Do something out of the ordinary! Get your passport and head up to Canada for a life-changing stay at Banff National Park! Full of northern beauty, this amazing national park offers some of the most gorgeous views, which is why it attracts countless people from all over the world! Take a look at all the fun that this incredible national park has to offer!
Location and History
Banff National Park is nestled within the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, providing some of the most picturesque views of a lifetime! Located in Alberta, Canada, on the western border of British Columbia, Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park, and the third in the world! The area was discovered after construction workers on the Canadian Pacific Railway came across a cave on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. This cave contained hot springs, and led to the more expansive discovery of the stunning natural beauty that surrounds! This gorgeous national park spans 2,564 square miles, and is filled with amazing mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, and more for some of the best views of a lifetime! The park encompasses the town of Banff, which is the highest town in Canada with an elevation of 4,540 feet!
Plants and Wildlife
Several species of plants and animals call Banff National Park home, and if you’re lucky, you will get to see them thriving in their natural habitat! Elk, grizzly and black bears, lynx, wolves, wolverines, ducks, rodents, and bird species are just a few of the animals you will find there! As always, be sure to observe proper bear and wolf protocol when camping, and secure food and other belongings so you don’t attract wildlife to your campsite! Also keep an eye out for countless beautiful Rocky Mountain wildflowers that flourish throughout the park!
Activities In Banff National Park
Hiking and Biking
Banff National Park offers countless opportunities to see unforgettable sights with over 1,000 miles of hiking trails and 180 miles of biking trails! The towns of Banff, Bow Valley Parkway, Lake Louise, and Icefields Parkway are just a few of the amazing places that have the best trails for hiking and biking!
Whether you’re looking to cross country ski, downhill ski, snowboard, or even give heli-skiing a try, you’ll have the chance in Banff! With three different ski resorts including Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise Ski Resort, you’ll feel the thrill!
Climbing and Mountaineering
The Rocky Mountains that run through Banff National Park give climbing enthusiasts countless options for challenging and rewarding climbs! You can even climb in the winter, as waterfall ice climbing and mixed climbing are allowed when the conditions are right!
To learn more about the park, its history, and its environment throughout, there are a variety of programs offered through Banff National Park to help visitors become familiar with all it has to offer! Guided hikes and walks are a great way to see some of the best views of Banff! There are also plenty of hands-on activities, a kids Xplorer Program, and nighttime programs that include theater shows that tell tales of the history of the park and the wildlife that call this place home!
Things To Do
This newly renovated, state-of-the-art interpretive center is an experience like no other! Located at the top of Sulphur Mountain, this incredible facility features an amazing mountain boardwalk where you can take in the beauty that surrounds you, eat at spectacular restaurants, participate in interactive exhibits, and enjoy a 360° rooftop observation deck! Take a gondola up to this unforgettable spot for a one-of-a-kind experience with the best breathtaking views! You can purchase tickets in advance here!
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Heralded as the birthplace of Canada’s national parks, Cave and Basin National Historic Site takes you to the spot where it all began! You can visit the very spot where construction workers discovered the wonders of Banff over 130 years ago!
Originally built in 1903, this museum has since been renovated and is protected as a national historic site! Here you will find a collection of over 5,000 taxidermied animals, including grizzly bears, bison, bighorn sheep, and more! It’s a great firsthand look how the first generations of Banff regarded the environment surrounding them!
The eastern portion of Banff National Park holds Lake Minnewanka, which is a wonderful spot for a day on the water! Take the spectacular boat tour around the lake to get some jaw-dropping views of the surrounding mountains and beautiful water! This is the only lake where motorized boats are allowed, so get the family together and rent a boat to experience the wonder for yourselves!
A trip to Lake Louise is not one you will soon forget! This glacier-fed lake is absolutely stunning, with a greenish blue hue to the water that is refreshingly beautiful! Aside from the marvelous views, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in Lake Louise! Peppered with hiking trails, surrounded by mountains, and complete with shops, hotels, and even a ski resort, it’s well worth the trip!
Banff National Park is home to 13 different campgrounds that offer over 2,400 campsites for you to choose from! Both park and camping permits are required for camping, which can be purchased at the entry gates and at kiosks! Reservations are accepted online, but there are also many first-come, first-served sites available! Here are a few great campgrounds to check out!
This amazing area is split into two different campgrounds, with over 800 campsites between the two! It is spacious, clean, and features plenty of activities with a shuttle to downtown Banff for endless opportunities for fun! Complete with flush toilets, showers, a dump station, and a wonderful, quiet atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to take your RV!
This wonderful campground lets you stay near all the beauty that Lake Louise has to offer! This campground features separate areas for tents and trailers, with the trailer campground open year round! You’ll appreciate showers, great bath houses, a dump station, and accommodations for trailers up to 50 feet long, so pack up the RV for an amazing Canadian getaway!
Backcountry camping is allowed in Banff National Park if you’d like a more rustic camping experience to get closer to nature! What a way to see some gorgeous lakes, hike some great trails, and see some amazing sights! A permit is required in order to go backcountry camping and they are available at the park! This is just a small taste of all the wonder that Banff National Park has to offer! There are so many more mountains to see, trails to traverse, and lakes to behold! Get out there and experience for yourself all the beauty that Canada has to offer! What is your favorite spot that you’ve visited, or would like to someday visit, in Banff National Park? Leave us a comment to share!