Cascade Amphitheatre

Banff National Park

A dramatic alpine valley tucked high in the mountains near Banff.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
14 km
Ascent
782 m
Descent
782 m
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
13˚
Cascade Amphitheatre Map

Beginning from Mount Norquay Ski Resort, this hike is very convenient to the town of Banff, but you’ll quickly forget the proximity of civilization once on the trail. After a short distance among ski runs and lifts at the resort, the trail dives into dense forest and later crosses a stream on a footbridge. Then the uphill begins. The gradient is sustained for quite some time, as the trail takes switchbacks up the slope of Cascade Mountain. The scenery is mostly forest, but you’ll catch glimpses of surrounding mountains through the trees.

Description

Eventually, the forest thins and the incline lessens as the trail enters the Amphitheatre––formed by the arcing cliff face on a soaring ridge of Cascade Mountain. Within this narrow cirque are trickling streams, verdant meadows, and an abundance of wildflowers that bloom in July and August. The trail typically remains snowy well into June, but by late June might be melted enough to go without snowshoes.

Sources: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/randonee-hiking/banff#Cascade https://banff.ca/640/Cascade-Amphitheatre

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

Features

  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area