Banff National Park is one of Canada’s most loved places. However, this also means that long weekends throughout the summer can be some of the busiest visitation periods in the park. To ensure you have the best experience, make sure you plan ahead and follow the tips below.

  • Parks Canada strongly recommends that visitors PLAN AHEAD and make reservations for campgrounds, transit, shuttles, restaurants and key attractions where available.
  • The potential for congestion and delays at key attractions, day-use areas, parking lots, and on access roads for people and vehicles is high. To avoid disappointment, be sure to have a back-up plan if parking areas are full and access to key attractions is unavailable.

Check Banff National Park Facebook and Twitter feeds for real-time information on delays and congestion at key attractions. You can also check BanffNow and the Town of Banff parking for real-time status of available parking and alternative places to visit.


Top tips to help ensure a positive experience on long weekends:

Take Transit
  • Taking Roam Public Transit is the most environmentally sustainable and hassle-free way to explore Banff and Lake Louise.
  • Roam Public Transit and Parks Canada shuttles are a must to reach key locations in Banff National Park like Sulphur Mountain, Banff Upper Hot Springs, Lake Minnewanka, Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
  • Moraine Lake and Lake Louise are very busy destinations, parking lots are often full by early morning. Visitors must take Roam Public Transit from Banff or Lake Louise or utilize the Parks Canada shuttles from the Lake Louise Ski Resort to access Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Visitors must reserve their seat on a Parks Canada Shuttle in advance of their visit. Without a reservation, visitors will not get a seat on a Parks Canada shuttle to Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, and it is unlikely they will secure a parking spot in their personal vehicle. Please consider visiting when you have secured a shuttle reservation in advance.
  • For campers in Banff National Park campgrounds, the bus ride on Roam Public Transit out of the campgrounds is FREE. By taking transit during your stay, you can avoid the hassle of finding parking and have the best opportunity to reach key attractions.
Parking
  • Visitors to Banff National Park and the Town of Banff are encouraged to park their vehicle once upon arrival and take public transit to other attractions within the townsite and park. Vehicles should be left at accommodations or parked in one of the FREE 9-hour maximum parking lots available in the Town of Banff at:
    • The Train Station Public Parking Lot;
    • Bow Avenue Public Parking Lot; and
    • Floors 2, 3, 4 of the Bear Street Parkade.
  • Parking is extremely limited at the Lake Louise Lakeshore and Moraine Lake and you will likely not be able to find a parking spot throughout daylight hours. Paid parking is in effect at Lake Louise Lakeshore. Parking for free at the Lake Louise Ski Resort and taking transit is the best way to provide certainty in reaching your destination. Advanced reservations are required for Parks Canada Shuttles.
  • Parking at key attractions in Banff National Park is limited and will be in high demand this Canada day weekend. Ensure you have a back-up plan in case you cannot reach your destination.
  • When recreating in Banff National Park, visitors are reminded to park in designated parking lots within the townsite, trail heads, day-use areas and at key attractions. Please obey all no-parking signs and do not park illegally on roadways.
Wildlife Safety
  • Leave no trace by ensuring all garbage is properly disposed of or stowed away and picnic areas are kept free from wildlife attractants. Take all garbage with you if the garbage bins are full.
  • Never feed wildlife and keep your picnic and campsite clean - always store food and all scented items in your vehicle or bear proof-locker.
  • Keeping wildlife wild is a shared responsibility – we all have a role to play. If you see wildlife by the road, slow down, stay in your vehicle and move on - please consider not stopping.
  • Never approach wildlife; stay 30m (3 bus lengths) away from elk, deer, and moose, and 100m (10 bus lengths) away from bears and other carnivores. Give them space for your safety and their survival.
  • Respect all closures and obey speed limits.
  • Keep pets on a leash at all times.
  • The chance to view wildlife in their natural environment is one of the most exciting things about visiting the mountain national parks. Learn how you can help them survive by keeping them wild here.
Closure and Restrictions
  • Respect all area closures and restrictions in the park. They exist for the protection of the landscapes, wildlife, residents and visitors. Research your route in advance and alter your plans if closures exist. More information can be found on the Parks Canada Important Bulletins.
Fire Safety

Campfire users are reminded of the following:

  • obey all fire restrictions in the area;
  • only use the Parks Canada metal fire rings within campgrounds and designated cooking shelters and day use areas;
  • keep fires small;
  • do not to burn garbage or food waste as these are considered wildlife attractants;
  • and ensure fires are fully extinguished before leaving the area
Alcohol ban at Campgrounds
  • As always, a ban on alcohol and cannabis consumption is in effect for summer long weekends in campgrounds in Banff National Park. The ban is in effect from 7:00 a.m. on the first day of each long weekend until 11:00 a.m. on the last day.
Visitor Centre Information
  • We can help, call us or visit us in person at the Banff and Visitor Information Centres. For more information on Visitor Information Centres click here.

For additional tips on how to prepare for your trip to Banff National Park: