Banff National Park Travel Guide

  • Crowfoot Glacier & Bow Lake, Banff National Park
    Crowfoot Glacier & Bow Lake, Banff...
    by spidermiss
  • Lake Louise
    Lake Louise
    by richiecdisc
  • Morraine Lake
    Morraine Lake
    by coldincanadabrr

Banff National Park Things to Do

  • Moraine Lake/ Valley of Ten Peaks

    As busy as Lake Louise already was, I was concerned about the crowds at Moraine Lake. Luckily, we still got here early enough (around 10:30), that the crowds were not too horrible. There was a fairly substantial line for those wanting to rent kayaks/canoes as we passed, and since we had skipped the walk around Louise, we definitely wanted to tackle...

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  • Peyto Lake

    5 out of 5 stars

    Another one of the "must see" sites of Banff, and everyone knows it. We arrived here fairly early in the day, but already the lot was starting to fill up. From the parking lot, it's a short, but relatively steep climb up to the official viewpoint. Once you get here, expect it to be VERY crowded - full of tour buses and car visitors. Get what...

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  • Johnston Canyon

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    While most of the other stops along the Parkway are quick in and outs, you get the opportunity for a nice hike here in Johnston Canyon. You start out near the resort area, and start a trail that rises and falls through the forest and quickly along the river. The walk along the river is very cool - its nestled in next to the mountain. After about 20...

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Banff National Park Hotels

  • Patricia Lake Bungalows

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

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Banff Springs Hotel

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

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  • Bow Valley Motel

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

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Banff National Park Restaurants

  • The Keg Steakhouse and Bar

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    This Keg has got me re-thinking ever setting foot in another Keg restaurant. I'm not a huge complainer, nor am I terribly picky. But I've got to say that for $145... well I expect a lot more than I received. Our meals were good - when we got them - but the service was among the worst I've ever experienced. For starters, we arrived here around 7:00...

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  • Maple Leaf Grille and Spirits

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    We dined here on our last Saturday night in Banff with our son and daughter in law . It was wonderful . I loved my tenderloin . Pat had the bison and it was fabulous. The duck looked good too. It was a wonderful classy restaurant and definitely would recommend it.

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  • Aardvark Pizza

    3 out of 5 stars

    I just had THE most forgettable pizza of my life. Their website says they use fresh made daily, hand-stretched dough.... what I just got was something that tasted suspiciously like a frozen pizza crust, with next to nothing on it. My pizza had 8 toppings, and there was barely anything to it.... I can't help but think there has to be a pizza a whole...

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Banff National Park Nightlife

  • nothing beats a full moon

    Sure, the town Banff has tons of places to grab a drink or something to eat but as pretty as it might be, it does not beat enjoying the nature you came all this way to see in the first place. I love visiting brewpubs as much as anyone but Banff would have to have a pretty damn good one to get me out of the park and into the town. The campgrounds...

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  • An Irish night out!

    For the number of Scottish and Irish folks that supposedly inhabit Canada nowadays, we were astonished to find that St James's Gate in Banff was the only Scottish or Irish Bar we came across!We weren't in Canada just to drink obviously, but for 2 countries that are so well known for liking there alcohol, we thought we would have passed more .... oh...

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  • Banff National Park Hotels

    11 Hotels in Banff National Park

    5 Reviews

Banff National Park Transportation

  • Coach / Bus / Car / Trolley.

    This is a one day excursion I took whilst I was in Banff (in July 2005) and it took me across Great Divide of the Rocky Mountains, Johnstone Canyon, Lake Louise, Valley of the Ten Peaks, Victoria Glacier, Moraine Lake, Yoho National Park's Takakkaw Falls, Spiral Tunnels, Emerald Lake and Natural Rock Bridge. It was a wonderful day and we had...

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  • Rent an RV (Recreational Vehicle) /...

    When you're in Banff, most people go to Lake Louise as well. The route to take is Highway 1. Or alternatively, you can take the Bow Valley Parkway. It is slower, more curvy, and you get less grand vistas. But you feel much closer to nature on this route. Many places to stop off for a hike or camping or just to take pictures.

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  • SKi Lift

    You have two choices - an open chair or enclosed bucket.......guess what I choose? Half way up I began looking at the floor of the bucket (Gondella they called it) every time it passed a piece of machinery to haul it further up it shuddered but when it came to a complete stop very near the top I was scared witless as it swung precariously in thin...

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Banff National Park Shopping

  • Lake Louise Village

    Loved the shops at Lake Louise Village - especially enjoyed people watching here...........So many tourists coming & going Gifts - Food - Flowers - Liquor Store & lots more Use a Credit Card & worry about the price latter............

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  • The Christmas Shop

    Every thing you could possibly want for Christmas Decorations - this shop was packed full of Christmas ornaments - trees - lights you name it - they had it. An ornament with a Rocky Mountain theme for your tree at home as a lasting reminder of your trip From 2 dollars up

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  • Soap

    Lovely local hand made soap and beauty company. You can really only find this stuff in the west. For people who like stores like the Body shop or Lush this is a wonderful chemical free alternative that is all hand made on site. They make a variety of items like soap, lotions, salts, perfumes and gift boxes. I love the patchouli mint soap for that...

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Banff National Park Local Customs

  • Birds/ Animals/Flowers

    These cheeky little fellows popped up everywhere and were a joy to see. Please do not feed them although they will squeek for your attention = when tourists are thin on the ground they have to survive on their own

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  • Presents/Souvenirs

    All these wonderful items were found at the shops along Banff Avenue. I took these pictures because I've learned to curb my spending on decorative items. You wouldn't believe the amount of things I've to lug home from every single trip to Japan & elsewhere, so much so that anyone who had traveled with me would know that I'm not joking about it!

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  • Churches

    The pretty llittle white church is located at 102 Banff Avenue on the corner of Buffallo Avenue. Designed by architect John Manuel of Winnigeg in the Gothic Revival style. The church was built in 1927. The base of the church is designed with locally quarried rundle stone creating a natural look in keeping with the mountains surrounding her.

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Banff National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Beware off and respect Wildlife.

    They may be cute and thy may look friendly but DO NOT feed the animals. This little guy has obviously been acclimitized to human contact which is not a good thing. These are wild animals. Sooner or later this the chipmunk will bite somebody or become so reliant on handouts that he won't be able to fend for himself. Let wild animals stay wild....

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  • Be aware of lots of mosquitos

    In summer, there seem to be a lot of mosquitos, especially on the campgrounds. You should wear a net over your face, to be protected of mosquito bites. West nil virus is spreading more and more in this area! On some campgrounds (especially Porcupine and Lake Magog Campground) it was even impossible to leave the tent!

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  • Stay on the designated trails!!!!

    When trying to find the trail between the Citadel Peak and the Brewster Creek, you should follow the stone heaps. If you get lost you can find the trail, after two small lakes on the right side of the creek (this is where the creek starts!) - you can see the two lakes in the background of the picture I added. It is a horse trail and thus not very...

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Banff National Park Tourist Traps

  • Overpriced sporting fashion & souveniers

    Everything in Banff promotes the sporting circuit. So expect to see lots of overpriced sporting fashions like Lulu lemon, Columbia, Mountain Co-op, Burton. Also general souveniers can be pricey. Look around- that's free. If you want to get souveniers there are some stores at the end of the street away from the hotel strip that have a variety of...

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  • The Town of Banff

    This town has turned from a beautiful little town in Canada's oldest National Park into one big tourist trap. It now looks like any other town run for (and by) a major corporation in support of the ski operations in the vicinity. I'm not sure how many "faux Alpine" towns we need, but Banff has degenerated into another one.They seem to be catering...

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  • icefield helicopter tours

    Before you book that helicopter tour of a lifetime, flying over Glaciers in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, there are some factors that an informed and educated vacationer should make themselves aware of.The experience is beautiful and amazing, truly, but.............. 1. If you travel from Banff or Jasper, two of the major resort destinations, you could...

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Banff National Park What to Pack

  • Bring Camera & Film

    Comfortable shoes for walking, and not just on sidewalks, but on walking paths, and rough ground. As you go up higher in the mountains, have a jacket - for example, while short sleeves are fine in the town, you'll find it much cooler up at the top of the gondola. Lots of film, telephoto lenses because its safer to take the pics of animals at a...

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  • Keep your camera loaded and fully...

    Comfortable shoes for walking, and not just on sidewalks, but on walking paths, and rough ground. As you go up higher in the mountains, have a jacket - for example, while short sleeves are fine in the town, you'll find it much cooler up at the top of the gondola. Lots of film, telephoto lenses because its safer to take the pics of animals at a...

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  • ready, set, go

    Unless you like paying C$20 per day each, you can leave your backpack at home but a day pack is essential in this hiking paradise. Bring good sturdy hiking boots and comfy socks to handle the rocky trails of Banff. Bring synthetic clothing which is lighter per warmth factor and dries more quickly if it gets wet. Rain gear is essential and being...

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Banff National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Hiking /Trails

    The hiking trail that leads to the paint pots is located just off the #93 highway between Castle Mountain junction and Radium, BC, in Kootenay National Park. There is a rest area at the trail head, and a sign on the highway tells you it's the way to the paint pots. The Paint Pots are a series of shallow ponds in an area of high mineral...

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  • Flowers

    Take a walk along the boardwalk at Johnston Lake & stroll through the medow - bursting with scent & beautiful coloured wildlowers - I could have stayed all day with the gentle hum of insects, bird song & the least chipmunk (too quick to photograph) drarting to & fro.

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  • Wildlife

    Chipmunks, much like squirrels are the entertainers of the forest but what to us is entertainment, for the chipmunk is the work of storing food for the winter. They just move so fast it appears comical to us but make no mistake, these are serious omnivores whose diet includes nuts, insects, grain, small frogs, fungi, worms and bird eggs. One of the...

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Banff National Park Sports & Outdoors

  • Horseriding/Hiking

    This full-day expedition is a beautiful 7 hour ride that will take you to Paradise Valley, to the Giant Steps, Lake Annette, and the Horseshoe Glacier (how appropriate!). You get to enjoy your lunch beside the elegant Giant Steps waterfall. It's a great ride for beginners as the climb to the valley is quite gradual. The cost is/was $155.00 per...

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  • Kayaking/canoeing

    Lake Louise is a nice lake for canoeing. There we go . This is late June and there was a slight breeze off of the mountains , so it was cool . The water is around 1 deg. C ( 34 deg. F ) so you do not want to capsize the canoe. It took an hour to paddle the length of the lake and back . You will notice that there are few boats on the lake . Canoes...

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  • Skiing /Snowboarding

    For Skiers or those who just enjoy the view from the tops of mountains, take the Ski Lift at Ski Louise for a panoramic view of the 10 peaks. See the travelogue for views of the chairlift, Ski Lodge Restaurant etc.

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Banff National Park Favorites

  • Lakes /Mountains/Rivers.

    every corner you turn, you get a different perspective of Banff National Park. I suggest get a good camera before you embark on this trip! You won't regret it :) I'm glad i had my Nikon. (hmm, the VT pic dimensions are stretching my pic out of proportion. Click on pic to see it in intended proportions.Tks!) ps: Also stock up on outdoor gear and...

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  • Banff Town/ Lake Louise Town

    Banff is a very beautiful city and you have to make a stop there if you're in Alberta. However, it is a very small city and it is obvious that it survives mainly on tourism. So if you're not into ski, which you could do every day and never get tired of it, this town will be too small for you to spend a whole week there. Consequently, if you're in...

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  • Banff National Park

    The best thing about Banff is the scenery. I have been all around the Americas and the only thing that comes close is maybe Santa Marta area in Colombia. The tip I would like to give skiers is to go between Easter and the end of May. Prices drop, the crowds go away and it snows a lot. For locals, April and May are favourite ski months....

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Top 10 Multi-Generational Destinations: Banff National Park

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Skip the Alaskan cruise that all your friends are taking and go explore the true wilderness– the kind that isn't readily available anywhere nearby. Alberta, Canada is home to some of the most beautiful, pristine, and well-preserved natural settings in the world, including Banff National Park, Canada's first national park and the world's third national park. The Xplorer Club, which includes a free interactive booklet, provides interactive activities for children, including a scavenger hike and Banff National Park Bingo, so they better keep their eyes peeled for elk, bears and Woodland Caribou. The area is unique in that it provides equal amounts of activities no matter the season. In summer, there are great hiking trails, rafting excursions, biking trips, or horseback rides; the winter provides ample snow for both downhill or cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and enjoying the hot springs! Another great aspect of Banff & Lake Louise is that there are so many options, any activity can be modified: for example, the number of hiking trails provide for any difficulty level, length of hike, and time, so people of all ages can participate in activities. For those who aren't up for seriously steep hills, a simple stroll around Lake Louise or Moraine Lake provides some exercise and beautiful scenery, without fear of inclines or injury.

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Explore Deeper into Banff National Park
Hiking/Trails
Things to Do
Lakes /Mountains /Glaciers / Waterfalls
Things to Do
Icefields Parkway
Things to Do
Banff Gondola
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Lake Louise/Chateau Lake Louise.
Things to Do
Bow Lake
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Banff Town
Off The Beaten Path
Lakes
Off The Beaten Path
Mountains
Off The Beaten Path
Icefield Parkway/Glaciers
Favorites
Lake Louise/Chateau
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Banff nearby
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Take enough water clothing and food during your hikes!!
Warnings and Dangers
Hikes & Trails
Favorites
Waterfalls
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soo Many Tourist
Warnings and Dangers
The Grizzly House
Restaurants
Local Crafts
Local Customs
Cafeteria at the Crossing
Restaurants
Mistaya Canyon
Things to Do
Trail along Moraine Lake
Things to Do
Waterfowl Lakes
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Bridal Veil Falls
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Weeping Wall
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Peyto Lake
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Bow Lake & Bow Glacier
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Herbert Lake
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Highlight of the Bow Valley Parkway
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Lake Louise
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Bow Valley Parkway
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Rockpile Trail
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Thai with a View
Restaurants
See the Prairies
Things to Do
Cave and Basin
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Lac des Arc
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Take a break in Lake Louise
Restaurants
Ski the Rockies
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Take a Drive to Lake Louise
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Try the Tandori Chicken
Restaurants
Cascade Gardens
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Map of Banff National Park

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