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.

The Bow Valley Parkway

Information on visiting the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park.

Vermilion Lakes

The sunny south side of Vermilion Lakes are a place of spiritual renewal, ecological diversity and beauty.

Lake Minnewanka

Information on visiting Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park.

Icefields Parkway

Drive one of the most scenic roads in the world. Glacier viewpoints, lakes, hikes and the Columbia Icefield. Find maps, accommodation and travel info here.

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.

Top ten things to explore

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

Visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site

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

 banff park museum  

Discover the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site 

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

Hours and fees

banff upper hot springs welcome sign

Soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs

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

vermilion lakes spring time

Meander along Vermilion Lakes Drive 

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 

Follow wide trails and narrow bridges with railings through a canyon to waterfalls. Take Roam public transit to this popular location in summer. In other seasons, be sure to bring ice cleats.

view from the top of tunnel mountain

Summit 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.

banff legacy trail from Canmore to Banff. couple riding and laughing

Bike the Banff Legacy Trail 

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.

group of friends at lake minnewanka in the fall

Explore the Lake Minnewanka Loop 

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.

lake louise in the summer, near sunset

Visit the Lake Louise Lakeshore 

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.

Ice fields parkway - aerial shot of glacier

Drive the Icefields Parkway 

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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