Parker Ridge Trail, Banff National Park

#3 of 28 in Trails in Banff National Park
Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy Parker Ridge Trail, a picturesque uphill trek in Banff National Park. The trailhead lies near a scenic parkway for easy access. Starting steep, the moderately easy 2.7 km (1.7 mi) hike will take you to a spectacular viewpoint near the ridge summit. From the end of the trail, you can observe the Saskatchewan glacier and the snowcapped Mount Athabasca, or explore the surrounding area further. Make Parker Ridge Trail a centerpiece of your Banff National Park vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Banff National Park trip itinerary maker site.
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Parker Ridge Trail reviews

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  • The day we hiked Parker Ridge, it was very windy. The hike started off in a wooded area so we had plenty of protection; however, at the top, the wind was incredible. The view of the Saskatchewan...  more »
  • A nice break on the trip from Banff to Jasper with a great view. Hike is moderate but as a spectacular glacier view.  more »
  • Brilliant little trail located close to the Banff/Jasper Park border, a little bit past the Columbia Icefield centre if approaching from the Jasper side. The parking lot is fairly small, although when I arrived at about 3:30pm on a Sunday, there was plenty of parking. The trail is fairly short - if you move along the ridge as far as the trail will take you, before running into a sign advising not to proceed further, this is about 6km round trip. It's about 2.4km to get up to the Ridge, along with about 280m of elevation gain over that 2.4 km. If you're an experienced hiker or in good shape, you won't find this too difficult. With all that said, this hike is beautiful throughout. While there is a bit of tree covering during the early stages of the hike, it's still fairly open, and even just a kilometre in, you'll find yourself taking in impressive views of the surrounding mountains. Once you get up to the ridge, the views open up even more, and the Vista you're greeted with is absolutely epic. Once you get to the ridge and the elevation lets up, you'll notice the marked trail continues to your left. You will see an unofficial trail created by people that moves up the hill to your right, but I wouldn't recommend following that one, as the views you'll get sticking to the marked trail are far more grand and impressive, particularly of the glacial valley. Happy hiking!
  • Absolutely beautiful at the top. Approximately 5km roundtrip with the way up consisting of uphill switchbacks. Should take between 30mins to 1 hour to reach the top depending on your speed. Windy at the top so bring layers.
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