Explore Bankhead Ghost Town

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Explore the ruins of Bankhead. A turn of the century coal mining ghost town!

Bankhead is a ghost town which flanks Cascade Mountain and lies just south of Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park. The main portion of the ghost town is located in Lower Bankhead, which can be reach by traveling North on Range Rd 1158 (closed Nov - Apr), following the signs to Lake Minnewanka. The turn-off on the right is easy to miss, but is located at (51.232523, -115.524069). Upon turning right, you will enter a parking lot that overlooks Lower Bankhead. 

From the parking area at Lower Bankhead, the well-developed path drops down a hillside where you are immediately met with an old structure that once served as the Lamp House. Miners would collect their lamp to start the workday which was numbered. At the end of the day if any numbered lamps were missing, a search party was organized for the missing miner. 

You will want to following this historical loop in a counter clockwise fashion. As you continue, you will discover the foundation to the Power House, Briquette Building, Boiler House and the remains of the Chapel. 

To visit the ruins of the Chapel, you will need to have completed the loop hike and ended up back at the parking lot. If you continue towards the back of the parking lot, there is a designated trail. Follow this trail for about 0.25 miles where you will located the ruins of the chapel (51.233541, -115.519555).

To learn more about the history of Bankhead, click here

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Water & Snacks
  • Rain Gear
  • Bear Spray
  • Camera
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How to Get There

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Added by Dan Deublein

Dan is an explorer for The Outbound and editor of The Proper Function, an outdoor online editorial. He is passionate about exploration and can’t stay put for more than a week.

Activities:

Chillin, Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

0.81 Miles

Elev. Gain:

37 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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