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Trip Ideas

Must See Banff

Duration
5 Days
Num of Experiences
19 Experiences

Are you visiting Banff for the first time and want to tick off all the big bucket list locations? Don’t stress about planning the perfect trip, we’ve got you covered with our 5-day Must See Banff itinerary. From laying eyes on the turquoise waters of Moraine Lake to taking in the views from the Glacier Skywalk this trip has it all.

To make the most of your time we recommend 2 nights accommodation in Lake Louise followed by 3 nights accommodation in Banff.

Who's it For?

  • Photographers
  • Friends and Couples
  • Adventurous Families

When to Go

  • June - September

Trip Itinerary

Getting to Banff and Lake Louise

With plenty of transportation options to get you to and from the Banff and Lake Louise area, you can rest easy knowing you'll be able to plan a seamless journey from start to finish.

Learn about getting here.

Day 01

Lace up your hiking boots and start your Canadian Rockies adventure with a day full of fresh mountain air and iconic turquoise lakes.

A couple sits on the lakeshore of Lake Louise at sunriseA couple sits on the lakeshore of Lake Louise at sunrise

Lake Louise


Duration
< 1hr
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year round
See details about Lake Louise
View looking across Lake Agnes to the Lake Agnes Tea House with mountains in the backgroundView looking across Lake Agnes to the Lake Agnes Tea House with mountains in the background

Hike Lake Agnes Tea House


Duration
3-6 hrs
Difficulty
Moderate
Operating Dates
Jun - Oct
See details about Hike Lake Agnes Tea House
Moraine LakeMoraine Lake

Moraine Lake


Duration
< 1hr
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Jun - Oct
See details about Moraine Lake

Day 02

Prepare for an unforgettable journey as you take a mini road trip up the awe inspiring Icefields Parkway, take in dramatic mountain scenery, glacier fed lakes and walk on a glacier.

A group of friends taking in the views at Waterfowl Lakes on a drive along the Icefields Parkway in summerA group of friends taking in the views at Waterfowl Lakes on a drive along the Icefields Parkway in summer

Drive the Icefields Parkway


Duration
3-6 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Drive the Icefields Parkway
People paddling in a canoe on the turquoise waters of Bow Lake in the summerPeople paddling in a canoe on the turquoise waters of Bow Lake in the summer

Bow Lake


Duration
< 1hr
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Bow Lake
Family exploring the Athabasca Glacier on the Columbia Icefield AdventureFamily exploring the Athabasca Glacier on the Columbia Icefield Adventure

Columbia Icefield Adventure


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
May - Oct
See details about Columbia Icefield Adventure
People standing on the Glacier Skywalk taking in the views of the surrounding mountainsPeople standing on the Glacier Skywalk taking in the views of the surrounding mountains

The Glacier Skywalk


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
May - Oct
See details about The Glacier Skywalk
Two people taking in the view of Peyto Lake in the summer timeTwo people taking in the view of Peyto Lake in the summer time

Peyto Lake


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Peyto Lake
Car (84km)

Day 03

Get started early for another day full of exciting locations and activities.

A car driving down a scenic stretch of the Bow Valley Parkway with Castle Mountain in the backgroundA car driving down a scenic stretch of the Bow Valley Parkway with Castle Mountain in the background

Drive the Bow Valley Parkway


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Drive the Bow Valley Parkway
Hike Johnston CanyonHike Johnston Canyon

Hike Johnston Canyon


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Hike Johnston Canyon
Two people on the dock at Vermilion Lakes for sunrise in the summerTwo people on the dock at Vermilion Lakes for sunrise in the summer

Vermilion Lakes


Duration
< 1hr
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Vermilion Lakes
A group of friends sitting on the Banff Sign for a photoA group of friends sitting on the Banff Sign for a photo

Photos at the Banff Sign


Duration
< 1hr
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Photos at the Banff Sign

Day 04

Spend the day exploring Banff and the surrounding area. Visit the largest lake in Banff National Park and dine on the top of a mountain.

Car driving the scenic Minnewanka Loop with a mountain in the backgroundCar driving the scenic Minnewanka Loop with a mountain in the background

Drive the Minnewanka Loop


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Drive the Minnewanka Loop
A person taking a break on the Bow River Trail on the way to Bow FallsA person taking a break on the Bow River Trail on the way to Bow Falls

Hike the Bow River Trail to Bow Falls


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Hike the Bow River Trail to Bow Falls
A gondola car goes up the cable with Mount Rundle in the backgroundA gondola car goes up the cable with Mount Rundle in the background

Banff Gondola


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Banff Gondola
Two people enjoying a meal with mountain views at Sky Bistro at the top of Banff GondolaTwo people enjoying a meal with mountain views at Sky Bistro at the top of Banff Gondola

Mountaintop Dining at the Sky Bistro


Duration
1-3 hrs
Operating Dates
Year round
See details about Mountaintop Dining at the Sky Bistro

Day 05

For your final day in Banff, experience the turquoise waters of the with a paddle on the Bow River and take in the breathtaking views looking over Banff from Mt. Norquay.

Group of people paddling the Bow River on a Big Canoe Tour with the Banff Canoe ClubGroup of people paddling the Bow River on a Big Canoe Tour with the Banff Canoe Club

Paddle the Bow River


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
May - Oct
See details about Paddle the Bow River
View of the Mt. Norqauy Sightseeing Chairlift in the summerView of the Mt. Norqauy Sightseeing Chairlift in the summer

Mt. Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift


Duration
< 1hr
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Jun - Sep
See details about Mt. Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift
Group of friends enjoying a meal with a view at the Cliffhouse BistroGroup of friends enjoying a meal with a view at the Cliffhouse Bistro

On Mountain Dining at the Cliffhouse Bistro


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Jun - Sep & Dec - Apr
See details about On Mountain Dining at the Cliffhouse Bistro

Where to Stay

Here's some accommodation options that work for this trip:

Mountaineer Lodge

Hotels & Inns
Location
Lake Louise Area
See details about Mountaineer Lodge

Lake Louise Inn

Hotels & Inns
Location
Lake Louise Area
See details about Lake Louise Inn

Baker Creek

Hotels & Inns
Location
Lake Louise Area
See details about Baker Creek

Elk + Avenue Hotel

Hotels & Inns
Location
Banff Town
See details about Elk + Avenue Hotel

Moose Hotel & Suites

Hotels & Inns
Location
Banff Town
  • Onsite Dining
  • Hot Tub
  • Onsite Parking
See details about Moose Hotel & Suites

Banff Park Lodge

Hotels & Inns
Location
Banff Town
See details about Banff Park Lodge

Brewster's Mountain Lodge

Hotels & Inns
Location
Banff Town
See details about Brewster's Mountain Lodge
See more options

Good to Know

Maximise your trip enjoyment with a little pre-planning. Here's our pro tips:

  • Get a Park Pass

  • Make a reservation for gear/ activities in advance

  • Learn about the best ways to get around

  • Check the weather forecast