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Banff National Park

Updated on December 24, 2012

Sunshine & Snow at Banff National Park

This all-season resort offers wonderful activities, fine food, and comfortable accommodations.

Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada was the country's first national park. Located just 1 ½ hours west of the city of Calgary, Banff attracts nearly five million visitors each year.

Guests travel to Banff for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the amazing scenery. Truly one of the prettiest areas in Canada, this sprawling national park boasts lots of natural beauty, regardless of the season.

About Banff National Park

The park contains 2,564 square miles of wilderness. Within the park sits the town of Banff, situated at 4,539 feet above sea level, and the picturesque mountain village of Lake Louise, sitting at 5,000 feet in elevation.

Thanks to its stunning beauty, the park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wherever you travel inside and around the national park, you'll find mountains and glaciers, beautiful alpine tundra, colorful wildflowers, waterfalls, and plenty of animals including deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, wolves, cougars, and grizzly bears.

Photo used under Creative Commons from inu-photo, on Flickr

Winter Activities at Banff

Besides admiring the scenery and taking lots of photos of this breathtaking area, you'll find many activities to keep you and your family busy during your stay in Banff National Park.

In the winter, snow sports are the name of the game. Whether you're a downhiller, Nordic skier, snowboarder, or snowmobile enthusiast, you're sure to find some amazing terrain to keep you busy.

Downhill skiers can choose from 5 area ski resorts: Lake Louise, Sunshine, Nakiska, Fortress Mountain, and Mt. Norquay. Each offers well-groomed trails of varying skill levels, perfect for the whole family, from novices to extreme skiers.

Other opportunities to play in the ice and snow include hockey, ice skating, dog sledding, sleigh rides, ice fishing, and backcountry tours.

Skiing at Banff National Park

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Official website of The Lake Louise Ski Area. Provides information about tickets, hotels and lodging, rentals, and their ski school, as well as photos, snow conditions, and trail maps.

Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort in Banff

Offers information on snow reports and ski conditions, ski-in ski-out accommodations, lift tickets, and ski and snowboard rentals. Includes photos and trail maps.

Nakiska Ski Area

Learn about rentals and lessons, tickets and passes, ski conditions and snow reports, as well as lodging. Provides trail maps and photos.

Fortress Mountain Cat Skiing

Describes the experience and the day's schedule. Includes a snow report, equipment checklist, and booking information.

Mt. Norquay Ski Resort

Tells about ski conditions, their terrain park, tubing, and snow shoeing. Includes details about tickets and passes, snow school, rentals, and race training. With photos, trail maps, and lodging information.

Photo used under Creative Commons from laszlo-photo, on Flickr

Summer Activities at Banff

The summer months are Banff's busiest. A large percentage of visitors to this beautiful Canadian park arrive between June and September, especially families.

Summer activities are plentiful and include hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, and mountain biking on the many ski trails on Banff's mountains.

Families especially love canoeing and kayaking on the nearby Columbia River while whitewater enthusiasts can find plenty of exciting rapids on other area rivers.

Golfing is also popular and, at this high altitude, your golf ball will fly further than at sea level. What could be better!

Photo used under Creative Commons from Don DeBold, on Flickr

Sightseeing Tours

Local tour companies have come up with a number of ways to explore the beauty of Banff National Park. You can see the sights via Hummer, train, plane, on a touring bike or on a magnificent walking tour.

Your preference will probably depend on the time of year, the temperature outside, and the amount of snow on the ground.

Finding a Place to Stay

During the very busy summer months and the peak ski season, it's tough to get a last-minute room of your choice in Banff. That means planning ahead is essential. If you choose to visit during the off-peak times, the cost is less and accommodations are easier to find.

You'll have a myriad of lodging locations from which to choose. In Banff National Park, visitors will find everything from luxurious five-star resorts to campgrounds with tents and everything in between. With a wealth of accommodations at varying costs, you'll be sure to find something that fits your budget.

Photo © Michael Shake |

More Information on Banff National Park

Banff National Park

Provides information about things to do, places to stay, area events, and planning your trip to Banff.

Banff National Park - from Wikipedia

Learn about the history, geography, geology, climate, wildlife, and tourism at this national park.

Hiking in Banff National Park

Hike Alberta offers maps and descriptions of hiking trails at Banff.

Banff National Park Activities

Information on hiking, canoeing, mountain climbing, skiing, and many other activities in this national park.

Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

Canadian Rockies: Including Banff & Jasper National Parks

This comprehensive guidebook includes information on activities, sights to see, restaurants, and accommodations. It also tells about the history, as well as the flora and fauna of this area.

Photo Credits

Intro photo: Creative Commons from Alaskan Dude, on Flickr

Bow Lake, Banff National Park: Creative Commons from inu-photo, on Flickr

Victoria Peak in Banff National Park: Creative Commons from laszlo-photo, on Flickr

Lake Louise, Banff National Park: Creative Commons from Don DeBold, on Flickr

Rainbow over Mount Rundle: © Michael Shake |

All comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by!

Have you ever been to Banff National Park? - Or other national parks?

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    • profile image

      crstnblue 5 years ago

      Very nice lens with "refreshing" tempting photos inviting viewer to the wilderness of Banff Park

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Banff is absolutely beautiful, we used to live up in Edmonton, Alberta. Jasper is close to Edmonton, Banff is close to Calgary. Banff is one of those places that is as beautiful as the pictures, you will not be disappointed by Banff.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I have not been here, but have visited other national parks before.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      I've been here before and it was one of my favorite vacation spots. Soooo lovely!

    • stephen777 profile image

      stephen777 5 years ago

      My family and I visited Banff in 2007. We were completely "blown away " by the incredible sights and people. And your site is excellent.

    • profile image

      VillaDejaBlue 5 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 5 years ago

      Love the Canadian Rockies. I am featuring this lens on my Who Am I? Nature Study series lens.

    • IngridA1 profile image

      IngridA1 5 years ago

      Beautiful article! My parents went there on vacation a few years ago, they loved the park so much they're thinking about going back soon!

    • profile image

      data1122 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens, perfect photo.

    • CNelson01 profile image

      Chuck Nelson 5 years ago from California

      Been there, beautiful...thanks for the review.

    • Tradeshowhobo profile image

      Tradeshowhobo 5 years ago

      So beautiful. Definitely on my list.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 5 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I love the Mountains, but this lens has so much more. Really well done, makes me want to put it on my 'Bucket list"

    • profile image

      FamilyVacationDestinations 5 years ago

      Agree, very nice.

    • LewesDE profile image

      LewesDE 5 years ago

      Awesome lens!

    • LewesDE profile image

      LewesDE 5 years ago

      Great stuff here!

    • sherridan profile image

      sherridan 5 years ago

      Absolutely breathtaking!

    • timo5150 lm profile image

      timo5150 lm 5 years ago

      Great lens thanks for sharing. Its on my bucket list.

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      I love Banff National Park. I've been a few times and would love to go again! Thanks for nice photos!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      awesome pictures and well presented lens. thanks for sharing info about a beautiful place.

    • bluewren56 lm profile image

      bluewren56 lm 5 years ago

      What a beautiful place. I've now put it on my bucket list. Love the lens.

    • profile image

      Coopstar 5 years ago

      These photos are amazing. I have never heard of this park but I REALLY would like to visit.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Stunning photos and nice read, thank you.

    • profile image

      LondonEye1 5 years ago

      Never been there, but it looks such an amazing place! Brilliant lens!

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      Beautiful. Lived in Canada for a while but never made it here. Will have to correct that.