Banff National Park boasts some of the most scenic roads in the world. Whether you have an hour or a full day, there is plenty of the Park you can explore on four wheels. You can also take a GPS Commentary Tour to help you learn more about the area (see member listing below)!
TransCanada Highway (Highway 1)
The TransCanada Highway, running from Banff to Lake Louise, is chock-full of scenic roadside stops. Take this modern highway and you’ll wind your way past the flowing waters of the Bow River and striking peaks, such as Castle Mountain and Mount Temple.
Bow Valley Parkway
This peaceful two-lane road travels from Banff to Lake Louise, paralleling Highway 1. Accessible by both bike and car, the parkway is punctuated by interpretive displays and unique sites. Watch the towering cliffs and swampy areas for a glimpse of wildlife.
Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North)
Rated one of the world’s great scenic highways by National Geographic, the Icefields Parkway is a journey through expansive mountain wilderness, ancient glaciers, sweeping valleys and mountain lakes of every shade of blue. Popular stops include Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake. This road heads north from Lake Louise towards the Columbia Icefield, where you can hop on the Ice Explorer and venture out onto the Athabasca Glacier.
Tunnel Mountain Drive
The drive up Tunnel Mountain Drive starts close to the Town of Banff and offers great views of some of Banff’s most iconic landmarks. Explore the impressive geological formations of the Hoodoos, which can be seen from a viewing deck or up-close on a short hike from the road. For a view of Bow Falls and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, take a drive around Surprise Corner.
Vermilion Lakes Road
These three picturesque lakes are located along the Vermilion Lakes Road, which begins close to the exit to the TransCanada Highway. A popular area for viewing sunrise, sunset and wildlife, you can also paddle on Vermilion Lakes or bike the road, which joins up with the Bow Valley Parkway and the Legacy Bike Trail.
Lake Minnewanka Loop
Give yourself at least an hour to do this 10km loop if you want to see it all. Located just outside the Town of Banff, this loop takes you past Two Jack Lake, Johnson Lake, Lake Minnewanka and the ghost town of Bankhead. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep.
GPS Commentary Guides
GyPSy Guide GPS Commentary Guides are available as Apps to download to your smartphone (iPhone, iPad or Android), or rentals units, for these scenic drives. Listen to professional tour guide commentary that trigger automatically as you drive. Stories include history, geology, where to watch for wildlife, notice of important intersections and quirky local tales.