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The Fairview Lookout Hike Is the Best (and Most Beautiful) Beginner Hike in the Canadian Rockies

Canada Banff National Parks
by Matador Creators Feb 1, 2023

The Canadian Rockies offer one of the most beautiful landscapes in North America, and that’s partly thanks to panoramic views like those at Fairview Lookout. The Fairview Lookout Hike is a moderate-level trail located in Yoho National Park, British Columbia. This trail, which is only 2.5 miles long, offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, so it’s perfect for those looking for a day trip into nature without too much exertion.

The Fairview Lookout trail begins at Emerald Lake and will take you through forests, meadows, and along creeks before reaching your summit point. Along the way, you’ll be able to spot wildflowers like Indian paintbrush and columbine as well as wildlife such as elk, deer, marmots, pikas, and grouse. The hike itself takes approximately three hours to complete. It starts with a steep ascent up switchbacks lined with trees and wildflowers, before giving way to an alpine meadow full of wildlife. Then it’s time for the final push up to the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Mount Victoria and Mount Lefroy.

Once you reach the summit of Fairview Lookout, you will be presented with dramatic views of snow-capped mountains in all directions. This is also a great spot for photographers who want to capture panoramic photos or sunsets.

This hike stands out from other nearby trails due to its high elevation and unparalleled views of the area. It gives you an opportunity to experience some of nature’s most stunning sites without having to go too far off-trail or away from civilization. Despite its popularity among tourists, it remains fairly quiet and you won’t have to worry about jostling with hundreds of other tourists for space on the trail.

As with any hike, it’s important to come prepared for all conditions. Make sure you bring plenty of water — at least two liters per person — as well as snacks or lunch for when you reach the top. Additionally, pack some layers in case temperatures drop during your descent; even though summer days may be warm at lower elevations, temperatures at higher altitudes can quickly become chilly once the sun goes down.

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