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The Real Banff / Published: Thu, 09/03/2020 - 12:27

Why you want to take a tour in Banff National Park and you don't even know it yet

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The more you know about an experience, the more you tend to enjoy it.  

Think about your favourite sporting team. You know the players’ names and feel like they're your besties. There are funny stories and random facts that make you feel personally invested in every game. 

The more local secrets, remarkable stories and quirky history you learn in a destination, the more you’ll get from your holiday. Cookie-cutter tours are a thing of the past, and Banff and Lake Louise’s first-rate guides specialize at making you feel at home in the mountains. Here are just a few reasons why you should take a guided tour in Banff National Park. 

You’ll enjoy experiences you never would have chosen yourself 

Ever receive a gift that you love, but would have never bought for yourself? Imagine a whole day filled with that feeling.  

For example, there’s a hikeable plateau half way up iconic Castle Mountain that hosts a small warden’s hut. Not many people know about this trail, but Alpine Air Adventures can take you there. If you're more of a yoga person, Rockies Heli Tours Canada are waiting to fly you to a private Hatha lesson atop a mountain. 

It’s hard to find a more authentic experience than discovering the indigenous medicines hidden in the forest. Join Brenda of Mahikan Trails on a Medicine Walk and discover fascinating historical medicines from the Cree lineage.

You could also arrive at a new destination on an emotional level by forest bathing with Ronna from Forest Fix. or enjoy an exlusive, ATV-assisted tour of Fortress Mountain with White Mountain Adventures, where you'll be treated to ridge-top views made famous in Hollywood.

Because local knowledge is like gold 

Everyone knows that local tips are worth their weight in gold, and it goes way beyond a hint on where to eat – any of the region’s local guides can tell you where to find the best breakfast poutine or specialty cocktail. 

Pursuit’s recently-launched Open Top Tours are part time travel, part local immersion. The insider stories, community trivia and fun facts are dished up with a merry 1930s theme, and will make you feel right at home in Banff and Lake Louise. 

Are you hoping to catch a glimpse of our furry friends? While no one can guarantee you’ll see a bear, elk or big-horned sheep, Canadian Rockies Alpine Hiking guides can increase your chances with their local wilderness knowledge, and ensure both you and the animals stay safe. You can also tour critter sighting hotspots on Discover Banff Tours' Evening Wildlife Safari from the comfort of a modern tour bus. Wildlife is spotted on 95% of these tours, and with the inside scoop you'll learn more about the four-legged inhabitants of Banff National Park than you ever imagined.                                                                    

You’ll learn more from local experts and probably feel smarter 

It’s a cool feeling to walk away from a holiday feeling like you’ve learned something. Banff National Park’s tour guides are experts in everything from geology to goats, and can give you a gratifying context for your surrounds.  

Great Divide Nature Interpretation was founded by award-winning naturalists, and can offer next-level bird watching tours with Master Interpreters that will upend your beliefs about our feathered friends.

Take things to the next level with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures, who are a premier provider of mountaineering, ice climbing and rock-climbing experiences - just the start of a long list of mountain expertise. 

For an authentic insight into local history, choose a cemetery walking tour with Banff Historical Tours. Graham’s detailed knowledge will transport you back in time in the picturesque peace of the Banff cemetery.

A tour makes things easier, safer, and time efficient 

Parking, entry fees, bookings and crowds... No one has time for that when they’re soaking up the beauty of the mountains. You’ll never have to worry about what to do if you see a bear, or what time of day the lighting is best for photos on a tour.  

No hiking poles? No problem. Banff and Lake Louise’s tour operators can often help with the gear you need, all of which is treated with hygiene measures to keep visitors and locals safe.  

Now more than ever, tour operators have your safety top of mind. Brewster Tours have reduced their bus capacity by half, and Discover Banff Tours are offering private tours only for a group minimum of four. Norquay’s Via Ferrata has a new group maximum of four, and White Mountain Adventures' Fortress Mountain tours cap passenger numbers at five, so you may find yourself on a private tour at no extra cost. These are just a few examples of the new measures that are being taken by Banff National Park’s tour companies. 

Sightseeing and Tours

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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.