What kind of vehicle will we need for our Banff vacation?

The roads from Calgary to Banff, Jasper and surrounding towns are in excellent condition, paved and well maintained. A regular car is adequate.

Is there a sales tax?

Although there is no provincial sales tax, accomodation in Alberta is subject to a 5% Room Tax. There is also a 5% Federal Goods & Services tax (GST) which applies to most items. Visitors to Canada are eligible for a rebate of the GST.

Driving times

Banff to Calgary International Airport 1.5 hours
Banff to Canmore 20 minutes
Banff to Jasper 4 hours
Banff to Edmonton 4.5 hours
Calgary to Jasper 5.5 hours
Calgary to Edmonton 3 hours
Edmonton to Jasper 4.5 hours

Distances from the Town of Banff

Calgary – 128 km
Canmore – 26 km
Edmonton – 401 km
Halifax – 5121 km
Jasper – 287 km
Lake Louise – 58 km
Montreal – 3872 km
New York – 4448 km
Quebec City – 4142 km
Radium – 134 km
San Francisco – 2050 km
Toronto – 3563 km
Vancouver – 850 km
Whitehorse – 2514 km

Travelling Times from the Town of Banff

Lake Louise – via #1 Hwy (west), 45 minutes
Lake Louise – via #1A Bow Valley Parkway (west), 1 hour
Jasper – via #1 Hwy & #93 (north), 3 – 4 hours
Columbia Icefields – via #1 Hwy & #93 (north), 2 hours
Calgary – via #1 Hwy (east), 1.5 hours
Vancouver – via #1 Hwy (west), 10 – 12 hours
Edmonton – via #1 Hwy (east) & #2 Hwy (north), 4.5 hours
Banff Mount Norquay – 15 minutes
Sunshine Village – 30 minutes
Lake Louise – 45 minutes

What about currency exchange?

You can get money exchanged at local banks (open Monday through Friday) or various currency exchanges in the towns of Banff and Jasper.

Will we see animals?

Part of the wonder of Banff National Park and it’s surrounding area is the presence of animals all throughout the park. Some of the common animals and their favourite hangouts include:

Elk – Don’t be surprised if you see an elk wandering around town snacking on resident flower beds! They also like to hang out in herds on the Banff Springs Golf Course or the open fields just north of the townsite of Banff.

Deer – are not seen as often as elk but also enjoy the habitat in the town of Banff. Deer are sometimes spotted on Tunnel Mountain Drive near the Banff Centre. They often feed in the open lot on St. Julien Road in Banff.

Beavers – Sometimes seen on the Fenland Trail near Vermillion Lakes on the edge of Banff. You may also spot coyotes here. such as Mt. Norquay Road, the Lake Minnewanka Drive and the road to Sunshine Village Ski resort. Sometimes they will snoop out your lunch at the Lake Minnewanka lakeside picnic area.

Pika, Marmots & Martens – can all be sighted in the Lake Louise and Morraine Lake area.

Bears – The park is home to both grizzly and black bears but they are rarely spotted. Be aware of the possibility of crossing the path of a bear when hiking in quiet areas of the park.

More Wildlife Details!


Things to See While on your Banff Vacation!

Banff Townsite
Bow Valley Parkway
Minnewanka Loop
Icefields Parkway
Wildlife Viewing
Lake Louise Area

Things to Do While in Banff


Bird Watching
Climbing / Mountaineering
Day Trips / Interpretive Tours
Driving / Touring
Horseback Riding
Interpretive Programs & Events
Wildlife Viewing


Bird Watching
Cross-Country Skiing
Day Trips / Interpretive Tours
Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding
Ice Skating
Ice Climbing
Interpretive Programs & Events
Winter Walks
Wildlife Viewing

For full Tours and Activities please visit Discover Banff Tours! »

Banff Tours and Activities

Banff Tours and Activities

What time zone will we be in?

The entire province of Alberta is in the Mountain Time Zone. Daylight savings time is in effect from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October.

What is the electric current used in Canada?

The electric current in Canada is 110 Volts, 60 cycles AC. If you are traveling from overseas, you will need to bring power converters for your personal electric items.

What type of clothing do I need for a night out on the town?

In and around the town of Banff, casual wear is acceptable most of the time. Certain night clubs and bars have a “no jeans, no running shoes” policy and some dining rooms require men to wear jackets to dinner.

What type of medical facilities are there in Banff?

Banff has an excellent hospital as well as several clinics. We recommend that visitors obtain extra heath insurance coverage before coming to Canada, since most heath insurance plans do not extend coverage beyond their own country. Helpful phone numbers for the Banff area

Emergency Contacts
Ambulance 911
RCMP (police) 911
Fire 911
Park Wardens 911
Banff Mineral Springs Hospital (403) 762-2222
Lake Louise Medical Clinic (403) 522-2184

Emergency Numbers
Ambulance in Banff: 911
Ambulance in Lake Louise: 911
Fire in Banff: 911
Fire in Lake Louise: 911
Hospital/Banff: (403) 762-2222
Police/RCMP in Banff: 911
Police/RCMP in Lake Louise: 911
Warden’s office/Emergency: 911
Crisis Line: (800) 332-1287
Poison Centre: (800) 332-1414

Banff National Park
PO Box 900
Banff, Alberta, Canada T0L 0C0

Tel: (403) 762-1550
Fax: (403) 762-1551

The Superintendent (403) 762-1500

Banff National Park offers a variety of wheelchair accessible services and facilities.

GST Visitor Rebate Program
If you are a visitor to Canada, be sure to take advantage of this refund of the 5% GST (Goods & Services Tax). The refund can be processed at several agencies in Banff and surrounding area, or filled out and mailed in once you get home. To qualify, each receipt must total at least $50 before taxes. Non eligible items include meals, entertainment, alcohol, vehicle rentals, gas and any good consumed or left in Canada. Forms are available at most hotels and many stores, restaurants and attractions.

Park Pass
Click Here for current details »

Photo Ops
Have a camera ready at all times! You never know when you will cross paths with a herd of elk, a deer and her fawn or a family of mountain goats. Please use extreme caution and keep at least 50 feet from these wild animals.

Canada is Metric!
With the exception of grocery stores which often list prices per pound or ounce, all measurements in Canada are metric.

Some common conversions include
1 mile = 1.6 kilometre so 100 kilometres per hour = 62.5 miles per hour
1 U.S. gallon = 3.8 litres
Canadian gas prices range from $0.60 to $0.80 per litre
32o Farenheit = 0o Celsius
50o Farenheit = 10o Celsius
80o Farenheit = 25o Celsius

Our National Park Regulations

It is against the law to collect natural objects including flowers, rocks, and artifacts. It is also illegal (and dangerous!) to feed wildlife. Fisherman must have a national parks fishing license. Hunting is strictly prohibited.

Entry Regulations for visitors
Please check with the nearest Canadian Consulate before leaving for Canada to know what documents are required for your entry into Canada.

Customs and Duty Free
Visitors over the age of 18 may import, duty free, up to 40 ounces (1.1 litres) of liquor or 24 twelve ounce cans of beer or ale into Canada.

Up to 50 cigars and 400 grams of tobacco may also be imported duty free.