Castle Mountain Lookout used to be one of many locations where a fire tower was placed to detect flames throughout Banff National Park. Although the tower has been removed, it’s now a popular day hike for amazing views over the Canadian Rockies. This is a great spot for a short, but difficult hike to a rewarding view.
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 little gem to be more beautiful and intriguing than the actual designated lookout spot further up the trail.
After a few switchbacks, the path will open up to a clearing of Castle Mountain Lookout. 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 should make for a faster and more pleasant return.
If you have any questions or lovely comments, please leave them below – I would love to answer!