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Banff National Park is One of the World's Premier Destination Spots!

The world's third national park and Canada's first, was born Banff National Park from a humble beginning.

Banff National Park
Banff National Park

On the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains in the fall of 1883, three Canadian Pacific Railway construction workers stumbled across a cave containing hot springs.

Banff National Park is one of the world's premier destination spots, spanning 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) of rivers, meadows, forests, glaciers, mountains and valleys!

Banff National Park - When To Go

From May to October, the hiking season usually lasts. Many passes are still snow bound with most trails accessible only on south facing, drier slopes or at lower elevations, from mid May to late June. During the spring, trails tend to be muddier. Most passes are usually open, towards the middle of July.

Particularly at higher elevations, temperatures are lower with a greater chance of snowfall occurring from September to October, although the climate is generally drier.

Unpredictable is mountain weather. Particularly at higher elevations, be prepared for snow or rain at any time. Even in summer, freezing temperatures are not uncommon above 1,500 meters.

Freezing Temperatures
Freezing Temperatures, Banff National Park

Banff National Park - Places To Backpack

Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake, Banff National Park

Select a Banff National Park trip which best suits the time you have available, equipment, interests and your party's experience and abilities. Ten people is the maximum group size. With the trail you have selected, familiarize yourself. This includes using additional topographic maps and reference guides. Through the Friends of Banff National Park, these are available.

Up to three months in advance, you may reserve the campsites you want. A reservation fee applies, non refundable. For popular campsites, book early. From a Park Information Center, obtain your Wilderness Pass. Prior to departure, check conditions. Available at Park Information Centers are road, trail, and weather reports.

By packing the right camping gear and clothing, be prepared to be self sufficient during rapidly changing and inclement mountain conditions. For cooking, bring along a backpacker's fuel and camp stove. Use the safety registration system, or let a family member or responsible friend know about your travel plans.

For important updates prior to your hike, check the trailhead kiosk. Have fun backpacking and I hope to see you on the trail!

Spectacular Scenery!
Spectacular Scenery, Banff National Park

More Canadian Rockies Backpacking Articles

Sunshine Village to Mt. Assiniboine is one of the best hikes in the world! Visit the prettiest peak in the Rockies, Canada's Matterhorn, elevation 11,870ft (3,618m).

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Rocky Mountains Colorado Backpacking Articles

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This Estes Park Colorado hike is located in north central Colorado in the Front Range, about seventy miles northwest of Denver, and ten miles southwest of Estes Park: Longs Peak.

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Rocky Mountains Colorado has beautiful mountains with gorgeous trees, rivers and streams running from Canada to New Mexico!

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More Western Backpacking Articles

The John Muir Trail is the best hiking, backpacking trail in the United States. The trail starts in Yosemite National Park, and continues 215 miles through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King's Canyon National Park, and ends at Mount Whitney at 14,496 ft.

Half Dome is the symbol of Yosemite, its summit the goal of just about everybody who has ever put on a pair of hiking boots. It is a grueling workout, especially if you do it in one day.

The 75 mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail between Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass is a very popular backpack trip, and it deserves to be. The route is supremely scenic with countless viewpoints.

A day hike through lush woods to the Shangri La of hot soaks, Bagby Hot Springs! No need to pack a swimsuit. The gentle creekside route passes emerald green pools spaced between rapids.

The hike into Holy Jim Canyon, to Holy Jim Falls, is one of the most scenic and interesting in the Santa Ana Mountains. The hike passes under a multitude of trees, and crosses Holy Jim Creek many times.

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Banff National Park