Ball Range Traverse, Banff National Park

Backpack in the beautiful Canadian Rockies' Banff National Park. Cross several high passes and hike by emerald lakes and glacier clad peaks. See amazing wildflowers or golden larches in season. This trip is most often done as a one way shuttle trip of 25 miles and 3-4 days.

getting there

vista lake trailhead

Drive Trans-Canada Highway 1 to Castle Junction, 17 miles southeast of Lake Louise. Drive south on AB-93 (Banff-Windermere Highway) to the Vista Lake Trailhead (5,650 ft)off of  AB-93 just north of Vermillion Pass in Banff National Park.

Sunshine ski area

Drive Trans-Canada Highway 1 to Banff, 36 miles southeast of Lake Louise. Turn south onto Sunshine Road and follow it 5 miles to the Sunshine Village Base Area. Note that there is a gondola that transports people from  the base area to the upper village and there is a shuttle bus between the town Banff and the base area.

on the trail

suggested itinerary


This trip is most often done as a one-way trip with a shuttle and is a minimum of 25.3 miles and 3-4 days.

Day 1: Hike from the Vista Lake Trailhead to Shadow Lake.  It's 9.3 miles with 3,113 feet of elevation gain and 2,608 feet of elevation loss.

Day 2: Hike from Shadow Lake Campsite to Egypt Lake. It's 8.4 miles with an elevation gain of 1,500 feet and 1,000 feet of elevation loss.

Day 3: Hike from Egypt Lake to  Sunshine Village. It's 7.6 miles with 1,836 feet of elevation gain and 1,17 feet of elevation loss. Ride the bus down to the  Sunshine Ski Area  parking area.


  • This trip can be done in reverse, starting with the bus trip up from Sunshine Ski Area parking lot.
  • Multiple side trips are available from an Egypt Lake base camp including Eohippus, Mummy, Scarab, Pharaoh, and Natalko Lakes.
  • Optionally itineraries  could include finishing the trip from Egypt Lake going , South via the Honeymoon Pass  Trail, or the Hawk Creek Trail. These two alternatives both cross the Ball Range crest and end on AB-93 in Kootenay National Park.

information for leaders

  • Length: 25.3 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 6,449 ft
  • 7,645 ft
  • Land Manager: Banff National Park
  • Parking Permit Required:
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Banff & Mt Assiniboine Gem Trek Map
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