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Banff National Park is known for its rugged mountain scenery, glacier-fed turquoise lakes and miles of untouched forests. Come for hiking in summer and skiing in winter. Thrill seekers will find no shortage of activities, from white water rafting to mountain biking.
The park’s lakes are a gorgeous aqua-blue color in summer and their surfaces reflect the surrounding mountains. Hike the hills above Peyto Lake and Moraine Lake for two of the most photographed scenes in Canada. Lake Minnewanka isn’t fed by glaciers, but it’s one of only two lakes in the area that allows boats on the water. Take a boat cruise or rent a fishing rod.
Hiking opportunities in the park abound. Tackle rocky mountain paths or enjoy man-made walkways. Johnston Canyon has a walkway built into the side of its sheer canyon walls.
If you don’t want to hike, opt for the gondolas and chair lifts that go up some of the mountains. Banff Gondola rides to the summit of Sulphur Mountain just outside the town.
There are three ski resorts within the national park. Sunshine Village is a short drive from Banff and encompasses three mountains. Skiing areas range from beginners’ slopes to advanced, off-piste areas. Finish the day with après-ski drinks in a restaurant on the mountain.
The national park spans 2,564 square miles (6,641 square kilometers) in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. There are two towns in the park: Banff and Lake Louise. Both towns offer plenty of accommodations, from budget hostels to luxury lodges. For an indulgent option, book a room at the century-old Fairmont Banff Springs.
There are many places to rent equipment such as bicycles, skis, kayaks or fishing gear. If you don’t have a car, you can rent one or use the regular bus and shuttle services running between towns and major attractions.
You won't believe how many things there are to do at Banff National Park. Here are some ideas to get you started:
If you're looking for even more options, take a look at our Canadian Rockies things to do page.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.ca from January through December 2019, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.
Situated in a national park, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Lake Louise Mountain Resort. Moraine Lake and Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse are also within 9 miles (15 km). Lake Louise Station is 14 minutes by foot.
Situated on a lake, this spa resort is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and within 6 miles (10 km) of Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. Moraine Lake and Banff National Park are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in a national park, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and 1.9 mi (3 km) from Lake Louise Mountain Resort. Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse and Banff National Park are also within 6 miles (10 km). Lake Louise Station is 11 minutes by foot.
Located in a national park, this family-friendly hotel is 4.1 mi (6.7 km) from Lake Louise Mountain Resort and 4.2 mi (6.8 km) from Lake Louise Gondola.
Situated in a national park, this lodge is 3.5 mi (5.6 km) from Lake Louise Gondola and 7.9 mi (12.7 km) from Moraine Lake.
Located on the riverfront, this family-friendly hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Icefields Parkway, Lake Louise Gondola and Lake Louise Mountain Resort. Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse is 10.4 mi (16.8 km) away.
Situated in Bow Lake, this hostel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and within 12 miles (20 km) of Peyto Lake and Crowfoot Glacier. Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Lake Louise Gondola are also within 20 miles (32 km).
Situated in a national park, this lodge is 17.1 mi (27.6 km) from Lower Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint, and within 32 mi (52 km) of Upper Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint and Takakkaw Falls.