TUNNEL MOUNTAIN, BANFF, AB
This one is an easy one!
Driving in from downtown Banff, if you turn onto Tunnel Mountain Drive, you will wind your way up the side of the mountain until you reach the trailhead about halfway up. From there, the hike on the well-marked path only took Paul and I 30 minutes to summit.
The whole hike took us about and hour and a half, with a break at the top to look around at the views of the Banff town and the surrounding mountains.
This hike was a perfect start to the season to ease our bodies back into rocky mountain hiking. It would also be perfect for out-of-towners looking to do a Banff hike but not wanting anything too difficult, Calgarians looking for a nice half-day expedition, locals looking for a quick workout, or anyone who wants a good view!
CONCLUSION: I would definitely recommend this one, but don’t go into it expecting much of a hike.
HEART MOUNTAIN, KANANASKIS, AB
Breath-taking. Both because it was so stunning, but also because it was so steep. This hike took Paul and I 5.5 hours round trip, with a break at the top for lunch, and significant detour to avoid a bear, no big deal.
The easiest place to start this hike from is the Heart Creek parking lot, just off to the left from the Lac Des Arc highway exit, coming from Calgary. From your car you just have to follow the trail until you reach the creek, which you will need to cross over in order to find a big yellow sign indicating that the hike from there on up is a “scrambler’s route”.
Don’t let this turn you away! While the hike up is essentially just rock climbing, this is the best way to start the loop because going in the reverse direction and having to scale down the scramble would be nearly impossible!
With several water breaks, the summit took Paul and I 2 hours to reach, where we then parked ourselves for lunch before starting the stroll along the ridge. You walk along the tops of the mountains surrounded by so many beautiful panoramic views for about hour before making the descent down the opposite edge of the mountain.
CONCLUSION: It was difficult to say the least but well worth the climb!
PEYTO LAKE, BANFF, AB
Would you believe me if I told you this view only takes about ten minutes to walk to? That is, after a 2.5-hour drive from Calgary.
This stunning view is tucked away off Highway 93 out to Jasper and is easily accessible from its parking lot. Just map ‘Peyto Lake’ and you’re all set!
In my opinion, it’s easily worth the drive, but if you’ve got your heart set on visiting Peyto Lake, maybe choose to go when you’re already in the Banff area.
CONCLUSION: I wouldn’t classify this as a hike, but it’s definitely one to add to your list.
That was all for our June expeditions! Now you have three hikes to try to kick off your summer adventures!
And if you’ve been following along since last summer, or even just from reading this post, I’m sure you know Paul and I are crazy about the rocky mountains and we try to get a hike in as much as we can. Since we did so many incredible hikes last summer, I wrote up a quick summary of those for you guys to check out here: