There are so many things to see in Banff National Park that it's sometimes difficult to know where to start. Here are some of the highlights. Keep in mind, the park is especially busy from May through September. Use BanffNow for real-time congestion information and parking availability. Better yet, take transit or a local shuttle and let us do the driving. Plan ahead to make the most of your visit.

Banff | Between Banff and Lake Louise | Lake Louise | On the Icefields Parkway

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Map DataMap data ©2017 Google
Map data ©2017 Google
 
 
 
 
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Around the town of Banff

Birthplace of Canada's national parks - The Cave and Basin National Historic Site


© Banff Photography

   

Cave and Basin National Historic Site 

The Cave and Basin National Historic Site celebrates Parks Canada’s protected natural and cultural treasures with all new year-round programming and interactive exhibits. The highlight for many will be a visit to the fully accessible underground Cave, a special place where bubbling thermal waters connect people to the essence of Banff National Park.

Get here with local transit 


Lake Minnewanka


© Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

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20 min north of Banff on the Minnewanka loop

Lake Minnewanka 

The Stoney-Nakoda First Nations knew lake Minnewanka as the “the Lake of the Water Spirits”. The area is a great place to relax by the water, picnic, dive, mountain bike, hike, cross-country ski or snowshoe.

Get here with local transit 


Banff Legacy Trail


© Paul Zizka Photography

 

Banff Legacy Trail

From Banff east gate to the Bow Valley Parkway

Paved trails and roadways span for 26 kilometres from Banff National Park’s East Gate to the Bow Valley Parkway, Enjoy views, picnic areas, the townsite, and a variety of rest spots and trail connectors.


Upper Hot Springs Pool

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Upper Hot Springs Pool

Relax in the comfort of soothing natural hot springs where travellers have come to ‘take the waters’ for more than a century.

Get here with local transit 


Johnson Lake


© Ray Schmidt

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Hike the 3 km loop of Johnson Lake or canoe, fish, kayak on its waters.


Vermilion Lakes


© Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Noel Hendrickson

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Vermilion Lakes

5min west of Banff on the Vermilion road

Discover the important wetlands of Vermilion Lakes while enjoying wildlife viewing and bird watching.


Between Banff and Lake Louise

Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A)

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This scenic heritage road offers viewpoints, picnic sites, trails, and roadside interpretative panels, as well as quaint cottage accommodation along the way. The road is narrow and curvy; slow down for cyclists and wildlife.


Johnston Canyon


© Ray Schmidt

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Feel the spray of waterfalls from catwalks that cling to the canyon walls: 1.1 km (20 min) to the Lower Falls: 2.7 km (1hr) to the Upper Falls. Located on the Bow Valley Parkway or Highway 1A.


Around the village of Lake Louise

This hamlet and lake offer some of the finest hiking, skiing and sightseeing in the world. Explore the highlights below or learn more about the area.

Lake Louise (The Lake)


© Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

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Getting around Lake Louise 

The emerald hues and glacial backdrop of Lake Louise have wowed visitors since the 1890s. The lake offers photographic moments, a lakeshore stroll, canoeing and horseback riding. From July through September, the best time to visit is before 11 am or after 5 pm. From November through June, avoid travel beyond the boathouse on the left side of the lake due to avalanche hazard.


Lake Agnes Trail


© Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

 

One of the most hiked trails in the area, the 6.8 km return trail gains 385 m elevation gain to a seasonal mountain teahouse. During the summer and fall, the trail takes you past Mirror Lake to enjoy a steeped cup of ‘high’ tea with a stunning view of Lake Louise. November through late spring, turn around at Mirror Lake to avoid dangerous avalanche terrain. In May and June, check the trail report before departing.


Plain of Six Glaciers Trail

Glaciers, vaulting peaks, avalanche paths, wildlife and a mountain teahouse are all part of this classic hike. This famous Lake Louise hike offers great satisfaction for a moderate 10 km effort. November through late spring, choose another option as this trail is subject to dangerous avalanche hazard. In May and June, check the trail report before departing.


Moraine Lake

Bead & Breakfast / Cottage

Getting around the Lake Louise area

Known as the Valley of the Ten Peaks, this area offers hiking, paddling, and dramatic photographic opportunities. Best time to visit is before 11 am or after 5 pm. The road is closed between mid-October and mid-June.


On the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93N)

The Icefields Parkway connects Lake Louise and Jasper, parallelling the Continental Divide through some of the most wild and remote parts of Banff and Jasper national parks. Explore two highlights below or learn more about the area.

Icefields Parkway

Bow Summit and Peyto Lake

Bow Summit is the height of land between the Bow River system, flowing to Banff, and the Mistaya River system. Reach Peyto Lake after a short uphill walk and enjoy views of the brilliantly turquoise, glacial fed lake.


Bow Lake and Bow Glacier


© Banff & Lake Louise Tourism / Noel Hendrickson

Bead & Breakfast / Cottage

Bow Lake is one of the more scenic and accessible lakes for fishing. The turquoise blue water is the source of the Bow River. From here you can view the majestic Bow Glacier.


 

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