Twin Lakes and Arnica Lake Hike
5 to 6 hours / 16K return
Located on the Windermere #93 Highway, 8kms West of Castle Junction on the South
side of the road beside the Vista Lake lookout.
Banff National Park.
This is one of those hikes with several big ups and downs
along the way but well worth the
effort. Park at the Vista
Lake lookout then follow the trail
down to Vista Lake. The initial
drop in elevation is a real grind on
your way back. Once you pass Vista
Lake, the trail starts to climb
again for another hour or so until
you reach Arnica Lake. Continue past
Arnica Lake for a short distance
until you reach Upper Twin Lake and
Twin Lakes TL7 Campsite. The Lower
Twin Lake is located a few
kilometers ahead. Follow the trail
over the headwall in front of you and
then back down the other side. Keep
in mind your return trip includes a
lot of elevation. Another option is
to park another car near Castle
Junction and take an alternate route
down to Castle Junction. This will
save having to hike back up to Vista
Lake lookout on your return. The
trail to Lower Twin Lakes passes
through wildflower meadows,
beautiful bridged stream crossings
and an alpine forest consisting of
Larches. Both lakes are absolutely
stunning with the further Lower Twin
Lake being the nicer of the two.
Twin Lakes offer
excellent Cutthroat Trout fishing,
you'll need a
to try your luck, check regulations for closures. The pictures below were taken early August. The trail is
usually snow free by mid to late June but can be muddy early spring.
Local campgrounds include
Castle Mountain and
Plain of Six
Larch Valley & Sentinel Pass,
Mount Fairview, Mount Temple,
Canyon are all
located near here.
You are in bear country.