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A Guide to Hiking Castle Mountain Lookout

June 29, 2017
Castle Mountain Lookout, Banff National Park, hike
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Castle Mountain Lookout is a hike I was excited to do during my stay in Banff National Park. I heard it was supposed to have amazing views over the Canadian Rockies, and “they” were right! It is beautiful. Castle Mountain used to be (one of many locations) where a fire tower was placed to detect flames throughout Banff. Although the tower has been removed, it’s now a popular day hike.

The hike is relatively short, and again, great for those views. I’ve put together a quick guide on what to expect if you decide to hike Castle Mountain Lookout, enjoy! 🙂


A Guide to Hiking Castle Mountain Lookout

Where to Go

Castle Mountain is located between downtown Banff and Lake Louise. The trailhead is approximately 5 km northwest of Castle Junction on Highway 1A, where you will find a designated parking area. I found it to be slightly challenging to find the trailhead so I’ve included this map.

About the Hike

The hike to Castle Lookout is relatively short at only 3.7km (2.2 miles) one way. However, don’t be fooled. It is quite steep, and you will be gaining roughly 436 meters (1430 feet) in elevation.

Despite the difficulty, it’s extremely rewarding. I would highly recommend expending the effort for these amazing views of the Canadian Rockies.

Before reaching Castle Mountain Lookout, you will cross a small creek where there is a beautiful view of the valley. I personally found this spot to be more beautiful than the actual lookout spot.

After a few switchbacks, the path will open up to a clearing of Castle Mountain Lookout. You’ve made it! Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy that view over the Canadian Rockies.

Thankfully because of the steep climb up the mountain, the return trip is all downhill. This made for a faster and more pleasant return.

Castle Mountain Lookout, Banff National Park, hike

Read More

How to Spend a Weekend in Banff National Park (in the Summertime!)

Tips for Visiting Lake Louise in the Summer

A Guide to Hiking Johnston Canyon & the Ink Pots

20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Moraine Lake

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Castle Mountain Lookout, Banff National Park, hike

Have you hiked Castle Mountain Lookout? Love to know in the comments below! 


Tiffany created Lavender Vines as a place to share her love for Jesus and adventures from around the world. She has a slight obsession with salted caramel lattes, Japanese kimonos, and an ongoing love affair with NYC and Paris.

  • Reply
    June 29, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Does this hike have post-ice cream as well? (that is a deciding factor when I go on hikes)

    • Tiffany Nicole
      Tiffany Nicole
      June 29, 2017 at 11:25 am

      Post ice cream for purchase…yes! I had the maple walnut flavor, delicious! Xx

  • Reply
    Estella Catron
    July 20, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Canada does it right with ice cream at the end!!

    • Tiffany Nicole
      Tiffany Nicole
      July 21, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      They really do!

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