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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.
There are so many unique ways to get a feel for Banff National Park. Here is a list of some of our favorites:
Take a look at our Canadian Rockies things to do page to find more activities in the area.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.ca from January through December 2017, 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.
Nestled in the mountains 750 feet above the town of Banff, The Rimrock Resort Hotel is across from the Upper Hot Springs and within walking distance of the Banff gondola.
Located on the main street of Banff, this inn is within 5 km (3 mi) of the Sulphur Mountain Gondola and Upper Hot Springs.
Located in Banff National Park just a short walk from downtown Banff, Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa has friendly staff and convenient location with easy access to local sights and activities.
Situated in Canmore, this eco-friendly hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Canmore Golf and Curling Club and Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre. Cross Zee Ranch and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Conveniently located near the ski slopes, this Banff condo building is within 2 mi (3 km) of Canadian Ski Museum West, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau. Tunnel Mountain is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) away.
Situated in Canmore, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre, Canmore Golf and Curling Club, and Yamnuska Mountain Adventures. Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park and Cross Zee Ranch are also within 3 mi (5 km).
The Fox Hotel and Suites is 4 blocks from downtown Banff, 1 km (0.6 mi) from the Bow River, and 5 km (3 mi) from the Sulphur Mountain Gondola.
Surrounded by the peaks of the Canadian Rockies, this mountain resort in Banff National Park on the shores of Lake Louise is a popular destination for hiking, canoeing, and skiing.