Tunnel Mountain is a popular hike in the Canadian Rockies near the town of Banff.
This short hike provides breathtaking views of Banff and the surrounding mountains, making it a must-do for visitors to the area. Here’s everything you need to know about Tunnel Mountain hiking.
Trailhead Location and Parking
The Tunnel Mountain trailhead is located just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Banff. To get there, head south on Banff Avenue and turn right onto Tunnel Mountain Road. Follow this road for about 1.5 km until you reach the parking lot on the right-hand side of the road. There is a small fee to park at the trailhead.
The Tunnel Mountain hike is a 4.3 km loop with a total elevation gain of 300 meters. The trail starts at the trailhead and follows a series of switchbacks up the side of the mountain. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, with several viewpoints along the way where you can stop and take in the views.
At the top of the mountain, there is a small viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the town of Banff, the Bow River, and the surrounding mountains. This is a great spot to take a break, have a snack, and take some photos before continuing on the loop trail.
The descent from the top of the mountain is on a different trail that leads back to the parking lot. The descent is less steep than the ascent and provides a different perspective of the mountain and the surrounding landscape.
Best Time to Hike
The Tunnel Mountain hike is open year-round, but the best time to hike it is in the summer months when the weather is warmer and the days are longer. The trail can be quite icy and slippery in the winter, so it’s important to wear appropriate footwear and bring traction devices if you plan to hike it in the winter.
What to Bring
It’s important to come prepared for the Tunnel Mountain hike. Here are a few items to bring with you:
- Water: Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated during the hike.
- Snacks: Bring some snacks to keep your energy levels up during the hike.
- Sunscreen: The sun can be quite strong at high altitude, so it’s important to protect your skin.
- Bear Spray: The area around Banff is bear country, so it’s important to carry bear spray with you on the hike.
- Layers: The weather can change quickly in the mountains, so it’s important to bring layers to stay warm and dry.
Hiking Tunnel Mountain is a must-do for Banff visitors. With its proximity to town and stunning views, it’s a hike that can be completed in a matter of hours.
Bring appropriate gear and follow Leave No Trace principles to help preserve this beautiful area for future generations to enjoy.