Best activities to do in Banff National Park

Lake Louise, Banff National Park - Click Maple

In our article on Best Activities to do in Banff National Park – we talk about some of the best activities suitable for you! Especially customized and thoroughly planned with all the minor details so that you can get all the information in one place to make your trip to Banff National park a memorable one.

Planning a trip or even some fun activities for a day can be tiring, right? And let’s admit there are too many articles promising the best activities out there, but either they don’t tell you how to go about it or the activities does not suit your taste.

So below is a list of activities for all age groups and all kinds of the trip, be it romantic with your loved one or your self-exploratory solo trip, what else? Well, it provides you with all the details required by you to have an amazing trip! The activities are so planned and divided that it covers your full day. .so its enjoyable and relaxing. Let’s get started.

You can expect the following information covered in this article, each activity mentioned below as the following information:

#1 Most popular activities
#2 How to reach there
#3 How much time you need to spend there
#4 Some secret tips that can make your trip more enjoyable
#5 Suitability according to your trip(Solo, couple or family)
#6 Bonus activity that  promises more fun

To begin with, before starting with the activities lets first see the date and time suitable for your trip.

Banff National park is one of the most popular tourist destinations and for all the right reasons! Well, Banff National park has something to offer all year round but the best months include during July, August, December, and January. There are reasons these months have been selected as the best among the rest.

July and August qualify as the best month for all those who love warm and pleasant weather, these months are not only nature-friendly but also pocket-friendly as they provide fairly low rates for hotel and accommodation services.

December and January are the best months all those who love adventure and winters. If skiing, ice skating or simply admiring the beauty of snow is your thing, these are the best months for you!!

Now that we have decided the month of your visit lets get into the detail and decide the timings of your visit. No matter if you are visiting this beautiful park during the warm comfy weather or the cool and thrilling winter, there is no better timing than early morning.

To be precise be sure to be there at the park before 6:30 am for the best sunrise you will experience, and what better than a good start with chirping birds and fresh grass, with fresh dew on the leaves.  

Now without further delay, let’s delve into some of the fun activities you can enjoy.

# A walk towards nature and an unforgettable Gandola ride.

Well, you waking up early morning won’t be very successful if you do not go for a walk into the woods and unwind yourself in the beauty of nature. Going for an early walk not only benefits your health but also there is less crowd and you have more time to admire nature. Also, the sunrise view is something you would not like to miss.  

After going for a long walk or spending some quality family time take up the famous Gandola ride that takes you to the Sulphur mountains, the journey to reach the top, though an eight-minute journey is sure to have you spellbound. There is also a small hike to reach the very top of Sulphur mountains, suitable for all age groups, although it is recommended to consult your doctor if your age is above 60.

Enjoy delicious delicacy from the near-by cafes with a breathtaking view. Don’t forget to try out the duck starter and some delicious Canadian dishes in the Sky Bistro restaurant it usually opens at 11:00 am. You can also visit the Samurai sushi bar and restaurant where you get some of the most delicious sushi ever.

How to reach– Flying to the nearest airport, Calgary which is the main city is the most comfortable way to reach Banff national park, the duration of the flight is approx. 1.5 hours.

How much time you need to spend– Though subjective, an individual can spend their early morning and afternoon here. You can admire the beauty of nature in the early morning time and have a good breakfast, then take up a gondola ride and spend your afternoon peacefully. 8 to 9 hours can be spent here. 

Secret tip– While you are there, taking a walk in the woods trying to mingle with the localities there, as they are warm and friendly and will help you learn the history and less known facts of the place 

Suitability– Suitable for all age groups. Any traveler be it solo, couple or family will have a good time in this park. 

Bonus activity– Go for bicycling, services are available for hiring bicycles and are charged at an hourly rate. 

# Shop till you drop in Banff town

While you are in the Banff National park, you cannot miss visiting the Banff town, which is a lovely place with tons of shopping areas and beautiful mountains. The best part of shopping in Banff town is you can get all sorts of items you need. From high ranking luxurious brands to the locally handcrafted gifts, you get everything here, and also while you are here shopping you can always enjoy some good food. Be it a light snack or some cakes for your sweet tooth the restaurants in Banff town have got it covered for you.

Town Centre Mall and Cascade shops are some of the popular places to visit for shopping and munching or even for taking a stroll in the evening, as the place has the beautiful architecture for you to admire. Though a bit on the pricey side, you wouldn’t mind spending some bucks and time here as the ambiance and experience is worth it.

How to reach- Cascade shops are located in 317 Banff Ave, Banff. You can just take a walk and explore the whole area. One can also go for bus, fare charges for adults are $2 while for kids is $1. Taxis and cabs are also available in the whole area.

How much time you need to spend- Well it depends upon your love for shopping and your budget, but an adult usually spends around 3 to 4 hours exploring the area.

Secret tip- Try taking walk around the lanes of famous stores, there are usually small hidden stores that offer great products at a reasonable price.

Suitability- Though suitable for all age groups, it is more convenient for adults as kids and senior citizens might not like walking so much around the stores.

# Lake Minnewanka and Lake Louise

You cannot call your trip to Banff National park complete if you do not take up this activity to visit these lakes. Other than its spectacular beauty and charm these lakes have a lot to offer. Lake Minnewanka for example not only gives you a chance to see the beauty but also feel it as there are tons of activities you can do while you are here. You may choose any of the following activities-

  • Hike in the Johnson lake trail
  • Go for an adventurous camping
  • Enjoy a pleasant picnic with your friends and family
  • Stroll around the lake early morning for some of the best views and least crowd, you may also want to spend some ‘me’ time here.
  • Snowshoeing and ice skating during winters.
  • Boat cruise to Devil’s Gap

Lake Louise also offers no less in terms of experience and activities, known for its vibrant turquoise-colored glaciers and its charming beauty, one can always go for some good hiking or a mesmerizing skywalk and a tour of the Icefield parkway.

How to reach– Short scenic drive from Banff, it is only 24km away and requires approx. 30 to 40 minutes, it is 11 km from Banff town and you can take a public transit ROAM, via route 6 to reach your destination.

How much time– One can easily spend approx. four hours enjoying all the activities.

Secret Tip– Go in the evenings to capture some beautiful pictures for your Instagram feed.

Suitability– Suitable for all age groups and all kinds of travelers.

# Cave& Basin site

Not a fan of history or historical places? It doesn’t matter, the Cave &Basin site has something to offer for everyone. Located just out of Banff national park, it was designated as a national historic site in 1981. If you are wondering what you might get bored in this place, here’s a list of activities you can do and enjoy:

  • “Everyday is a new day”, it is especially true for Cave& Basins where you always have some new activities from hiking to discovering tours to watching in the 4D screen which will take you to the protected areas of Canada
  • There are also some great learning experiences for the little ones, as there is an Art and craft tent, which has everything to bring your imagination to live! Ideal for 4 to 12 years old, from butterfly making to puppets, it covers it all.
  • One can always stop by a Hope springs whose waters are believed to have healing powers, and that’s not a myth, there’s science behind it!
  • Billy’s railway camp is another thing you need to visit, I am sure you would like to know how the place you are visiting was founded and the journey of the establishment of Canada’s first national park.

How to reach– 311 Cave Avenue, near bow river. From Banff downtown take the bridge for the Bow River and turn right it will lead to Cave Avenue. Duration 20 to 25 minutes.

How much time– One can easily spend two to five hours here

Secret trip– Take a lantern tour, a unique tour in the evening with guides holding the lantern and giving you the right feels of an explorer, though it is only available from May to August.

Suitability– Ideal for young adults as it involves lots of hiking and exploring, there’s also an art tent for little ones. A large group of friends and family can enjoy most here.

# Ski resort in Sunshine village

This is yet another activity you would regret missing. Located in a beautiful valley, a short drive from Banff national park, Sunshine village is one of the best ski resorts in Alberta.

In winters, one can go for skiing, the region provides terrain for everyone from beginners to advanced skiers.

In Summers, one can opt for hiking, one also has the option of taking up a bus up or down.

How to reach– Located at the sunshine village, 1 sunshine access road, the best way to reach here is taking a cab from Banff town, around 18.3 km, it will take 20 minutes.

How much time– you can spend a whole day here, as with the best skiing options there are also several resorts which offer great service and scenic beauty.

Suitability– Kids, young adults, senior citizens, this place is suitable for anyone who loves skiing.

# Engaging in the world of wildlife

One of the most prominent activity to do in Banff national park is to view the wildlife. The park boasts of more than 50 species of mammals and some of the rare and extinct birds. Though Grizzly bears and Elk are most commonly found, it is recommended to take a Wildlife tour available during summer months to fully engage in the activity and with the help of a professional guide, one can spot some rare animals too.

How to reach– This activity can be done in Banff national park itself.

How much time– Two to three hours is sufficient to engage in this activity.

Suitability– Anyone who loves to admire wildlife.

Secret tip – Always take a guided tour and of course a good camera!

Now that we have talked about some great activities, how to reach there and what to do, I hope that you find the best activities according to your needs and have a great and memorable trip.

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