I booked a last minute trip to Banff at the end of August. It had been on my list for a while, so I was so happy to finally go. I also missed hiking solo ever since going to patagonia in 2016.I firmly believe doing something outdoorsy is the best way to spend a solo trip.
I only went for a half week, and I feel like I was able to get a lot out of it, although If i had a few more days, there were other hikes I would have loved to add. I rented a car to get around which made it a lot easier.
Day 1 – Johnston Canyon Falls & Ink Pots Trail
I wanted to start with something a little more low key, since it was my first day. TBH this hike was the worst. There were so many people and small children. The hike was so easy, some people were wearing flip flops. When I reached the end, I was not very satisfied so I continued towards a slightly more difficult trail called, the Ink Pots. This was a really nice trail, and much quieter. It lead to a beautiful open valley, with two bubbling pools. I felt like I was in a commercial for a water bottle or something.
Day 2 – Lake Louise: Lake Agnes & Beehive Trail
I left my hostel in Banff early to drive and get here by 8am, because the parking lot is known to fill very early. It was already full by 10am and the lake was swarmed. I got coffee in the hotel and stayed warm until the sun came out enough to start my hike. Lake Agnes trail was pretty cool, and leads to the Lake Agnes Tea House. I wanted to stop and get tea and food at the house just for the novelty of it, but it was already crowded with a line, and many screaming children. I continued up the Beehive trail, which was pretty challenging. It is well worth it though, because you get an amazing view at the top!
Renting a canoe at Lake Louise looked fun, but was pretty expensive, like $50 an hour.
Day 3 – Moraine Lake: Larch Valley & Eiffel Lake Trail
I had to leave even earlier to make it to Moraine Lake than I did Lake Louise. Moraine is more popular than Louise, further away, and has a smaller parking lot. I arrived by 7am and got one of the last parking spots. By 7:30am no more cars were allowed in.
When I started my hike, there was a ranger at the trailhead warning people that a bear had been sighted on the trail that morning and they do not know where it went. This is why you carry bear spray.
Both trails were relatively easy and quick.
Renting a canoe on Moraine was even more expensive at $100 per hour.
Day 4 – Sunshine Meadows
Sunshine Meadows, normally a ski resort, opens for hiking in the summer. I was exhausted from the past few days so I paid to take the gondola up, lol. It was worth the money.
I think I died and went to paradise. Sunshine meadows is the location for my dream house. Blue water, big mountains, pink flowers. I don’t know if I’ve ever been somewhere so lovely.