Aylmer Lookout

Banff National Park

A long walk near the lakeside, then a steep climb to an elevated panorama.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
24 km
Ascent
995 m
Descent
995 m
Duration
6-7 hrs
Low Point
1.5 km
High Point
2.1 km
Gradient
11˚
Aylmer Lookout Map

The first half of this hike is on the trail along Lake Minnewanka––a wide and relatively flat path that’s popular with hikers and bikers. It’s a pleasant walk through the forest, with intermittent views over the large, blue reservoir. The farther you get from the trailhead, the lesser the crowds become, and comparatively few people make the turn onto Aylmer Pass Trail and journey uphill.

Description

The trail turns away from the lake to ascend a forested valley. The gradient is gentle at first but becomes steeper. After turning toward the lookout at another junction, it gets steeper still. These slopes can be hot in summer, so bring lots of water. At the lookout site, your toil finally finds its reward. No lookout tower stands today, though you can see the foundation of one. Instead, it’s an open, grassy hilltop with a wide panorama over the lake and mountain skyline.

Sources: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/randonee-hiking/banff https://banff.ca/645/Aylmer-Pass

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area