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Canoeing Bow Lake Banff National Park Noel Hendrickson
The Real Banff / Published: Mon, 08/07/2017 - 13:47

Explore the waters of Banff and Lake Louise

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You’ve seen the stunning waters of Banff National Park in photos, now it’s your chance to go explore them for yourself. Whether you decide to paddle a canoe, hit some rapids in a raft or watch the sunrise from your SUP, you’ll never forget your time on the water. 

Canoe (and Kayak)  

When in Canada, it’s essential to spend some time exploring the turquoise waters of Banff National Park by canoe. Those with their own canoe will enjoy exploring a variety of lakes, including Bow Lake, Two Jack Lake, and Johnson Lake. You can also visit Radventures for transportable canoes and kayaks. If you need to rent a boat, check out the Bow River with help from The Banff Canoe Club, Lake Minnewanka Boat Docks, or explore the iconic waters of Lake Louise with The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Canoeing on Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park
Dan Evans

Float Raft Tour  

If you’re looking for a chance to really study the Bow Valley from the river, consider joining Rocky Mountain Raft Tours. These scenic guided floats depart from below Bow Falls, winding their way along the Bow River before ending just after the famous Hoodoos. Families and photographers will appreciate the relaxed pace of this adventure.  

Rafting on the Bow River, Banff National Park, AB

Whitewater Rafting   

Get your adrenaline flowing with a true whitewater experience in the heart of The Canadian Rockies. Choose from either full or half-day whitewater adventures, ranging in difficulty from Class II to Class IV+ rapids. There are a variety of tour operators: Chinook Rafting, Canadian Rockies Rafting, Hydra River Guides, and Wild Water Adventures.  

Hydra Rafting, Banff National Park


Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is the perfect way to explore Banff and Lake Louise. Paddle out into the centre of a crystal clear lake and soak in the surrounding peaks. If you’re looking to rent a SUP, check with The Banff Canoe Club, the Ski Big 3 Adventure Hub, Radventures, or Bow Valley SUP. Boards are also available for purchase at Atmosphere in Banff.     

Stand up Paddleboarding, Banff National Park
Will Lambert | SkiBig3 Adventure Hub

To book your stay in Banff National Park, visit our Places to Stay page. 

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Plan Your Stay

Browse and book accommodation and lodging packages with our trip planning tool. To learn about the different types of accommodation available in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our Places to Stay page or Contact Us to speak to a local expert.