5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
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. 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