Rockbound Lake

Time: 6 - 8 Hours

Distance: 17.5 km - Out and Back with plenty of add on options!

Elevation Gain: 700 to 900 Metres depending on where you stop!

Access: This trail head is situated 32 km from Banff town site approximately a 25 minute drive along the Bow Valley Parkway. You’ll find plenty of parking and a well marked start point.

Rockbound Lake is a fantastic day hike with some great lunch spots along the way. Most hikers end the hike at the lake but you can extend your day by heading up to the ridge line and along to the Castle Mountain summit.

The trail starts with a clear, wide track that will guid you through the forest. The trail can be muddy early season and the mosquitos are certainly annoying however are just about bearable in the summer months.

A short distance into the track you’ll see a sign to Tower Lake and Silverton Falls, if you have spare time it’s certainly worth checking out the falls but this will add on an extra 1.5 km to your trip.

From this sign it’s 7.7 km to Tower Lake a stunningly clear lake that offers great reflections of Eisenhower Tower. It’s worth spending a few minutes here to catch your breath, grab a snack and enjoy the view.

Tower Lake and Eisenhower Tower

Tower Lake and Eisenhower Tower

After Tower Lake comes Rockbound Lake, there’s a short but steep climb between the two before the track flattens out again and the trees open up to the deep blue lake. Surrounded by a head wall and framed by pine trees and rocks Rockbound Lake is a worthy reward for a days hiking.

A lot of people will rest here before returning back the way you came. If you choose to you can take a steep path of tight switchbacks over to the right hand side of the lake allowing you to get fantastic views over the lake and explore the ridge line. Here you’ll find waterfalls and possibly wildflowers depending on the time of year. The views across the Bow Valley, Rockbound Lake, Castle Mountain and the head wall make the journey worth the extra energy.

For anyone who’s more ambitious you can follow the ridge around to Castle Mountain summit, if this is your objective leave plenty of time, come prepared and let people know where you’re going.

Views from atop the ridge line with Rockbound Lake below.

Views from atop the ridge line with Rockbound Lake below.