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Banff National Park

Banff National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Banff: Banff Gondola Admission Ticket

1. Banff: Banff Gondola Admission Ticket

Climb aboard this iconic 4-person gondola cabin with large windows and relax. During the 8-minute ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, take in the views of the town of Banff, Bow Valley, and six different mountain ranges. While on the mountain's peak, be amazed by 360-degree views. Explore the interactive Above Banff Interpretative Center to learn about the early explorers, wildlife, and local area. Hike across the Sulphur Mountain boardwalk to explore the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, a National Historic Site. Then stop at the coffee shops, restaurants, and gift shops.

Banff: Lake Minnewanka Cruise

2. Banff: Lake Minnewanka Cruise

Admire views of the Canadian Rockies as you cruise on the largest lake in Banff National Park. Meet your guide and captain on the boat dock at Lake Minnewanka and begin your 1-hour adventure. Glide through the crystal clear water of this glacier lake and soak up the views of the mountains and blue sky above you. Keep an eye out for wildlife on the lakeshore, including big-horned sheep, deer, mountain goats, and even the occasional bear. During your cruise, interpretive guides will share interesting facts and stories about the wildlife and vegetation that inhabit the Canadian Rockies. Learn about the culture of the indigenous people who used to call the area home and hear a lot of entertaining legends of the area.

Banff: Afternoon Kananaskis River Whitewater Rafting Tour

3. Banff: Afternoon Kananaskis River Whitewater Rafting Tour

Enjoy whitewater rafting down an idyllic stretch of the Kanaskasis River, the perfect excursion for families, groups, and newcomers to whitewater rafting. Explore the pristine waterways of the Kananaskis River. Scout for local wildlife and enjoy the unrivaled beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Meet at the Nakoda Lakeside Lodge on Highway 1A. Start your rafting adventure with a 45-minute drive from Banff or Calgary. Enjoy the short scenic ride as you wind through the Canadian countryside. Once you're fitted with your wetsuits and other safety equipment, ride in a comfortable bus a short distance to the starting point on the Kananaskis River. Here, your guides will provide safety instructions and teach your paddle techniques. Feel equipped and ready to go as you prepare for the river. Board your raft and begin your journey. Admire the views during calm parts of the river. Practice different paddling techniques with your guide. Spot local wildlife such as soaring eagles, and deer who stroll along the banks of the river. Then, get ready to be splashed as your raft through class 2-3 rapids as you travel along a lovely forested area of the river. At the end of the journey enjoy a scenic float to the finish where you can swim and splash in the water. Return to the river base for high fives and snacks to celebrate your rafting adventure. This tour operates from mid-May to mid-September and is ideal for anyone that has never rafted before or does not know how to swim.

From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

4. From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

Enjoy the drive from Banff in a modern minibus after your friendly guide picks you up from the meeting point. Keep your eyes peeled for animals such as deer, elk, and bears as you drive along the scenic, winding Bow Valley Parkway. Your guide will share stories about Banff National Park, its history, and the local animals on the way. Arrive at iconic Lake Louise after a scenic stop along the Bow Valley Parkway to admire the views of Castle Mountain. Your 30-minute visit at the lake gives you plenty of time to wander the famous shoreline, take photos of the lake against the backdrop of the mountains and Victoria Glacier, and admire the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel. Next, your guide will take you to Moraine Lake, set in the rugged Valley of the Ten Peaks with waterfalls and rock piles. Enjoy a short guided walk to the famous Valley of the Ten Peaks viewpoint, or relax and take in the lake from the shoreline. After a 30-minute stop here, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

5. Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

Embark on a horseback riding adventure as you breathe in the pine-spiced mountain air. Approach the Bow Falls and enjoy spectacular views. Pass by the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course known as one of the most immaculately manicured courses in Canada. Continue along the edge of the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course and cross through the waters once more. A partial climb up Sulphur Mountain brings you through a wooded residential area and back to the corrals. Enjoy a unique experience and cross the Spray River. On hotter days, your horse may even decide to cool itself off by splashing water onto its belly. Have an experience unlike anything else.

Lake Louise & Moraine Lake: Open-Top Double Decker

6. Lake Louise & Moraine Lake: Open-Top Double Decker

Embark on an exciting tour to beautiful Lake Louise & Moraine Lake from a meeting point in Lake Louise. Learn about the area from a local indigenous guide and experience a traditional indigenous offering to the land. Take time for yourself once at the lake. Ride the open-top bus back to the meeting point. Board the open-top double-decker explorer shuttle in Lake Louise and head off to breathe in some fresh mountain air. Snap photos, take in panoramic views, and learn about the area with help of a local indigenous guide – ready with fascinating stories and to answer any questions. Experience a traditional indigenous offering to the land on your way to the iconic lakes. Once there, marvel at the Canadian Rockies and the famous Valley of the Ten Peaks. Many stunning hiking trails are accessed right from the drop-off area. Explore at your own pace and then head back on the bus.

Golden: Golden Skybridge Admission Ticket

7. Golden: Golden Skybridge Admission Ticket

Discover Canada's highest suspension bridges, easily reachable via several wooded trails. Stand at the viewing platform, 426 feet above the canyon, and snag stunning photos of the Columbia Valley and surrounding Rocky and Purcell Mountain ranges. The Skybridge admission ticket offers a unique adventure for the entire family. With the ticket, unlock Skybridge access as well as walking trails perfect for all abilities. The kids will love running around in the mini-adventure park that includes tree forts, a small ropes course, and slides. Parents will love the park's location in the Canyon Courtyard so they can keep an eye out while they relax and grab a bite to eat. Open-air dining is available in the park, offering casual barbecue-style favorites along with wine and craft beer. In the summer months, be sure to catch Golden Hour – live entertainment by local musicians.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

8. Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River on a family-friendly canoe tour. Get ready to be amazed by extraordinary views of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies around you. This sightseeing tour is perfect for the whole family and doesn't require any previous experience. Meet at the Banff Canoe Club, just a 5-minute walk from downtown Banff. As you journey upstream, your expert guide will entertain you with stories of the past, history of canoeing, and interesting local facts. Admire the scenery around you, while learning how to paddle as a team. After 1 and a half hours of fun, enjoy a complimentary, refreshing lemonade on the shore.

Banff: Mount Norquay 2.5 or 4-Hour Guided Via Ferrata Climb

9. Banff: Mount Norquay 2.5 or 4-Hour Guided Via Ferrata Climb

Join this fun alpine climbing tour that's perfect for all abilities, including those with no previous experience. Experience the thrill of climbing a via ferrata with an expert guide and delight in bird’s-eye views of Banff National Park.  Choose between a 2.5-hour Explorer Route or a 4-hour Ridgewalker Route. Upon arrival to Mount Norquay, located just 10 minutes from Banff, check in and meet your guide. Get equipped with a harness, lanyards, and helmet, then ride the sightseeing chairlift to where your adventure begins.  After an equipment check and training is complete, take a short 5-minute walk to your first via ferrata buttress to climb. The 2.5-hour Explorer Route is a great choice for those who are slightly limited on time or looking for an introduction to via ferrata. Spend some time with your guide and get introduced to the equipment before heading up a few pitches and crossing the suspension bridge.  You will reach 2,235 meters (7,332 feet) above sea level. The tour lasts 2-2.5 hours, covers 1 kilometer (3,280 feet), and involves an elevation gain of 145 meters (475 feet). Select the 4-hour Ridgewalker Route to get a greater feel for heights and experience the via ferrata in full.  Get comfortable with the equipment on a practice wall, then continue on the Norquay cliffs, climbing the memorial, sunrise and vista buttresses — and, of course, traversing the suspension bridge. The route heads up to the Ridgewalker Summit, 2,300 meters (7,545 feet) above sea level. At the top, enjoy incredible views and snap some photos before descending back to the starting point.  The tour lasts 3.5-4 hours, covers 1.4 kilometers (4,593 feet), and involves an elevation gain of 260 meters (853 feet).

Banff National Park: 2-Hour Sundance Loop Horseback Ride

10. Banff National Park: 2-Hour Sundance Loop Horseback Ride

Explore stunning sections of wilderness on this two-hour trip and spot wildlife that you might not get to see on foot. Learn a few cowboy tricks along the way from your experienced guide.  Pass by natural sulphur hot springs as you make your way to one of Banff’s national historic sites, the Cave and Basin. Trek along the tranquil Bow River and take in magnificent views of the Bow Valley before pressing through thick marshes as you climb Sulphur Mountain. Continue up to Windy Knoll where you can take striking photos of the sweeping landscape

Other Sightseeing Options in Banff National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Banff National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Banff National Park

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 640 reviews

The decision you need to make when coming to Banff is how to get to the sights/sites. If I had a day, I would choose hop on hop off. THe alternatives: car (deal with waits for car shuttles and full parking lots), Discover Banff or other tours (they drive and wait for you; 45 minutes per Lake), ROAM public transit... You can customize the amount of time at your stops with Hop on Hop off and there are experienced guides on the bus helping you formulate your itinerary. Hop on Hop Off takes the quieter route to Johnston canyon, recently re-opened, while other tours whiz by on the Highway 1. They save 6 minutes, but you get to see wildlife (hopefully.) Our early morning trip out: we saw an elk posing for us on the side of the road, a black bear, a deer, and best of all: "The Boss", the tagged biggest, meanest grizzly. The bus stopped to see all of them, plus a lookout. You don't get that with public transportation or other transport methods.

once you arrive, take the confirmation on your phone up to the ticket counter to get your printed tickets

My family and I had a great time. I recommend that everyone should do this at least once.

Hiking boardwalk to top of Sulla mountain is well worth the effort!

It was great experience. We had great fun and enjoyed too much