Banff National Park: Lake Minnewanka to Alymer Pass Lookout (3 days / 51 km)

The Lake Minnewanka route offers an amazing backcountry experience for hikers, canoers and bikers alike. The Lake Minnewanka trail takes you around the north side of this beautiful glacier lake through areas rich with animal life including elk, deer, mountain sheep and bears. Sleep beneath the giants of the South Banff Range, and wakeup to the sound of the waves lapping on the rocky shores of the lake. Indigenous people have lived in this area for 10,000 years and it is easy to understand why they

This trip report details a 3-day hike but can even be a 2-day adventure or longer if you continue further down the trail. 

Trip Completed: June 2019

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Lake Minnewanka Trail Head (51°14'52.43"N, 115°30'1.96"W)

Ending Point: Lake Minnewanka Trail Head

Total Distance: 30 km

Elevation Gain: 1118 m

Duration: 3 days

Difficulty: Beginner 


This route is located in Banff National Park.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of Michif Piyii, Tsuu T'ina, Stoney, Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis and Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ (source).

Maps & Resources

Map: The Parks Canada PDF has mapped the entire backcountry trail system.

Guidebook: If you wish to hike to Aylmer Pass follow the AllTrails map which shows the various trail systems. If you wish to climb one of the mountains in the area you can follow Alan Kane’s “Scrambling in the Canadian Rockies” which are by far the most popular and best routes. 

Permits and Campsite Reservations: Must reserve through Parks Canada. Select “Backcountry Camping”, and for the park choose “Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks”. Then select “Lake Minnewanka Trailhead” as your access point. You will need to purchase a backcountry permit which you can do in advance when reserving your campsites. You will also need to have a National Parks day pass which you pay as you enter the park. Print your passes ou...

To continue reading this Trip Report, please login below.

If you aren't a Member yet, please sign up here.