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5 to 6 hours / 16K return

Elevation Gain



Trailhead: Located on the Windermere #93 Highway, 8kms West of Castle Junction on the South side of the road beside the Vista Lake lookout. This hike is close to Banff, Lake Louis and Canmore. Banff National Park.


Description: This is one of those hikes with several big ups and downs along the way but well worth the effort. Park at the Vista Lake lookout then follow the trail down to Vista Lake. The initial drop in elevation is a real grind on your way back. Once you pass Vista Lake, the trail starts to climb again for another hour or so until you reach Arnica Lake. Continue past Arnica Lake for a short distance until you reach Upper Twin Lake and Twin Lakes TL7 Campsite.

The Lower Twin Lake is located a few kilometers ahead. Follow the trail over the headwall in front of you and then back down the other side. Keep in mind your return trip includes a lot of elevation. Another option is to park another car near Castle Junction and take an alternate route down to Castle Junction. This will save having to hike back up to Vista Lake lookout on your return.

The trail to Lower Twin Lakes passes through wildflower meadows, beautiful bridged stream crossings and an alpine forest consisting of Larches. Both lakes are absolutely stunning with the further Lower Twin Lake being the nicer of the two. Twin Lakes offer excellent Cutthroat Trout fishing, you’ll need a fishing license to try your luck, check regulations for closures. The pictures below were taken early August. The trail is usually snow free by mid to late June but can be muddy early spring.

This is bear country, food and food related items must be stored properly

Bow Valley Parkway Map PDF

Area Map PDF

Items Reviewed - 1

5.0Very Good
Mark Townsend

Lakes are absolutely stunning.

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