Awesome Alberta: Take a leisurely hike at Tunnel Mountain (PHOTOS)

Jul 12 2020, 10:00 am

COVID-19 still presents a very real and dangerous threat to public health. While much of Alberta’s outdoors have been reopened to visitors, it is recommended to plan ahead, check local restrictions and current public health measures, and avoid any areas that may be too crowded. 

Hikes are fun and expansive views of our beautiful province are even better, but the sweat, pain, and exercise (shudders) usually accompanying them can be a nuisance — especially in the hot summer months.

Luckily enough for us, there’s a mountain in Alberta that can be summited in just over an hour.

Banff’s Tunnel Mountain, a small peak encircled by the Town of Banff and the Banff hot springs, features a mere 2.3-kilometre trail to get to the very top, and once you’re there you’re treated to a stunning view of the town and surrounding mountains.

The 300-metre elevation doesn’t have much on the other peaks in the area, but it is by far the easiest choice for people wanting a nice activity for the day but who don’t happen to have their climbing gear or ice picks handy.

The trail does get pretty busy during the summer, though with a 360° view there are plenty of lookout points to check out away from the crowds.

For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from and AdventureSmart. Parks Canada visitor guidelines are available here. Always remember to leave no trace, pack out what you pack in, stick to designated trails, and refrain from feeding wildlife — and please note that irresponsibly taken selfies (even if they look great for the ‘gram) can be fatal


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Where is it?

Tunnel Mountain is located in the Township of Banff, on the aptly named Tunnel Mountain Drive. There are multiple parking lots to leave your vehicles behind and a few different trail options around the mountain.

How do you get there?

From Calgary, Banff, is just an hour and a half drive along Highway 1. Once you’re in the town, you’ll need to take a quick right off of Banff Avenue on Tunnel Mountain Road, which will link up with Tunnel Mountain Drive.

Those coming from Edmonton will need to drive the three hours down to Calgary and then head west from there.


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What’s there?

Tunnel Mountain offers both a trail to get to the peak and another trail that snakes around the base of the mountain.

Bikes are not allowed on the peak trail (because there are steps to deal with, naturally), but they are permitted on the lower Hoodoos Trail.

A mere 2.3 kilometres is all that stands between you and summiting a literal mountain, and once you reach the top you’ll be greeted by quite the view.

Photos are probably a better way of describing what you’ll see once you make it up there:

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And here’s what Tunnel Mountain Looks life from one of its surrounding mountains (it’s the little fella just to the left of town):

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