Top three reasons to hike the Plain of the Six Glaciers
Learn about the fascinating geology of the Canadian Rockies
Marvel at the stunning views from the Victoria North glacier
Take the chance to touch ancient glacier ice and drink pure glacier water right from the source
The Plain of the Six Glaciers is one of Banff National Park’s most beautiful and panoramic advanced trails. The winding road to Athabasca and the hike up to the beautifully quaint Six Glaciers Tea House are effortless and relaxing, with some great scenery to enjoy along the way. Beyond the teahouse, the high elevation gain is a bit of a challenge, but anyone willing to take on the trail’s rocky and icy terrains will be rewarded with some of Alberta’s most stunning nature and awesome lookouts. Visitors also get to experience a true piece of history — the ancient ice on the Athabasca Glacier and its numerous streams are a joy to look at and learn about. And once you put your crampons on and finally walk the glacier, you’ll get so lost in the vistas you’ll never want to come down. Learn more about hiking in the Canadian Rockies from Greg Hill, ACMG ski guide extraordinaire and soon-to-be assistant rock climbing guide.
March through November
Banff is an hour away from the Plain of the Six Glaciers
Intermediate to advanced
Book this adventure
A Customized Day of Hiking With a Private Guide
Join a certified ACMG mountain guide for a full day of exploring the stunning Athabasca Glacier. Enjoy a relaxing and scenic drive to Athabasca, after which you’ll get the chance to visit the famous teahouse. Proceed trekking to an elevation of 2,400 meters, while marveling at the soaring ridges and glacier views. The Plain of the Six Glaciers and the surrounding high peaks of the Canadian Rockies are symbols of Canadian wilderness and beauty — experience them the right way.
Meet your guide
Alpine Air Adventures
I highly recommend this guided hike! We were able to experience the beauty of the mountains in a way that we would never have been able to do on our own. It is UNBELIEVABLY gorgeous- a must-do!! Our guide, Jeff, is very professional and came prepared with everything we needed – hiking poles, ice axes (it snowed just before our hike), a fabulous lunch, and even a couple of spare hiking jackets for those of us who were over-dressed and needed something more appropriate to wear. The hike itself was challenging/adventurous, but still very manageable for the inexperienced. When we remember our trip to Banff – this will be the day we remember the best:)
Get complete checklist for hiking and camping equipment.
Things to know
Covid measures in Plain of the Six Glaciers, Alberta
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Plain of the Six Glaciers, Alberta, please refer to Alberta’s official COVID-19 info website.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A full day of hiking
What’s not included:
- Meals and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
This trek is suitable for strong intermediate-expert hikers or scramblers. Intermediate hikes will see a little more change in elevation and hikes will start to increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Advanced hikes are full-day treks with steep descents and challenging switchbacks. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 50-60L bag)
- Hiking poles
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Sturdy hiking boots or shoes
- Spare clothes for layering
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera — optional, but recommended
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- For the group adventures, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 8:1.
- It takes a minimum of 4 people for this tour to operate.
- All prices are per person. The cost does not decrease as the group grows.
Hiking in the Six Glaciers can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to the Plain of the Six Glaciers, most people fly into Calgary International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle to Banff.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop in Banff or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.