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Noel Hendrickson
The Real Banff / Published: Fri, 04/13/2018 - 14:03

How to be a responsible visitor in Banff National Park

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Whether you spend your visit hiking through impressive mountain vistas, contemplating the tumultuous waters of Johnston Canyon, or chasing adrenaline on the ski slope, it’s clear that Banff National Park is a special place.

So special in fact, that it is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

As visitors, it is our responsibility to treat the park with the care it deserves, so future generations will be able to experience the wild beauty of this place.

Sustainable transportation

The Banff townsite is very walkable. If you’re visiting for the day, consider parking your vehicle at the Fenlands parking lot and walking the 10-15 minutes into town. Not only will you benefit from a longer parking time limit, but the walk along the river into town also provides extra opportunities to soak in the glorious mountain views.

Lots of Banff locals use bicycles to get around town and you’ll notice bike racks everywhere once you start looking for them. There’s even a Bike Fix-It station in Central Park if you need to pump up your tires or make a minor repair. Bring your own bicycle or rent one from Banff Soul Ski and Bike, Snowtips-Backtrax, or Ultimate Ski & Ride.

Roam Transit is another great option if you plan to travel further afield. Buses run regularly to the Banff Upper Hot Springs, Banff Gondola, and Tunnel Mountain campgrounds as well as Canmore.

In the winter, SkiBig3 offers free shuttles when you purchase a lift ticket. Shuttles run from Banff and Lake Louise to Banff Sunshine Village, Mt Norquay, and Lake Louise Ski Resorts.

For more great tips on transportation within the park, visit Explore The Park

Reducing waste

In addition to wildlife-proof garbage bins, you’ll find compost and recycle bins throughout the Town of Banff. Follow the pictures on the side of the bin to learn what goes in each receptacle. And don’t forget to pack out your garbage when you’re hiking.

Make sure to bring your reusable water bottle to test out one of four water bottle filling stations. The drinking water in Banff is refreshing and delicious.

In the summer, the Banff Farmer’s Market is a great source for fresh, local produce. Remember to pack a reusable bag for your delicious finds. 

Respecting wildlife

Banff National Park is home to many incredible species, from the tiny Banff Springs snail to the towering moose. 

Keep a safe distance away from wildlife to protect both yourself and the animal. Never feed, entice, or disturb a wild animal. Respect wildlife by giving them the space they need to thrive.

Be bear-aware! Make lots of noise when hiking, carry bear spray and keep your dog on-leash. 

Parks Canada has lots of practical information for staying safe in bear country on their website.

To learn more about experiencing Banff responsibly, visit the Mountain Institute.  

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