- Written by Banff Lake Louise Tourism; Photo: Courtesy of Banff Lake Louise Tourism/Paul Zizka
No matter the size of your adventurous spirit, it could take a lifetime to explore the 1,000 kilometres of trails, multitudes of lakes, rivers and streams, and illustrious scenery of Banff National Park.
Get out there - Hike to an alpine teahouse where hot tea and apple pie await or through high passes to a backcountry campsite to sleep under the stars. Have a guide join you for hiking or mountaineering objectives or take a helicopter to access hikes at higher elevations.
Hit the water - Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle on the bluest waters you have ever seen. Enjoy a float trip or take a faster-paced whitewater rafting trip down rushing waters.
Get up high - Take the Banff Gondola up 2,292 feet to the Upper Terminal on Sulphur Mountain or the chairlift at the Lake Louise Ski Area, where you’ve got a great chance to see a grizzly bear.
Catch a ride - Sign up for a horseback ride or rent a bike and scoot along scenic, winding roads. Head out for a picnic at Lake Minnewanka, where you can also pick up a ride on a boat cruise.
Take a soak - Open year-round, the Banff Upper Hot Springs are especially great for relaxing.
Visit a National Historic Site - There are seven in Banff National Park and two located right in the Town of Banff: the Cave and Basin National Historic Site and Banff Park Museum.
Visit the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies - You can walk through historic homes of Banff’s first pioneers to get a glimpse of the exciting stories and local personalities.
Pay a visit to the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum - Learn about the cultures, traditions and values of the First Nations people that first inhabited the land.
Banff to Lake Louise - Highway 1 - The TransCanada Highway, running from Banff to Lake Louise, is chock-full of scenic roadside stops. Take this modern highway and you’ll wind your way past the flowing waters of the Bow River and striking peaks, such as Castle Mountain and Mount Temple.
Lake Minnewanka Loop - Give yourself at least an hour to do this 10-kilometre loop if you want to see it all. Located just outside the Town of Banff, this loop takes you past Two Jack Lake, Johnson Lake, Lake Minnewanka and the ghost town of Bankhead. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep.
Bow Valley Parkway - This peaceful two-lane road travels from Banff to Lake Louise, paralleling Highway 1. Accessible by both bike and car, the parkway is punctuated by interpretive displays and unique sites. Watch the towering cliffs and swampy areas for a glimpse of wildlife.
Icefields Parkway - Rated one of the world’s great scenic highways by National Geographic, the Icefields Parkway is a journey through expansive mountain wilderness, ancient glaciers, sweeping valleys and mountain lakes of every shade of blue. Popular stops include Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake. This road heads north from Lake Louise toward the Columbia Icefield, where you can hop on the Ice Explorer and venture out onto the Athabasca Glacier.
To help you plan your next great vacation to Banff, Lake Louise and Banff National Park, contact Banff Lake Louise Tourism at 1-403-762-8421 or visit www.banfflakelouise.com.