Hiking Banff National Park – Bow Falls to Hoodoos Trail

Our Family Day long weekend included an inside/outside day in Banff: a morning looking at photographs while wandering the galleries at Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies followed by an afternoon making photographs while exploring a new-to-us trail just outside of the Banff townsite. We accessed the easy Bow Falls to Hoodoos trail from Surprise Corner, a tiny parking…

Mount-Bourgeau

Hiking Banff National Park – Mount Bourgeau

After 20 years, we finally made a return visit to Bourgeau Lake. This time, we opted to hike beyond the popular Bourgeau Lake, pushing on to Harvey Pass and then to the summit of Mount Bourgeau. In my opinion, the unnamed tarn about 1.2 km beyond Bourgeau Lake is the scenic highlight of this route, with the views from Harvey Pass a close second. It was worth hiking all the way to the summit (once), but I’m not sure I’d do that again. This was the longest day hike we did in the Canadian Rockies in 2015, coming in at just under 25 km in just over 8 hours, with a total elevation gain of well over 1500 meters.

Fairview-Mountain

Hiking Banff National Park – Saddleback Pass / Fairview Mountain

The trail to the summit of Fairview Mountain is steep and short, which just about qualifies it as a conditioning hike. But two key factors distinguish Fairview Mountain from most conditioning hikes: 1) the trailhead is at Lake Louise, so you’re probably looking at a bit of a drive to get there; and 2) reaching the summit rewards with outstanding views of Lake Louise, plenty of glaciers and range after range of Canadian Rocky Mountains. If you’re lucky, you’ll also enjoy an abundance of wildflowers and the company of a marmot or two along the way.

Tunnel-Mountain-Banff

Hiking Banff National Park – Tunnel Mountain

In all the years we’ve been exploring the Canadian Rockies, we’ve never bothered with this hike. It seemed too close to Banff, likely to be too busy for our liking, too short, too boring – altogether too mundane. But at this time of year, many of our favourite hiking trails have too much snow and…