Paradise Valley / Giant Steps

Distance: 7.0 - 12.6 miles (round trip)

Banff National Park, near Banff in Canadian Rockies

Looking down the Giant Steps

Looking down the Giant Steps

 

The stunningly beautiful Paradise Valley has all the components of a perfect hike with glorious views of cascading streams, waterfalls, pretty meadows, a lovely lake and a magnificent cirque. Shorten the hike by visiting Lake Annette or walking to the overlook near the head of the valley.
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  • Distance: 12.6 miles (round trip) to Giant Steps
  • Elevation: 5,650-ft. at Trailhead
    6,980-ft. at Giant Steps
  • Elevation Gain: 1,330-ft. to Giant Steps
  • Difficulty: moderate-strenuous
  • More Hikes in:
    Banff / Lake Louise / Canadian Rockies

Why Hike Paradise Valley / Giant Steps

The hike up the aptly named Paradise Valley crosses pretty streams, visits a lovely lake, travels through beautiful meadows, offers stunning views of the valley’s magnificent cirque and ends at a captivating waterfall. To see the entire valley requires hikers to commit to a long day, but it is well worth the time and effort.

The hike starts with an easy ascent up the valley floor. Bridged crossings of Paradise Creek offer intermittent views of ice-capped Mount Temple soaring above the south side of the valley. Past the third creek crossing the trail climbs to pretty Lake Annette, nestled beneath Temple’s north face.

A short climb beyond the lake leads to the slopes of a rock slide where terrific views open to the high peaks rimming the north side of the valley and then the amazing cirque at the head of the valley. After reaching the high point, a descent to the valley floor leads to the photogenic Giant Steps, a series of cascades tumbling down rocky ledges.

The hike can be shortened by making Lake Annette your destination or by walking to an overlook before the descent to the Giant Steps. A more challenging hike visits both Paradise Valley and the Valley of the Ten Peaks by crossing Sentinel Pass. See the Paradise to Moraine Lake via Sentinel Pass for more information.

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile for the Paradise Valley / Giant Steps hike

Trail Resources

Trail Photo Gallery / Trail Map

Basecamp(s) Information:
Banff / Lake Louise

Region Information:
Canadian Rockies

Other Hiking Regions in:
Alberta / British Columbia