Hector Lake Backcountry Camping

Hector Lake Backcountry Camping


Women Who Explore is teaming up with MEC Outdoor Nation to provide a backcountry camping excursion into the beautiful Hector Lake.

Hector Lake is one of the larger lakes in Banff National Park.  An incredible campsite is at the end of the trail, with several canoes hidden in the trees available for use (which we will!).  This hike is fairly easy - the trail is approximately 5km round trip and relatively flat with elevation dropping 200 feet/60 meters to the lakeshore.   This hike can be considered more intermediate as fording the Bow River is very cold and can be high at certain times of the year with the runoff (usually around 15m across and calf to knee deep in the later season).

Itinerary August 24-26th, 2018

Day One

Arrive at the “Hector Lake Hike” trailhead by the latest 5:00pm.  Meet there to sign waivers, collect MEC camping gear, quick introductions, and hike into campground together.  Please note: most camping gear is provided. See "what's included" at the bottom of the page. You will be responsible for carrying your gear as well as the gear provided (sleeping bag/pad/tent) into the campground. 

Upon arrival to the campground (which we will have to ourselves), we will set up camp together. Simultaneously, a fire* will be started where we can roast wieners and marshmallows. 

We will have dinner, sit around the fire and get to know each other. The first day ends with a peaceful, early night to prepare for a sunrise paddle.

*as long as a fire ban in not in effect

Day Two

Today is a choose your own adventure day! There are stashed canoes as well as paddles for us to enjoy, as well as a beach and hiking trails. 

Whether you want to grab that perfect Instagram shot, relax in a hammock, take a nap or explore the area, it's up to you. Women Who Explore staff are there to help you decide how you want to spend the day. 

Lunch will be at your discretion and will be prepared on your own. 

We will meet at the fire later in the day to share stories, roast marshmellows and eat dinner. 

Day Three

Sadly this morning it is time to pack up and say goodbye to this beautiful location. 

We will hike out together and say good-bye with the option to meet up in Lake Louise for a coffee and/or lunch (purchase on your own).

After your adventure, head to Trailhead Cafe located in Lake Louise.  This is an excellent option for coffee and sandwiches after spending a few days in the wilderness.  It’s located only 30 minutes south of the trailhead and offers fairly priced food in great surroundings.

What's Included

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Cooking Supplies (jetboil stove and similar)
  • Bear Bags
  • Bear Spray
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tinder on a rope
  • Flint

What's Not Included

  • Backpack
  • Food and Snacks (we suggest dehydrated)
  • Alcohol
  • Water Bottles
  • Plate/Bowl/Cup/Utensils

Packing List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Backpack
  • Extra change of socks
  • Walking stick (to ford the river) or Trekking Poles
  • Water Footwear/Sandals
  • Food/Snacks 
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Warm Layers
  • Swimsuit/Towel
  • Rain Jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Fishing pole (optional and need a fishing permit)


Hector Lake trailhead is reached by driving 18 kilometers north on the Icefields Parkway from the Trans-Canada junction. The trailhead is a minor pull off on the left with a little wooden sign labeled “Hector Lake Hike”. The trailhead for Hector Lake is not easily found. It might be a good idea to stop at the Visitors Center at Lake Louise to get directions to the trailhead.

Transportation will be up to each individual.  When heading out on this adventure, a Parks Canada pass is required to stop anywhere in Banff National Park. The daily pass is $9.80 per adult. An annual pass is available for $67.70.

Friday August 24, 2018
5:00PM - 2:00PM MDT
Hector Lake

Hector Lake

0, Lake Louise