Hidden Lake

Banff National Park

A mosaic unveiled

This spectacular hike starts off with a shuttle ride that will trim the 18 km trail down to a family-friendly 10 km. Head gently up the valley through wildflowers and larch trees. Discover the smaller pieces that make up the grand mosaic of this distinct landscape and its ecosystem and why every piece matters. Learn what unique methods Park’s Canada scientists are using towards protection and recovery of westslope cutthroat trout, a species at risk.

In autumn, this hike may feature the bonus of beautiful fall colours as the larches through the valley turn a beautiful golden hue – Note: seasonal larch colour change is weather dependant and dates vary from year to year.

Yoho National Park also offers a guided conservation hike to Paget Lookout.

Is this hike right for you? | Schedule | Cost | Reservations | Hike logistics

Hidden Lake hike

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 10 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 270 m gain and loss
Duration: 6 hours 8 am - 2 pm

Is this hike right for you?

Hidden Lake Hike is rated as a moderate hike. You don’t need to be an experienced hiker, but it is important that you are prepared in terms of fitness and personal equipment. The shuttle will bring you up a private access road to the start of the trail. A short hill quickly flattens out to a relatively wide trail on packed dirt for 3.3 km. The remaining 1.5 km of the trail narrows and climbs gently towards the lake on well maintained trail. If you have any past injuries or surgeries or medical conditions, please inform the Hiking Guide before you begin the hike.  

Please see our day hikes page for details on hike ratings and to compare other hikes in Banff National Park with similar difficulty.


  • Children under 4 are not allowed
  • Children between the ages of 5 and 8 are not recommended
  • Children and youth up to 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult
  • Parent or guardian of participants 17-19 years of age must sign a waiver at the trailhead
  • No pets
  • No exceptions

We want you to enjoy your day! If you are unsure if this hike is right for you, please call us at 1-403-522-3833 or by emailing pc.lakelouiseinfo-infolakelouise.pc@canada.ca.

Schedule - 2023 Hidden Lake guided hikes

Hidden Lake guided hikes run every Sunday and Monday starting July 9 to Aug 28, and every Saturday and Sunday starting Sept 2 to Sept 24.

When travelling east from Vancouver, the time changes from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone at Glacier National Park’s eastern boundary. All hike times are in Mountain Daylight Time, the same time zone as Calgary, Alberta and Golden, British Columbia.


Visit our fees page for pricing

All participants on the Hidden Lake guided hikes require a valid national park pass. Purchase your pass the day before your guided hike; the park gates and visitor centres are not open in the early morning, and our guides do not sell park passes.


Reservations are required and available starting March 29, 2023. To make a reservation you will require the following information:

  • Date and hike requested
  • Names and ages of participants
  • Emergency contact and medical info
  • MasterCard, Visa or AmEx number

Call 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783), or  Reserve online!

Hike logistics

Meeting point

Meet at the Lake Louise ski hill parking lot, Banff National Park at 8 am (MDT)
Hike ends at the same location.

Exit the Trans-Canada as for the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Continue towards the resort on Whitehorn Road and park in the main lot in front of the lodge.

Route map


This hike starts and ends with a 4 km shuttle ride up a radio-controlled, one-way dirt access road. There is a locked gate and members of the public are not allowed to drive on the road. The shuttle departs at 8:30 am and if you miss the shuttle there is no way for you to catch up; you will miss the hike. No refunds.

Note: When travelling east from Vancouver, the time changes from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone at Glacier National Park’s eastern boundary. All hike times are in Mountain Daylight Time, the same time zone as Calgary, Alberta and Golden, B.C.

Note: Construction in the Kicking Horse Canyon, 10 km east of Golden, means periodic overnight closures of the Trans Canada Highway between 10 pm and 7 am.

These closures may impact some visitors traveling from Golden, British Columbia into Yoho National Park on the morning of their hike. Check www.drivebc.ca for details and alternate routes.


Your safety and the safety of our staff is our top priority. Parks Canada continues to follow the advice and guidance of public health experts to limit the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the risks to residents, visitors, employees and other users.  

  • Visitors are asked to continue to follow the advice of public health experts on personal hygiene and physical distancing during the hike program
    • Physical distance with people outside of your household.
    • Good hygiene, e.g. sanitize hands before and after eating/drinking, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching face.
    • Come prepared with your own “COVID-kit” including water, snacks, hand sanitizer and toilet paper
    • You may bring your own masks, if desired.
What to bring

A day of hiking in the Rockies requires preparation. Conditions can change rapidly in the mountains and higher elevations increase your exposure to the sun and stormy weather.  To have a safe and fun time outdoors you will need to bring:

Hikers on a trip to the Burgess Shale
  • Warm layers of clothes (no cotton), rain jacket and rain pants, winter gloves, and a winter toque / hat
  • Hearty lunch and multiple snacks
  • Drinking water, at least 2 litres or ½ gallon per person
  • Sturdy and worn in hiking boots and extra wool socks 
  • Hiking poles (required for the Mount Stephen hike). Note: Your guide may have hiking poles for you to borrow for the day.
  • Sturdy and supportive backpack with a waist belt
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, insect repellent
  • Toilet paper in a plastic bag for disposal, hand sanitizer
  • Reading glasses, if you wear them
  • Blister kit and personal medical supplies (just in case)
  • Sorry, no pets please.
  • Camera!
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