Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park – Hike Alberta

 

Sundance Canyon is a riverside bike and/or hike in Banff National Park, Alberta

 

 

Sundance Canyon is a short loop hike, with very little elevation, within the capability of many people.  There is an option of walking or biking on excellent access trail to the trail-head. 

After racking the bikes on the car the drive west from Calgary on the TransCanada Highway proceeds through mist in the valleys which produces dramatic foregrounds in the mountains as the day begins to warm up.

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Mist in the Mountains

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada High elevation snow pack in June

 

The trail-head for Sundance Canyon is located at the base of Sulphur Mountain near the Cave and Basin.  This is the location where Banff National Park was originally discovered and founded.  At Cave and Basin there are a number of short, easy interpretive walks worthy of the time to explore.

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Entrance to Cave and Basin near Banff Townsite, Alberta, Canada

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The Hot Springs Pool at Cave and Basin near the Town of Banff (as it was)

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Cycling along the Bow River on the way to Sundance Canyon

 

Paved path, heading west along the Bow River, provides dramatic views of surrounding mountains as the cycle proceeds beside the Bow River a few short kilometers toward the entrance to Sundance Canyon wedged between Sulphur Mountain and Sundance Peak.

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada View across the Bow River

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Placard at the Sundance Canyon trail-head

 

The Sundance Canyon trail-head placard

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Right away there is a footbridge crossing over Sundance Creek

 

After locking up the bikes, the hike begins across the little bridge over Sundance Creek.  The hike initially proceeds beside the creek before the trail gains elevation beside fast-running and beautiful cascading waterfalls.

The sound is amazing as the trail maintains close proximity to the echo of roaring water through rock surrounded by rich moss and multi-green spring foliage.

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The first of many cascading waterfalls in Sundance Canyon

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Crossing one of many footbridges back and forth across Sundance Creek

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Hiking in Sundance Canyon

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Gaining elevation in Sundance Canyon

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Mountain views from higher elevations in Sundance Canyon

 

Following the incline, the trail levels out as the trail follows the creek on good trail, occasionally using bridges and steps made from wood and stone.

The tight portion of the canyon opens to lush forest and, at the halfway point, the hike crosses another small wooden bridge and proceeds through fragrant forest on the other side of the loop back towards the starting point.

There are several viewpoints, and moss at trail-side is 6 inches deep.  It is like walking on the world's best broadloom carpet.

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Prolific flowers along Sundance Creek

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada A trailside, canyon wall, alcove

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Beautiful flowers in Sundance Canyon

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada On the Sundance Canyon loop trail.  Walking on moss.

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Moss borders along the trail are luxurious

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Lunch at the picnic ground near the Sundance Canyon trailhead

 

Back at the trail-head there is time for refreshment at the adjacent, well-appointed picnic grounds.  On the return bicycle ride to Cave and Basin National Historic Site, there are multiple opportunities to capture photographs of amazing reflections of clouds in still water adjacent to the Bow River. 

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Bow River reflections

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Bow River reflections

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Bow River reflections

 

Sundance Canyon – Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Bow River reflections

 

There is still time for Melanie and I to enjoy a soak in Banff Hot Springs, above the Town of Banff, and refreshment on the outdoor roof patio at the Rose and Crown before returning to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

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