Just east of Lake Louise, the 20 mile Skoki Valley provides a quick escape from the hordes of tourists into the wide flowering meadows between the peaks of the Slate Range. The hike runs through Deception Pass and onto Merlin Lake.
The Skoki Trail starts from the Fish Creek parking lot near Ski Lake Louise and climbs 15 km up to the Skoki Lodge. At the 4 km mark is the Ski Areas Temple Lodge and at the 9.5 km point is the Halfway Hut.
To reach the trailhead from Lake Louise, head east up the road towards Skiing Lake Louise. Turn right on the road towards Fish Creek parking lot. From the lot, ski the trail towards Temple Lodge (4 km). The trail to Skoki continues just above the lodge and proceeds northeast up the remote valley. After 2.5 km, pass a small hut before heading over Boulder Pass. Next cross Ptarmigan Lake and then Deception Pass. Turning north, follow the signs down to the valley bottom and the Skoki Lodge (7,100).
This high alpine meadow is under the shadow of Skoki Mountain. Make sure to check on current bear warnings (403) 762-1550.
Overall, Skoki Valley is the 9th most popular hiking trail of all 11 hikes in Alberta.