Monday, August 15

8 Tips for Sunshine Meadows Hikers

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Aug 15, 2022

8 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 11th - 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 

Check the weather before your hike and a few hours before starting your trip. This will give you essential info on how to dress for the day and what to pack. Visit our Conditions page to check our webcams and the extended forecast.


Quick safety note: weather in the Rockies can change in an instant. If you are 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; if you can’t find suitable shelter, have your group spread out and stay low. 


2. Dress in Layers 

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

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. 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; carry bear spray with you at all times on the trail.  

We recommend carrying one or more per group. Forgot it at home? 


5. Plan Your Hike 

Consider the distance and 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 and multiple points of interest. For daily trail reports, click here. 

Also, we recommend hiking with groups as it’s safer and much more fun! To get the full experience of the Canadian Rockies, visit our Interpretive Centre 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 the Trail 

Always hike on marked trails and paths. Walking off-trail damages the vegetation and wildflowers. 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 someone go 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 at your own pace and stop for breaks when necessary. Take your time to take in the views, enjoy the fresh air, and have fun.   


8. 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 



Summer at Banff Sunshine is FREE with your 2022/23 Season pass. Don’t have a pass yet, order yours here.