Spotlight on: Banff National Park
Banff National Park is ready to welcome Canadians and visitors who gather this year for Canada’s 150th. As one of Canada’s most iconic tourism destinations, Banff could be especially popular during this celebration year. For the best Banff National Park experience, plan your visit before arriving and step out of your vehicle to explore the park on foot, by bike, or with transit.
Making reservations now means more time to enjoy all that Banff National Park has to offer. You can book everything you need right now for the perfect vacation from a backcountry overnight permit, a weekend in an oTENTik, or a lantern-lit tour through the ancient grottos at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
Download the brand new Parks Canada app
Get instant access to Parks Canada’s Camping Registration, GPS-triggered interactive maps, and all the latest information about special events happening in 2017 right now when you download the free Parks Canada app.
Be parks smart
Check for updates on seasonal and safety closures, make sure you pay attention to guidelines so everyone can enjoy the beauty of our National Parks and National Historic Sites and most important of all, don’t forget your Discovery Pass!
On the day
Check out BanffNow for up to the minute visitor information. Banff National Park has launched a new trip planning tool to improve the national park experience for visitors. This page provides up to date, real-time information on the availability of popular locations and attractions, such as day-use areas, parking availability, messages on important traffic events and suggestions for alternative locations to visit in the park. Through BanffNow visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and be prepared for their visit to Banff National Park.
Calgary to Banff, no problem!
Leave your car at home this year and take transit to have the best Banff National Park experience. From June 17 to September 4 every Saturday, Sunday and long weekend you can take public transit from the Calgary Crowfoot LRT Station directly to Banff town centre. The $10 cost of a one-way ticket also includes a day pass that allows you to ride all public transit within the Town of Banff and throughout Banff National Park. Book your ticket today.
Ride Parks Canada shuttles for free
Once you get to Banff, for 2017 Parks Canada shuttles are free to ride and will take you to all of the park’s most popular attractions including Lake Louise, Lake Minnewanka Loop Road, Moraine Lake and Tunnel Mountain. Enjoy the ride!
Park and Ride with Roam
Bookmark Banff’s real time parking site on your smartphone and save time finding a space so you can park and Roam around Banff car-free.
Roam public transit has six routes that travel through Banff and Canmore to take you to the area’s most popular attractions including Sulphur Mountain, Cave and Basin National Historic Site and Lake Minnewanka. Track buses live in real time and use the trip planner.
If you want to visit the more popular locations, try going during the quieter hours – say before 10 am or after 6 pm. However, there are still places to explore beyond Banff’s most famous attractions. Take the Bow Valley Parkway to hike the easy Muleshoe Trail past ancient Douglas firs and the slender trunks of aspen trees. Reward yourself with a picnic at Mule Shoe Lake, you can often see elk grazing and hear the birdsong of Hammond’s Flycatchers swooping overhead.
Check out the inkpots by way of Moose Meadows only 4km west of Johnston Canyon for a less-travelled trail. It’s a moderately easy hike of around two hours through the shrub meadow and forest to see the magnificent blue-green inkpots mineral pools. Check BanffNow before heading out to best prepare.
Cycling is another great way to experience Banff National Park car-free this summer. Pedal out from Banff or Canmore on the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail to explore 26.8km of paved paths and parkways. Built in honour of Banff National Park’s 125th Anniversary, taking in breathtaking unspoiled views, quiet picnic spots and plenty of fun in an easy family-friendly two to three-hour loop. No bike? No problem! Pick up a rental in Banff.