The Best Backpacking in Banff

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

Top backpacking spots in and near Banff

  • 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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  • 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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  • Edgewater, Alberta

    Backpack Mount Assiniboine: Sunshine Village to Mount Shark

    5.0
    34.6 mi / 3494.1 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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  • Edgewater, British Columbia

    Explore Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

    5.0
    Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site sequestered 27 km from the nearest road. We took a helicopter in, and hiked out . You can also hike both ways, but the hiking once you are there is more amazing than on the way in. You can also ski in on backcountry skis in the Win...
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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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  • East Kootenay G, British Columbia

    Hike The Floe Lake Trail

    13 mi / 2350 ft gain
    Kootenay National Park is one of the lesser visited parks in a chain of spectacular parks in the Canadian Rockies between Banff and Jasper. Straddling the Trans-Canadian Highway, the park offers hot springs, awesome mountain views, and glaciers. As you enter the park, keep an eye out for the griz...
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  • Kananaskis, Alberta

    Backpack the Kananaskis Backcountry

    This moderate graded backcountry hike or ski in the winter can take 5-8 hours (one way). Most people hike or ski in from the Mt. Shark parking lot in Kananaskis Country, a 30 min. drive from Canmore, Alberta. From Mt. Shark Parking Lot (off the Smith-Dorrien Road), take the Watridge Lake Trail to...
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  • Kananaskis, Alberta

    Hike to 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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  • East Kootenay G, British Columbia

    Backpack the Rockwall Trail

    68 mi / 8530 ft gain
    The Rockwall trail is a famous 3-5 day trek in Kootenay National Park.We started from the North and camped at Helmet Falls our first night, and then continued south and exited out Floe Lake. I would recommend this direction for a backpack, and the opposite direction for a trail run (it's about 50...
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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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  • Kananaskis, Alberta

    Exploring Burstall Pass

    5.0
    Head to the northwest corner of the parking lot to find the trail. For the first 5.5 km the trail is quite easy, with only modest elevation increase. At 5.5 km you will arrive at what is known as the gravel flats. Depending on the time of year the gravel flats can be either quite dry or a wide, s...
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  • Kananaskis, Alberta

    Backpack the Fortress Cirque

    5.0
    12 mi
    No better way to watch the stars with friends than huddled up in your sleeping bag on top of a 3000m summit. This describes the bivy at The Fortress.Starting at the Chester Lake Trailhead, take the unmarked trail on the right side of the parking lot. These winter cross-country ski trails take you...
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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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  • 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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  • Field, British Columbia

    Backpack to Alberta's Abbot Pass Hut

    3.0
    16.2 mi / 1500 ft gain
    Built in 1922 with the stones from the pass, the Abbot Pass Hut and has served both as a base for mountaineers and as a destination for strong hikers ever since. Sitting at 2,926 meters' elevation, it is second only to the Neil Colgan Hut on the list of highest permanent structures in Canada. The...
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