Trail Condition Report

Banff National Park of Canada

Updated: December-12-18

GENERAL CONDITIONS

  • Variable conditions. Most trails are a mix of compact snow with icy sections.  Good footwear, cleats and hiking poles are recommended! Use caution!
  • 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 in the winter. Hazards may include snow plow debris, closed gates, icy sections and deep snow.
  • Avalanche conditions at higher elevation! Winter is here.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.  
  • 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


GENERAL CONDITIONS: Not enough snow to trackset
RECENT GROOMING:
Condition Comments
Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset
Spray River West Trail Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset
Healy Creek Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset
Cascade Valley - Lake Minnewanka to Cascade River Bridge Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset
Cascade Valley - Cascade River Bridge to Stoney Creek Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset
Goat Creek and Spray River Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset
Brewster Creek Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset
Redearth Creek Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset
Sundance Trail Thin snow cover Not enough snow to trackset

Snowshoeing Trails - Banff Area


Condition Comments
Surprise Corner to Hoodoos Viewpoint Good Icy sections, cleats recommended
Upper Stoney Squaw Loop Fair Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Sulphur Mountain Westside Fair Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Ink Pots via Moose Meadows Fair Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended

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 Mainly dry. A few icy sections.
Marsh Loop Fair Icy sections, cleats recommended
Spray Connector Fair Icy sections, cleats recommended
Stewart Canyon Fair Icy sections, cleats recommended
Johnson Lake Fair Mainly dry. A few icy sections.
Johnston Canyon - Lower Falls Fair Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Johnston Canyon - Upper Falls Fair Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Tunnel Mountain Summit Fair Icy sections, cleats recommended
Sulphur Mountain - Eastside Fair Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
Sundance Canyon Fair Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended

Fat Biking Trails - Banff Area


Condition Comments
Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court Fair Compact snow with icy sections
Tunnel Mountain Drive Fair Compact snow with icy sections
Spray River East Trail Fair Compact snow with icy sections
Sundance 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 Compact snow with icy sections

Crosscountry Skiing: Castle Junction Area


GENERAL CONDITIONS:
Early season conditions and thin snow coverage
Condition Comments
Castle Junction Not enough snow to trackset. Insufficient snow cover
Castle Mountain Lookout to Protection Mountain Campground Not enough snow to trackset. Insufficient snow cover
Baker Creek to Protection Mountain Campground Not enough snow to trackset. Insufficient snow cover

Hiking/Snowshoeing - Lake Louise Area


GENERAL CONDITIONS:Early season condition
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 Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
# 14 Lake Louise Lakeshore Snow covered with icy sections Compact snow with icy sections. Cleats recommended
# 18 Mirror Lake Hard packed snow. Avalanche danger after reaching the lake
# 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 Compact snow
# 17 “Highline” Trail to Paradise Creek Snow covered Trail infrequently maintained

Cross-Country Skiing - Lake Louise Area Trails


GENERAL CONDITIONS:
All trails are snow covered. Trackset trails recommended
For updates on the Pipestone closure, please call (403) 522-1264
Construction work is occurring in the Bow River Loop area
RECENT TRACKSETTING:)
Dec. 12 - Great Divide or Old "1A"; Upper & Lower Tramline
Dec.10 - Moraine Lake Rd (skate line groomed)

Dec. 8 - Lake surface (machine packed)
Nov. 28 - Bow River (single tracked on south side only)
Nov. 27 - Townsite (machine packed only)
Nov. 18 - Campground Loop (classic & skate)
Nov. 17 - Lake Louise Shoreline (machine packed only)
Condition Comments
# 6 Great Divide Fair / 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.
# 9 Bow River Loop Fair Single track set classic. Section between campground bridge and Sentinel Rd is groomed only. Dogs permitted on leash. For those who are fat biking, snowshoeing or hiking, please travel beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 3 Lower Tramline Good Double track set. Dogs permitted on leash. For those who fat bike, hike or snowshoe, 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 Not enough snow to trackset. Snow covered
# 7 Peyto Not enough snow to trackset. Snow covered
# 8 Lower Telemark Loop Not enough snow to trackset. Snow covered
# 23 Merlin CLOSED – No Entry or Travel. Construction is occurring in the area. Please respect all posted notices and signs.
# 1 Moraine Lake Road Fair Double trackset classic. Dogs not permitted. For those who are fat biking, snowshoeing or hiking, please travel beside, not on, the tracks set.
# 2 Fairview Not trackset yet Packed for skiing. No dogs allowed
# 11 Townsite Thin snow cover Packed, groomed and skier tracked
# 20 Pipestone Loop CLOSED – No Entry or Travel. Construction is occurring in the area. Please respect all posted notices and signs.
# 21 Hector CLOSED – No Entry or Travel. Construction is occurring in the area. Please respect all posted notices and signs.
# 22 Drummond CLOSED – No Entry or Travel. Construction is occurring in the area. Please respect all posted notices and signs.
# 10 Campground Loop Fair Single track set classic. Dogs permitted on leash. Fat bikers, snowshoers and hikers please travel beside, not on, the track set
# 4 Lake Louise Loop Thin snow cover Packed for skiing. Dogs permitted

Hiking/Snowshoeing - Bow Summit Area


GENERAL CONDITIONS: Fair
Condition Comments
# 24 Peyto Lake Viewpoint Hard packed snow. Snowshoes or ice cleats recommended
Date Modified: