Trail Condition Report

Banff National Park of Canada

Updated: February-17-19

GENERAL CONDITIONS
  • General conditions: Fresh snow covering compact and 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.
CLOSURES/RESTRICTIONS
  • Sundance Area Closure: The Sundance Trail is closed from the Cave and Basin National Historic Site trailhead for FireSmart 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.
  • Cougar Warning: A cougar warning is now in effect for all areas surrounding the Town 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
  • 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.
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:
February 17: Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court
February 16: Spray River East/West; Goat Creek
February 15: Brewster Creek
February 13: Lake Minnewanka to Upper Bankhead; Lake Minnewanka to Cascade bridge; Cascade Bridge to Stoney Creek
February 6: Redearth 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 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 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 Good. Double 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.
Healy Creek Good. 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 Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Upper Stoney Squaw Loop Good Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
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 Good Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections

Winter Walking Trails - Banff Area


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.
Fenland Trail Good Compact snow
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.
Spray Connector Good Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. Cleats recommended.
Stewart Canyon Good Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Johnson Lake Good Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Johnston Canyon - Lower Falls Good Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Johnston Canyon - Upper Falls Good Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Tunnel Mountain Summit Good Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. Cleats recommended.
Sulphur Mountain - Eastside Good Fresh snow over compact snow and icy sections. 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 Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Spray River East Trail Good Groomed and single trackset. No dogs allowed
Banff Avenue Trail Fair Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Tunnel Bench Loop Fair Fresh snow over compact snow with slippery sections
Lake Minnewanka Fair Fresh snow

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 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
Lower Telemark: Trail is currently under construction for the Lake Louise Loppet
RECENT TRACKSETTING:
Feb. 17 - Tramline; Bow River Loop; Campground Loop; Townsite
Feb. 16 - Moraine Lake Road; Great Divide or old "1A"; Lake Louise Shoreline; Lake Louise Loop; Upper Telemark; Peyto
Feb. 15 - Pipestone; Hector; Drummond; Merlin
Feb. 14 - Fairview
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 with skating lane. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks.
# 7 Peyto Good Double trackset with skating lane. No dogs allowed. Please walk or snowshoe beside tracks, not on the tracks.
# 8 Lower Telemark Loop CAUTION Trail is under construction
# 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 Fair 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 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: