Although it is fairly short, this trail is rather steep for a “walk,” so be prepared. Castle Lookout Trail is the first spring hike you can do in the Lake Louise area. The site gets much less snow than Lake Louise, and because of the open southwest-facing slopes, in early May there are only a few patches of snow on the trail when, only a few km north, there is deep snow in the valley 500 m below.
If you take this trip before July, check yourself for ticks. En route to the Lookout site you get a view of the distant, glaciated summit of Mt. Balfour. At the Lookout, you get panoramic views of the mountains above the Bow River valley highlighted by Castle Mountain. Another memorable sight is toward Banff, where the distant Sundance Range blocks the Bow River, forcing it to turn eastward. You also glimpse over Vermilion Pass (where the Radium Highway travels).
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