Must See and Things to Do in Banff in Summer
- • Icefields Parkway
- • Lake Louise, Moraine Lake
- • Yoho National Park, Spiral Tunnels, Takkakaw Falls
- • Grizzly Bear Refuge/Wildlife Safari
- • In and Around Banff - Banff Sightseeing Gondola, Surprise Corner, Lake Minnewanka, Hoodoos Vermillion Lake
Day 1 – Banff townsite
Begin your vacation with the latest information and suggestions from friendly local guides at the Discover Banff Tour downtown office. Their friendly local experts will help you with things to do and see in Banff with your time. Pick up maps, brochures and what’s on guides.
To freshen up after a long flight or drive, it’s nice to walk the Bow River trail towards the Banff canoe docks and enjoy an ice-cream at the picnic tables. Rent a cruiser bike and ride the easy flat trail out to Vermillion Lakes, watching for wildlife along the way and enjoying the changing evening colors on Mt Rundle that make for a postcard worthy photo. Shop and meander the many stores, art galleries and museums, along Banff Ave.
Day 2 – In and Around Banff
A day to explore the sights in and around the Banff townsite. These include Bow Falls, Surprise Corner, the Hoodoos and Lake Minnewanka. A half day morning guided sightseeing tour of Banff, Discover Banff & It’s Wildlife or do from your own vehicle with an automatically triggered commentary drive guide - GyPSy Guide. If your time in Banff is limited, combine this tour with the afternoon tour of Lake Louise/Moraine for a comprehensive tour that hits all the highlights in Banff.
Day 3 – Banff - Icefields Parkway
Over 100 Glaciers line the spectacular Icefield Parkway, making it one of the most scenic drives in the world. A full long day of sightseeing; glaciers, mountains, turquoise lakes, and stunning views. The Banff – Icefields Glacier Trail tour allows you to relax, watch for wildlife through the big picture windows, and enjoy guided commentary from one of our local enthusiastic guides. The many viewpoints include Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake, and Peyto Lake, but for most the highlight is the IceExplorer tour up onto the Athabasca Glacier. This is included, so bring a water bottle to capture some of the pristine glacial icemelt.
Day 4 – Lake Louise & Moraine Lake
Simply a must do for everyone travelling to the Canadian Rockies, whether it is your first time or you are a repeat visitor. The full Day Explore Lake Louise Tour combines the highlights of the Bow Valley Parkway, Castle Mountain, as well 5 hours of free time in Lake Louise so you can enjoy relaxing at the shoreline, hiking the many trails that lead from the lake, or sipping high tea inside Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise with some time for shopping.
For those looking for a more challenging day, hike the Plain of Six Glaciers at Lake Louise trail at the back of the lake to the Plain of 6 Glaciers teahouse. Rest and have a delicious pastry while listening to sections of the glacier carving and crashing down the cliffs. (Wed & Fridays only). Other days of the week hiking tours venture to other spectacular locations, Stanley Glacier, Yoho Valley and Larch Valley. A day of fresh air can build a mighty appetite; there are a number of excellent Banff restaurants featuring local produce to suit all tastes and budgets.
Day 5 – Water and Wildlife
Explore the winding Bow River, expansive Vermillion Lakes and experience some fo the best views of the mountains in Banff, by canoe or kayak. A great place to spot birdlife, elk and te occassional bear.
One of the best time to spot wildlife is in the evenings as animals become more active after resting during the heat of the day. We often see elk, deer, coyotes, big horn sheep and osprey on our tours and a lucky few can also spot bears, wolves or moose. Take the Evening Wildlife Safari and learn about the local wildlife, their habitat and needs.
Day 6 – Yoho National Park & Grizzly Bear Refuge
Take in a variety of landscapes and wildlife and head out towards Yoho National Park and Golden BC on the full day Grizzly Bear Refuge Tour. Along the drive stop at the Spiral Tunnels, hailed as one of the engineering wonders of the day. Still in use today, watch for trains as they loop in and out of the tunnels, gaining elevation.
Continue further to Takkakaw Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada. Heading through the Kicking Horse Canyon towards Golden and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, home to the world's largest enclosed and protected grizzly bear refuge. Take their interpretive tour, to view 'Boo', an ophaned grizzly bear. Watch him interact much as they do in the wild; foraging, hunting, playing, swimming, snoozing and exploring. Learn about their efforts in establishing a protocol to rehabilitate future orphaned grizzles. After a busy day of exploring, head back to Banff and enjoy the scenic drive. Look out for black bears during the dusk hours.
Day 7 – A Day of Adventure
Early morning is usually the clearest atop Sulphur Mtn via the Banff Sightseeing Gondola. Just 5 mins from downtown Banff, the journey takes you to a viewing platform with unobstructed 360 degree view of six scenic mountain ranges from 2,281m (7,486ft) above sea level. The Banff Skywalk is an easy 1km self-guided interpretive walkway that leads to the Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site and Sanson's Peak Meteorological Station.
No matter what your level of adventure, there is an activity perfect for you to experience the outdoors.
Glacial melt from the snow in the mountains make whitewater rafting on the Kananaskis and Horseshoe Canyon rivers close to Canmore. The gentle Kananaskis River, perfect for first timers or young children, or Horseshoe Canyon, with an optional cliff jump mid rafting tour for the more adventurous.
Take an Evening Cookout Horseback Ride in Banff along the Bow River to a backcountry cabin and have cowboys serve up a BBQ steak dinner, complete with beans, baked potatoes and salad, while you practice your roping and horseshoe techniques. On the ride back, climb the Windy Knoll for picturesque views of the mountains that surround Banff.
Have you ever looked up from a
valley bottom to a high mountain ridge
against a backdrop of blue sky and
thought “wouldn’t it be great to hike
up there without having to hike all the
Hiking high in the remote alpine is
a memorable experience, and helihiking
can bring that experience alive
for travelers of all ages. Heli-Hiking and sightseeing tour of the Canadian Rockies and Purcell Mountains, bound to give you treasured life long memories.
Relax. Take in some fresh mountain air, pick up some sourvenirs and plan your return visit to the Canadian Rockies.
Check out some of the latest Banff deals that will combine the most popular Banff activities to save you money.