The water is warming and so is the air temperature. Banff National Park comes alive in June as rivers run with snowmelt, lakes fill with eager paddlers, wildlife abounds, and travellers set their sights on all this mountain destination has to offer.
Looking for ideas to make the most of your stay this month? Consider these:
Get on the Water
June is one of the Rockies’ best months for water sports while the snow up high is still melting. Some trails might still be snowbound, but on the water your options are wide open so choose your vessel and enjoy the ride! Visit the Banff Canoe Club to rent a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard, enjoy whitewater rafting with an experienced guide or a leisurely river raft with Rocky Mountain Raft Tours. If cruising is more your style, the Lake Minnewanka Cruise offers four different options from the Classic Cruise to the Family Cruise and new Beer Voyage.
Up the Ante with Activities
It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy - though no less exciting thanks to some of the area’s top attractions. Take the Banff Gondola ride up 2,292 feet to some of the best views in the area, dine at Sky Bistro, explore the interpretive exhibits, and more. Glaciers on your mind? Take a two-pronged adventure with the Columbia Icefield Adventure and glass-bottomed Glacier Skywalk.
Dine with the Locals
Banff and Lake Louise have more than enough restaurants to choose from, many featuring lively patios and exquisite views. If you're looking to dine with a view, Juniper Bistro, MacLab Bistro, and the Waldhaus Pub & Patio are some local favourites. You can also mingle with locals, shop from artisans, and grab a bite at the Banff Mountain Market, hosted in Banff’s Central Park (Wednesdays, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.). Find a picnic table or bring a blanket to enjoy your mouthwatering food and live music.
Soar through the Air
One of the most unique ways of seeing the park is from a birds-eye perspective. Heli-sightseeing gets you up high for sightseeing at its best. With snow still on the mountain tops and lakes below displaying incredible shades of blue, June is a perfect month to book a helicopter tour. Fly with Alpine Helicopters, CMH, or Rockies Heli Tours.
Go Wild for Wildlife
There’s a good chance you’ll see wildlife just going about your daily activities in Banff and Lake Louise. Even close to town, along the Fenland Trail and Vermilion Lakes Road, it’s common to see deer, elk, herons, eagles, loons, and more. (Remember to always keep a safe distance from wildlife and carry bear spray when you explore the area's trails.)
If you’re looking to increase your chances, join a Evening Wildlife Safari to learn more about the animals that call the park home, and see them in their natural environments. The Lake Louise Gondola is also a great place to spot grizzly bears ambling along the grassy slopes.
Make it Eventful
June is chock-full with special events that ignite an already exciting destination. On June 16, cheer on racers in the most beautiful run on the planet, the Banff Marathon! The main race is sold-out, but kids can register for the free BMO Kids Run.
There’s also plenty happening at Banff Centre (check out the June calendar) leading up to National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. On June 22, join the Banff Gallery Hop for a gateway into the park’s unique arts and culture, or attend the Banff Iiniskim Powwow for an unforgettable experience and window into Indigenous culture.
For more events, check out the Events Calendar.
Local Tip: Thanks to a number of public transit options it has never been easier to get around Banff National Park. You can now travel from Banff to Canmore, the Lake Minnewanka Loop, Johnston Canyon, Bow Valley Parkway, and Lake Louise with Roam Transit. If you are travelling to Lake Louise, there are various shuttle options to get you to the Lake Louise lakeshore, Moraine Lake and the Lake Louise Gondola. For all transit and shuttle options visit explorethepark.ca.