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Destination Guide: Banff

Destination Guide: Banff

Banff is located in a National Park. This means you will need to purchase a Parks Pass to access the area! You can purchase this pass on your drive in or ahead of time, on-line. The fee goes towards protecting and upkeeping our beautiful Parks system! And you can further contribute to the upkeep by practicing Leave No Trace principles while you enjoy your time in the area.


Big, Bold, Beautiful Banff

The Rocky Mountains- located on the edge of Alberta, Canada these mountains tower above the horizon. Snow capped peaks, deep forests, turquoise blue lakes and roaming animals dominate the landscapes. A big wild worth exploring. There’s a hub in the middle of it all called Banff. This town brings together the freedom of the wilderness and the structure of an urban hub all in the span of 4km. Banff is famous for its diverse culinary experiences, champagne powder ski resorts, rejuvenating hot springs and easy access to trails and Adventures galore. Banff is the all-around mountain town everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime! 

Things to See

Johnston Canyon

This trail is a short drive (under 30 minutes) away from Banff and will reward you with stunning waterfalls and beautiful views. Johnston Canyon is a great day hike that can be done in any season (be prepared to see ice-climbers in the winter months!). Be forewarned, this is a popular tourist spot so make sure you go in the morning to avoid the crowds. Consider hiking Johnston Canyon to the Ink Pots with Local Shauna for a personalised experience!

Two Jack Lake

This campground is an awesome spot to set up and hang out at while you’re exploring in and around Banff. If you book your spot far enough in advance, you’ll be able to sleep lakeside. But any spot at this site is a good spot. And if you’re feeling brave? Go for a swim! The water is cold, but refreshing. If you want to be close to the water but don’t think swimming is the best option for you, consider canoeing. 

Johnston Canyon in Banff, Alberta

Sulpher Mountain Viewpoint

This area is perfect for those who have accessibility issues. The gondola is affordable and will take you to an awesome viewpoint area with a coffee shop! But, if you’re feeling like getting some exercise in, you can hike up and down Sulpher Mountain. This choice might be tempting especially with the allure of a quick dip in the sulphur hot springs after! Again, be prepared for crowds- this area can become very busy, very fast. 

Cycle Paths around Banff

These paths are the perfect way to travel around town. You can get lost for a day and find your own hidden gems. You might even consider taking the bike path all the way to Canmore (another amazing mountain town with lots to offer). 

A mountain landscape in Banff, Canada

Things to Do in Banff

While Banff is a hub of outdoor adventure, there’s plenty to fill your time in between exploring. Get your culture fix at festivals, markets and gift shops, while appreicating the food and drink scene at local breweries, distilleries, cafes and stellar ice cream shops. They have an awesome website outlining things to do and events that’s worth a browse! Your day will shape up and be as exciting or as relaxing as you want it to be.

Local Banff Highlights

If you want to get whisked away from the tourist hot spots and experience the true magic of Banff, head out with a Yervana Local. With a variety of exciting seasonal Adventures in and around Banff, you’ll discover hidden gems and find what makes this region so special to Canadians. 

Day Hiking with Shauna

Experience a full-day hike exploring the trails around the iconic Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, flora, fauna, geology and geography of the Canadian Rocky Mountains!

Adventure to Mt. Bourgeau with Derek

Challenge yourself on one of Banff National Park’s Iconic mountains. See picturesque alpine lakes, stunning mountain vistas and (conditions permitting) stand on top of the nearly 3000m summit of Mount Bourgeau. 

Nordic Skiing in Banff, Alberta

Nordic Ski in Lake Louise: Shauna

Keep fit and have fun! Learn to Nordic ski and enjoy the best winter cross-country ski trails the Rockies have to offer. Start the day with a lesson and end with a tour!

Introduction to Rock Climbing: Jeff 

The Rock Experience programs are designed to introduce you to the sport of rock climbing. This is a 1 day program which will get you climbing safely and introduced to the vertical world with a safety oriented approach.

Woman rock climbing in Banff, Canada

When to Visit Banff

Banff has something to offer everyone in each and every season. Whether you’re a fair weather explorer or someone who wants to face the challenge of a harsher season, you can find your perfect Adventure in this captivating town. 

Summer

Banff is thriving during the summer months! From lake dips to camping, horseback riding to canoeing and whitewater rafting- you’ll find fulfillment at every corner. 

Fall

As we move into Fall, the tourist crowds will begin to calm and the Adventures will take on a new feel. For example, hikes like Larch Valley and Taylor Lake change from vivid greens to golden autumn colors. 

Winter 

Winter is a magical time. The mountain resorts close by are covered with champagne powder, and the hot cocoa you enjoy after a long day of exploring will feel like the best beverage you’ve ever had! To note, this season does come with it’s challenges. You’ll have to prepare properly for any sort of outdoor adventure! If you’re doing something you’re unfamiliar with, source someone who can help educate and inform you on safety precautions and proper preparation! 

Snow capped mountains and a lake at sunrise

How to Get There

Getting to Banff is easy! If you’re starting your journey in Edmonton, all you need to do is hop on the TransCanada Highway. Head towards Calgary and pay attention to signs directing you to Banff. If you’re visiting during fall, winter or spring, make sure you check road conditions prior to departure.

If you’re flying in to Calgary and travelling to Banff, there are a few ways to get to Banff! Rent a car and enjoy the scenic drive, take a shuttle, a scheduled bus from Calgary airport, or travel by rail!


While in the Banff region, be sure to check out nearby adventures and things to do in Calgary. If your itinerary also has room for more time on the trails, read about our top 5 hikes in Banff!

BANFF, AB

DAY HIKE IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

Experience a full-day hike through the Canadian Rocky Mountains while exploring the trails around the iconic Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, flora, fauna, geology and geography of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

BANFF, AB

INTRO TO ROCK CLIMBING

The Rock Experience programs are designed to introduce you to the sport of rock climbing. This is a 1 day program which will get you climbing safely and introduced to the vertical world with a safety oriented approach.

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