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Bag Peaks and Passes in Banff NP

5 days of hiking is just not enough.

By: Joel Blatt + Save to a List

Logistics, logistics, logistics...

In Canmore, Ha-Ling offers short, but challenging peak.  Easy trailhead after bit of gravel road.  

In Banff, want luxury see Banff Springs Hotel.  Hike Lake Bourgeau, Harvey Pass and Mount Bourgeau.  Going just to first lake and turning around is a mistake.  At least start up Mount Bourgeau before turning around.  We did not, but you can also explore trails to right of Harvey Pass.  Easy trailhead via east (right turn) or west (left turn lane without clear sign.)

Between Banff and Lake Louise is Johnston Canyon.  We started early (to avoid crowds) and extended hike to Ink Pots.  Given out-and-back, we were ultimately crushed by tourists.  Maybe a loop vs. out and back?  

Park at Moraine Lake by 7 am, trust me.  Enjoy Rockpile then proceed to Sentinel Pass.  Just the pass may not be enough; consider extensions.      

In Lake Louise, want luxury see Chateau Lake Louise.  Hike Beehive Circuit, Lake Agnes Tea House, and beyond Six Glaciers Tea House.  We did not, but you can explore Saddleback Trail, Fairview Mountain and Paradise Valley.

Unfortunately, missed great hikes along Icefields Parkway, but simply ran out of time.  On this trip (and we'll be back) we leveraged Turo.com for car rental and Best Western on Freeport Boulevard to crash in comfort before flight home.

If you are new to Canada, you may not be familiar with nanaimo bars.  Keep an eye out at coffee shop or grocery store; they are worth their weight in gold.

Lastly, we saw no bears, but did have bear spray for a couple days.  Chateau loaned spray at no cost.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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