With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning some of your essential mountain adventures. So lace up your boots, pack your bag and check out 7 summer adventures in Banff and Lake Louise.
1. Camp in the backcountry
Take your camping game to the next level with a trip into the backcountry. Banff National Park has extensive network of backcountry campsites to explore and ambitious backpackers will love linking together the many trails into a proper adventure. Prime backpacking season stretches from May to October, although trails at a higher elevation may remain snowbound until June. Visit the backpacking page at Parks Canada for all of your information and trip planning information. Campsites book up quickly, so be sure to book early or look for dates mid-week. Don't forget that you'll need a Parks Canada Discover Pass - find more information at by reading our Guide to the Parks Canada Pass.
2. Try your luck with Heli fly fishing
Getting up in a helicopter offers not only a unique perspective on the mountains, but it will also allow help you reach the remote corners of the Canadian Rockies. Whether you decide to touch down on a remote mountaintop for a heli hiking adventure or explore high-alpine lakes with a fly rod or explore a sightseeing tour, the journey to your destination might just be the most memorable moments of your trip. (Please note: bringing a camera is mandatory!) Check out Alpine Helicopters Inc, CMH - Summer Adventures and Rockies Heli Tours Canada.
3. Saddle up for a horseback tour
Travel back in time and soak in the panoramic views of Banff and Lake Louise from the saddle of a horse. Several outfitters offer guided horseback tours ranging from day trips to multi-day adventures. Watching the sunset from the door of your canvas tent after a day on the trail will make you feel like some of the intrepid early explorers of the area. Check out Banff Trail Riders, Timberline Tours Ltd. and Brewster Mountain Pack Trains.
4. Join a Guided Hike
If you want the full Banff National Park experience, consider hiring a guide for your next mountain adventure. Not only will they deliver you to the doorstep of breathtaking views, they will also be your encyclopedia of natural history. Have a question about that mountain? They’ll set you straight. Curious about the type of bird soaring overhead? No problem! There are several organizations that offer guiding services ranging from simple day trips to custom mountain adventures. Check out: Great Divide Nature Interpretation, Canadian Rockies Alpine Hiking, Discover Banff Tours, Nature in Focus Hiking, White Mountain Adventures, Yamnuska Mountain Adventures and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
5. Paddle on an alpine lake
From the cover of National Geographic to countless postcards around the world, paddling on a turquoise mountain lake is truly a bucket list experience. There are plenty of paddling options that exist in the park - from paddling on Lake Louise to the Banff Canoe Club on the Bow River. Check out some of our other paddling blogs “8 Jaw-Dropping Paddles in Banff National Park” and “Canoeing and camping on Lake Minnewanka”.
6. Scale a Via Ferrata
Looking to scale a mountain but don’t know where to start? Why not try your hand at Via Ferrata - a guided experience on steel bridges and rungs up sheer rock faces. In the town of Banff you can explore several routes at Mt Norquay. Those looking to extend the adventure can hop on a helicopter and fly up to the CMH Bobbie Burns Hut where you’ll explore the thrilling Mt Nimbus course.
7. buckle up for Rafting
One of the finest ways to explore the Canadian Rockies is from the seat of a river raft. There are several rafting options depending on the type of adventure you’re looking for - beginners will enjoy the Bow River safari and Hoodoo tour, while adrenaline junkies will enjoy crashing their way through rapids on one of many alpine rivers in the area. Check out: Banff Rafting Centre, Canadian Rockies Rafting, Hydra River Guides, Rocky Mountain Raft Tours, White N'Wild Adventures Ltd. and Wild Water Adventures.
Are you coming to Banff National Park?
Make sure you purchase your Parks Canada Discovery Pass in advance for express entry into the park. All of the details, including frequently asked questions can be found in our Guide To The Parks Canada Pass.