The area around Banff National Park is a meca for hikers coming to bag peaks and seek some of the most beautiful views in the world. But hiking in the area is not just for those that are seasoned hikers. There are great hikes for the whole family. Even the littlest hikers may find that they can summit their first mountain in Banff National Park. Check out these beautiful 5 Hikes around Banff for Kids!!!

5  Hikes around Banff for Kids

Lake Agnes Tea House

Challenging- 7.2 km RT, 400 metres elevation – Located 40 minutes from Banff

Lake Agnes Tea House is a beautiful but more challenging hike for kids (and some adults)! Children with hiking experience and as young as 3 years old have completed the hike but for younger kids it is recommended to bring along a carrier. The hike starts climbing the 400 metres up right away from the Lake Louise Hotel. You will pass the small Lake Mirror which is a great place to stop before the final stretch to Lake Agnes. Enjoy the views of Mount Niblock and Mount Whyte, take lots of pictures and bring cash if you want to buy something up at Lake Agnes Tea house. Learn more about the hike here.

Note: The real challenge of the hike may just be making it to the start of the hike. Parking is a challenge and has been known to fill up by 9:00 am! There is a shuttle just 1 km away.  It is recommended that you park there by 10:00 am and then take the shuttle to Lake Louise. Return to the shuttle by 330 pm to avoid excessive lines.

Tunnel Mountain

Challenging-  4.3 km RT, 300 metres elevation OR 3.6 km RT, less elevation – Located in Banff

The perfect place for kids to summit their first mountain. Tunnel Mountain offers expansive views of Town of Banff and Mount Rundle. I recommend bringing along a carrier just in case your little one gets tired and needs a break since there is quite a bit of elevation for young hikers but some 2 and 3 year olds have completed the hike. There are two options;  the shorter version which is a 3.6 km return from Tunnel Drive, and a longer 4.3 km version from the base of the mountain.  For more trail information click here. 

Hike Around Sunshine Mountain

 Easy- 3 km RT, small elevation at the beginning – 20 minutes from Banff

There is something so special about getting up into the alpine with little effort. Hiking around the trails at Sunshine Mountain give families the opportunity to hike around the alpine meadows by taking a gondola and a chair lift up to the top of Sunshine Mountain. There are various trails around sunshine and one of my favourite for little feet is checking out the beautiful Rock Isle Lake from the Gondola and foregoing the chairlift. For a shorter option take the chair lift from the gondola and enjoy a 1 km downhill hike to the Lake. This option will take you to a beautiful viewing platform before heading down to the lake. Learn more here.

Note: The gondola and chair lift are optional and you can choose to hike up the mountain at no cost. You can also take the gondola up and avoid paying the cost of the chairlift.

Johnston Canyon

Easy/Moderate- 1.6 km RT, 30 m elevation or 4.8 km RT, 120 m elevation – 28 minutes from Banff

Johnston Canyon is a beautiful hike along a catwalk in the canyon. The trail is great for kids because you have te option of heading to 1 or 2 waterfalls. The first waterfall can be viewed from  a bridge or through a cave in the mountain. The second waterfall thunders down and can be viewed from a platform off the boardwalk.  The hike is well travelled and can be overwhelmed with crowds especially on the weekend. The lower falls is only 800 m from the parking lot. The upper falls is quite a bit further at 4.8 km return, and 120 m incline.   More trail information here. 

Photo Credit: Tanya Koob from Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies Blog

Silverton Falls

Easy – 2.4 km RT, 60 m – 25 minutes from Banff

SIlverton Falls is an alternative to Johnston Canyon that is not as crowded and offers an impressive cascading waterfall at the end of the hike. The main elevation happens after reaching the creek at .8kn. Note that the creek is a great place to take a break either before and/or after viewing the falls. There is not much space to view the falls and it is best to take a picture and head down to the creek to rest for a longer period. Learn more about Silverton Falls here.

 

Check out 10 Waterfall Hikes for Preschoolers To Do near Calgary for more hikes like these near Banff, Canmore and Calgary!

 

 

By Annika Mang

 

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