Our first morning in Banff National Park we left Canmore and headed toward downtown Banff.
We had decided the night before to begin our day by heading to Tunnel Mountain, Banff’s smallest summit, to take a sunrise hike for views overlooking Banff and the surrounding area.
It was short trip to Banff where we winded through some residential neighborhoods to find the trailhead.
Along the way we came across some elk grazing right alongside the road! They didn’t seem bothered by us at all and Dad was able to slowly and quietly bring our car next to them so we could watch them and take a few pictures. What a way to start our day!
There was only one other car at the trailhead when we arrived so we had no trouble parking and setting off for the summit.
The trail was in really good condition, and there were multiple breaks in the trees along the way that offered stunning views of the town below. The sun was rising behind us, lighting up the valley.
Mom and Dad took a break as Brian and I tried to hurry to the top before the sun was completely up. The trail circled around the mountain so we were able to pause at overlooks on the east side as well.
The views from the top were gorgeous–we could see for miles. There was also a sign congratulating us on making it, which was a first in our experience. What a friendly way to be greeted at the summit!
A 2.7 mile, 950-foot gain hike was just the thing to wake us up, get our blood pumping, and set a wonderful tone for our adventures in Banff National Park! If you’re interested in a modest hike that’s very close to downtown Banff, Tunnel Mountain is the trail for you. Happy hiking!