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Arnica Lake


  • Arnica Lake



  • January 30, 2021



  • Ed, Dave, Jimmy, Ian, Oak, Craig, Gerard, Carolyn, Tomonori, Kellie, Erin, Janet



  • head west of Banff on Highway 1 and take Highway 93 south from Castle Junction for 8 km and turn left into the Vista Lake parking lot
  • the trailhead starts from the north end of the parking lot



Degree of difficulty:

  • 700 meters to the lake and back
  • 10 km out and back
  • the trail starts downhill to Vista Lake, so the return voyage is very tiring at the end as you climb back out of the valley for the last km
  • this section of the trail can be trickier than in the summer due to some narrow areas with steep drops
  • after this initial descent, the trail climbs steadily thru the forest to Arnica Lake, and the last couple of km are more vertical and test one’s mettle
  • the outing took us just over four hours



Interesting notes:

  • there are some great views across the valley to the west of Mount Whymper, Boom Mountain, and Mount Bell, along with Castle Mountain to the north (be sure to take breaks on the ascent and look behind you for the sweeping views)
  • Arnica Lake is majestically embedded into the headwall of Storm Mountain
  • this trail is a spectacular area for viewing the larch trees during the second half of September