If you don’t have too much time to spend in the Rockies but still want to get in a hike here are five shortish hikes to do:
This is a great short hike which you can do straight from downtown Banff. It gives you a good view over the Bow Valley and towards Mount Rundle. It’s great for putting things into perspective – take a map with you to identify some of the main geographic features around Banff.
Also close to Banff Town, the Vermillion Lakes are a top spot for taking photographs. As with Tunnel Mountain it’s also possible to walk there from downtown Banff, but it’s also doable as a drive. Top tip: take a picnic with you to enjoy on one of the benches or docks along the lake shores.
A little bit of a longer hike, but it can be cut short depending on the amount of time you have to spare. It can get busy here, as it’s a popular place to go, so get there early or later in the day if you go there in summer.
4. Parker Ridge
A super stop along the Icefields Parkway, it’s nice to get out a stretch your legs when driving between Banff and Jasper. Parker Ridge is a bit of a climb, but has amazing views of the Saskatchewan Glacier.
A nice canyon to visit in Kootenay National Park, it doesn’t take too long to hike the trail around Marble Canyon. It’s a different environment to Johnston Canyon as the forest around it has been burnt and is now in the process of succession.
Though I’ve said that these hikes are shortish, it’s all relative. You might find that they actually take much longer than expected, it depends on how fast you walk and how easily distracted you’ll be taking photos. When I did the Sulphur Mountain Loop back in September 2014, it took a little longer than I’d planned…my hiking buddies had a thing for the ground squirrels and pikas up there so we had frequent photo stops!
© RockiesOutdoors 2015.