As one of Canada’s most popular national parks, you might expect Banff destinations to be quite crowded. But even in the height of summer, you can still find uncrowded places, or you can visit the popular places during less busy times.Less
The valley called Paradise lies between the valleys of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, and though thousands drive past it every day, relatively few stop and hike here. Its trails are much longer and a bit more rugged than those of the more popular destinations, so Paradise Valley remains uncrowded even during the busy season. You should still arrive early, however, because parking at the trailhead is limited.
This is an easy trail on a large path to join Eiffel Lake from Moraine Lake. The path does not go exactly on the lake, you stop to the N at a view point and about 100m up. It's possible to go to the lake but there's no big advantage versus you looking at it from above.
The first half of this hike is on the trail along Lake Minnewanka––a wide and relatively flat path that’s popular with hikers and bikers. It’s a pleasant walk through the forest, with intermittent views over the large, blue reservoir. The farther you get from the trailhead, the lesser the crowds become, and comparatively few people make the turn onto Aylmer Pass Trail and journey uphill.
A popular hike with wildflowers and mountain views, plus a less-crowded extension to a remote alpine lake.
A dramatic alpine valley tucked high in the mountains near Banff.
Helen Lake is a popular day hike from the Icefields Parkway near Bow Lake. The attention is well deserved because it’s one of the most all-around beautiful short hikes in Banff National Park. In a little distance, it packs in a lot of views, including huge glaciers, waterfalls, deep forest, flowery meadows, and an alpine lake encircled by peaks.