Looking for a trail for your next hike? Consider these trails in Canada that stand as the top five in the country.
Canada, known for its breathtaking landscapes, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers. Among the myriad of trails that crisscross this vast country, five stand out as the most popular, drawing adventurers from far and wide. According to a study on Google search data by Betway, the average monthly search volume for the past 12 months reveals the following top five most searched—and sought-after—hiking trails in Canada.
Sulphur Skyline Trail in Alberta
Topping the list is the Skyline Trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta, with an impressive average monthly Google search volume of 12,100. This trail starts off steady and quiet and eventually reveals panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies, taking hikers through subalpine meadows and showcasing the rugged beauty of the region. For this steep ascent, take plenty of water and snacks. Once you reach the end, take a dip in the Miette Hot Springs to complete the hike. During colder months, the descent can be slippery and wet. Roads may be closed due to snowy conditions.
Distance: 8 km out-and-back
Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 700 mUnsplash
Plain of Six Glaciers Trail in Alberta
Following closely is the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail in Banff National Park, Alberta. With its stunning glaciers and picturesque landscapes, this trail is popular for all kinds of adventures such as birdwatching, hiking and horseback riding. This hike starts off as a comfortable trail toward the pristine Lake Louise and a walk alongside Mount Victoria, Mount Lefroy and some massive glaciers. The last 1.5 kilometres will take you to a final, gorgeous viewpoint. Make sure to enjoy some refreshments at the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House, which is currently closed for the cold season and open in the early summer. Roads may be closed due to snowy conditions.
Distance: 14.6 km out-and-back
Time: 4-5 hours
Elevation Gain: 588 mUnsplash
Lake Agnes Trail in Alberta
Banff National Park secures another spot on the list with the Lake Agnes Trail, offering a serene trek through lush forests and culminating at Lake Agnes. The trail is relatively smooth throughout the hike, although you'll encounter some bumpy roots and rocks. Offering fantastic views of Lake Louise, this trail leads up to the famed Lake Agnes Tea House, open from June to October, where you can stop by to grab lunch (cash only!), read a book or relax by the lake. The trail itself is open year-round but due to its high altitude, it's exposed to avalanche hazards from mid-October to June. Carry extra layers, wear proper shoes and invest in some crampons for the upcoming snowy months if you're thinking of hitting this trail during the cold season.
Distance: 3.5 km one-way
Time: 2-3 hours
Elevation Gain: 400 m Unsplash
Iceline Trail in BC
In fourth position—the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park. Known for its awe-inspiring views of glaciers and waterfalls, this trail attracts hikers seeking a challenging yet rewarding adventure in the heart of British Columbia's natural wonders. Do this hike counterclockwise to face the best scenery throughout the hike. This trail is relatively challenging and best for experienced hikers. Named for its path that follows a series of glaciers and snow fields, this hike also offers a beautiful view of the thundering Takakkaw Falls. It's recommended to make this a multi-day hike and do an overnight stay at the Little Yoho Campground which is open for bookings starting in March.
Distance: 21.7 km loop
Time: 7-8 hours
Elevation Gain: 978 mUnsplash
Berg Lake Trail in BC
Rounding out the top five is the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park. Renowned for its turquoise lakes and stunning mountain scenery, this trail entices adventurers with its diverse landscapes and demanding yet invigorating paths. You'll wander across the emerald Kinney Lake and the impressive Emperor Falls. Other than the beautiful scenery, this trail holds rare flora that many hikers appreciate. This trail is broken down into two sections: the first half is about 10 kilometres through a relatively flat trail surrounded by forestry while the second half consists of a more challenging hike from Whitehorn to Emperor Falls. The full experience can be done as a multi-day hike (which is highly recommended to fully experience the trail), and camping sites open up in February. During winter months, conditions are typically good before Whitehorn, where you'll need to wear snowshoes or skis to get across the snow toward Emperor Lake. Part of this trail is closed until 2024, but you can still enjoy other sections of the trail.
Distance: 23 km out-and-back
Time: 8 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,316 mUnsplash
As the data suggests, the popularity of these trails peaks during the spring and summer months, aligning with the prime hiking season. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a novice hoping to fall in love with the hiking trail, these trails cater to all levels of expertise, making them ideal destinations to consider for your next hike. Lace up your boots, pack your essentials and embark on a journey through Canada's wilderness—where every step unveils nature’s wonders.
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