Tuesday, July 16

10 Tips for Sunshine Meadows Hikers.

10 Tips for Sunshine Meadows Hikers. Hero thumbnail
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Jul 16, 2019

10 Tips for Sunshine Meadows Hikers.

Hiking Sunshine Meadows this summer? Follow these tips!


Summer in the Canadian Rockies is a dream come true for hikers of all ages and abilities. Our Banff Sunshine sightseeing gondola and Standish chairlift take you daily -until September 8th- to the top of the mountains, where you will find heaven-like views and accessible hiking trails.


Before you put your hiking shoes on and head out into Sunshine Meadows this summer, follow these tips:



1. Check the Weather

Prior to your hike and a few hours before starting your trip, check the weather. This will give you key info on how to dress for the day and what to pack. Visit our Conditions page to check our webcams and the extended forecast. Another option is Windy.com, which has a great daily break down and allows you to focus in on your areas of interest.


Quick safety note:  weather in the Rockies can change in an instant. If you find yourself caught in an unexpected thunderstorm while hiking, seek shelter immediately. Get into a low valley or shelter under a group of trees. Do not stand under a tall tree by itself. Stay away from groundwater and if you can’t find suitable shelter have your group spread out and stay low.



2. Dress in Layers

Like in winter, layering up is key. To easily adjust for changes in weather, wear layers that you can add or remove as needed.


Also, wearing the right clothes can make a difference. When hiking in the meadows, we recommend you stick to synthetic materials. Unlike cotton, synthetics, such as polyester, will keep you dry and allow your body to breathe much more.


Remember to wear warm socks and comfy hiking shoes. Also, pack waterproof gear just in case.




3. Pack Snacks and Supplies

 Bring enough food and water with you should the hike take longer than planned. The high elevation could quickly make you feel fatigued, so make sure you grab a generous breakfast or lunch and drink water frequently during your hike.


On sunny days, protect yourself from the sun by packing a hat, sunglasses and of course, your good old friend: sunscreen.



4. Be Beary Prepared - Carry Bear Spray

The Canadian Rockies are home to black and grizzly bears and an encounter with either of these animals can be wild. Stay safe, try to avoid encounters with them and carry bear spray with you at all times on the trail.


We recommend carrying one or more per group. Forgot it at home? At Banff Sunshine, you now can rent Bear Spray through our retail stores for just $14.99 a day. Or buy one for $54.99.


Our retail stores are open daily from 8 AM to 6 PM. Find them on the second floor of Creekside at the Gondola Base area, at the Sunshine Meadows Interpretive Center inside the Day Lodge and at the main level of the Sunshine Mountain Lodge.


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5. Plan Your Hike

Consider the distance and length of time it will take to complete your hike. Take a look at the trail map and familiarize yourself with the area. You’ll find easy to moderate trails, as well as multiple points of interest. For daily trail report, click here.


Also, we recommend hiking with groups as it’s safer and yes, a lot more fun! To get the full experience of the Canadian Rockies, visit our Interpretive center and sign up for our hosted walks to learn about the surrounding mountains, wildlife and history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.



6. Stay on Trail

Always hike on marked trails and paths. Walking off-trail damages the vegetation and wildflower. Make sure you leave the area intact, so nature continues to thrive in this area and future visitors can have the same enjoyable experience.


If you see public who are off-trail, please report to Dispatch at 403-762-6515.


Found a closed trail? Stay safe, trails are sometimes closed due to wildlife in the area or damaged paths.



7. Take Breaks

Hike on your own pace and stop for breaks when necessary. Take your time to take in the views, enjoy the fresh air, and have fun.  


Taking a longer break for lunch? check what restaurants are open this summer.



8. Keep the Alpine Air Clean

Please, do not smoke. Other visitors will appreciate admiring nature in a smoke-free setting. Plus, there is a high risk you could start a fire.


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9. Have Dispatch and Securities Phone Numbers Saved

Have dispatch and securities phone numbers handy in case of an emergency. Banff Sunshine Meadows is a family-friendly destination; if you spot a bear, cougar, wolf, wolverine or coyote, please report it to Dispatch: 403-762-6515 or Security: 403-431-2078



10. Share It

Take selfies, tag your crew, and share with all the breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies. When posting on Facebook or Instagram, tag us @sunshinevillage and use #sunshinevillage & #sunshinemeadows.


As much as we love capturing the stunning views the mountains gift us, be aware that the use of drones at all Parks Canada places is not allowed.




Summer at Banff Sunshine is FREE with your 2019/20 Season pass. Don’t have a pass yet, order yours here.