5. Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park

It may seem weird to include Tunnel Mountain amongst this list of multi-day adventures, yet I cannot ignore the simple and instant rewards of this hike. Perhaps you are just getting into hiking and want to try it out, or you have had a day in Banff and you want to watch the sunset. This is an incredible, yet slightly challenging hiking outing that the entire family can enjoy.

Canadian Rockies hiking
A view of the Bow River from the backside of Tunnel Mountain. Photo by Carl Mueller licensed under CC BY 2.0

Make this your day hike while visiting Banff

Tunnel Mountain is a high point above Banff that is surrounded by the impressive peaks of the Rockies. Often referred to as “Banff’s Smallest Mountain,” this “peak” positions you to get 360-degree views of the Bow River and Spray River Valleys. You can almost feel the world ripping apart while it created Rundle Mountain.

This hike is simple and it doesn’t require any camping permits, only a National Parks Pass, which you need to stop in Banff anyway. As with all hikes in the Rockies, nothing comes easy, this is a 300-meter vertical hike that has some steep switchbacks that will have you huffing and puffing. Yet, it is so worth it. Super simple, yet super satisfying.

No shortage of things to do in Banff

While this short hike might take up a few hours of your time, that leaves you plenty of time to explore all that Banff has to offer. The Banff & Lake Louise Visitors Center will give you plenty of info on accommodations and things to do. After your hike, you can grab a pint at the Banff Ave Brewing Co., grab a bite at the Elk and Oarsman, or go for some fancier upscale dining at The Grizzly House. Make sure to check out the Cave and Basin National Historic Site or check out the Banff Upper Hot Springs for a relaxing soak, which is conveniently located next to the Banff Gondola.

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