Whether you're looking for an adventure, a place to reflect, or a new perspective, Banff and Lake Louise are where you'll find it. The powerful beauty of this place is still here, waiting to help you unwind and exist in the moment.
Plan ahead to ensure a seamless experience in Banff and Lake Louise. For transit and parking options, check out our Explore the Park page.
Visit safely and stay healthy
We are committed to welcoming you to Banff and Lake Louise in a way that is safe for our community and visitors. You can help us by taking the following steps to explore responsibility in Banff National Park.
- Masks are now mandatory indoors and the pedestrian zone of Banff Avenue and Caribou Street.
- Maintain a distance of two metres when you encounter fellow adventurers. Be aware of the need to step to the side to create distance from passersby, and do your best to keep a healthy distance from those ahead of you on the path or trail.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, and make use of hand sanitizer where available.
- Bring your own safety supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer.
- If you’re feeling unwell, please stay home.
- Avoid gatherings that involve large groups.
- Remember to be extra cautious and avoid injury to minimize the demands placed on local emergency response teams.
- Take out what you take in. Carry your garbage with you until you can dispose of it in a safe manner, and keep our pristine national park as pure as possible. If garbage bins are full, you need to take your rubbish with you.
- Respect wildlife and give wild animals plenty of space. They’ve been enjoying their time roaming the streets in Banff and Lake Louise.
Refer to Alberta Health Services' guidelines on travelling.
It’s important to plan ahead for an exploration of the Lake Louise area. Shuttle buses are not running to Lake Louise or Moraine Lake in 2020, and parking is limited in an effort to support physical distancing measures and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In your plans, consider alternative destinations or arrange a longer stay in the area, giving you more flexibility and the ability to explore early in the morning or after peak hour traffic. For more inspiration, visit the links below.
The town of Banff and the hamlet of Lake Louise are re-opening with the guidance of the Alberta Government re-opening phases. For the best experience in Banff National Park, call ahead to ensure businesses are open before you arrive.
Alberta is currently in phase two of re-opening, with one final phase remaining. Non-medical masks are now mandatory in enclosed public areas as well as the town’s pedestrian zone on Banff Avenue.
Attractions and activities
Most attractions and activities are open, with new health and safety measures in place. Some attractions and trails remain closed for the summer of 2020, and we recommend you call ahead to confirm opening details with the supplier or Parks Canada directly.
Most patios and restaurants are now open with new health and safety measures in place. Some restaurants now offer new take-out and delivery options whilst some have expanded onto the streets of Banff to provide a comfortable and spacious environment. You can find more information on what businesses are open on the Town of Banff website.
Retail stores in Banff and Lake Louise continue to re-open and are following AHS guidelines to provide a welcoming and safe environment. You can find more information on what businesses are open on the Town of Banff website.
Accommodations are now open and welcoming visitors with increased safety measures. To book your escape, check out Places to Stay.
Roam Transit bus service is operating in a reduced capacity. Masks are required to travel on buses.
If you would like more information on current or future stages to help plan your visit, please visit the Alberta Government Relaunch Strategy.
Border & travel information
As Banff and Lake Louise re-open and welcome back visitors, there are still government restrictions in place for International Visitors and those travelling from around Canada. Be sure to check before you travel if you are able to visit.
The Canadian border remains closed for non-essential travel (including visitors from the US). You can keep up to date with border information via the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Parks Canada are welcoming all Canadians to national parks. Before travelling or booking, ensure you check your province’s advisory regarding travel between provinces. If you are travelling from outside of Alberta, but within Canada, and you are healthy, currently no self-isolation is required.
For information regarding quarantine restrictions, please refer to Alberta Health Services.
You can purchase your Banff National Park Pass online or in person at the Banff East Gates.
If you held an annual Discovery Pass which was valid in March 2020, Parks Canada will automatically extend the date of the Discovery Pass by four months. For example, if your pass originally expired in March 2020, it will now expire in June 202. If you have a pass that expires in September 2020, it will now expire in January 2021.
Many of your favourite trails and day use areas around Banff National park are now open. Escape to the great outdoors, but keep in mind that some visitor services and select facilities will remain suspended until further notice.
Road & Parking Information
The following roads will remain closed:
- Bow Valley Parkway from Banff to Castle Junction (Johnston Canyon will not be accessible by motor vehicle due to this closure)
- Tunnel Mountain Drive
- Space will be limited at the Lake Louise lakeshore parking lot to support physical distancing measures.
- Moraine Lake parking will be limited this year to ensure the safety of visitors.
- Bow Lake parking will be restricted to support physical distancing measures.
- Parking at Lake Minnewanka will be restricted to the parking lots, and no roadside parking will be permitted.
- For up to date road closures, refer to Alberta 511 and Parks Canada.
Banff National Park is happy to welcome back campers. Not all campgrounds will open for summer 2020, and restrictions will be in place for campgrounds that open.
For summer 2020, there will be limited first-come, first-serve campgrounds (e.g. locations on the Icefields Parkway). Parks Canada campgrounds will honour out –of-province camping reservations. As a result of border closures in Canada, all international visitor reservations (Including the USA) for travel up to and including August 7, 2020, will automatically be cancelled and refunded in full.
Day-use areas in Banff National Park will offer limited facilities in 2020.
- Lake Minnewanka: This area will be open with restrictions. Kitchen shelters will be closed and only washrooms with flushable toilets will remain open.
- All picnic and kitchen shelters at day-use areas are closed.
- Peyto Lake day-use area will remain closed.
- The town of Banff kitchen shelters will remain closed.
Trails and Facilities
Most hiking and cycling trails in Banff National Park are open for day use.
- Public washroom facilities will open throughout the park.
- Johnston Canyon trail will be open to foot and cyclist traffic only. This trailhead will not be accessible by vehicles due to the partial closure of the Bow Valley Parkway.
- The Banff Upper Hot Springs, Banff Parks Museum, and the Cave and Basin will be closed until further notice.
For information on trails in Banff National park and trail conditions, please refer to Parks Canada.
Our Visitor Centre staff members are available to help you with all the details of your visit to Banff and Lake Louise. These local experts are available via phone, email, or Live Chat on our website.
Last updated July 31, 2020