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Trip Ideas

Walk on the Wild Side

Duration
5 Days
Num of Experiences
15 Experiences

Discover the wildlife that call Banff National Park home on this exciting adventure in the Rockies. While we can never guarantee wildlife sightings this trip will give you ample opportunities to spot some of Banff's most iconic local residents.

Connect with wildlife in a safe way as you explore the park responsibly with the help of knowledgeable guides and locals. Take a walk on the wild side while ensuring you keep the "wild" in wildlife.

For the best experience we recommend spending three nights in the Banff area and two nights in the Lake Louise area.

Who's it For?

  • Wildlife Lovers
  • Adventurous Families
  • Photography Enthusiasts

When to Go

  • May - Oct

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

Today's all about getting to know the species that call Banff National Park home. Start your day with a guided wildlife tour to some areas where wildlife is frequently seen. Refuel with lunch in town and then put on your walking shoes to visit the Banff Park Museum and Cave & Basin. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you walk and then learn all about and try your luck at spotting the endangered Banff Springs Snail.

A group of people on a guided wildlife tour with Two Jack Lake in behind themA group of people on a guided wildlife tour with Two Jack Lake in behind them

Guided Wildlife Tour


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Guided Wildlife Tour

Bear Street Tavern

See details about Bear Street Tavern
A family viewing the exhibit at the Banff Park MuseumA family viewing the exhibit at the Banff Park Museum

Banff Park Museum National Historic Site


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Banff Park Museum National Historic Site
Family of four looking at the spring in the Cave at the Cave & Basin National Historic SiteFamily of four looking at the spring in the Cave at the Cave & Basin National Historic Site

Cave & Basin National Historic Site


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Year Round
See details about Cave & Basin National Historic Site

Day 02

Start your day early because it's the best time to see wildlife and take a drive along the Minnewanka Loop. Look for black bears, grizzly bears, big horn sheep and elk and also stop for photos and the views at Two Jack Lake, Cascade Ponds and Lake Minnewanka. When you're done head to Mt. Norquay and take a ride up the sightseeing chairlift, look down for wildlife as you ride. Enjoy lunch at the top with panoramic views at the Cliffhouse Bistro.

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
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
A person in a restaurant with a glass of wine in hand and a charcuterie board with mountain views in the background.A person in a restaurant with a glass of wine in hand and a charcuterie board with mountain views in the background.

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

Day 03

Get active on todays wildlife spotting endeavours. Rent a bike or e-bike in the morning and ride the Golf Course Loop for potential wildlife spotting opportunities. Refuel with lunch on the super scenic Rose & Crown rooftop patio and then take to the river in the evening on a big canoe tour, (no paddling experience necessary) where you'll have ample opportunity to spot birds and wildlife and if you're lucky you might even have a run in with some of the resident beavers.

Two people biking the golf course loop on a summer day in Banff National ParkTwo people biking the golf course loop on a summer day in Banff National Park

Bike the Golf Course Loop


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
May - Oct
See details about Bike the Golf Course Loop

Rose & Crown

See details about Rose & Crown
Bow River Big Canoe TourBow River Big Canoe Tour

Bow River Big Canoe Tour


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Jun - Oct
See details about Bow River Big Canoe Tour

Day 04

Get ready for a day full of adventure as you make your way to Lake Louise. Take the scenic route via the Bow Valley Parkway, this might be getting a little repetitive but make sure you keep an eye out for wildlife as you go. Take a ride up the Lake Louise Summer Gondola, the slopes below are a favourite hangout for grizzly bears. Enjoy you meal with a view at the Whitehorn Bistro and allow yourself time to check out the wildlife interpretive centre below the restaurant. Finish off your day with an afternoon horseback ride along the Lake Louise lakeshore.

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
Lake Louise Summer Sightseeing GondolaLake Louise Summer Sightseeing Gondola

Lake Louise Summer Sightseeing Gondola


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Jun - Sep
See details about Lake Louise Summer Sightseeing Gondola
Two people taking in the view as the dine at Whitehorn Bistro at the Lake Louise Ski ResortTwo people taking in the view as the dine at Whitehorn Bistro at the Lake Louise Ski Resort

On Mountain Dining at Whitehorn Bistro


Duration
1-3 hrs
Operating Dates
Jun - Sep & Nov - Apr
See details about On Mountain Dining at Whitehorn Bistro
People on a guided horseback riding tour in Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier in the backgroundPeople on a guided horseback riding tour in Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier in the background

Horseback Riding in Lake Louise


Duration
1-3 hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
Jun - Oct
See details about Horseback Riding in Lake Louise

Day 05

Sit back and relax on a full day guided tour of one of Canada's most scenic drives - the Icefields Parkway. A hot spot for scenery and wildlife, your knowledgeable guide will spend the day making sure you see everything you need to see (including wildlife if you're lucky)!

A sightseeing tour bus driving the Icefields Parkway with Bow Lake in the backgroundA sightseeing tour bus driving the Icefields Parkway with Bow Lake in the background

Guided Icefields Parkway Tour


Duration
6+ hrs
Difficulty
Easy
Operating Dates
May - Oct
See details about Guided Icefields Parkway Tour

Where to Stay

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

A Banff Boutique Inn

Hotels & Inns
Location
Banff Town Area
See details about A Banff Boutique Inn

Juniper Hotel

Hotels & Inns
Location
Banff Town Area
See details about Juniper Hotel

Moose Hotel & Suites

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

Royal Canadian Lodge

Hotels & Inns
Location
Banff Town Area
See details about Royal Canadian Lodge

Baker Creek by Basecamp

Cabins
Location
Lake Louise Area
  • Onsite Parking
See details about Baker Creek by Basecamp

Lake Louise Inn

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

Mountaineer Lodge

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

Reservations & Booking

Some of the activities require reservations or bookings upfront. Here is an overview of all providers:

Guided Wildlife Tour

  • Discover Banff Tours
  • Banff Adventures
  • White Mountain Adventures

Banff Park Museum National Historic Site

Cave & Basin National Historic Site

Mt. Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift

On Mountain Dining at the Cliffhouse Bistro

Bike the Golf Course Loop

Bow River Big Canoe Tour

Lake Louise Summer Sightseeing Gondola

On Mountain Dining at Whitehorn Bistro

Horseback Riding in Lake Louise

Guided Icefields Parkway Tour

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