What to see while visiting Banff National Park

Banff National Park

There are so many things to see in Banff National Park that it's sometimes difficult to know where to start! Here are some of the highlights. Keep in mind, the park is especially busy from May through September.

Use BanffNow for real-time congestion information and parking availability. Better yet, take transit or a local shuttle and let us do the driving. Plan ahead to make the most of your visit.

Visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site

cave and basin. visitors with parks canada staff sitting by historic basin

See interactive exhibits and bubbling thermal waters in an underground cave that gave rise to the birthplace of Canada’s national parks.

Hours and fees

Discover the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site

 banff park museum

Take a wild trip back in time with vintage natural history specimens from bears to bees.

Hours and fees

Soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs

banff upper hot springs welcome sign

Relax in Canada’s highest elevation operational hot spring. This accessible site includes a café and gift shop. Towels and swimsuit rentals are available.

Hours and fees

Meander along Vermilion Lakes Drive

vermilion lakes spring time

Bike or walk the Vermilion Lakes Drive, relax on the docks and benches beside the lakes, learn about the area, snap a picture of Mount Rundle or go for a paddle.

Discover Johnston Canyon

johnston canyon in summer

Follow wide trails and narrow bridges with railings through a canyon to waterfalls. In the summer, take Roam Public Transit to this popular location on the Bow Valley Parkway. In other seasons, be sure to bring ice cleats.

Summit Tunnel Mountain

view from the top of tunnel mountain

The 2.4 km trail to this summit provides views across the town and Bow Valley. The trailhead is a 15 minute walk (1 km) from downtown Banff.

Bike the Banff Legacy Trail

banff legacy trail from canmore to banff. couple riding and laughing

Cyclists, strollers and runners can enjoy mountain views, picnic areas and Vermilion Lakes along this 29 km of paved paths and roadways from Canmore to the Bow valley Parkway. This trail is not maintained in winter.

Explore the Lake Minnewanka Loop

group of friends at lake minnewanka in the fall

In the summer, ride the Lake Minnewanka bus to visit picturesque lakes including Johnson Lake and Two Jack Lake. Enjoy hiking , picnicking and being on or by the water. In the winter, it is a great destination for cross-country skiing, winter walking or snowshoeing.

Visit the Lake Louise Lakeshore

lake louise in the summer, near sunset

This spectacular alpine setting is a hub for iconic photos, hikes, canoeing, horseback riding, climbing, and awe-inspiring scenery. For the best experience, take Roam public transit or reserve your seat in advance on the Parks Canada shuttles.

Drive the Icefields Parkway

Ice fields parkway - aerial shot of glacier

The Icefields Parkway connects Lake Louise and Jasper, parallelling the Continental Divide through some of the most wild and remote parts of Banff and Jasper national parks. Explore two highlights below or learn more about the area. As this 230 km drive winds through glaciers, emerald lakes, and broad sweeping valleys, snow may be present anytime of the year.

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