Places to see in Banff National Park

by ampmlimo, on Oct 2, 2020 8:57:21 AM

There are many places to see in Banff National Park. The town of Banff can be found on the west side of Alberta, about an hour and a half west from Calgary and an hour and a half east from Golden, British Columbia.

Surrounded by the majestic Canadian Rockies, with biking/hiking trails, wildlife viewing, famous hot springs, multiple golf courses and 3 nearby ski resorts, it is easy to see why the charming mountain town of Banff is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year.

One of the easiest ways to get around Banff, whether your group is large or small, is with luxury transportation. Read here for info on Party Bus Rentals in Banff.

Mercedes Mini Party Bus parked in front of snow and mountains in Banff Alberta


Here is a list of things to see in Banff

Banff Gondola

The Banff Gondola is an 8-minute ride to the Sulphur Mountain Summit. Enjoy the breathtaking views of six mountain ranges, the Bow Valley and the town of Banff. When you depart the gondola, you will feel as though you are on top of the world as you experience the power of Mother Nature as the Banff gondola altitude reaches 7,486 feet above sea level.

The Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk is a series of trails leading to observation decks, allowing you to take in the views from every direction. Don’t forget your camera!


Banff Upper Hot Springs

Hot springs are known for their mineral water and healing effects. Even throughout Banff, the different hot springs have different variations of mineral content and temperature.

The Upper Hot Springs is one of nine naturally occurring hot springs in the Banff area. It is located close to the Banff Gondola parking area, making it a perfect end to a gondola ride or even as your only plans for the day! These hot pool facilities are owned and operated by Parks Canada and are accessible for visitors of all ages. Soak in the natural warmth while surrounded by beautiful scenery.


Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (formally known as Banff Springs Hotel) is a historic hotel in Banff National Park that offers all the amenities of a world-class resort. It is located at an altitude of 1.414 metres and overlooks a valley toward Mount Rundle.

The hotel first opened in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was one of the earliest of Canada’s grand railway hotels. Often referred to as the ‘Castle of the Rockies’, the entire hotel is worth exploring. With antique furniture placed throughout this massive hotel, wonderful woodwork and architectural details, you can wander around the various corridors and see for yourself why this piece of history is so special.

The stunning beauty both inside and out is a frequent wedding destination. If you plan to stay in a room here, you will want to book as far in advance as possible!

Looking for transportation from Calgary to Banff, check out Is There a Shuttle Bus From Calgary International Airport to Banff.


Photograph of lake with mountains and blue sky in background in Banff National Park

Wildlife Viewing

There are lots of people that travel to Banff National Park to view wildlife and it is easy to see why. There are over 261 species of birds, as well as Grizzly and black bears, moose, elk, Bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mule and white-tailed deer, cougars, lynx, wolves, coyotes, and numerous ground animals. For more info on the best times and locations to see specific wildlife, check out the detailed blog, Where to See Wildlife near Calgary, Canmore and Banff National Park.

Two wild rams running across the road in front of Dodge Ram Limo

Cave and Basin National Historic Site

The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is a great place to experience the birthplace of Canada’s first national park. Offering a nature walk and a historical tour, here you can learn about the natural and cultural history of the mountains. Head inside the original cave, check out the interpretive centre or walk along one of the many boardwalks. But beware, the smell of sulphur can be a strong one!


Skiing and Snowboarding in Banff

Skiing and snowboarders travel from all over the world to enjoy the slopes in Banff National Park. With plenty of variety throughout the three resorts, (SkiBig3) the phenomenal scenery is like no other. Located in close proximity to many tourist activities, shopping spots, and impressive dining, you can make an entire day or weekend out of your ski trip!

One bonus of skiing/snowboarding in Banff is that you can ride on the three Banff National Park Ski resorts on an interchangeable tri-area lift ticket.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort

Sunshine Village is located 15km southwest of Banff and has tons of terrain (3358 acres) with slope options for everyone from rookies to pro-skiers. Of the three Banff ski areas, Sunshine is known to have the best and most snow due to its high elevation.

Mt Norquay

Mt Norquay ski hill is the most local to the Banff township, only a 10-minute drive away. Norquay is a smaller ski resort, about 190 acres. It’s a cheaper option and very family-oriented. If you are looking to warm up your legs, Mt Norquay is a great start!

Lake Lousie Ski Resort

The Lake Louise Ski Resort is approximately a 40-minute drive from Banff. It has 4200 acres of land with lots of long runs available. They also have a spread of terrain for all ability levels.

Need a ride to the slopes? With or without ski and/or snowboard equipment, there are options available to get you and your group to the ski hill and back. You can check these out in this blog here, The Ultimate Transportation to Banff and Lake Louise.

Truck bed of white dodge ram limousine holding ski equipment with snowy Rocky mountains in background


Hiking in the Rocky Mountains

There are many options for hiking in Banff National Park that will give you great views of the Rockies. Whether you are looking for a quick stroll or an all-day hike is up to you as there are dozens of trails to choose from!

Some of the easier hikes, recommended for beginners, are Johnston Canyon Trail, Bow Falls Viewpoint, Tunnel Mountain, Moraine Lake Rockpile and Cascade Falls. These are all under 4.5km, round trip with mild to moderate elevation.

Some moderate hikes for the more experienced, (or first timers up for a challenge) include Sulphur Moutain, Stoney Lookout, Castle Lookout, C-level Cirque, and Stanley Glacier. These hikes range between 4.2km and 8.4km, round trip.

There are some difficult hikes available for the avid hiker as well. Aylmer Lookout is a 23.6km round trip, approximately an 8-hour journey that follows the Lake Minnewanka shoreline for the first 7.8km to the Aylmer Pass junction, then a steady 2.3km climb to the second junction. From here you can choose to go to Aylmer Pass (6.8km round trip) or Aylmer Lookout (3.4km roundtrip).

This hike takes you to a decommissioned fire lookout with a gorgeous view of Lake Minnewanka, the surrounding mountains, meadows of wildflowers and views of the slate-grey Palliser Range.

For more info on Banff and surrounding areas, such as Canmore and Lake Louise, check out this blog here: Visit Banff National Park.

View from inside window of Fairmont Palliser hotel in Banff National Park



Limousine News

AMPM Limo & Party Bus updates in Calgary, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Banff, Canmore & Red Deer.

Subscribe to Updates