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Cory & Edith Passes

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 4.8 (10) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Enjoy exhilarating views on one of Banff's most strenuous hikes.


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Map Key

8.1

Miles

13.0

KM

Loop

7,771' 2,369 m

High

4,651' 1,418 m

Low

3,312' 1,010 m

Up

3,314' 1,010 m

Down

16%

Avg Grade (9°)

54%

Max Grade (29°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This hike is often touted as one of Banff's most strenuous. With 3300' gain in about 3 miles, it's easy to see why. Bring ample water, you'll cross a river upon starting and can filter there, but depending on the time of year may not encounter any water on the climb.

My favorite was going through the loose gravel descents - you can almost glissade down the pea-sized rocks, that eventually gives way to a larger boulder field. Some may find it a bit precarious.


Varied terrain ranges from open meadows to prairie, to partial exposures and finally ending in the best smelling pine forest I've ever been in!

Need to Know

Be sure to bring a lot of water. Resources may be limited on the ascent, but are generally ample on the descent.

Snow runoff at approx halfway up seems dependent on weather, may provide a filterable water source along the way.

Description

Cory and Edith Passes are beautiful hikes often linked together.

A brief gentle descent lures you into a false sense of simplicity for the first 1/2 mile. Enjoy the warm up. It'll quickly break into a very steep ascent for most of the first 2/3 of the hike, breaking slightly towards the top. You'll start through light forest and mostly meadows on the way up, and upon entering the pass between the two mountains, you'll wind through smaller gravel and eventually larger stones as you descent. There is no scrambling, but be prepared for the loose terrain on the first portion of the descent. The views are absolutely stunning, so don't forget to stop and take it all in as you go.

The remainder of the descent is through dense forest and follows a river, so water is in ample supply. The forest is beautiful, but the views of Banff and the surrounding area are limited. Expect to see fewer people on the way down than on the way up.

Contacts

Land Manager: Alberta Parks

Shared By:

Dave Mencel

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 10 votes

#1

in Banff

#687

Overall
  4.8 from 10 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Banff

#2

in Alberta

#687

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Photos

You'll pack on quite a bit of vertical in a very short time on this hike!
Apr 16, 2015 near Banff, AB
The initial portion of the descent down Edith Pass. Gravel lined path, but don't forget to look up and take it all in!
Apr 16, 2015 near Banff, AB
Cory Pass offers sublime views from many points on the trail, not the least of which is this one looking south toward Mount Assiniboine in the distance.
Dec 11, 2016 near Banff, AB
Mt. Edith and Cory Pass.
Apr 30, 2015 near Banff, AB
Cory & Edith Passes.
Sep 7, 2017 near Banff, AB
The meandering Bow River and craggy, yet stunning Sundance Peak present an incredible backdrop to any adventure along Cory Pass in Banff, Alberta.
Dec 11, 2016 near Banff, AB

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Check-Ins

Sep 16, 2020
Kevin D.
Due to the COVID closure of the Bow Valley Parkway in 2020 you have to park at the highway parking and hike up the road before starting on the trail. 9mi — 4h 00m
Jul 10, 2019
Nikita Trush
Dec 8, 2018
Brian Hutton
Jul 10, 2018
Robyn Pepin
8.2mi
Jun 21, 2018
Amy Lu
Jun 19, 2018
Maïta B
Still lots of snow on the top and on the upper section of Edith pass. Some trees in the way on Edith pass too. But it was a really awesome day.
Aug 11, 2017
S.G. Thompson
8.1mi — 5h 00m
Aug 1, 2016
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