Hiking Redearth Creek Trail (Banff, AB)
Whenever I visit Banff National Park, I feel the peace and relaxation that only the Canadian Rockies can evoke. However, the Redearth Trail is one hiking trail that is not high on my list of things to do again.
Rating – Moderate - not steep but lengthy
Distance – Approximately 12 kilometers one-way
Elevation Gain – 325 meters
Duration – 6 hours round trip
When to Go – Mid-July to Mid-September
Don't get me wrong, I love outdoor adventures in the Rocky Mountains but the Redearth Trail winds through a thick forest which obscures most of the surrounding beauty until the very end, after 12 kilometers of going uphill. And even those views are limited.
I rode this trail on a mountain bike. It wasn't strenuous since the elevation gain was moderate. The first part, near the parking lot, was a bit steep but then the grade became gradual.
View Redearth Trail (Banff, Alberta) in a larger map
We ventured out on a weekend and the trail was a bit crowded with hikers but there were enough people to make us feel comfortable in bear country. At one point, we joined a group of five hikers as we watched a large grizzly bear lumber down the trail towards us. It veered into an adjoining valley and we never saw it again.
We stopped for lunch in a small meadow along side Redearth Creek which was also a trail junction leading to Shadow Lake and Egypt Lake. The creek was clear and cold and made for a perfect rest spot. But the views were still limited in this clearing due to the tall trees.
At this point, other mountain cyclists had ditched there bikes and hiked another 2.5 kilometer to the Shadow Lake Lodge. We were told that the views from the top were amazing - glacier covered mountains and turquoise coloured lakes. The Redearth Trail is supposed to provide the easiest access to Shadow Lake.
Since we were already tired from our uphill climb, we decided to cash in our elevation gain and enjoy a quick downhill ride instead. Maybe we quit too soon but we had had enough for the day.
Thankfully, as we zipped along the Redearth Trail, we didn't encounter the Grizzly bear from earlier in the morning.
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