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Healy Pass

  • Difficulty
  • 19km
  • 705m
  • 5-6h
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The best hikes in Banff must include the hike up to Healy Pass. An exquisite hike, especially during Autumn with the larches in full colour. Get impressive views from the pass and take an optional descent via Simpson Pass to add variety.

Getting there

Drive 7.7km west of Banff on Trans-Canada and take the Sunshine Village exit. Drive 24.2 km on this lovely road to Sunshine Village ski resort. Pick-up your bus ticket from the main building.

elevation

Total Gain: 705m

About

Type of Hike Out and Back
Crowd Levels Moderate
Route Signage Good
Toilets Trailhead
Family Friendly No
Backcountry Campgrounds Yes – Egypt Lake
When to Do June through October

 Detailed Description

This Parks Canada Trail is well maintained, and allows for beautiful views of many gorgeous peaks and Egypt Lake. From the Sunshine Village parking lot take the main trail behind the main building. In less than a kilometer you will turn right towards Healy Pass and Egypt lake campground.

The start of the trail keeps you shaded from the summer sun as you gradually climb. The hike starts with a wide, rolling trail which narrows as you go. The lush forest and the bridge over Healy Creek are stunning, submerging you in the idyllic natural universe of the Canadian Rockies.

After almost eight kilometers you escape the forest and find yourself in a beautiful alpine meadow. There is a very minor creek crossing at the beginning of this final section of the hike. You then will climb up through the stunning meadow, hoping spotting wildlife across the massive, wildflower studded expanse.

Reaching the gentle apex of the pass you will see sprawled out in front of you peak upon peak and stellar mountain vistas. Find a rock to along the ridge on either side of the trail to find lunch; it’s hard to go wrong with such a view.

The entire hike is extremely well marked and the trail is well maintained, so no route finding skills are required at all.

NOTE: The GPS map shows a descent via Simpson Pass – returning the way you ascended is quicker and a better trail.

Insider Hints

  • Descend via Simpson pass if you yearn for a change in scenery. Adds about 2km to the trip.
  • For a very long day or a gentle one-night backpack descend the other side of the ridge down to Egypt Lake, an exquisite area.
  • Buy snacks for your hike, or simply use the restroom at the Sunshine Village building.