Sundance Canyon is a popular multi-use trail in Banff National Park. It offers great scenery of the surrounding mountains along the Bow River and eventually veers away from the river becoming a forest-covered stroll through the woods. The one caveat I would place on this trail is that the majority of it is paved, making it more accessible than most trails in the park (ie: strollers, wheelchairs etc.). The trail begins at the Cave & Basin National Historic Site on the southwest corner of town. From the parking lot to the end of the pavement is 4.3km with another 1.2km loop through the canyon. You will gain approximately 145m in elevation. The canyon section is not paved and the trail becomes much steeper than the gentle grade offered on the pavement.
Christine and I had never done this trail before, but we wanted to see what it was all about so we tackled it on a Sunday morning before heading back to Calgary in the afternoon. We were also scouting the trail as an option for Christine's parents who would be spending a long weekend in the Banff area in October and wanted to do some hiking while there.
|A typical section of the Sundance Trail|
|Beautiful fall colours along the Bow River|
|Entering Sundance Canyon|
|Sundance Creek flowing through the Canyon. You can see how much elevation is gained once you're off the paved trail.|
|There was a large bird's nest perched on the canyon wall. There weren't any birds present so I'm unsure what species built it.|
|Looking back down the canyon from the bridge|
|The trail through the canyon|
|It's a bit hard to see, but that's Christine standing on the bridge below me.|