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A classic Banff run leading through larch meadows to a high mountain pass with sweeping views.


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.6

KM

86%

Runnable

7,622' 2,323 m

High

5,595' 1,705 m

Low

2,181' 665 m

Up

2,181' 665 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

A Banff area classic that leads through beautiful larch meadows and provides sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains. Also offers views down into Egypt Lake and its valley, and you can continue past Healy Pass towards Egypt Lake, which makes for a great campsite and basecamp for a multi-night backpacking trip.

Runner Notes

Seems to be a popular trail run as it is a well-graded, wide trail that is not too steep and offers amazing views at the top.

Description

The run begins at the Sunshine Ski Area a short distance West of Banff. The first 1-1.5 km of the trail are on a packed gravel road, but you then drop down to the north and into the Healy Creek valley onto the trail proper. The trail is well-graded the whole way and winds it's way along the creek valley, steadily gaining 300-400 m of elevation for the first 6-7 km while in the forest.

Eventually you break into the larch meadows where the larches are stunning in the fall and the views begin to open up. From the first bit of the meadows, you the continue west for approximately 1.5 km and gain another few hundred meters of elevation before you reach Healy Pass with truly breath-taking views of the Rocky Mountains. Continuing past the pass will lead you to Egypt Lake, with the basin and valley around it providing endless backpacking/running opportunities.

Flora & Fauna

One of the major highlights of this trail is the larch meadows for the last few km before the pass. The larches turn a beautiful golden yellow in the fall (late September to mid October) before they drop their needles. Plenty of wildflowers in spring and summer, and wildlife could include: grey jays, bears, chickadees, bighorn sheep, and many more.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tony Redford

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes

#1187

Overall
  5.0 from 3 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#4

in Alberta

#1,187

Overall
6 Views Last Month
1,561 Since Oct 25, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Healy Pass at sunrise in mid-September 2022.
Nov 22, 2022 near Banff, AB
Larch meadows and creek along the trail to Healy Pass.
Oct 25, 2018 near Banff, AB
Views of "The Monarch" Mountain along the Healy Pass Trail.
Oct 25, 2018 near Banff, AB

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