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The Best Backpacking in Alberta

Looking for the best backpacking in Alberta? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Alberta. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top backpacking spots in and near Alberta

  • Banff, Alberta

    Dawn to Dusk in Banff National Park

    5.0
    6.8 mi
    This is a micro adventure in one of the world’s most desired National Parks. The common excuse for those who tend to skip the great outdoors is lack of time. This one day adventure is an example that you can cram a lot into a day! Dawn: Sunrise hike up to South Ridge in Banff. Start at the famous...
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  • Lake Louise, Alberta

    Hike the Plain of Six Glaciers

    4.7
    4.2 mi / 1263.1 ft gain
    Starting from the parking lot on the east end of Lake Louise, there are a few options you can take to get to the Plain of Six Glaciers. One is to head directly along the lakeshore trail, and in about 7 km (4.2 miles) you will be at the lookout offering the best vantage point of the glacier field....
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  • Lake Louise, Alberta

    Hike to the Lake Agnes Teahouse

    4.8
    5 mi / 1300 ft gain
    Towering peaks, glaciated valleys and crystal clear water draws thousands of visitors a year to the shores of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. A short hike takes you beyond the crowds up to Lake Agnes, in a beautiful valley surrounded by jagged peaks and golden Larch trees. At the foot of Lake...
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  • Edgewater, Alberta

    Mount Assiniboine: Sunshine Village to Mount Shark

    5.0
    33.5 mi / 4380 ft gain
    This trek specifically covers the distance from Sunshine Village to Mount Shark. You will need a car at Mt. Shark, as there are no shuttles from that location to Canomre or any local areas. Otherwise, you can try to hitch a ride back – your best bet is to talk with some locals or visit the Canmor...
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  • Improvement District No. 9, Alberta

    Hike to Boom Lake

    4.0
    6.2 mi
    Boom Lake offers amazing views of Boom Mountain and the ridge separating Alberta and British Columbia. It is not as popular as many other hikes in the area, which means exclusion for anyone willing to explore the lake. The abundant wildlife in the area includes wolves, bears, mountain goats, de...
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  • Improvement District No. 12, Alberta

    Hike the Sulphur Skyline Trail

    4.7
    5 mi / 2296.6 ft gain
    Take Highway 16 to Pocahontas. Turn onto the Miette Hot Springs Road (Pocahontas). Drive to the Miette Hot Springs parking area.The trailhead is to the right and behind the hot springs building. Walk up the stairs to the hot springs and through the passenger drop off loop drive. Don't be confused...
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  • Clearwater County, Alberta

    Backpack the Vision Quest Trail

    4.2
    This short, but steep hike includes a moderate scrambling section, leading to an open spine that becomes increasingly difficult. The views of Abraham Lake are well worth the uphill grind, however, and this makes for a great half-day or beautiful backcountry overnight trip. About one third of the ...
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  • Improvement District No. 9, Alberta

    Hike to Hector Lake

    5.0
    3.1 mi
    Hector Lake is one of the larger lakes in Banff National Park. It is surrounded by the Waputik Range to the west, and offers pristine views of the mountains. Hector Lake is idyllic and peaceful. Most tourists drive past the trailhead on the parkway, which means the hike is not at all busy. An...
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  • Sawback, Alberta

    Hike Mount Bourgeau

    5.0
    12 mi / 2460 ft gain
    Taking Hwy 1 West of Banff for approximately 8 miles you'll come to the Bourgeau Lake Trailhead. This trail starts with a 4.5 mile, 2460ft elevation through the forest to the beautiful Bourgeau Lake. This glacial tarn signals the start of the alpine and a wonderful morning hike on it's own. From ...
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  • Waterton, Alberta

    Hike to Crypt Lake

    4.3
    10.8 mi / 2296.6 ft gain
    The hike begins with a gradual climb through shaded forest, which thins as you progress into the hanging valley. Along the way, you will pass by three amazing waterfalls: Twin Falls at 3.5km (2 mi), Burnt Rock Falls at 5.6km (3.5 mi) and the 600ft Crypt Falls at 8km (5 mi). There is also a 1km (0...
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  • Improvement District No. 12, Alberta

    Hike to Wilcox Pass

    5.0
    7.45 mi / 1100 ft gain
    Views of the Columbia Icefield from the Icefields Parkway pale in comparison with those achieved along this trail. Few trails anywhere are so instantly and extravagantly gratifying. That being said, be prepared to share the trail with a dozen other hikers as this premier scenery is no secret.Begi...
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  • Kananaskis, Alberta

    Ribbon Falls

    3.8
    12.4 mi / 1148.3 ft gain
    Ribbon Creek trail is accessible via Highway 40 at the turn off for Nakiska Mountain Resort. From there take a left at Centennial Drive and then a right onto Ribbon Creek Road. The hike begins at the far end of the Ribbon Creek Trailhead parking lot. There is an old coal mining cart at the start...
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  • Bragg Creek, Alberta

    Winter Hike Up Vent's Ridge

    Whether it was the unseasonably warm weather; the forested, uneven, foot-wide, root-covered trail; limestone cliffs towering above me; the view of Myosotis Peak from the ridge; or exploring along Powderface Creek on the descent, this trail was an absolute blast.If you do this hike in February lik...
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  • Lake Louise, Alberta

    Overnight in the Skoki Backcountry

    21.1 mi / 3280.8 ft gain
    This area is best known for Skoki Lodge, a world class back country destination. Unfortunately Skoki Lodge is quite expensive, and very rarely has rooms available. Luckily you can still enjoy everything the area has to offer if you're on a budget. From Highway 1 take the exit to the Lake Louise S...
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  • Kananaskis, Alberta

    Hike up Galatea Creek to Lillian Lake

    Located on Highway 40 (Kananaskis Trail) and marked by the "Galatea" sign, there's not much more to this hike other than putting one foot in front of the other, but the amount of traffic it sees is a testament to the quality of this hike.Even on the backend of winter the numerous shades of green ...
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  • Jasper, Alberta

    Hike the Saturday Night Loop

    4.0
    15.5 mi / 2678 ft gain
    The trail is split up into three types of terrain: one-third uphill, one-third rugged, and one-third downhill. Begin at Cabin Creek Rd parking lot and follow Trailhead #3.If you plan on mountain biking the trail, most people do it in a day. If you happen to want to take longer or are hiking it, t...
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