Time for some outdoor adventure and the breathtaking scenery of Banff National Park. More than 4 million people visit Banff National Park each year, making it one of the most popular destinations in the world. Discover the incredible views and essential experiences for your time in Banff, just 90 minutes West of Calgary.
Hiking in the Canadian Rockies is a must-do part of any Alberta vacation. That’s what makes Johnston Canyon one of the most popular destinations in Banff National Park. Walk the well maintained pathways and explore the Lower Falls, about 30 minutes from the parking lot, or take an extended hike beyond the Upper Falls to the Ink Pots, a series of green coloured mineral springs. Johnston Canyon has limited parking and can be accessed via Roam Transit Route 9 from May to October from the Town of Banff.
Local tip: Beat the crowds and visit Johnston Canyon during the week, early in the morning, or mid evening, for the best access to this incredible natural place.
Location: Bow Valley Pkwy, Alberta
There is no more iconic place in Canada than Lake Louise, just a two hour drive along the Trans-Canada Highway from Calgary. Experience the beautiful turquoise waters of Lake Louise with canoe rides, horseback tours, and legendary hikes. You can walk around the Lake Louise Shoreline Trail to the Victoria Glacier at the opposite end of the lake, or if you are looking for more of an adventure, hike to the famous Lake Agnes Tea House for pastries and a pot of fresh brewed tea.
Local tip: Rent a canoe from the Lake Louise Boathouse for an epic Instagram shot with the Canadian Rockies as your backdrop.
Location: 111 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise
Located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake is a short drive from Lake Louise and another bucket list location in Banff National Park. Once you arrive, it’s a quick walk up the moraine rock pile for incredible views of the turquoise waters below. You might overhear locals referring to Moraine Lake as the “Twenty Dollar View” because it once graced the back of the Canadian $20 bill. It continues to be one of the most photographed locations in Canada.
Local tip: The Moraine Lake parking lot fills up before sunrise in the summer months so it’s best to reserve a Parks Canada shuttle ahead of time.
Location: 55 km west of Banff, Alberta, on the Trans-Canada Highway
The Banff Gondola takes you on an extraordinary trip from the base of Sulphur mountain to panoramic views of six mountain ranges. The gondola ride takes eight minutes with plenty of activities to explore at the top. Check out the Above Banff Interpretive Centre, experience a multi-sensory show in the Above Banff Theatre, or take the boardwalk to the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, a National Historic Site. Weekdays are the best time to avoid the lines and take in views of six mountain ranges just an hour and a half from Calgary.
Local tip: Dine 7,486 feet in the air at Sky Bistro, with a distinctly Canadian menu and mountain views in every direction. You’ll see why they call it a dining sanctuary in the sky.
Location: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB