The Finest Issues to do in Banff, Alberta for 2022

There isn’t a doubt about it, Banff is the jewel of the Candian Rockies. Located in Banff Nationwide Park in Alberta, Canada, the city of Banff is surrounded by majestic Rocky Mountain peaks and beckons everybody who loves the outside to discover its environment.

Being Canadian, we’ve got been fortunate sufficient to go to Banff many occasions through the years in all completely different seasons. From the famed turquoise waters of Lake Louise to the slopes of Sunshine Village Ski Resort, we’ve got been capable of see all of it and need to share our experience with you.

No matter if you determine to go to, Banff is a spot that can go away you with the sensation of eager to plan a return go to straight away. There are lots of issues to do in Banff, from mountain climbing and canoeing in the summertime to snowboarding, mountaineering, and dogsledding within the winter. This unimaginable panorama is the playground for all kinds of actions.

High Issues to do in Banff

The city of Banff itself is definitely fairly small, and also you solely want a few days to discover, however the surrounding Banff Nationwide Park, which is the oldest of Canada’s Nationwide Parks, is the place this area comes alive. A whole lot of the sights listed here are recognized world wide, like Moraine Lake, the world-famous Lake Louise, and the Columbia Icefield to call a couple of.

Selecting one of the best issues to do in Banff could be a problem, so these are our strategies of issues we predict you shouldn’t miss when visiting Banff, Alberta.

Discover the City of Banff

The picturesque town of Banff

Clearly, an incredible place to start out issues off is by exploring the city of Banff itself. This lovely mountain city has grown through the years from a one-street city right into a world-class vacation spot. Most individuals base themselves in downtown Banff to expertise all the nice issues to do in Banff Nationational Park and for good motive.

Downtown Banff has an incredible meals scene, terrific procuring, and resorts that may be a bit of simpler in your funds than staying at locations just like the Fairmont Lake Louise. Don’t miss taking in among the native tradition on the Whyte Museum and the Mount royal Resort which has a small museum inside and an incredible artwork show open air.

Gaze throughout Moraine Lake

Things to do in Banff Moraine Lake

You can’t come to Banff Nationwide Park and never go to Moraine Lake. Canadians know this lake because it was famously on the again of our previous $20 invoice and let me inform you it’s a sight to behold.

It’s not removed from Lake Louise and is simply an hour’s drive from the city of Banff. The perfect time to go to Moraine Lake is certainly at dawn. When the solar hits the Valley of the Ten Peaks and displays off of the mirror-like lake why this is likely one of the most photographed places in North America.

Don’t miss our information to Climbing in Banff for all one of the best trails within the park.

After grabbing your dawn shot we do counsel hitting the mountain climbing trails. There are such a lot of nice trails on this space, however it is best to at the least do the Moraine Lake Shore Path. It’s only 2.9km lengthy, straightforward, and provides among the most unimaginable views of the Canadian Rockies within the park. Most individuals follow the Rockpile Trails, however you’ll usually discover this one much less busy.

Stroll by means of Johnston Canyon

Hike Johnston Canyon in Banff, Canada

Strolling the trail by means of Johnston Canyon is likely one of the most fun issues to do in Banff. You are able to do this year-round and it takes on a complete completely different feeling within the completely different seasons.

The path options iron walkways overhanging the canyon, which supply some nice views. There are two trails and counsel doing each. The total stroll will take you to 6 completely different frozen waterfalls and a deep pool of swirling water that’s reached by strolling by means of a stone arch.

The Higher Falls, the place on the finish of the path you might be rewarded with the magical scene of the falls plunging down right into a pool that’s surrounded by the canyon partitions. And the Decrease Falls which places you proper down within the canyon itself, with magnificent partitions surrounding you in addition to the falls.

The hike itself is fairly reasonable and is a few 5 km spherical journey. In case you are driving the Bow Valley Parkway, then be sure so as to add this to your itinerary.

Cave and Basin Nationwide Historic Web site

Things to do in Banff Cave and Basin National Historic Site

The Cave and Basin Nationwide Historic Web site is a very cool expertise in Banff. It was the unique Banff Sizzling Springs. This nationwide historic website takes you on a tour by means of a cave in direction of an underwater scorching spring.

Sadly, you may’t swim within the spring anymore, however it’s wonderful to stroll within the path of the birthplace of the Canadian Nationwide Parks system. You possibly can be taught all about how and why it grew to become the primary Canadian Nationwide Park, which provides you lots of appreciation for those who found this space.

Banff Higher Sizzling Springs

Things to do in Banff Upper Hot Springs

When searching for issues to do in Banff, you don’t have to stay to journey. There are lots of romantic choices too! Like a {couples} therapeutic massage, outside scorching springs, luxurious lodges, and comfortable hideaways.

Not removed from the Banff Gondola, is the Higher Sizzling Springs. Positioned at an elevation of 1585m the views of Mount Rundle and the encircling valley are to die for. Couple that with the soaking within the pure mineral water springs which can be stored at a snug 98-104 F and you’ve got an ideal afternoon exercise.

The Banff Sizzling Springs is essentially the most well-known pure scorching springs in Banff, and you may even hire an old-timers bathing swimsuit to really feel like you might be in a bathhouse of the roaring twenties. That is additionally is likely one of the cheaper issues to do in Banff at simply $10-15 CAD.

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park

Lake Minnewanka is positioned simply outdoors the city of Banff. It’s a comparatively giant lake at 27km lengthy and is the right place to take a cruise. It offers you an incredible perception into the historical past of the world and is the right option to recognize the fantastic thing about this lake.

For individuals who are a bit of extra adventurous, we advise hopping on one of many many mountain climbing trails that encompass the lake. A few of our favorites are the Lake Minnewanka to Satan’s Hole path and the hike to Stewart Canyon.

Should you don’t have lots of time right here you may take a drive alongside the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Derive, which takes you proper alongside the sting of the lake earlier than making its means again to the city of Banff. That is one space of Banff that you simply don’t need to miss.

See the Bow Valley Parkway

Things to do in Banff National Park Hiking

There are a few drives you shouldn’t miss when visiting Banff and the Bow Valley Parkway is one in every of them. Positioned off the Trans-Canada Freeway this two-lane scenic drive provides some spectacular viewpoints. There’s the Citadel Mountain Path, Johnston Canyon, and the well-known Morant’s Curve.

In case you are searching for an alternate option to discover Banff Nationwide Park that isn’t the everyday freeway that everybody takes, the Bow Valley Parkway is the right street to take. This scenic drive is nice in each the summer season and winter.

Stroll on the Athabasca Glacier

Things to do in Banff Athabasca Glacier

The Athabasca Glacier, which is a part of the Columbia Icefield is the most-visited glacier in North America. Yearly 1000’s of individuals flock right here to get an opportunity to stroll on the well-known glacier and witness the fantastic thing about the encircling mountains.

Positioned across the midway level of the Icefield’s parkway between Banff and Jasper, the Athabasca Glacier is a kind of issues to do in Banff that you could actually brag about. Most individuals go to the glacier on the 1 hr expedition bust the Ice Explorer, which drives proper on the glacier itself. However we advise truly leaping on a tour that takes you out to stroll on the glacier, gaze into crevasses, and really feel the ability of mom nature beneath your toes.

there are a few choices, a 3-hour tour, and a 5-hour tour, relying on how a lot time you have got and the way match you might be. It does take a median health stage however it’s an expertise you’ll always remember.

Paddle, hike or loosen up at Lake Louise

Top things to do in Banff Lake Louise

Lake Louise might be the preferred attraction in Banff Nationwide Park. Vacationers flock right here in droves in the summertime months to paddle a canoe on the pristine emerald lake and absorb the fantastic thing about the Victoria Glacier which feeds Lake Louise itself.

Lake Louise was first found in 1882 when surveyors adopted First Nations guides to the glacier. They immediately knew simply how particular this explicit location was and constructed the primary chalet on the location in 1890. The recognition of Lake Louise has continued to develop from that day ahead.

Things to do in Banff Canoe Lake louise

As with most sights in Banff Nationwide Park, the world-famous Lake Louise might be visited year-round. You possibly can soar within the legendary purple canoes and paddle on the lake in the summertime, or you may seize your skates and glide throughout the ice within the winter. In case you are feeling adventurous you would additionally soar in on a sport of pond hockey as we did.

We advocate the shoulder seasons right here to keep away from the crowds. Mid-summer it will possibly get overwhelming with all the individuals. The shoulder seasons provide fewer crowds and if you’re into mountain climbing, make for a extra comfy expertise across the lake.

Ski at Sunshine Village Ski Resort

Things to do in Banff Ski Sunshine Village

Should you select to go to within the wintertime, among the best issues to do in Banff is to hit the slopes and go snowboarding or snowboarding. Banff has 3 ski resorts (Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Norquay) which can be comparatively shut collectively and the situations listed here are superb.

Sunshine Village is just a 30-minute drive from downtown Banff and is normally the primary to get snow, so it naturally has the longest ski season. It has 12 Chairlifts and over 3000 acres of skiable terrain, making it good for each stage of skier or snowboarder.

Once we snowboarded right here we stayed proper on the mountain at Sunshine Mountain Lodge which has Banff’s largest lodge scorching tub so, after a day on the boards, we may soothe your aching muscle tissue within the tub. Not an affordable possibility however undoubtedly price it if you wish to splurge.

Within the summertime, Sunshine village transforms into one of many premier mountain climbing locations within the park. There are such a lot of hikes on this space, that you’ll want to give your self a couple of days to discover a couple of for your self.

Hit the slopes at Lake Louise Ski Resort

Snowboarding at Lake Louise in Banff National Park

In case you are searching for what is taken into account one of the best ski resort in Alberta then you’re going to need to head to Lake Louise Ski Resort. That is the premier ski vacation spot in Banff Nationwide Park and if you see the views surrounding you on the slopes why.

Hovering mountain peaks encompass you as you benefit from the over 400 acres of skiable terrain on the ten chair lifts. The paths right here cater to all ranges and if hitting the slopes is what you like to do then we advise including the Lake Louise Ski Resort to your checklist.

Spot wildlife in Banff Nationwide Park

Spotting Wildlife in Banff National Park

Nice snowboarding, mountain climbing, and outside actions will not be the one issues that Banff is known for. Lots of people flock to the park to catch a glimpse of its plentiful wildlife.

You might be virtually assured to see deer wandering across the city of Banff itself, however if you’re searching for one of the best wildlife experiences we advise heading into the park to have one of the best probability of wildlife sightings. Now, this isn’t a zoo and the animals will not be simply ready so that you can arrive, however the extra time you spend within the park the higher your possibilities of seeing among the extra elusive animals. Grizzly bears, wolves, and cougars are all within the park and also you be capable of see one if you’re fortunate and affected person.

Please keep in mind that these are wild animals and by no means strategy them or get out of your automotive for a more in-depth look. In case you are quiet, give them loads of area and simply observe you may usually have a wildlife viewing you’ll keep in mind for the remainder of your life.

Make a Cease at Bow Lake

Visit Bow Lake in Banff National Park

Bow Lake might be one in every of our favourite locations to go to after we are in Banff. Positioned alongside the Icefield’s parkway and fed by the Bow Glacier, Bow Lake is a picturesque cease you received’t need to miss.

It’s a nice cease when driving as much as Jasper Nationwide Park from Banff and we advise mountain climbing alongside the shoreline, or taking the Bow Glacier Falls Path in the summertime and getting your self some snowshoes within the winter. You possibly can then drop into the Num-Ti-Ja Lodge to seize a drink or to absorb the historical past of the world.

Drive the Icefields Parkway

Thingst od o in Banff Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway is likely one of the most lovely drives in Canada. It begins in Banff Nationwide Park and ends on the different well-known park within the space, Jasper Nationwide Park. You possibly can drive this in someday, however we advise giving your self 2 and spending a while in Jasper as properly.

The drive itself begins in Lake Louise and heads north for 293 km. It passes well-known sights like Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, the Athabasca Glacier, and the Glacier Skywalk simply to call a couple of.

Driving the Icefields Parkway in Banff

Should you select to hire a automotive in Banff then this can be a drive that can need to embrace in your itinerary. Not solely will you be capable of expertise cool issues to do in Banff however additionally, you will finish your journey within the lovely Jasper Nationwide park the place you may discover the Sunwapta Falls, Lake Annette, and take a look at the unimaginable Jasper Park Lodge.

Helicopter Tour over Banff Nationwide Park

Helicopter tour over Banff National Park

If there may be one helicopter tour that you simply do in your life, do it over the Rocky Mountains. It’s even higher to see the Rocky Mountains in winter. Dave and I’ve had the privilege of taking scenic flights on 6 continents, however our flight over Banff Nationwide Park provided essentially the most breathtaking views of our lives.

Seeing Banff Nationwide Park in winter from above was essentially the most hanging scene we’ve ever witnessed. The peaks coated in snow regarded like the right winter wonderland. Every cross provided one magnificent view after one other. Rockies Heli makes use of are state-of-the-art helicopters with bubble home windows and loads of area to provide everybody the very best views.

Snowshoe the Rocky Mountain Trails

Things to do in winter in Canada Snowshoeing

We killed two birds with one stone throughout our helicopter flight with Rockies Heli, by reserving the Heli Snowshoe expertise. We landed on a mountain peak and hiked by means of the paths showcasing extraordinary mountain views.

We’ve completed a couple of snowshoeing experiences in Banff, and this one was by far one of the best because it began at altitude and we had been already excessive within the mountains. Nothing may examine to those views!

Take images of the Starry Nights in Banff

Things to do in Banff Stargaze

Winter in Banff is one of the best time for night time pictures. The times are quick so yow will discover darkish skies as early at 6 pm.

The nights are clear revealing the milky means and the Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights). Banff is thought for its darks skies and locations like Vermilion Lakes, Lake Minnewanka, and Bow Lake are just some locations to seize the imposing night time skies.

Canine Sled to British Columbia

Things to do in Banff Dogsledding in Winter
Unforgettable canine sledding in Banff

There’s just one place you may go canine sledding in Banff Nationwide Park and that’s with KingMik Canine Sled Excursions. Their crew of canines is quick and crammed with pep and zip as they run by means of the Nice Divide Path all the way in which to the border of British Columbia.

As you might be snuggled up inside a heat sleeping bag and zipped into the windproof canvas, you glide by means of the forest searching for lynx tracks whereas your information tells you concerning the space, the canines, and the surroundings. On the way in which again, it’s your flip to drive the sled and also you’ll really feel like a real explorer as you mush by means of the previous Trans Canada path.

Learn all about Dogsledding in Banff: There are movies and footage too!

Keep in a Again Nation Lodge

Stay in a backcountry lodge things to do in Banff Alberta
Sundance Lodge – 16 km from anyplace

Should you ever make it to the Rocky Mountains, you have to be sure to go to a backcountry lodge. That is the epitome of issues to do in Banff in winter. Why? As a result of it’s the place you fully get away from all of it. Don’t fret an excessive amount of about bears or cougars within the winter.

For essentially the most half, they’re hibernating and if you’re a celebration of two or three, they’ll be extra afraid of you than you might be of them. Think about sitting in a log cabin heated by a wood-burning range because the snow falls round you outdoors.

That’s pure heaven. Sundance Lodge has an govt chef, scorching water for showers, solar energy, and comfortable bedrooms. That is the place luxurious meets rustic residing and in case you go residence and inform everybody that you simply trekked 16km into the Rocky Mountains to remain at a lodge, you can be the hero of all your pals. You will get to the Banff Alberta Again Nation by snowshoeing or cross nation snowboarding.

Take Sleigh Experience

A Sleigh ride around Lake Louise.
A Sleigh experience round Lake Louise.

The Fairmont Lake Louise provides sleigh rides alongside the sting of Lake Louise within the winter taking you out to the bottom of Victoria Glacier. It’s a wonderful experience by means of the forest providing mountain views and a romantic expertise.

Sip scorching chocolate as your driver takes the reins and tells you of the historical past of the Canadian Rockies.

Take the Banff Gondola to Sulphur Mountain

Take the Banff Gondola up to Sulphur Mountain

One of many prime issues to do in Banff is to take the gondola as much as the highest of Sulphur Mountain. The views from right here actually make you recognize the situation and fantastic thing about Banff. There’s a restaurant on the prime and a enjoyable interactive museum. There are additionally viewing platforms to absorb completely different views of the Canadian Rockies and the Bow River Valley under.

As soon as on the prime of the gondola, you may take a brief hike out towards the summit of Sulphur Mountain on the boardwalk. You can be rewarded with beautiful views over the Bow Valley in addition to the encircling peaks. The gondola experience itself is fairly costly at $62 CAD per individual, however you may undoubtedly spend half a day up at Sulphur Mountain to get your cash’s price.

Cease in to See the Legendary Fairmont Inns

Things to do in Banff Alberta Fairmont Hotels

The Fairmont Lake Louise and Fairmont Banff Inns are the Grand Dames of Banff. Even if you’re not staying in these resorts, they’re price stopping in for a glance. The previous resorts had been initially constructed for CP Rail passengers connecting Canada.

They’ve been renovated through the years and are an opulent expertise in Banff. E book an evening right here for dinner or simply cease in for a espresso. We at all times choose up a espresso on the Fairmont Lake Louise to take with us on a hike across the lake.

Benefit from the Meals Scene within the City of Banff

The City of Banff has a superb meals scene. Nothing beats Alberta Grade A beef, so head out for the night time and take a look at some native delicacies. Most eateries serve farm to desk and elements are all regionally sourced.

Our suggestions for the place to eat in Banff are:

  • Sleeping Buffalo Eating Room at Buffalo Mountain Lodge
  • High quality Eating at Buffalo Mountain Lodge
  • The Bison Restaurant Downtown
  • Park Distillery – Downtown
  • Block Kitchen

Different Inns in Banff

Hoel Room in Banff Alberta

Most resorts have outside scorching tubs and our favourite was the views on the Juniper Resort and Deer Lodge.

However Sunshine Mountain Lodge at Sunshine Village has Banff’s largest lodge scorching tub positioned proper on the facet of the ski hill the place after a day on the boards, you may soothe your aching muscle tissue within the tub. We additionally stayed at Deer Lodge positioned proper subsequent door to the Fairmont Lake Louise and it was glorious.

If you wish to keep within the city of Banff, Buffalo Mountain Lodge and Fox Resort and Suites are nice choices. And for a romantic winter getaway in an opulent but rustic cabin full with a fire, we advocate Storm Mountain Lodge.

Incessantly Requested Questions on Issues to do in Banff

How Far is Lake Louise From Banff?

Lake Louise is 57km (35 miles) from Banff. It’s a straightforward drive alongside Freeway 1 or The Bow Valley Parkway which is the extra scenic route.

Ought to You Keep in Banff or Lake Louise?

It is dependent upon what you need to do. Lake Louis is higher for snowboarding and actions on the lake. The resorts are totally functioning with eateries and retailers. However the city of Banff provides extra facilities and it’s nearer to Banff’s principal sights just like the Sizzling Springs and Banff Gondola.

Is All the things Open in Banff in Winter?

Banff and Lake Louise are totally practical within the winter. All the things is open save for mountain climbing trails to lakes which can be snowed in and plenty of lake and mountain climbing parking tons are closed.

How far is Banff from Calgary?

Banff is 130 km (80 miles) from Calgary or an hour and a half drive. It’s 145 km (90 miles) from the Calgary Airport.

Learn Extra about journey to Alberta and Banff

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