Given it is amongst the top destinations every traveler must visit, chances are, you have already heard of Banff National Park in Canada and the many things to do at the park
With its blue colored lakes, snow-capped peaks, spectacular glaciers, and mesmerizing landscapes, it is nature at its best.
Banff National Park was established in 1885 is the oldest park in Canada and the third oldest in the world! Located in the Rocky Mountains, west of Calgary in the province of Alberta, Banff encompasses 6,641 square kilometers of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense forest, and alpine landscapes.
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When to visit
Depending on what you want to do, you can visit the park all year round. Spring is a little later than you would normally expect and is from May to mid-June. Summer is then from mid-June to August. With more than 16 hours of daylight, every summer activity is possible with hiking and biking being the most popular. There are plenty of water activities such as rafting, paddleboarding, kayaking, or even swimming in the lakes.
Holidays like Canada Day, Heritage Day in Alberta, Labour Day and the summer holidays hotels are sold out quickly, so its best to book well in advance. My advice would be to check the Canadian Holiday Calendar and avoid weekends. Try and stay as many weekdays as possible.
With the beginning of Fall and the school year, the park becomes quite empty compared to the summer months. While the temperatures start to drop, they are still good for camping. From October onwards, Parks Canada closes down places such as Spiral Tunnel parking lot, and many campgrounds. The Banff Mountain Film Festival is also held at the end of October.
Winter which is the longest season from mid-November to mid-May brings in the skiers and Lake Louise ski resort hosts the FIS Ski World Cup. By December everything is covered with snow and if you have the ideal conditions get your skates on for some lake skating or pond hockey.
Cometh the new year (January & February) cometh the best conditions for skiing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. March is really the best time to go skiing with the days getting longer and temperatures are no longer below freezing during the day. Between April and mid-May, the ski resorts close down as snow as gone. Good news is you have t
Things do in Banff National Park
So, what things is there do for the family? Well, a lot! Let’s start with the favorite.
The most popular outdoor activity in Banff National park by a mile or more! The best time to go hiking is between June and October, however, it is a year-round activity. For example, at Johnston Canyon, you can in the summer do a waterfall walk or ice walk in the winter!
Between June and October, the Canadian Rockies offer perfect conditions for mountain biking. Many of the biking trails are at the bottom of valleys however there are some great trails outside the park border in Kananaskis and Canmore.
The park is well equipped with campsites and
Native Tribal History
You can learn about the culture and traditions of the native tribes living in the Rocky Mountains at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum.
If you prefer to enjoy the views of the Canadia Rockies like a 19th-century explorer, then horseback riding is the way to go.
Ride the trails and enjoy the most scenic horseback riding in Banff National Park. With a Cowboy guide, learn all about life in the west while taking in the spectacular scenery. Horseback rides typically operate mid-April until mid-October
When you google Peyton Lake, most of you would assume the photos have been photoshopped but you’re wrong! The lake is actually that blue and is easily accessible. The the lookout point would is a popular place to see the color yourself. The lake thaw in June, so
Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis is not commonly seen in Banff National Park however it is possible and you should check the spaceweather.com for more details. Winter is the best time as the nights are longer and the skies darker.
Less populated and remote places give you an opportunity for dark skies which is
Ice Castle & Sculptures
Lake Louise hosts the Ice Magic Festival, where a piece of art takes almost a week to create from massive ice blocks. The artists create them right on the frozen lake.
Formerly the tallest building in Canada and currently the most famous man-made landmark at Banff National Park. Definitely, a visit even if you are not a guest.
Visit the center and access its’ pool, fitness center and climbing wall. You can also learn a new craft or create pieces of art. They have something to offer all year round.
The second tallest waterfall in Canada at 381 meters is just magnificent! Due to the height of the fall, the water falls down in the form of a spray and not a stream, presenting you with many opportunities to capture rainbows on your camera. The fall is accessible from June to October and through a set of hairpin turn and a short and easy walk.
Helicopter Ride over The Rockies
If you ever have the opportunity to fly in a helicopter, do it! It’s one of those things everyone must experience and there is no better way than flying over the Canadian Rockies. There are small airports where you can hire a helicopter between May and October to get a bird’s eye view of this beautiful park
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Flights to Banff National Park, Canada: I recommend searching through jetradar.com They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals. You can fly into Calgary and then drive to the park which is 90 mins away.
Rental Cars in Calgary, Canada: Rentalcars.com is the world’s biggest online car rental service. Working with leading suppliers, they offer great prices on all car groups, including luxury cars, people carriers, minivans, and automatic cars. With a multilingual call center open 7 days a week, we can find you the best rental prices whenever you want – wherever you go.
Where to Stay: The town of Banff and the hamlet of Lake Louise have a large range of accommodations you can choose from luxurious hotels to cozy bed & breakfast, from family-friendly chalets to tent canvas. Consider staying in nearby towns like Canmore which is just outside of the park limits.
Best prices on accommodation and car rental are in April-May and September-November.
Travel Insurance: Make sure you get Travel Insurance before you fly. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It covers for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. You can read all about why you need it here
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