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Easiest, Most Convenient Hike in Banff Townsite: Tunnel Mountain

Updated: Apr 26



Author: Simona Haluzova


 

Tunnel Mountain Trail Stats:

Length: approximately 4.3 kilometers (2.7 miles) round trip.

Elevation Gain: 260 meters (850 feet).

Difficulty: Easy

Trail Type: Out and back


Scenic Views:

  • As you ascend, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of Banff, the Bow River, and the surrounding mountains, including Mount Rundle.

  •  Keep an eye out for wildlife such as squirrels, chipmunks, and various bird species. Occasionally, you might spot larger animals like deer or elk.


Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park offers breathtaking landscapes and beautiful outdoor adventures. Despite its name, Tunnel Mountain is not a tunnel but rather a mountain with a history. The mountain offers stunning panoramic views of the town of Banff, the Bow Valley, and surrounding mountain ranges. This hike is one of the must-do's if you are staying in the Rockies. The hike is considered relatively easy, making it suitable for a wide range of hikers, including families. One of the best things on this hike is that the trail can be enjoyed year-round and the views are absolutely stunning!



History of Tunnel Mountain

Tunnel Mountain has historical significance, as it was originally referred to as "Sleeping Buffalo" by the indigenous people. The name "Tunnel Mountain" comes from a proposed railway tunnel through the mountain that was never built. As you can see from the distance the mountain really looks like a sleeping Buffalo; keep an eye out whenever you are in Banff next!


How to get to Tunnel Mountain

Starting Point - Banff Town:

  • The trailhead is located near the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. You can use the address of the Banff Centre for navigation:   Address: 107 Tunnel Mountain Dr, Banff, AB T1L 1H5, Canada.

  • Transportation: If you're staying in Banff, you can walk or drive to the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. If you're arriving from outside Banff, you may use public transportation, a car, or other means to get to the town.

  • Parking: If you're driving, check for available parking near the Banff Centre or at designated trailhead parking areas. Parking may be limited, especially during peak times, so plan accordingly.

  • Trailhead Signage: Look for signs indicating the Tunnel Mountain trailhead. Trails in the area are generally well-marked, and you should be able to find the starting point with ease.




Tips for Hiking Tunnel Mountain

  • Start Early: Begin your hike early in the day to avoid crowds and to have the best lighting for photos. As you can see in one of the photos, it is worth getting up early for this beautiful sunrise. 

  •  Weather:  Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Even in summer, temperatures can vary, and rain or snow is possible. If you will be hiking in winter it can be slippery along the trail, so do not forget to take hiking crampons with you.




Enjoy your hike up Tunnel Mountain!

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