Banff, Canmore, and Lake Louise

Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive and Trail

Lake Minnewanka is 13 km northeast of downtown Banff. There are a couple of good running options here:

Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive. This is a 13 km loop road and a popular drive in summer. Parts of this road are a bit monotonous, and there is no shoulder. We recommend the most scenic section for running is the eastern section of the road, the ~3 km between Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka — it’s flat and has great lake & mountain views!  Note: northwestern section of the road is closed November-May. Road can be busy and there is no shoulder.

Lake Minnewanka Trail. One of the better opportunities in Banff for a longer, moderate type trail run. This fairly wide, and fairly flat trail follows the northern shore of Lake Minnewanka for nearly 15 km (9 miles). There water views along some of the way. The first 0.8 km of the trail is a hill, but after that it is nearly completely flat. NOTE: From July 10-September 15, it is only permitted to run in groups of 4 or more, due to concerns about bears. Bring bear spray.


  • Trail is up to 15 km one-way; Scenic Drive loop is 13 km, but we recommend ~3 km section between Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake.
  • The trail is fairly flat except the first 0.8 km. The northwest part of the Scenic Drive is hillier
  • Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr. comes off Banff Rd., 6 km west of downtown. The trail starts at the end of the road
  • Parking lot at Lake Minnewanka