10 THINGS TO DO IN BANFF
Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park and one of the most beautiful places in the world. Home to several breathtaking lakes, historic hot springs, and towering mountains—it’s no surprise that Banff attracts thousands of visitors each year. If you’re looking for places to go in Banff or need some suggestions on what to do when visiting the town, don’t worry! We’ve compiled a list of things you can do while enjoying this incredible place:
Take a Gondola Ride
One of the most popular activities in Banff is a gondola ride. A gondola is basically a cable car that takes you up to Sulphur Mountain, an area where you can see the town below and all of the mountains surrounding it. The best part about taking this ride is that it’s not just for tourists—the locals love it too!
If you’re worried about heights, don’t be—the views from up there are breathtaking! It’s also nice to know that if anything were to go wrong with your cable car (e.g., lightning strike), you’d be safely trapped inside until help arrives. At least that’s what we tell ourselves when we’re standing at the edge looking down at our feet instead of out into space like everyone else on board
Lake Louise is a beautiful place to visit. It’s one of the most photographed places in Banff National Park, and you’re likely to see many others taking photos when you’re there. Lake Louise is a great place for a walk along the lake or on the trails that surround it. You can stop at any point and admire its beauty—and don’t forget your camera!
Johnston Canyon Hike
Johnston Canyon is a hiking trail in Banff National Park that winds through a canyon for 8.5 kilometres. The trail starts at the parking lot and follows the creek along the canyon walls, passing over waterfalls and ponds. The best time to hike it is during the spring or summer when you can see mountain flowers in bloom. It’s rated as easy to moderate, but be cautious of slippery rocks and falling branches!
Johnston Canyon is open year round so you can hike it anytime you want!
Take a dip in Banff hot springs.
Banff National Park is home to Banff hot springs, a natural attraction that’s worth checking out. The hot springs are located on the edge of the park and are popular in winter, when there’s snow everywhere (the pool is kept at around 98 degrees Fahrenheit). But you can enjoy them any time of year—they’re open year-round!
The pools are free for anyone who wants to use them, but you must bring your own towels or rent one from a nearby store if you don’t have one with you. Soak up some sun while taking a dip in one of these natural pools!
Tunnel Mountain Hike
The Tunnel Mountain hike is one of the most popular hikes in Banff National Park. It’s not suitable for children, people with heart problems or knee problems, or those who have trouble walking long distances.
The hike takes about six hours round-trip (about 10 kilometres). You’ll climb to the top of a mountain and then descend through a tunnel that was blasted out of rock in 1896. Be sure to bring some water and snacks so you can stay hydrated while hiking this trail!
Visit Moraine Lake
One of the most famous lakes in Banff National Park, Moraine Lake is a beautiful turquoise gem surrounded by mountains. The lake is accessible by car or by hiking, so it’s easy to visit no matter what your mode of transportation or fitness level is like! The lake is known as “The Jewel of the Rockies” because of its stunning blue colour and natural beauty. There are many things to do around Moraine Lake including swimming, picnicking and wildlife watching!
Experience the Banff Christmas Market.
The Banff Christmas Market is a must-visit for all members of the family. It’s located in downtown Banff (on Mountain Avenue) and has been around for more than 20 years!
The market has over 50 vendors selling unique items such as clothing, jewellery, souvenirs and food—you’ll even find some great local artists showcasing their work. You can also enjoy live music while you shop or take part in an art workshop.
If you want to get the most out of your visit here are some tips:
- Get there early—it opens at 8am on Saturdays and Sundays from November 23rd until December 9th 2015; closing times vary depending on how busy things get so check by calling 403-762-2066 first before heading out!
- If you have kids bring them along—there are several places where they will be entertained including face painting as well as special kid zones where they can play games while mommy shops around 😉 (in case anyone was wondering).
- Bring cash with you because most vendors don’t accept credit cards yet but let’s hope that changes soon!!!
Visit the Banff National Park Museum.
The Banff National Park Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Canada’s first national park, established in 1885 and then expanded over time. It also includes exhibits on wildlife and geology.
The museum is located just outside of downtown Banff, near the Bow River. To get there, walk along Cascade Avenue (the main street) until you reach an intersection with Tunnel Mountain Road; turn right onto Tunnel Mountain Road and follow it as it curves around until your see signs for the Banff National Park Museum on your left. The entrance costs C$13 per adult; children aged 6-16 cost C$7, while seniors pay C$12 (children under 5 are free).
Go to Cascade Gardens.
If you’re looking for a place in Banff to take in some natural beauty, then the Cascade Gardens are for you. Located just outside of town, this garden is home to many different flowers and trees with over 600 varieties on site. The gardens are also home to several statues that were originally intended for use in other cities but ended up being moved when they were deemed too expensive or complex. There’s even an outdoor restaurant on site where you can get delicious food!
Visit the Hoodoos.
Hoodoos are the most recognizable and iconic feature of the Canadian Rockies. These rock formations are formed by erosion, where wind, water and ice carve out these marvelous shapes. Hoodoos can also be found in other areas around the world such as Bryce Canyon in Utah, but there is something about hoodoos that makes them so unique to Banff National Park. Hoodoos are not glaciers, contrary to what many people think! Glaciers carve out their own unique features too—like U-shaped valleys known as cirques (pronounced “sirks”).
There are many activities to do in Banff that will leave you wanting more
Banff is a great place to visit and there are many activities to do in Banff. It’s a great place for everyone!
There are many things to do in Banff, and I hope this list has given you some inspiration. If you’re going to be visiting Canada anytime soon or live near Banff National Park, then these activities should definitely be on your bucket list.