Healy Pass Hike in Alberta Canada - Trail Climb Nation

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Healy Pass Hike in Alberta Canada

Healy Pass Hike in Alberta Canada

As I was scrolling through some of the hikes in Banff I discovered Healy Pass. This looks like it could definitely be a bucket list hike. After getting back to the very flat western Oklahoma all I can think about is my next trip to Canada. Healy Pass is one of those hikes that I just love. It clocks in at about 6 hours and it is described as moderate. It seems to be a very easy hike until the very end.


Time: 6-7 hours  Distance: 9.3 km  Elevation Gain: 710 m (2,329 feet)  Difficulty: Long day hike. The last half is steep.
Starting Point: From the TransCanada Hwy., take the Sunshine turnoff and drive to the Bourgeau parking lot, 8 km from the turnoff. The trail begins at a bridge and kiosk behind the Gondola building.
Trail Description: Despite a tedious approach through forest, during the last 2 km to Healy Pass, you traverse scenic meadows, passing lakelets beneath Monarch Ramparts, and getting views back to Mt. Assiniboine, Banff Park’s highest summit. From Healy Pass, you can see Egypt, Scarab and Talc Lakes. Since it is not flanked by large mountainsides, Healy Pass has an unusually fine panorama.


This is an easy hike with nothing technical and slow and steady elevation gain. It’s an official Parks Canada Trail so it is well maintained and easy to keep on track and there are a lot of people. The only difficulty for some may be the distance, with close to 20 km round trip. It is a wonderful hike with rewarding views of the many lakes and peaks surrounding the pass: The Monarch, Pharaoh and Mount Ball to name the highest and most impressive peaks.

From Sunshine’s Village parking lot, take the trail in the back of the building for less than 1 km and you’ll see a sign on your right for Healy Pass. From now on, it will be well indicated. My GPS track is accurate, but we went up the ridge on the left side of the pass to have a lunch and better views. It was about 500 metres and some 50 metres elevation on top of the actual trail.


The approach to Healy Pass is an awesome sight.  The unnamed tarn resides in the alpine valley to the left and Pharaoh Mountain looms in the chain of mountains beyond Healy Pass.  The top of 2,330 m (7,640 ft) Healy Pass is achieved for breathtaking views of mountain vistas beyond before heading left along the ridge above the pristine tarn to ascend the first summit.  There is no way to adequately photograph this spectacle of surrounding magic.

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