Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Stewart Canyon Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Johnson Lake Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Johnston Canyon - Lower Falls Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Johnston Canyon - Upper Falls Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Tunnel Mountain Summit Good Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended
Sulphur Mountain - Eastside Fair Variable conditions. Mud, ice and snow. Cleats recommended

Fat Biking Trails - Banff Area


Condition Comments
Sundance Trail CLOSED Fuel Reduction Project in progress. Partial closures affecting Sulphur Mountain, Sundance Trail and Marsh Loop. Sundance Canyon will continue to be accessible from Healy-Brewster trailhead. More info here.
Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court Fair 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 Fair Compact snow with icy sections
Spray River East Trail Fair Compact snow with icy sections
Banff Avenue Trail Fair Compact snow with icy sections
Tunnel Bench Loop Fair Compact snow with icy sections
Lake Minnewanka Fair Variable conditions

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 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 Compact snow with 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 Compact snow with 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:
Spring conditions: Trails can be icy or slushy depending on current temperature
Due to construction on the Lake Louise water reservoir, the Pipestone parking lot and trails (#20, 21, 22 & 23) will be closed from Monday, March 11
RECENT TRACKSETTING:
Mar. 17 - Lake Louise (surface)
Mar. 16 - Lake Louise Shoreline
Mar. 15 - Fairview
Mar. 14 - Upper Telemark; Peyto; Campground Loop
Mar. 12 - Moraine Lake Road; Tramline; Great Divide or old "1A"; Lower telemark, Bow River loop; Townsite
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 Fair Double trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks.
# 7 Peyto Fair Double trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks.
# 8 Lower Telemark Loop Good Single trackset. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks
# 23 Merlin Closed Due to infrastructure work, The Pipestone parking lot and trails (#20, 21, 22 & 23) will close on Monday, March 11 until further notice.
# 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 Fair Double trackset. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks.
# 11 Townsite Fair Single track set classic. Dogs permitted on leash. Hikers and snowshoers please walk beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 20 Pipestone Loop Closed Due to infrastructure work, The Pipestone parking lot and trails (#20, 21, 22 & 23) will close on Monday, March 11 until further notice.
# 21 Hector Closed Due to infrastructure work, The Pipestone parking lot and trails (#20, 21, 22 & 23) will close on Monday, March 11 until further notice.
# 22 Drummond Closed Due to infrastructure work, The Pipestone parking lot and trails (#20, 21, 22 & 23) will close on Monday, March 11 until further notice.
# 10 Campground Loop Good Double trackset with skating lane. Dogs permitted
# 4 Lake Louise Loop Good / Fair Double Trackset for the whole loop. Separate path for walkers on lake surface.

Hiking/Snowshoeing - Bow Summit Area


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