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Banff National Park

Banff National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Banff: Banff Gondola Admission Ticket

1. Banff: Banff Gondola Admission Ticket

Climb aboard this iconic 4-person gondola cabin with large windows and relax. During the 8-minute ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, take in the views of the town of Banff, Bow Valley, and six different mountain ranges. While on the mountain's peak, be amazed by 360-degree views. Explore the interactive Above Banff Interpretative Center to learn about the early explorers, wildlife, and local area. Hike across the Sulphur Mountain boardwalk to explore the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, a National Historic Site. Then stop at the coffee shops, restaurants, and gift shops.

Banff: Lake Minnewanka Cruise

2. Banff: Lake Minnewanka Cruise

Admire views of the Canadian Rockies as you cruise on the largest lake in Banff National Park. Meet your guide and captain on the boat dock at Lake Minnewanka and begin your 1-hour adventure. Glide through the crystal clear water of this glacier lake and soak up the views of the mountains and blue sky above you. Keep an eye out for wildlife on the lakeshore, including big-horned sheep, deer, mountain goats, and even the occasional bear. During your cruise, interpretive guides will share interesting facts and stories about the wildlife and vegetation that inhabit the Canadian Rockies. Learn about the culture of the indigenous people who used to call the area home and hear a lot of entertaining legends of the area.

Lake Louise: Open-Top Bus Shuttle to Moraine & Lake Louise

3. Lake Louise: Open-Top Bus Shuttle to Moraine & Lake Louise

Breathe in the fresh mountain air and embark on an exciting tour to beautiful Lake Louise and Moraine Lake from a meeting point at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Take time for yourself once at the lake. Ride the open-top bus back to the meeting point. Snap photos, take in panoramic views, and learn about the area from a local host, ready with fascinating stories and to answer any questions. Once there, marvel at the Canadian Rockies and the famous Valley of the Ten Peaks. Many stunning hiking trails are accessed right from the drop-off area. Explore at your own pace and then head back on the bus.

Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

4. Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

Embark on a horseback riding adventure as you breathe in the pine-spiced mountain air. Approach the Bow Falls and enjoy spectacular views. Pass by the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course known as one of the most immaculately manicured courses in Canada. Continue along the edge of the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course and cross through the waters once more. A partial climb up Sulphur Mountain brings you through a wooded residential area and back to the corrals. Enjoy a unique experience and cross the Spray River. On hotter days, your horse may even decide to cool itself off by splashing water onto its belly. Have an experience unlike anything else.

Banff: Mount Norquay 2.5 or 4-Hour Guided Via Ferrata Climb

5. Banff: Mount Norquay 2.5 or 4-Hour Guided Via Ferrata Climb

Join this fun alpine climbing tour that's perfect for all abilities, including those with no previous experience. Experience the thrill of climbing a via ferrata with an expert guide and delight in bird’s-eye views of Banff National Park.  Choose between a 2.5-hour Explorer Route or a 4-hour Ridgewalker Route. Upon arrival to Mount Norquay, located just 10 minutes from Banff, check in and meet your guide. Get equipped with a harness, lanyards, and helmet, then ride the sightseeing chairlift to where your adventure begins.  After an equipment check and training is complete, take a short 5-minute walk to your first via ferrata buttress to climb. The 2.5-hour Explorer Route is a great choice for those who are slightly limited on time or looking for an introduction to via ferrata. Spend some time with your guide and get introduced to the equipment before heading up a few pitches and crossing the suspension bridge.  You will reach 2,235 meters (7,332 feet) above sea level. The tour lasts 2-2.5 hours, covers 1 kilometer (3,280 feet), and involves an elevation gain of 145 meters (475 feet). Select the 4-hour Ridgewalker Route to get a greater feel for heights and experience the via ferrata in full.  Get comfortable with the equipment on a practice wall, then continue on the Norquay cliffs, climbing the memorial, sunrise and vista buttresses — and, of course, traversing the suspension bridge. The route heads up to the Ridgewalker Summit, 2,300 meters (7,545 feet) above sea level. At the top, enjoy incredible views and snap some photos before descending back to the starting point.  The tour lasts 3.5-4 hours, covers 1.4 kilometers (4,593 feet), and involves an elevation gain of 260 meters (853 feet).

From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

6. From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

Experience Banff’s famous lakes on a guided tour to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.  Keep your eyes peeled for animals such as deer, elk, and bears on your way and admire views of Castle Mountain before arriving at the first lake of the day. Hear stories about Banff National Park, its history, and the local animals from your guide. Enjoy a 30-minute visit to Lake Louise. Wander the famous shoreline and take photos of the lake against the backdrop of the mountains and Victoria Glacier.  Admire the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel from the outside or inside. Explore Moraine Lake, set in the rugged Valley of the Ten Peaks with waterfalls and rock piles. Enjoy a short guided walk to the famous Valley of the Ten Peaks viewpoint, or relax and take in the lake from the shoreline. After a 30-minute stop here, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you off at your hotel.

Banff: Afternoon Kananaskis River Whitewater Rafting Tour

7. Banff: Afternoon Kananaskis River Whitewater Rafting Tour

Enjoy whitewater rafting down an idyllic stretch of the Kanaskasis River, the perfect excursion for families, groups, and newcomers to whitewater rafting. Explore the pristine waterways of the Kananaskis River. Scout for local wildlife and enjoy the unrivaled beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Meet at the Nakoda Lakeside Lodge on Highway 1A. Start your rafting adventure with a 45-minute drive from Banff or Calgary. Enjoy the short scenic ride as you wind through the Canadian countryside. Once you're fitted with your wetsuits and other safety equipment, ride in a comfortable bus a short distance to the starting point on the Kananaskis River. Here, your guides will provide safety instructions and teach your paddle techniques. Feel equipped and ready to go as you prepare for the river. Board your raft and begin your journey. Admire the views during calm parts of the river. Practice different paddling techniques with your guide. Spot local wildlife such as soaring eagles, and deer who stroll along the banks of the river. Then, get ready to be splashed as your raft through class 2-3 rapids as you travel along a lovely forested area of the river. At the end of the journey enjoy a scenic float to the finish where you can swim and splash in the water. Return to the river base for high fives and snacks to celebrate your rafting adventure. This tour operates from mid-May to mid-September and is ideal for anyone that has never rafted before or does not know how to swim.

Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour

8. Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour

Choose between a 20-minute, 30-minute, or 55-minute tour over the Canadian Rockies with a professional pilot. The day starts at the helicopter base surrounded by mountain views. Go through a thorough safety briefing with the flight crew before learning about the controls and getting kitted out with a professional headset. Feel the excitement build as the crew readies for takeoff. Once in the air, the itinerary will vary depending on the option selected. Either way, breathtaking sights are guaranteed. 20-Minute Tour Deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, take in an incredible view of Abraham Lake - its incredible blue color and unique bubble patterns are truly a sight to see. After a glimpse of the lake, continue the flight around the Canadian Rockies. 30-Minute Tour The most popular of the 3 flights, this adventure covers crevasses, glaciers, and waterfalls over the beautiful Wilson Icefield. Soar at a cool 100mph, 9000ft (2900m) over Cline Pass. Admire the impressive fierceness of the mountains while flying alongside them. 55-Minute Tour The “Complete Columbia Icefields Tour” is just that – a complete, full, 55 minutes of gorgeous scenery and ancient ice. See the iconic Columbia Icefield the way it was intended, an awe-mazing trip highlight to remember for years to come. Marvel at incredible panoramas of waterfalls, emerald-green lakes, and mountain ridges. Pass over 6 different glaciers surrounded by frozen lakes and waterfalls. Many mountains reveal themselves along the trip, including Purple Mountain, Mount Cline, Resolute Mountain, Mount Harlan, Minster Mountain, and more. This trip is sure to leave anyone speechless. All the trips end with one last 360-degree view of the Canadian Rockies and Abraham Lake before landing softly back at the heliport.

Canadian Rockies: Helicopter Flight with Exploration Hike

9. Canadian Rockies: Helicopter Flight with Exploration Hike

Get ready for an awe-inspiring experience of the Rocky Mountain with this scenic helicopter flight and hiking tour. See the Rockies from a bird's-eye view. Admire the stunning views of the mountains, lakes, and glaciers from above. Then explore the region’s natural beauty on foot. Choose from a 20, 30, or 55-minute scenic flight. Each option includes incredible panoramas of waterfalls, emerald-green lakes, and mountain ridges. With the 55-minute flight, approach the Columbia Icefield, the largest expanse of ice in the Rocky Mountains. After the flight, land at the confluence of the Cline River and Waterfalls Creek. Continue to explore the wild beauty of this region on foot, hiking to the Twin Falls waterfall. Then climb back on board the helicopter and fly back to the heliport, enjoying the fantastic views of Abraham Lake.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

10. Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River on a family-friendly canoe tour. Get ready to be amazed by extraordinary views of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies around you. This sightseeing tour is perfect for the whole family and doesn't require any previous experience. Meet at the Banff Canoe Club, just a 5-minute walk from downtown Banff. As you journey upstream, your expert guide will entertain you with stories of the past, history of canoeing, and interesting local facts. Admire the scenery around you, while learning how to paddle as a team. After 1 and a half hours of fun, enjoy a complimentary, refreshing lemonade on the shore.

Other Sightseeing Options in Banff National Park

Want to discover all there is to do in Banff National Park? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Banff National Park

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,874 reviews

My wife and I were traveling to Banff for the first time and had no idea where to go. We booked the hop on hop off tour and it worked out great. Our guide James was very interesting and quite funny at times. We also had a motorhome and no car so it was almost impossible to get into some areas. If you're not a fan of heavy traffic or circling parking lots for a spot I recommend letting them do the driving and explain what's at each stop.

Not your usual hop on hop off bus experience! James helped us decide which stops to get off at and how long we’d need there to ensure we could fit in all activities that were important to us - a tailor made bus trip! James & Bobby (driver and tour guide) were good fun and knew so much about the area - it was an informative and entertaining journey.

Tyler and Dominique provided personalized services even if it was a hop-on hop-off tour which I never encountered whenever I use hop-on hop off. Ron and the other lady driver is an amazing driver as well who keeps us safe during the entire trip.

The ride was very smooth and the views from the top are amazing! It was not very crowded, so we enjoyed some snacks and drinks while watching the sunset!

Very good tour guide named Gina. Captain Travis was our Captain. Very interesting and willing to answer questions. I would recommend