Classic Banff Hike. You will have company.
Distance: 13.83Km Round Trip Height Gain: 1060m Round Trip Time: 3h23m – fast pace Kane Ratting: Hike Resources: Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies guidebook
The 13+Km / 1060m elevation gain hike starts off at the Fireside Day Use area and passes through a nice forest. This is a very popular hike in Banff, and you will certainly have company.
Although you can do the loop in either direction, I would suggest hanging a left here and heading up Corry pass first.
The trail quickly gains elevation, and the surrounding views start to improve quickly. Mount Bourgeau is on the right here.
Depending on the time of year you visit, you may get treated to an awesome wildflower display.
Great views looking toward the town of Banff. You tell all your Calgary friends you never visit Banff because it is too touristy. But you secretly spend the weekends there; we all know it.
There is one “difficult” part on the trail. Take your time and exercise caution. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, pick a different hiking trail. There are 1000’s of great trails around here.
Where the trail gets a bit difficult parks Canada has installed some signs to guide you in the right direction. I’m particularly found of this one as the hiker is clearly carrying a beer.
As you gain elevation you start to get views of the pass. Mount Cory is on the left side of the pass. It was named after William Wallace Cory who was the deputy minister of the interior from 1905 to 1930.
The route to the pass is pretty obvious. The scenery is spectacular.
At the Corry Pass. Most people hang out at the pass to enjoy a snack and soak up the scenery. You will have lunch company. From here, you have a few options. Return the way you came. Carry on to Gargoyle valley or if you are a competent scrambler, you can head up the three peaks of Mount Edith.
This is the trail leading up to the three summits of Mount Edith. Warning: This route is not a hike but is a difficult scramble for experienced scramblers. Mount Edith was named after Edith Orde who was an assistant to Lady Agnes Macdonald, the wife of Canada’s first prime minister.
Of course, I have no choice but to carry on into Gargoyle Valley from the pass.
Soon after entering the valley you a greeted with awesome views of Mount Louis. I’m told there are some world class climbing routes on Louis but haven’t personally been up them (yet).
The trail loops around the back side of Mount Edith and gains a bit of elevation up and over Edith pass.
Mount Louis was named after Louis Stewart who spent his time surveying Banff Park. His farther, George Stewart was the first park superintendent.
Why isn’t this guy carrying a beer like previous hiking sign guy? Priorities man!
The remainder of the hike is mostly a forested walk back to the original trail to fireside. After the spectacular scenery of Cory Pass and Gargoyle Valley the trail out is a bit anti-climactic… but still better than going to work.