Know before you go: Banff National Park

Over four million visitors come to Banff each year. Discover tips from Parks Canada pros to plan your visit and have the best experience possible!

Plan ahead

Book ahead of time

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, to a weekend getaway in an oTENTik, or a lantern-lit tour through the ancient grottos at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, there is so much to discover.

Did you know you can reserve your Parks Canada shuttle to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake? Book in advance and let Parks Canada do the driving.

Be #ParksSmart

Before heading to Banff, make sure to check for updates on current closures and restrictions. Pay close attention to the rules and regulations, so everyone can enjoy the beauty of our national parks and national historic sites.


For those who do choose to drive, BanffNow provides up-to-date information in real time to visitors for services and attractions including parking availability, major traffic events, suggestions on places to visit and more! Plan ahead, stay informed and get the most out of your next trip to Banff National Park.

Explore Banff with transit options

Banff is a busy place. Take the stress out of parking and ride transit. The best Banff experience happens when you explore the park, car free!

Calgary to Banff, no problem!

Leave your car at home and take On-It transit directly from Calgary to the town of Banff. To book your ticket and for more information, visit On-It Transit.

Ride Parks Canada shuttles

Booking your seat on a Parks Canada shuttle is the best way to guarantee seeing Lake Louise and Moraine Lake! Parking at these places fills up quickly each day in the summer months, and visitors will be turned away when parking is full. Reserve your seat now on the Parks Canada Reservation Service and see more beauty with less hassle.

Ride Roam transit

Roam public transit has multiple routes that travel throughout Banff National Park and the Town of Canmore to take you to the area's most popular attractions including Sulphur Mountain, Cave and Basin National Historic Site and Lake Louise.

What to see when visiting Banff

There are so many things to see in Banff that it's sometimes difficult to know where to start! Look no further and check out Banff's top 10 with these highlights. Keep in mind that the park is especially busy from May through September.

Bow Valley Parkway

With its iconic mountains and incredible views of the Bow Valley, it's no wonder the Bow Valley Parkway is world renowned. Take in the view, hands free through Roam transit's service along the Bow Valley Parkway.

Attention: Please be aware there are multiple seasonal closures that may impact your visit to the Bow Valley Parkway. Check for closures before you go.

Vermilion Lakes

Take in the iconic view of Mount Rundle from the wonder that is Vermilion Lakes. Even better, enjoy the view from your bike! Cycling is another great way to experience Banff car-free this summer. Pedal out from Banff or Canmore on the Banff Legacy Trail to explore 26.8 km of paved paths and parkways. Learn more about biking in Banff.

Fun fact: The Banff Legacy Trail was built in honour of Banff National Park's 125th Anniversary and was specifically made for taking in breathtaking panoramic views, enjoying quiet picnic spots and plenty of fun in an easy family-friendly two-to-three-hour loop.

Lake Minnewanka

Enjoy hiking, picnicking and being on or by the water. In the winter, Lake Minnewanka is a great destination for cross-country skiing, winter walking or snowshoeing. Lake Minnewanka is very popular and the parking lot fills up quickly during the summer. Take Roam public transit to avoid the crowds, or visit BanffNow for more parking information.

Pro tip: Campers staying at Parks Canada campgrounds on the Lake Minnewanka Loop get free access to transit from the campgrounds into the town of Banff. Take advantage of this offer!

We look forward to welcoming you and saying hello on the trails! Enjoy the views and remember #WildlifeRules this special place.

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