Top 10 Things to Do in the Majestic Banff National Park

Travel & Leisure

Welcome to Banff National Park in Canada for the Top 10 Things to Do in the Majestic Banff.  Thousands of people are drawn to this park for the awe inspiring beauty. There are seven Historic Sites and loads of wildlife from small to large in size. Enjoy year-round activities with your Parks Discovery Pass.  Let us first learn some history of the Banff National Park.  Then we can explore the best things to do while there with our trusty Lonely Planet Banff travel book.

Indigenous people occupied the land known as Banff National Park in the beginning.  Then there was a time when 2 railway workers stumbled upon the Hot Springs to rest their weary bones around Sulphur Mountain in 1883. In 1885 when Canada was completing its intercontinental railway, Sir John A Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada saw the beauty of the area.  He created Canada’s first National Park which included the Cave and Basin Hot Springs, Banff and Lake Louise which includes 26km2 of land.  With a bounty full of wild life from large grizzle bears to small animals in the thousands are drawn here. Let us take a peek to see the Top 10 activities To Do in Banff.

Photograph by T.Griggs Mr. 1AdventureTraveler

10 Things to Do In Banff National Park

*These activities are not in any particular order

1.  National Historic Site Cave and Basin

Banff National Park. Minutes from Banff see bubbling mineral waters, and an underground cave.  If you are with the family, try the family activities and interactive programs available for you.  This is the birthplace of Canada’s National Park.

2.  Bow Valley Parkway 

Located on Hwy 1A has an open year-round scenic drive 48 km between Banff and Lake Louise.  Stop in Lake Louise to view the wildlife, plus hiking trails where you can hike through Johnston Canyon and many places for a picnic.  One can also stay in the campgrounds or one of the unique cottages.

3.  Icefields Parkway 

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must do.  A 230km drive right through the Canadian Rocky Mountain Park that winds through year old glaciers, dramatic rock formations, wide valleys and emerald lakes.  Tip:  Lots of Photo opportunities.

4.  Lake Minnewanka Loop 

Take in a glacial lake, cascading waterfall, scenic canyon and parts of a coal mining town on this loop. Lake Minnewanka is the largest Lake.  Go for a boat ride, have a picnic, hike, biking and in winter go cross-country skiing or do a winter walk.

5.  Banff Upper Hot Springs 

Time to relax in the upper hot springs outdoor pool with hot mineral rich water.  View the jagged peaks in this year-round pool that’s open daily.  Then visit the gift shop and café while there.

6.  Lake Louise – “The Lake”

One of the most photographed locations along with Victoria Glacier in the Canadian Rockies.  Great for horseback riding, climbing, canoeing, amazing hikes with stunning scenery.  Tip: In summer visit before 9am or after 7pm to avoid the large crowds.

7.  Banff Legacy Trail

Take in the breathtaking view along this paved path and roadway that spans 29km from Travel Alberta’s Visitor Center in Canmore to Bow Valley Parkway.  Great for cyclists, runners, and walkers to take in this amazing view.  Have a picnic, visit Vermilion Lakes and other popular trails on your adventure.

8.  Moraine Lake

Also known as the “Ten Peaks” offers a dramatic view for photographers.  Tip:  In winter, Moraine Lake Road is closed to vehicles.  It becomes a very popular cross-country ski trail.

9.  Vermilion Lakes Drive

Explore this 4.3 km pave road that’s open to walkers, bikers or by car to catch a sight of some interesting wildlife.  Stop for a rest on a bench or at the docks and take in this awe-inspiring view.  Tip:  Photo opportunity to snap a photo of Mount Rundle.

10.  Great Canadian Camping

Park camping would be exciting to take in the majestic landscapes.  Camp sites range from rustic to full service that takes in a mountain view.  Variety of choices are from a traditional tent to RV site, oTENTik cabin like site or a convenient equipped campsite.  See their website for more information.

Go on a drive, you will be amazed at the majestic beauty you can see…

Photograph by T.Griggs Mr. 1AdventureTraveler

Tips – Banff National Park

  • Human food kills wildlife.  Please do not leave food unattended or feed the wildlife.
  • Do not litter.  If you litter this feed the wildlife.  Bins are available for garbage and recycled products.
  • Properly Store all food and scented items.  Example: coolers, pet food bowls, BBQ’s, dishes, food, bottles/cans, sunscreen, shampoo, toothpaste and more.
  • Keep picnic area and campsite clear.
  • Do not approach wildlife.  Please give them space.
  • Keep pets on a leash to keep them safe.
  • Slow down when driving if you see wildlife.  Stay in the car for safety.
  • Keep children close by at all times for safety.
  • Make sure to pick up a Parks Discover Pass

More – Banff National Park 

How exciting to plan your trip to Banff National Park with so much activities available that include awe-inspiring majestic landscapes.  Activities can be planned for winter and summer time fun.  Look forward to more articles on how to make the best of your time in the National Park either for a full day or half day adventure.

Visit 1AdventureTraveler for more Canadian Trips or other World Adventures.

Life is short, go out and have an adventure

Have you been to Banff National Park?  What was you favorite thing to do?  Please leave me a comment and let me know.

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