Location Details: 

  • Directions: 5 minute drive (1.5 miles) northwest of Banff. From downtown, take Mount Norquay Rd north towards the Trans-Canada Hwy (Hwy 1). For the Fenland Trail look for the parking area to the left just prior to the highway. For the Vermillion Lakes continue past this parking area a short distance and turn left on Vermillion Lakes drive which parallells the Trans-Canada Hwy.
  • Latitude / Longitude: 51.182278 / 115.5942

Hiking Details (Fenland Trail):

  • Distance / Time: Approximately 2.5 km (1.5 miles) for the loop, requires 20-30 minutes
  • Elevation Gain: Easy (0 ft gain)
  • Trail Type: Loop. Dirt trail
  • Notes: N/A

Hiking Details (Vermilion Lakes):

  • Distance / Time: Approximately 6 kms (3.7 miles) from 1st Vermilion Lake to 3rd Vermilion Lake and return
  • Elevation Gain: Easy (0 ft gain)
  • Trail Type: Paved road shared with low-speed traffic and bicycles
  • Notes: N/A


Vermillion Lakes (and the closely related Fenland Trail loop) are situated very close to Banff and are a wonderful opporunity to potentially see some wildlife and most certainly some beautiful scenery. The Fenland Trail in the morning affords a good opportunity to see wildlife moving around the marsh and river areas. This trail connects to the Bow River Trail which actually goes all the way into Banff townsite proper. If you have time, this is a nice easy walk to get to this area without actually having to drive to get to it.

The Vermillion Lakes are slightly to the west of the Fenland Trail and you can either walk to them or drive your car and use the pulloffs available. It's a bit noisy being so close to the Trans Canada Hwy, but the scenery more than makes up for it. Throughout the day you'll see numerous waterfowl frequenting the area. The real draw, however, is in the evening when the winds are low and the water is still, making the lake surface a mirror reflection of the now beautifully lit Mt Rundle in the background. Bring along some mosquito repellent as you'll want to take some time to fully enjoy the sunset here.


#1: Vermillion Lakes and Mt Rundle

Vermillion Lakes and Mt Rundle

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