HomeDestinationsGlacier Lake, Banff Nationwide Park

Glacier Lake, Banff Nationwide Park

Among the finest off-the-beaten-path locations in Banff Nationwide Park with a pristine blue lake and a glacier above. Glacier Lake Path is eighteen km lengthy, a great path run, hike and even backpacking in a single day journey for learners.

Banff Nationwide Park has so many undiscovered lakes and we determined it’s time to discover extra of them. Particularly in summer season, when widespread lakes and trails are overcrowded, we intention to search out hidden treasures corresponding to Glacier Lake.

Glacier Lake is the fourth largest lake in Banff Nationwide Park, round 4.5 km lengthy and 1 km large. The turquoise magnificence isn’t the one reward on the finish of this hike, but in addition magnificent views of the Southeast Lyell Glacier on the finish of Glacier Lake.

As a result of we’re each path runners, this path was particularly thrilling to strive due to its best size and mushy floor via the forest. The stunning ending on the ice-cold lake was greater than I needed for on a sizzling summer season day. For sure, we’ll be coming again.

For extra superb journeys within the Banff Nationwide Park, learn these:

Execs & Cons of the Glacier Lake in Banff


  • Little recognized path (no crowds)
  • The mushy path via the forest & creek crossings for refreshing
  • Views alongside the path
  • Scenic glacier lake on the finish
  • Non-compulsory lake (ice) dip
  • Backcountry camp by the lake


  • Fairly removed from each Jasper and Banff

The place is Glacier Lake, Banff Nationwide Park

Glacier Lake is positioned in Banff Nationwide Park, round 136 km from Banff and about 44 km from the boundary with Jasper Nationwide Park. The closest city is Lake Louise.

Methods to get to Glacier Lake Path

Take Icefields Parkway, the scenic highway connecting Lake Louise and Jasper. Be careful for the signal ‘Glacier Lake’ when driving from Banff, it’s about 1 km previous the Saskatchewan River Crossing.

There’s fairly a giant parking zone with a map however no services. The trailhead to Glacier Lake begins on the map stand.  (This is able to be superb bike path if solely it was allowed.)

Glacier Lake, Banff National Park

Starting of the path

Glacier Lake Path, Banff Nationwide Park

  • Distance: 18 km return (took us 4 hours operating & mountaineering together with a lake dip)
  • Elevation acquire: 507 m
  • Most elevation: 1655 m
  • Issue: straightforward path and reasonable solely due to the space
  • Finest time to go: Could to October (I’ve heard the path was surprisingly dry in Could already)
  • Gear: water bottle with filter (numerous creek crossings), windproof jacket, trainers (the path is simple and mushy), bear spray

The path to Glacier Lake begins straightforward and flat via the forest. After 1 km, there’s the primary viewpoint – a picket bridge crossing the North Saskatchewan River. From right here, it’s nonetheless flat for one other 1 km to the Howse River viewpoint with typical crimson chairs. It was once an vital spot for fur merchants as we learnt from the signal.

Glacier Lake, Banff National Park

Bridge over North Saskatchewan River

Glacier Lake, Banff National Park

Howse River viewpoint

We then continued to the appropriate alongside the river earlier than disappearing to the forest once more. The path continues gently up and down with a small ascent of about 200 m after which all the way down to the lake.

There are loads of creek crossings with bridges manufactured from picket logs which have been welcomed refreshments as we dipped our heads and stuffed up a water bottle. Lifestraw water bottle with a filter that we use makes these runs a lot simpler if you don’t have to hold water with you and simply refill as you go.

Shortly after you descend the little hill, you will note an indication in your proper carved into the tree from 1928. That’s virtually the tip as you attain Glacier Lake. The water was freezing chilly in June however that didn’t cease me. I undressed and jumped it, regardless that it was very fast, my physique thanked me because it was overheated from the run already. And it truly made my return run much more nice.

Glacier Lake, Banff National Park

Glacier Lake

There’s an choice to proceed to Lyell Glacier which feeds Glacier Lake. It might add one other 20 km into our journey and we determined to sort out this each other time. Another choice for extending the journey could be including an 8 km spherical journey to the tip of the lake which appeared like an important thought however I one way or the other most well-liked swimming within the ice-cold lake as an alternative.

Glacier Lake, Banff National Park

View in the direction of the campground

I believe the path is ideal for beginner backpackers because it’s fairly brief and simple with an important reward on the finish. We walked a couple of hundred meters additional alongside the lake to check out the Glacier Lake backcountry campground. There’s an outdated log cabin with a number of flat areas for tents, picnic tables, a hearth pit, and an outhouse.

One group had a very good spot proper on the shore of the lake. Though it was windy, you’ll be able to’t beat that view. The campground was additionally geared up with a bear pole the place you hold your meals so it doesn’t appeal to any wildlife. If you happen to’d like to remain on the Glacier Lake Campground, you’ll be able to e-book it right here.

We each simply love operating within the mountains and you’ll most likely inform why.

Glacier Lake, Banff National Park

What is healthier than stopping in your highway journey on a sizzling day, deciding on going for a path run whereas the forest shields you from the scorching solar after which dipping your self in an ice-cold lake whereas a glacier?

This was probably the most pleasant run in Banff Nationwide Park up to now!

Suggestions for Glacier Lake Hike

Nationwide park charges

If you enter any nationwide park in Canada, you’re required to pay an entrance charge. You could have a selection of both a each day go or a yearly go.

  • 10.50 CAD per individual for a each day go, 21 CAD for a gaggle/household
  • 72.25 CAD per individual for a yearly go, 145.25 CAD for a gaggle/household

The yearly Discovery Go is legitimate for all Nationwide parks in Canada. You should purchase it on the gate if you enter the nationwide park, within the Customer’s Centre or on-line right here.

Packing record for Glacier Lake Hike/Run

Our mountaineering necessities embrace:

  • Paper map of the realm and downloaded map of the hike on the telephone
  • Exterior battery for the telephone (particularly for utilizing GPS on the telephone)
  • Lifestraw water bottle with a filter so we will drink from wherever
  • Further snacks
  • Windproof & waterproof jacket (sure, in summer season as effectively)
  • Fleece or down jacket as sudden snowstorms occur in summer season
  • My absolute favorite path trainers
  • Bear Spray

And some different gadgets as effectively. For a full record of our gear, try our mountaineering packing record for summer season within the mountains. You possibly can see the total record with hyperlinks to buy our favorite gear on our Amazon web page.

Staying in Banff Nationwide Park

To have probably the most freedom and revel in nature to the fullest whereas staying on a finances, we all the time suggest staying within the campgrounds. Banff Nationwide Park has many with picturesque surroundings. Learn our complete information about tenting in Banff Nationwide Park for all tenting data and many photos of the campgrounds.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for an adventurous journey and have freedom over your day whereas staying in campgrounds, e-book a Smile Campervan from us – a finances, household & pet-friendly choice.

Western Canada road trip from Calgary to Vancouver - road trip on Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

Highway closure

For path closures as a consequence of wildlife presence or avalanche risks in Banff Nationwide Park, try the report from Parks Canada.

Correct highway situations might be checked right here.

Path report

Earlier than you head out, verify present path situations on Path Report from Parks Canada.

Bear nation

As all the time within the Canadian Rockies, you’re in a bear habitat. It’s best to all the time carry a bear spray (might be bought at Customer’s Centre or out of doors shops), know when and tips on how to use it and make noise whereas mountaineering and operating (so that you don’t shock any bears)! Fastidiously learn these directions on tips on how to behave round them.

We didn’t see any bears throughout our go to to Glacier Lake however we have been loud and carried a bear spray, it was vital we knew what to do if we noticed a bear.

*Within the spirit of full disclosure: Some hyperlinks on this publish are affiliate hyperlinks, which signifies that if you are going to buy via them, we obtain a small fee at no additional price to you. We respect your help!

Adventure travel guide to Jasper National Park

Further studying in regards to the Canadian Rockies

Day hikes within the Canadian Rockies

Canmore & Kananaskis Nation:

Kootenay Nationwide Park:

Yoho Nationwide Park:

Jasper Nationwide Park:

Extra mountaineering concepts:

Plan your journey to the Rockies:

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Glacier Lake in Banff National Park, a breathtaking day trip in the Canadian Rockies. | Banff National Park | Canadian Rockies | Canada | Day trip in Banff | Things to do in Banff | Hikes in Banff | #canadianrockies #banffnationalpark #banff #hiking #trailrunning #outdoors #adventure #bucketlist


About Maya Steiningerova

4d57eb819e73f074da627348258cb300?s=90&d=mm&r=gHeyo, I’m Maya! An journey athlete presently dwelling close to the Canadian Rockies with my companion in crime Michal. I really like operating within the mountains, leaping within the ice chilly lakes, mountain biking and attempting not so frequent actions, corresponding to mountaineering. By exhibiting that an bizarre individual can dwell a rare life, my hope is to encourage you to dwell an adventurous life and offer you suggestions and instruments to your personal journey.

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