Skip to content

Summer Hiking ~ Sunshine Village, Banff

Hiking is something that I could do every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. The only thing that I might not find enjoyable is, say, hiking in a blizzard where you can’t see where you’re going ~ other than that, I’m pretty much up for anything!

Our family recently went on a vacation where we stayed in Calgary and did our own thing for about 11 days, and I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to not have to punch a clock and have to go-go-go full tilt like we are usually doing. A lot of our days were spent at BMX tracks, shopping, hiking and Calaway Park, but the absolute best part of the trip by far (for me, anyway) was the Sunshine Village ski resort! We’ve been here to ski before, and in the summertime they run their gondola and a chair lift for day hikes.

A scenic ride to the top!

This may be a little dramatic, but I want to live here!! Lol. I am telling you, this place is absolutely gorgeous in the summer (who am I kidding, it’s gorgeous year round!!).

We arrived at the base of the gondola around 9am and hopped on for a scenic ride to the lodge and interpretive centre. This is where you can educate yourself on some of the stuff to do on the mountain, plus they have some interesting artifacts that you can use to spot some of the animal activity on the mountain.

Here is where you will find the interpretive centre, washrooms, and a store.
Lots of info here!
FYI lol
Shopping in case you want a souvenir, need some gear, or want to rent bear spray. I'm not sure if the coffee shop is open in the summer ~ they were not when we were there.

Before you head up the mountain, it’s a really good idea to make sure you’re all set for the day. Wear proper shoes (no flip flops, you will regret it!!), make sure your clothes are comfortable, bring some snacks and lots of water. It’s not required, but super important to bring bear spray!! They spot bears up there all the time, naturally, and you don’t want to surprise one while you’re hiking through the trees or meadows. It’s not a bad idea to wear a hat and bring some layers as the weather changes quickly on the mountain.

This is what I brought: hiking poles, hydration tablets, energy shots, beef jerky, nut bars, and of course bear spray!! I always find it easier to use a hydration bladder so you're not fumbling around with water bottles.
In case you're wondering which way to go. πŸ™‚
I couldn't talk them into walking up the mountain, but the chair lift was fun and I didn't regret seeing the views from it!
See what I mean about the views!! Stunning!

When we got to the top of the chair lift, we headed out to the Grizzly Loop Trail. From here you get to see the most incredible views from a viewing deck, and all along the trails on the way to the loop.

I was standing in both Alberta and BC to take this pic! πŸ˜‰
We headed out to Laryx.

We saw beautiful wildflowers along the way, lots of bees, and cute little marmots. At this time of year, there are flowers that look like something you would see in the movie The Lorax ~ so cool!!

How cool are these?!
A close up.
The way the sun shines on them ~ so pretty!
Wildflowers everywhere!
And lots of these insects ~ they're not honey bees and I don't know if they sting for fun or not.
Meadows full of wildflowers.
Bees everywhere!

There are three lakes that you can hike down to, however you can’t swim in them (much to my youngest daughters disappointment!). The trail system is very clear and you can’t wander off trail as you will destroy the ecosystem.

Walk/Don't walk. Should be common sense, but there are signs just in case.

There are lots of viewpoints along the way, and some viewing decks. Our first stop was the Standish Viewing Deck.

The view from the Standish Viewing Deck.
The view from the Standish Viewing Deck.
Heading out to the lakes.
I want to go on both trails! πŸ˜‰
This is a pretty easy hike, and there are lots of stairs along the way.
Rock Isle Lake.
Can you smell the mountain air?
The trails are very easy to navigate!
A little creek along the way.
There are also a few boardwalks along the pathways.
It was a hot day, but sadly there was no swimming allowed. It would have been very, very cold!!
He thinks we can't see him! Lol
Snack time!
Breathtaking views, even though it was a little hazy that day!
It does look inviting.
I think this is where I should build a cabin and live forever. πŸ˜‰

We hiked around 10 kms, and it was magical! Thankfully we didn’t see any bears while we were up there. Even though we had snacks, the girls were hungry and so we stopped at Mad Trappers Grill. It’s pretty standard pub grub here, and cocktails. They have a nice large outdoor patio where we sat and had a snack and a nice cold drink.

The outdoor patio at the Mad Trappers Grill.
I don't know why, but this was the best tasting Vizzy I've ever had!! I feel like I earned it after the day spent on the mountain. πŸ˜‰
You're not supposed to feed these guys, but they come around anyway looking for anything that you might have dropped! They walk right over your feet ~ they don't care!
Good thing they're cute. Hope they don't bite, lol.
A day well spent with the family.
Nico and our girls.
No trip to Sunshine would be complete without the pic in the big chair!
And last but not least, the bear photo!

And that’s a wrap on our Sunshine Village Summer adventure! Have you been up here? I’d love to hear all about it, along with any other hiking suggestions that you might have for me.

As always, thank you so much for visiting my page, and I can’t wait for next time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search by Category

Have a question about a post? Drop me a line!


Angela van Leeuwen

Angela van Leeuwen

Welcome, thanks for checking out my lifestyle blog! I’m an outdoor lover who can’t sit still - stick around and join me on my adventures!

keep reading