Hike Lush Alpine Meadows
Away From the Crowds

Tumbling, blue glaciers and vast icefields form the backdrop to all Icefall hikes

Self-Guided Hiking

Surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Canadian Rockies, Icefall Lodge is the perfect base for trekking in wilderness solitude. Although the lodge shares a border with Banff National Park, it is far from the crowded hiking trails of Lake Louise and Banff. With over 200 square km of wilderness, Icefall Lodge is far from any towns, roads or signs of civilization. While this is more than can be explored in a week, it does ensure plenty of options and no crowds.

With over 100 species of flowers, you are walking through a brightly coloured carpet. The mountains are some of the highest in the Canadian Rockies. These include Mount Forbes, the highest peak in Banff National Park. Tumbling, blue glaciers and vast icefields form the backdrop to all the hikes. There are over 30 glaciers at Icefall and, the well-maintained network of trails gives easy access to some of the most scenic viewpoints in the area.

Availability

With over 15 years of trail work, there is a large network of well-maintained trails at Icefall. Most of the trails, especially those closer to the lodge, are well marked and easy to follow. A self-guided trip is a great option for those looking to explore at their own pace or have a flexible itinerary. Prices for self-guided hiking include  helicopter transportation and meals provided by our chef. GPS tracks of the trails are available to download in the links below. If you are unsure about traveling in the mountains on your own or in a group of similar experience then you should consider a guided trip.

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Tivoli

The prominent rock buttress that is seen out the front window of the lodge. The trail contours through forests, meadows, crosses several streams and eventually ends up at a flat viewpoint directly across from this 300m cliff. These rolling meadows are an interesting area to explore with several small streams that have carved interesting forms out of the rock. For those with more energy, you can cross the La Clytte stream and head up to the summit of Luna Peak. At 8800′ (2700m) this offers a 360-degree panorama, looking down on the lodge, the La Clyttle Glacier and across at the Mons and Lyell Glaciers. This is also the approach to the Lyell Hut. Despite being such a high peak surrounded by rugged glaciers, this hike is completely non-technical.

Espresso Ridge

This is the long scenic ridge that rises up directly behind the lodge. The trail takes a long detour through alpine meadows and wildflowers before traversing back to the ridge. The high point is a lookout on the ridge at 2350m (7800 feet). There are outstanding views of Mount Forbes, the highest peak in Banff National Park. From the lookout, the trail descends the opposite side through meadows and small streams, eventually traversing beneath the base of the ridge back to the lodge. 4-5 hours. Another option is to continue up the bench on the west side of the ridge to Troll Pass. This high vantage point looks across at the glaciers and icefalls on the north face of Mt Kemmel. To the north, you can see the Columbia Icefields.

Keffi

The hike to Keffi offers a scenic climb to a treeline pass which looks across at the blue ice on the toe of the La Clytte Glacier. The path follows a ridge most of the way. It starts off through the forest, then open meadows and finally the broad ridge that leads up to the saddle. If the group has more energy, there is an optional side trip to the toe of La Clytte Glacier. Bring back some blue glacier ice to pour your scotch over in the evening. 4-7 hours

Icefall Canyon

This is truly one of the most spectacular hikes anywhere. The Lyell and Mons Icefields, which cover over 50 square km, send glaciers down to the rim of this canyon. Waterfalls, up to 600m high, spillover from all sides of the canyon. This trail starts from valley bottom beside Icefall Brook. As you get closer, the thunder increases. After 1.5 km you beak out of the trees into the open valley bottom. The sheer limestone walls stretch for 2 km, with countless waterfalls and many caves. Standing there, you feel the pure, untamed power of nature.

Rostrum Trail

This trail traverses above Kemmel Valley at treeline, offering spectacular views of the Lyell Glacier and Division Peak to the east. There is little elevation gain as you traverse out to the ridge. From the ridge, you have a unique perspective with a view into the Icefall Canyon to the east, the high massive of Rostrum Peak with its tumbling glaciers and seracs to the west. The trail turns the corner into the Rostrum Valley and leads to the newly completed Rostrum Cabin.