Fun things to do in Banff National Park

  • Crowfoot Glacier & Bow Lake, Banff National Park
    Crowfoot Glacier & Bow Lake, Banff...
    by spidermiss
  • View from the overlook
    View from the overlook
    by PinkFloydActuary
  • Another view
    Another view
    by PinkFloydActuary

Most Viewed Things to Do in Banff National Park

  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Num-Ti-Jah Lodge

    by madamx Updated Sep 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Num-ti-Jah Lodge is the enduring legacy of the Simpson Family. Num-ti-jah is Stoney Indian for a pine marten, a small animal in the weasel family. The lodge started as a dream for Jimmy Simpson, who came to Canada in 1896. When he camped on the shores of Bow Lake, he vowed that one day, he would "build a shack here".

    Twenty-five years later, this wild, red-haired eccentric became well-known as a guide and outfitter in the area, and initially built a log cabin on this site where he ran his business. The lodge was expanded and completed in 1950; it's pretty much today the way it was then.

    The decor is "worn hunting lodge", and it's a little alarming to see the condition of the buildings slowly declining; however, the lodge still has some sort of elusive charm to it. It's worthwhile to check out the library and see the huge stone fireplace that Jimmy himself built, plus the kids will have fun trying to identify all the stuffed animials that adorn the walls. Rooms run here about $200 a night during high season.

    Was this review helpful?

  • sinjabc's Profile Photo

    Mistaya Canyon

    by sinjabc Written Aug 20, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A deep and narrow limestone canyon provides many exciting photo opportunities. This was one of my highlights on our road trip through Banff and Jasper National Parks. Easy 10 minute hike to the bridge over the canyon.

    Walls of the canyon are carved away by rushing glacier degree. There is a forested walk down to the canyon (500 m / 1640 ft).

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • Redlats's Profile Photo

    The Hole-in-the-Wall

    by Redlats Updated Mar 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Along the Banff Parkway there is a viewpoint describing the hole in the wall. It is a cave in the mountain formed millions of years ago (by rainwater and snowmelt). Unfortunately the cave was plugged by glaciers a million years ago, so the cave is unexplored.

    When I was a child, my dad worked at the Banff Springs hotel, and a couple of times he climbed up to the cave opening, so I always stop and look whenever I drive the Parkway.

    (I apologize for my amateur photo editing software)

    The Hole-In-The-Wall
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Mountain Climbing

    Was this review helpful?

  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Sulphur Mountain Gondola

    by madamx Updated Jan 22, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Sulphur Mountain Gondola whisks you up to the summit (2285 m) of Sulphur Mountain in about 10 minutes. You can also hike up to the summit, which I don't recommend, as it is a steep, endless, boring slog in the trees all the way to the top. The reward either way is a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains, the Bow Valley and the Banff townsite.

    If you do hike up, you no longer get a free ride down; I think it's around $14.00 for a ticket down. When we were kids, we usually rode up with our cousins in our own car, while the adults had their own; we would throw our used chewing gum out the open window on the poor hikers down below. Hikers beware!

    There is an observation deck at the top, plus a restaurant. Also, there are a few hiking trails here as well.

    A sample of the view-banffgondola.com

    Was this review helpful?

  • Hermanater's Profile Photo

    Fairveiw Lookout at Lake Louise

    by Hermanater Updated Nov 22, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lake Louise - in my opinion is nicer than Banff. While it is commercialized, it is a smaller scale. There are numerous hikes along the lake. There are 2 teahouses in the mountains that can only be reached by hiking. We haven't went there yet, but we plan on checking them out next summer.

    Some of the pictures below are taken from a trail by the parking lot. The trail goes on a steady climb for 1.1 km. The elevation gain is 100 meters in this 1.1 km distance. It was a good work out for an early morning outing. When we got there, there was about 3 cm of snow on the ground so the trip up the trail and back down was a little slippery.

    Lake Louise Chateau Lake Louise My son
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    Buying a Park Pass is a definate Thing to do!!

    by scottishvisitor Updated Aug 27, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To travel anywhere in the Canadian Rockies you need a park pass.
    There are Park Gates in various locations & always manned by Rangers who will stop you to check your pass.
    You can buy a day pass or upto 4 days, but if like us you are staying longer they will recommend an annual pass as it is cheaper.
    The pass allows you to visit all National Parks in Canada.
    My pass is still valid until June 07 if anyone wants it - please ask

    Park Pass
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo

    The Gatehouses

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Jun 19, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Shortly after driving through Canmore, we arrived at the southern entrance to Banff NP. Three of these very cute buildings owned by Parks Canada serve as places where you can purchase your required Park pass as you drive by. In our case, a Day pass for a group of 2-7 adults cost us C$14 (US$10).

    Parks Canada is responsible for running 41 National Parks and 149 National Historic Sites across the country, and they really do a good job of keeping things presentable!

    Parks Canada Buildings
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    MOUNT TEMPLE

    by Lady_Mystique Written Mar 3, 2005

    If you go on a hike in Paradise Valley to Lake Annette you will be rewarded with by far the most impressive view of Banff's second highest mountain, Mount Temple, of 11,626 feet.

    Long considered one of the most inaccessible faces in the Canadian mountain world, the rugged wall was first climbed in 1966.
    It rightly deserves its nickname, "the Eiger of the Canadian Rockies".

    Mount Temple
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    WHYTE MUSEUM

    by Lady_Mystique Updated Mar 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    MISSION STATEMENT:
    "In the spirit of Peter and Catharine Whyte, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies acquires, preserves, interprets, and makes accessible the history and culture of the Rocky Mountains of Canada by inspiring and cultivating the exchange of knowledge and ideas through our collections, programs, and exhibitions."

    The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is located in downtown Banff, directly across from Town Hall.

    Admission:
    Adult...$7
    Student (full-time)...$4.50
    Senior (65 & over)...$4.50
    Child (five and under)...Free
    Family Pack (any 4 family members)...$18
    Heritage Excursions & Guided Tours $5

    Hours: 10 am - 5 pm, year round (except Christmas & New Year's).

    The Whyte Home
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    LUXTON MUSEUM

    by Lady_Mystique Written Mar 3, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Journey into the extraordinary heritage of the Indians of the Northern Plains and Canadian Rockies at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum.

    Experience a time when native peoples followed the great buffalo herds and the Europeans discovered a culture rich in elaborate ceremonies, dances, songs, and legends associated with the spirit world and the cycles of nature.

    At entrance of Luxton Museum
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    LAKE MINNEWANKA

    by Lady_Mystique Updated Mar 3, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lake Minnewanka lies a few kilometers north of Banff townsite and is easily accessed by car or bike from the Trans-Canada and the northern end of Banff Avenue on Lake Minnewanka Road.

    This lake is the largest area of water in the national park. And the peaks of the Fairholme Range provide a stunning backdrop to the lake.

    The name means "Lake of the Water Spirit".

    Various dams augmented the lake in 1912, 1922, and 1941 to provide Banff with hydroelectric power. Fortunately they've done little to spoil the views, most of which are best enjoyed from the various boat trips (if you don't have your own canoe) that depart regularly from the quay

    View of Lake Minnewanka
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    PARADISE VALLEY

    by Lady_Mystique Updated Mar 3, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When the mountaineer Walter Wilcox first looked into this valley from the Mitre Pass in 1894, he saw "a valley of surpassing beauty, wide and beautiful, with alternating open meadows and rich forests", and his party named it Paradise Valley "on account of the elegant park-like effect of the whole place and the beauty of the vegetation".

    The walk here is a fairly straightforward hike up one side of the valley and down the other...a loop of 18 km with a modest 385 m of vertical gain.

    Paradise Valley in Late Summer
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    LAKE LOUISE

    by LoriPori Written Nov 2, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lake Louise is the most famous glacial lake in the Canadian Rockies and one of the most beautiful in the Western Hemisphere. LAKE LOUISE was named for Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria.

    Lake Louise

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    LAKE LOUISE

    by LoriPori Written Nov 2, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As we were in LAKE LOUISE on June 7 and the ice was still melting, we didn't get to see the lake in all its glory. Ideally the lake is deep turquoise. I guess we will just have to go back again some day.

    Lori & Lake Louise

    Was this review helpful?

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    PEYTO LAKE LOOKOUT

    by LoriPori Written Nov 2, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What we saw was an amazing panoramic view of PEYTO LAKE. Hans and I just stood there in awe. "Oh, my God, that is simply beautiful" The lake derives its brilliant blue hue from silt deposited by glacial melt that reflects in the sun.

    View of Peyto Lake

    Was this review helpful?

Banff National Park Hotels

  • Patricia Lake Bungalows

    Pyramid Lake Road, 5 km from Jasper, Jasper, Alberta, T0E 1E0, Canada

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Bow Valley Motel

    This is a fantastic place to stay if you are on a budget. The rooms are well equip with everything...

    more
  • Banff Springs Hotel

    Friend's of mine were visiting Alberta so we decided to splurge and share a room at the Fairmont...

    more

Latest Banff National Park Hotel Reviews

Bow Valley Motel
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Brewster's Kananaskis Guest Ranch
Bad (2.0 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Mt. Engadine Lodge
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Banff Springs Hotel
Best (5.0 out of 5.0) 5 Reviews

Instant Answers: Banff National Park

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

44 travelers online now

Comments

Banff National Park Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Banff National Park locals.
Map of Banff National Park