Tuesday, July 2

Sunshine tips for hiking the Sunshine Meadows

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Jul 2, 2024

Sunshine tips for hiking the Sunshine Meadows

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 to the top of the mountains, where you will find heaven-like views and accessible hiking trails. 

Looking to up your hiking game? Take a walk on our side summer. Before you lace up your hiking shoes and head for the trail, we made a list of things to consider before hiking the Banff Sunshine Meadows: 


Check the Weather  

Before your day up at the meadows, check (and double check) the weather. This will help plan your day for how to dress and what to pack. Weather in the Canadian Rockies can change in an instant. Be prepared for your day, visit our Conditions page to check our webcams and the extended forecast. 


Quick safety note: 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.  


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.  

Wearing the right fabrics 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.  


Wear good quality socks and comfortable hiking shoes. Be prepared for drastic weather changes, pack waterproof gear just in case. Stop by Bourgeau Sports at the base of the village, for all your hiking gear necessities. 


Pack Snacks and Supplies  

Bring enough food and water with you, should the hike take longer than planned. High elevation can cause feelings of 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.   


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? Bourgeau Sports at the base of the village has you covered! 


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.  


Hiking in a groups is always recommended! 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.  


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.  


Quick safety note: Stay on marked trails, trails are sometimes closed due to wildlife in the area or damaged paths.  


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.    


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  


Get unlimited access to hiking the Banff Sunshine Meadows this Summer with your 2024/25 Season Pass. Don’t have a pass yet, order your 2024/25 Banff Sunshine Season Pass here!


We’ve got a summerside that’s waiting to be explored, the Banff Sunshine Meadows are open daily until September 22, 2024!