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Mistaya Canyon Hike | Banff’s Secret Trail You must Visit

Mistaya Canyon is one of the most underrated hikes in Banff National Park.

Not by locals of course. The Mistaya Canyon hike is one local’s prefer to keep a secret from tourists.

Another popular Banff hike is the Two Jack Canyon hike – we recommend both these trails.

If you are driving the Icyfields Parkway between Banff and Jasper, then make sure you stop at Mistaya Canyon.

Mistaya Canyon Hike

Distance: 1km return | Difficulty: Easy | Trail Type: Natural path – rocky | Duration: 20 minutes – 1 hour | Hiking Gear: Not necessary

To reach Mistaya Canyon hike the trail from the carpark off Icyfields Parkway for about 500m.

Just follow the Mistaya Canyon trail signs. You can’t get lost if you follow the sounds of the roaring river.

The walk along the Mistaya Canyon trail takes 5 – 10 minutes at a brisk pace. But there’s no need to race. Enjoy the peacefulness of the forest.

At the bottom of the short hike downhill you will find a bridge where you can take in the spectacular grandeur of Mistaya Canyon.

Mistaya Canyon is truly a natural wonder of nature. The unique rocky formation featuring numerous waterfalls is quite simply, spectacular.

You will find tonnes of beautiful photo opportunities of the rapids flanked by Mt Murchison to the south east, Mt Sarbach to the south west and Mt Erasmus to the north.

The trail from Mistaya Canyon back to the car park is uphill but not strenuous.

Mistaya Canyon is no where near as popular as most hikes and trails along the Icyfields Parkway and in Banff National Park. Savour this opportunity to enjoy nature at your own pace, in true peace and quiet.

How to Get to Mistaya Canyon

Mistaya Canyon is right off Icefields Parkway road about 1.5 hours drive north of Banff in Alberta, Canada.

The trail is about 5km south of the Saskatchewan Crossing.

If you plan to visit the epic Lake Louise, you can easily incorporate a Mistaya Canyon hike into your day trip as it’s about 1 hour drive north of Lake Louise in the same direction.

Mistaya Canyon from Banff Map

Where to Stay Nearby

Mistaya Canyon is in a remote stretch of highway along Icyfields Parkway between Banff and Jasper National Parks.

The Crossing – is the closest accommodation a few minutes drive from Mistaya Canyon car park. This lodge-style accommodation features and on-site restaurant and bar.

Lodgehouse Overlooking Bow Lake – If you fancy the idea of waking to spectacular views of the magnificent blue waters of Bow Lake, then check this place out. Ideally located 30 minutes drive south of Mistaya Canyon towards Banff and another 30 minutes drive from Lake Louise. You won’t waste any time staying here.

Glacier View Inn – This accommodation features truly spectacular and unique views of Athabasca Glacier. Find it 30 minutes drive north of Mistaya Canyon and 1 hour from Jasper.


Glacier View Inn is our pick of accommodation near Mistaya Canyon

If you have any questions about planning your Mistaya Canyon hike, let us know in the comments below and we’ll be more than happy to help out.

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  • MC Miller

    MC Miller is a travel blogger and writer who has travelled America extensively and abroad to over 80 countries. He founded Couple Travel The World in 2017. Since then, he has spent over 6 years on the road as a full time travel couple. When he not traveling he likes to spend quality time with his partner Bett, planning our their next date or romantic getaway!

Sarah simonson

Sunday 19th of July 2020

Love your tips


Sunday 23rd of August 2020

Thanks Sarah, we hope you have a great hike! :)