Banff National Park

Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful parts of the Canadian Rocky Mountains with an unspoilt landscape full of soaring mountain peaks, remote waterfalls, mountain lakes, pine-covered slopes and – in summer – alpine meadows full of wildflowers. It truly is one of the most stunning places in the world.

Where to Stay in Banff National Park

From mountain lodges with views stretching across Banff National Park to the iconic Chateau Lake Louise, the first hotel in the park, sitting on the shores of the lake, you have a great choice of places to stay both summer and winter. Get away from it all in one of Banff National Park’s spa resorts or skiing lodges, or find a hostel or mid-range hotel in the towns of Banff or Canmore, both well set up for winter and summer holidays for all budgets. Some hotels have swimming pools with flumes, which are perfect for families, while others have a more grown-up feel, with golf, spas and a relaxing sense of calm.

Things to Do in Banff National Park

Winter in Banff’s Big 3 ski resorts means some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world. With famously short lift queues and mile upon mile of uncrowded runs, skiing in Banff National Park is a happy change to the busy-ness of Europe’s resorts. After a morning on the slopes, take a trip to the Upper Hot Springs near Banff, where you can soak in the thermal waters while enjoying the far-reaching mountain views. For something else a little different, book a snowmobiling tour or trot off into the snow-covered meadows on a snuggled-up sleigh ride, before heading to one of Banff, Canmore or Lake Louise’s restaurants.

Visiting Banff National Park in Summer

A summer holiday in Banff National Park opens up many roads closed in the winter months, so you can visit remote mountain lakes or hike along pine-covered trails to reach hidden waterfalls. You could also arrange a kayaking or rafting trip along Bow River. You might prefer to stay dry and rent mountain bikes to take off along the easy Legacy Trail from Vermillion Lakes or try the more adventurous Tunnel Bench Loop. Head further afield by renting a car; even the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff and Lake Louise is a sight to behold. But the Icefields Parkway (93N), rated one of the top scenic drives in the world, is a truly unforgettable experience.

The History of Banff National Park

Canada’s oldest national park, Banff National Park was born when railway workers building the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s discovered Upper Hot Springs and realised the potential for tourism. With Chateau Lake Louise built, the well-to-do flooded to Banff to take the waters, and you’ll see why during your own holiday. Do try to visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff to learn more about the area, and take a ride in the Banff Gondola to take in the stunning views of the whole park.

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