-5℃ / 23


  • Wed
    -2℃ / 28
  • Thu
    -8℃ / 18
Boating along the waters of Banff National Park, AB
Paul Zizka
The Real Banff / Published: Mon, 04/29/2019 - 15:01

Things To Do in Banff and Lake Louise in May

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Every month in Banff National Park has its own unique qualities and May has the perfect cross-section of seasons! While slopeside activities go out with a bang, the summer’s best experiences begin to trickle in.

Here is your guide to exploring Banff National Park in May:

Lace Up Your Hiking Boots

As the snow continues to melt, some of Banff National Park’s best hiking trails start to open up! Several lower-elevation hikes take you to scenic viewpoints, around the first mountain lakes to thaw, and on flatter terrain, so you can get your mountain legs working again. Check out 10 Early Season Hikes for some great options! 

Just off the side of the highway, the Johnston Canyon is a great, short hike in Banff National Park.
Johnston Canyon

Spot Some Wildlife

Did you know Banff National Park is home to 56 different species of mammals? Springtime is one of the best times to spot wildlife in the park, whether it is mountain goats grazing by the roadside or grizzly bears waking from their winter slumber. Remember to view wildlife from a safe distance and check out our blog about how you can be a more responsible visitor in Banff National Park!


Take a Swing At It 

Every golfer knows the smell that sends tingles down their spine when they step onto the course. Around here, it's fresh-cut grass and fresh mountain air. The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course goes unrivalled when it comes to its scenic backdrops and a thoughtful layout. A round here is the perfect way to spend a spring day.  

Golf Fairmont Banff Springs Banff National Park Chris Amat
Fairmont Banff Springs / Chris Amat

Feel the Energy at Events

Banff and Lake Louise are known for their world-class events that run throughout the year. May is no exception: enjoy the tradition of the ever-popular Slush Cup, immerse yourself in the area’s arts and culture at a Banff Gallery Hop, listen to live music with the spring sunshine at Lake Louise Spring Music Series, and rejuvenate your soul at the Banff Yoga Festival. For a full schedule of events, check out the Events Calendar

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff, Canada
Devaan Ingraham

Pick Up a Paddle

Springtime means the waterways are melting. One of the best ways to experience the beautiful Bow River is right from docks of the Banff Canoe Club right when it first opens. You will find it's quieter on the river than in peak season and higher water levels mean you may be able to paddle all the way to Vermilion Lakes! 

Canoeing on Vermilion Lakes, Banff National Park
Dan Evans

Gear Up for a Great Adventure

Perhaps you’ve put some of Banff and Lake Louise’s larger attractions at the top of your bucket list? Tick them off while you're here! Look for grizzly bears from the Lake Louise Summer Gondola, take a cruise on Lake Minnewanka aboard the Lake Minnewanka Cruise, or get up-close-and-personal with icefields and canyons on the Columbia Icefield Adventure and Glacier Skywalk.

view of glacier skywalk banff
Neil Zeller, Travel Alberta


Make sure you purchase your Parks 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

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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.