Summer weekends are ideal for family hikes. There’s quite a few Banff National Park hiking trails to choose from, but we prefer those that are easily accessible and not to difficult for our pint-sized hiking hater. A few Saturdays ago, we packed a picnic and whizzed over to Lake Louise for a quick day hike. It’s only 3km from the Moraine Lake parking lot to Consolation Lake, making it an ideal hike for young children. Read on in you’re interested in deets on one of the best Banff hikes for kids.
Banff hiking trails
As you start your hike to Consolation Lake you’ll begin by taking in this view of the Valley of Ten Peaks. Unlike the majority of Banff hiking trails, hikers need to travel in groups of four or risk being fined. There’s apparently a fair amount of wildlife in this particular region of Banff National Park, so Parks Canada wants to keep you safe, hence the requirement to travel in groups. They’ve even thinned out the forest purposely along the trail, so hikers can more easily spot bears and other wildlife approaching. We felt totally safe though. Still, wildlife can come into your space at any time (it is there home, after all). For that reason you always want to carry bear spray with you when you’re hiking any Banff hiking trail.
Compared to other Banff hikes, the elevation gain on the Consolation Lake trail is minimal – about 300 ft. (90 metres). This is ideal for families with young children, as the whining and requests for snacks (admittedly usually from me) are kept to a minimum. Along the trail, you’ll spot wildflowers and rushing water. As tempting as it is to traipse down the velvety moss banks and dip your hand in the rushing stream, Parks prefers everyone to stick to the trail no matter which of the Banff hikes you’re doing. OK, mom!
Along the way you’ll spot plenty of wildflowers – especially if you’re hiking in July.
Pink Indian paintbrushes are only found at high altitudes.
The trail is wide enough to walk side by side.
You’ll reach Consolation Lake in less than an hour.
Take a minute to enjoy the view. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic. And kids love playing hide and seek amid all these boulders. Bring your fishing rod and see if you catch anything. Just make sure you get your fishing license first!
A rocky outcrop of boulders is ideal for kids to scramble over, find caves and sit upon to look for fish (we spotted three).
What are your favourite day hikes for kids? Another great one is the Lake Agnes Tea House hike.