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F.A.Q.

Add to my moments

We've compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions about everything Banff & Lake Louise. We've covered everything from "why is that lake so blue?" to "where is the grocery store?" and "where can I rent a bike?" If you have a burning question that isn't covered here, please get in contact with us. 

Sightseeing

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Are there any boat tours in Banff National Park?

Yes, the Lake Minnewanka Cruise is a guided scenic boat tour on Lake Minnewanka, the largest lake in Banff National Park. Take in breathtaking mountains and emerald-green water on the 1-hour interpretive cruise.

Are there any Gondolas in Banff National Park?

Yes, there are three gondolas and one sightseeing chairlift to choose from. Each of these scenic rides operate in both summer and winter.

What is Johnston Canyon?

Johnston Canyon is a must-visit natural attraction in Banff National Park. Overhanging canyon walls, waterfalls, deep pools of Johnston Creek, and lush forest can all be experienced via an easy hike along smooth trails, making it ideal for families and people of all ages and fitness levels.

Check out Explore Johnston Canyon in 360 Degrees to find out more.

What is Tunnel Mountain?

Tunnel Mountain, also known as "Sleeping Buffalo," is a popular short hike near the Banff townsite. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was mapping the route through Banff, they considered drilling a tunnel through the mountain. Even though the tunnel was never built, the name stuck. You can hike to the top of Banff’s smallest summit where you will be rewarded with 360 views of the townsite and surrounding areas. There are also several mountain biking trails on Tunnel Mountain including the Tunnel Campground Loop and Tunnel Bench Loop

Where are some beautiful places to stop and take pictures?

Everywhere! But more specifically, these are some of our favourite spots:

  • Mount Rundle in Banff
  • Cascade Mountain in Banff
  • Take any one of our four gondolas/chairlifts for a unique perspective of the park
  • Fairmont Banff Springs hotel
  • Surprise Corner on Tunnel Mountain Drive for a different perspective of the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel
  • Vermilion Lakes near the Banff Norquay entrance into Banff
  • Minnewanka Loop, a five minute drive from Banff
  • Tunnel Mountain Drive in Banff, consider hiking Tunnel Mountain or the Hoodoo Trails for stunning views of the town and surrounding areas
  • The iconic Lake Louise
  • Moraine Lake in Lake Louise
  • Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) where it is common to see wildlife here, early morning or late day. Please be advised that this highway experiences seasonal closures
  • On the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North) there are many areas to park and take photos along the way

For more inspiration take a look at the Top 10 Selfie Spots in Banff and Lake Louise

Note: Please respect all wildlife and stay in your vehicle if you come across any animals - for your safety as well as theirs.

Where can I see a glacier up close?
  • Take a tour on the Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure Experience and discover the Athabasca Glacier
  • Drive along the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North) between Lake Louise and Jasper, there are many lookouts along the way
  • Visit Lake Louise and view Victoria Glacier or hike alongside the lake on your way to the Plain of Six Glaciers
  • Explore these hikes in Banff National Park
Where is the best place to see wildlife?

With 6641-square kilometres of protected wilderness, Banff National Park is a haven for wildlife. Here are some places to see the wildlife.

Note: Be safe, remain in your vehicle, and always keep your distance from wildlife.

Where should I go for a guided tour?

There are many options for guided sightseeing and tours in Banff and Lake Louise. You can go on ice walking tours, heli-hiking tours, guided hikes and walks, boat tours on Lake Minnewanka, and other guided sightseeing. Tour bookings can be made in advance, or you can drop-in on the day depending on the activity and availability.

Visit our Sightseeing and Tours page for a list of guided tours. 

Year-Round Activities

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Does Banff have an escape room?

Yes, EureKa is Banff’s first escape room offering challenging puzzle rooms that are family-friendly and wheelchair accessible.

For more information check out 7 Great Indoor Adventures in Banff and Lake Louise

I have brought my dog with me, what can we do together (besides hiking)?
What are family friendly things to do with young children?

For more information check out 10 Great Winter Adventures for Families in Banff and Lake Louise

What are some great lakes and/or falls to visit (besides Lake Louise and Moraine Lake)?
  • Rent a canoe, SUP, or kayak with Banff Canoe Club to experience the lakes from a different perspective
  • Bow Lake on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North)
  • Peyto Lake on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North)
  • Vermilion Lakes near the Banff Norquay entrance into Banff
  • Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake are a five-minute drive outside of Banff
  • Bow Falls within the Banff townsite
  • Mistaya Falls is accessible along the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North)
  • Mistaya Canyon is located on Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North), 5.5 km south of Saskatchewan River Crossing
What are the Banff Upper Hot Springs?

Banff Upper Hot Springs are Canada’s highest elevation springs. Natural mineral water flows through the springs year-round. While you can’t swim at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, you can come to 'take the waters' at the Banff Upper Hot Springs. 

For more information check out our Wellness page. 

What should I do on a rainy day with the kids?
Where can I book a fishing tour?

There are several guided fishing trips to choose from: Banff Adventures, Banff Fishing Unlimited, Banff Trail Riders, Lake Minnewanka Boat Tours, Hawgwild Flyfishing, Rockies Heli Tours Canada, and Tightline Adventures. Fishing permits are required and you must abide by seasonal fishing restrictions and catch quotas.

For more information check out our Fishing page.

Where can I go biking?

There are many biking and mountain biking trails in and around Banff and Lake Louise. 

Consider booking a tour with Banff Cycle to Lake Minnewanka, the Bow Valley Parkway, or beyond.

Parks Canada can provide specific biking trail maps.

Where can I go bowling?

Banff has two bowling alleys: Fairmont Banff Springs  (5 pins) and High Rollers (10 pins).

For more information check out 7 Great Indoor Adventures in Banff and Lake Louise

Where can I go for breakfast?

A hearty breakfast is the best way to prepare for a day of adventure in the mountains. Here is a list of restaurants offering a breakfast menu.

For more information check out Best of Brunch in Banff National Park.

Where can I go on a guided hiking tour?

There are many tour providers for hiking within Banff National Park. Whether you’re looking for a new route or a heli-hiking experience our members will help you plan an unforgettable trip. 

Visit the Hiking & Walking Tours page to book a guided hiking tour. 

Check out The Outdoor Classroom: Guided Hikes in Banff and Lake Louise to find out more. 

Trail conditions for self-guided hikes can be found on Parks Canada's website. For help finding routes visit the Parks Canada Visitor Centres located alongside our own.  

Where can I go swimming?

Indoor swimming is available at many of the hotels which have indoor swimming pools and hot tubs, make sure you check with your hotel before booking. The Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre at The Banff Centre has an indoor public pool.

When it comes to swimming outdoors, Johnson Lake is a local’s favourite for swimming and floating as is a short 10-minute drive from Banff. Herbert Lake, just outside of Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North), is another great option for swimming. Most other lakes in Banff National Park are glacier fed and are too cold to swim in. The Banff Upper Hot Springs located right in Banff is a good place to relax among the stunning backdrop of the Canadian Rockies in either summer or winter. 

Where can I rent a canoe?

Banff Canoe Club offers canoe, SUP, and kayak rentals.

Find information on where to canoe in Banff National Park here.

Summer Activities

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During the summer, what is the best time of day to visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake?

Parking is limited at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. In order to avoid peak times, we recommend that you plan your trip to arrive before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

Consider leaving your car behind for a seamless, hassle-free trip. Visit explorethepark.ca for all transit options in the area.

If you want to explore beyond these popular spots, here is a list of hidden gems around Lake Louise

Where can I book a rafting tour?

Whitewater rafting or float trips are a fun and refreshing way to experience the Canadian Rockies.

Book your trip through one of our partners: Banff Adventures, Banff Rafting Centre, Canadian Rockies Rafting, Discover Banff Tours, Hydra River Guides, Rocky Mountain Raft Tours, or Wild Water Adventures.

Where can I go horseback riding?

You can explore the mountains on half-day, full-day, or multi-day tour. Banff Adventures, Banff Trail Riders, Brewster Horseback Riding (Lake Louise), Discover Banff Tours, and Timberline Tours (Lake Louise) all offer horseback tours.

For more information check out Horseback Riding in Banff and Lake Louise

Where can I rent a bike?

Biking is a great way to get around Banff and Lake Louise on paved or mountain trails.

There are a few options for bike rentals: Bactrax-Snowtips, Banff Adventures, Banff Ski Hub, Soul Ski and BikeWilson Mountain Sports (in Lake Louise), and Ultimate Ski & Ride.

For more information check out our Biking page. 

Where is the Glacier Skywalk?

The Glacier Skywalk is located on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North), approximately 2.5 hours drive from Banff and two hours from Lake Louise. Reservations are recommended.

Help & Support

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During the summer, when is the best time of day to visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake?

Parking is limited at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. In order to avoid peak times, we recommend that you plan your trip to arrive before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

Consider leaving your car behind for a seamless, hassle-free trip. Privately operated shuttles are available - visit explorethepark.ca for all transit options in the area.

Visitors requiring disabled access to Moraine Lake are authorized to drive to the lake in their own vehicles. Extra parking stalls are available for people with disabilities.

Check out our list of hidden gems in Lake Louise to discover the best places in and around Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

What is a National Park Pass and why do I need one?

A National Park Pass is required when entering a national park. Banff National Park entry fees help support visitor services and facilities. 

The Day Pass or Annual Discovery Pass includes admission to all national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada. Pre-purchasing the Park Pass provides faster entry and greater convenience. You can pre-purchase your Park Pass here.

What is the best time to visit Banff National Park?

Any time is a great time to visit Banff National Park! Each season brings a different set of activities and views of the mountains.

While summer hiking and sightseeing and winter skiing and snowboarding are popular, the spring and autumn months are a great time to visit Banff and Lake Louise. Find out why in our 5 Reasons to Visit During Shoulder Season blog. 

What is the Cave and Basin?

The Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada commemorates the birthplace of Canada's National Park system, which began here in 1885. Visitors can tour the interactive site, smell the minerals, and explore the trails. 

What is the difference between Banff and Lake Louise?

Banff is a town inside Banff National Park which is located approximately 1.5 hours from Calgary, just off the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1). Banff is world famous for its natural hot springs at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel (the “Castle in the Rockies”), and stunning scenery. Banff is surrounded on all sides by towering mountains, including Mount Rundle, Sulphur Mountain, Mount Norquay, and Cascade Mountain. There are plenty of places to stay in Banff as well as dining, shopping, and lots of adventures to choose from.

Lake Louise is a hamlet inside Banff National Park and is located approximately 2 hours from Calgary and 45 minutes west of Banff. Lake Louise is world famous for its turquoise lakes, the Victoria Glacier, soaring mountain backdrop and the palatial Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Lake Louise is a great base for downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter and incredible hiking in the summer. The area has a range of accommodation options and there is a small village with a grocery store, bakery, deli, sporting goods store, visitor information centre, and restaurants. Smaller and quieter than the town of Banff, you really feel immersed in the mountains and nature when you spend time in Lake Louise.

What is the elevation of Banff? Lake Louise?

The elevation of Banff is 1,383 metres (4,537 feet).

The elevation of Lake Louise is 1,750 meters (5,741 feet), making it the highest hamlet in Canada.

Where are the Visitor Centres in Banff National Park?

Visitor Centres are located in Banff and Lake Louise. Ask the local experts anything and everything you want to know about Banff National Park - from things to do, where to stay, where to eat, and how to get around.

  • Banff Visitor Centre: 224 Banff Avenue, Banff, Alberta (downtown Banff)
  • Banff Visitor Information Kiosk: 327 Railway Avenue, Banff, Alberta (Banff Heritage Railway Station)
  • Lake Louise Visitor Centre: 201 Village Road (next to Samson Mall)

Find hours of operation and contact information here. 

Where can I find wheelchair accessible trails?

Many trails are accessible for visitors with wheelchairs. For example, the Banff Legacy trail, the Bow River trail, and the Fenland trail near Vermilion Lakes are wheelchair accessible and all offer beautiful scenery.

Find more information about accessibility here

Where can I get a National Park Pass?

You can pre-order your National Park Pass on our website or you can purchase your pass at the Park Gates when you arrive.

Where can I learn more about the history of Banff National Park?

There are plenty of ways to learn more about the history of Banff National Park. Visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff Park Museum, Buffalo National Luxton Museum, or the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies to learn more about Canada's oldest national park. 

Where does the name “Lake Louise” come from?

Lake Louise was the third name given to the lake. The lake was originally named the Ho-Run-Num-Nay (Lake of Little Fishes) by the Stoney Nakoda First Nations people. In 1882 the lake was named Emerald Lake but two years later it was renamed Lake Louise after Princess Louise Caroline, the fourth daughter or Queen Victoria. Louise was the wife of John Campbell who was the Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883.

Why are the lakes so blue?

The breathtaking turquoise blue colour of the lakes in Banff National Park is a result of rock flour, which is glacial sediment suspended in the water.

Transportation

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How can I get to the ski hill car-free?

Winter ski shuttles pick up from various hotels around Banff to each of the ski resorts; Lake Louise Ski ResortMt Norquay, and Sunshine Village. The shuttle is free for those with a SkiBig3 Tri-Area lift ticket, SkiBig3 season pass or resort season pass. Without a lift ticket or a seasons pass the shuttles cost $15 return.

Lake Louise Ski Resort: View the winter bus schedule here.

Mount Norquay: View the winter bus schedule here.

Sunshine Village: View the winter bus schedule here.

For summer shuttle schedules please visit explorethepark.ca.  

How do I get from Banff to Lake Louise?
How do I get to the gondolas car-free?

Banff Gondola: There is a complimentary shuttle service from downtown Banff to the Banff Gondola during the summer. The shuttle is free with admission to the Banff Gondola.

Lake Louise Sightseeing Lift, Gondola and Interpretive Centre:  A complimentary bus service transfers guests between Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Samson Mall, and the Lake Louise Sightseeing Lift & Gondola.

Mount Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift: This shuttle service offers transportation between downtown Banff (Banff Train Station, Banff Avenue at Elk Street, Banff Park Lodge), the Juniper Hotel, and Mount Norquay. From Mount Norquay, guests can explore the Sightseeing Chairlift, Via Ferrata and great hiking trails. 

Sunshine Village: The Sunshine Village shuttle bus operates between Banff and Sunshine Village. There are pickup points convenient to all Banff hotels and the shuttle offers return trips to Banff throughout the day. 

Please visit explorethepark.ca for up-to-date shuttle information.

How far is Jasper? How do I get there?

It takes approximately 4 hours to drive from Banff to Jasper without any stops. Take the Trans-Canada Highway West (Highway 1), just past Lake Louise exit right onto the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North) and continue along the Icefields Parkway to Jasper.

If you don’t have a car you can book a tour or transfer with Brewster during the summer or Sundog Tours during the winter. For other transportation options please visit explorethepark.ca.

I don't have a car, how can I explore Banff National Park?

There are plenty of transit, shuttle, and tours to transport you around Banff National Park. Visit www.explorethepark.ca for full details.

Is there a passenger train between Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper?

The Rocky Mountaineer runs in the summer months between Banff and Vancouver.

VIA Rail does not provide a service through Banff. However, you can catch a bus to Jasper and connect with the VIA Rail trains from Jasper.

Is there public transportation in Banff?

ROAM transit services Banff and Canmore. There are also a variety of shuttle and sightseeing services available. Please visit explorethepark.ca for more details.

Where can I park my car?

There are a lot of free parking options around Banff and Lake Louise. Make sure to find the nearest sign to your car to ensure you know how long you are permitted to park there for. RV parking is limited to marked areas.

Banff

Visit banffparking.ca for up-to-date information.

Lake Louise

Parking is limited in town, at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Lake Louise lakeside parking area, please consider transit or off-site parking.

If you’re looking for alternative ways to experience the park car-free please visit explorethepark.ca for more information.

Places to Stay

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I am looking for accommodation. How can I find out hotel availability?

Search Places to Stay in Banff and Lake Louise for availability and to book your stay. If you are already in Banff National Park, visit our Visitor Centres in Banff, Lake Louise, and Field where our staff can also provide accommodation options. 

I'd like to stay in a cabin during my stay. What types of cabin accommodation do you have?

There are many cozy cabins to choose from within Banff National Park at both frontcountry and backcountry lodges. 

Cabin accommodation can be found at Baker Creek Mountain Resort, Castle Mountain Chalets, Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, Storm Mountain Lodge, Sundance Lodge, Skoki Lodge, Paradise Lodge & Bungalows, Shadow Lake Lodge, and Tunnel Mountain Resort.

Keep in mind that reservations book up quickly, click here to book now.

Where are the campgrounds?

There are many options for camping. You can pitch a tent in the backcountry or choose a campground closer to town.

Some popular campgrounds include Lake Louise, Two Jack Lakeside, Two Jack Main, Johnston Canyon, Castle Mountain, Tunnel Mountain. Visit Parks Canada for a full list of campsites, to make a reservation and view opening dates. Whether you are backcountry or frontcountry, camping reservations are required. For more information see Your Guide to Camping in Banff National Park

Winter Activities

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Is it safe to drive in the winter? Can I drive on the Icefields Parkway?

Yes, you can drive the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North) in the winter, but always take your driving experience into consideration. If you are not used to mountains or snow then you may want to consider an alternative transportation option. Visit our partners to book a tour or plan your shuttles here.

Always check the road conditions before heading out.

Some roads require snow tires (this includes the Icefields Parkway). Please ensure any car rental includes winter tires.

What is an ice walk and how can I book it?

During the winter months (December to April), Johnston Canyon is a favourite place to go ice walking and ice climbing. The Upper Falls (at 1565 metres above sea level) freeze during the winter and make for excellent beginner and advanced ice climbing. Although ice climbing might sound rather daunting, with proper instruction complete beginners can climb simple routes - if you can climb a ladder, you can climb a frozen waterfall! Guided trips and instruction are available from several providers in Banff and Lake Louise.

Ice walking is another great way to experience Johnston Canyon during the winter. Guided tours are a good option - you will be provided with all the gear you need to safely and enjoyably walk up the canyon and the opportunity to learn about its striking features. Alternatively, you can purchase or rent snowshoes and ice cleats from many stores in Banff and Lake Louise and explore on your own. You can also buy or rent equipment from Snowtips-Backtrax or Banff Adventures.

Book guided tours through Banff Adventures, Discover Banff Tours, or White Mountain Adventures.

Please check trail conditions here before heading out and dress appropriately for winter conditions.

Where can I go cross-country skiing?

Cross-country skiing is a great way to explore Banff National Park during the winter months. A vast network of classic and skate skiing trails provides plenty of options for all fitness levels. Banff, Lake Louise, and Castle Junction trails are track-set and groomed regularly, giving you the choice of leisurely loops or more demanding routes. Pack a lunch, grab your gear, and choose your ideal trail. Here is a list of 5 Cross-Country Ski Trails in Banff National Park

There are maintained trails all around the town of Banff and hamlet of Lake Louise. Visit the Parks Canada website for more information.

It is important to check the weather and avalanche report before heading out - you don’t need to venture far to be in avalanche terrain. Make sure you’re wearing suitable clothes and carrying food, drink, and extra layers. For more information about winter hiking safety and trails, see the Canada Trails website.

For rentals in Banff, visit Snowtips-Backtrax

For rentals in Lake Louise, visit Wilson’s Mountain Sport

Where can I go dogsledding?
Where can I go downhill skiing?
  • Banff National Park includes three world-class resorts: Banff SunshineLake Louise Ski Resort, and Mount Norquay. The rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains, light and fluffy snow, and the most stunningly scenic backdrop you’ll ever experience all add up to a must-visit location for snow lovers. 
  • The skiing and snowboarding in Banff and Lake Louise are uniquely accessible. All the resorts are short, easy drives from the town of Banff and hamlet of Lake Louise and offer a huge variety for skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. You can buy lift tickets for the individual resorts, or try the SkiBig3 Tri-Area Lift Ticket which gives access to all three resorts. 
  • Consider the Mountain Collective Pass or the Ikon Pass, which each include a selection of the resorts and other worldwide destinations.

For more information check out our Ski Resorts page.

Where can I go ice skating?

There are many spectacular places to go ice skating in Banff National Park

Banff
  • The Waldhaus Rink behind the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is a picture-perfect spot for skating, with a warming hut and open fire nearby.
  • The outdoor rink at Banff High School in downtown Banff is open during the day and is lit in the evenings.
  • The well-equipped Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre offers indoor public skating and shinny year round on two full-sized hockey rinks. There is an entry fee to the rink. 
  • An outdoor rink at the Banff Train Station is ideal for family skating and pick-up hockey games. There is additional lighting until early evening and bench seats and washrooms are available in the train station.
Lake Louise
  • The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise maintains a rink during the winter on Lake Louise. The rink is lit daily for night skating and skates are available to rent.
  • The Lake Louise Recreation Centre, located on Village Road, has a covered outdoor hockey and ice skating rink.
Where can I go on a sleigh ride?

Scenic sleigh rides are available in both Banff and Lake Louise.

Book your winter sleigh rides through Banff Adventures, Banff Trail Riders, Discover Banff Tours, or Brewster Lake Louise Sleigh Rides.

For more information check out Sleigh Rides in Banff National Park.

Where can I go snow tubing?

The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mount Norquay offer snow tubing during the winter season.

For more information check out our Tubing and Tobogganing page. 

Where can I go snowmobiling?

Book your snowmobile rentals or tours through White N’ Wild, Toby Creek Adventures, or Discover Banff Tours

Where can I go snowshoeing?

Snowshoeing is a great choice for a fun winter activity because it’s easy to learn, inexpensive, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, fitness levels, and experience.  

Prime snowshoeing season in Banff and Lake Louise is normally late December through to early April. There are many options for routes and trails ranging from short, easy walks around town to backcountry epics. Parks Canada has a long list of trails to try. 

If you don’t have your own pair of snowshoes, there are many places where you can buy or rent a pair in Banff and Lake Louise including Lake Louise Ski ResortMount Norquay, Wilson Mountain Sports, and Snowtips-Bactrax.

Book a snowshoe tour through Banff Adventures, Discover Banff Tours, Great Divide Nature Interpretation, and White Mountain Adventures.

It is important to check the weather and avalanche report before heading out - you don’t need to venture far to be in avalanche terrain. Make sure you’re wearing suitable clothes and carrying food, drink, and extra layers. For information about winter hiking safety and trails, see the Parks Canada and Canada Trails websites.

For more information check out our Snowshoeing page. 

Dining & Nightlife

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It's a sunny day, where can I sit on a patio?

Banff and Lake Louise have a lot of amazing options for patios, views included! Please keep in mind that some patios are only open during the summer season.

Banff
Lake Louise

For a run-down of some of our favourites check out 9 Patios You Need to Try This Summer in Banff and Lake Louise.

What are the best places to grab a drink?

Whether you're looking for a cozy lounge, rooftop patio, lively bar or local pub, you can find it in Banff and Lake Louise. See the options below for a list of local watering holes.

For more suggestions check out Your Guide to Amazing Cocktails in Banff

Where are the best après ski spots?

Banff and Lake Louise are full of awesome spots to après, both on and off the hill. See the list below for some of our favourite suggestions.

For more information check out 10 Places to Après in Banff and Lake Louise

Where can I find a great burger?

World-renowned Alberta Beef is served in many of our restaurants. Visit any of the restaurants listed below for a delicious burger. 

Where can I go for a great steak?

World-renowned Alberta Beef is served in many of our restaurants. Visit any of the restaurants listed below for a delicious steak.

Where can I grab a lunch to go?

For packed lunches to go visit Buffalo Mountain Café (Banff), Chateau Deli (Lake Louise), JK Bakery (Banff), Laggan’s Bakery (Lake Louise), STOCK (Banff), and Wild Flour (Banff). For snacks and coffee stop by Whitebark Café in the Banff Aspen Lodge. Many restaurants will also pack you a lunch to go, and some hotels offer a packed lunch option too.

Which restaurants are family friendly?

Skiing

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What is Banff Sunshine?

Banff Sunshine Ski and Snowboard Resort sits high on the Continental Divide in the heart of Banff National Park just 15 minutes’ drive from the town of Banff. The resort offers the following:

  • 12 lifts, including eight modern high-speed quad chairlifts
  • Home to Canada’s first heated chairlift, Teepee Town LX
  • 3,300 acres of skiable terrain
  • Runs ranging from gentle, inviting beginner slopes all the way up to extreme big mountain skiing
  • The resort’s popular off-piste run, Delirium Dive, has been named one of the 10 top off-piste destinations in the world
  • Sunshine Village has Canada’s longest non-glacial ski season and is open from November to late May
  • The resort receives up to 30 feet of snow per season
  • Offers Banff’s only ski-in, ski-out hotel - the Sunshine Mountain Lodge. At the hotel, guests can enjoy casual and fine dining, the area’s largest hot tub and family-friendly activities

For more information visit: skibanff.com or sunshinemountainlodge.com

What is Mount Norquay?

Located only 5 minutes from Banff, Mount Norquay has been offering family fun since 1926. The resort offers the following:

  • 60 ski runs spread over 190 acres
  • Terrain for all abilities and ages
  • Alberta’s largest snow tubing park, winter sightseeing, and a network of snowshoe trails
  • Night skiing on Friday and Saturday nights for part of the season, including a fully lit terrain park
  • Experience Norquay in the summer from June to October and experience Banff’s newest activity, Via Ferrata, an assisted climbing experience along four breathtaking routes on the mountain
  • Visit the newly renovated Cliffhouse Bistro and savour the unique and inspired flavours while you take in Banff from above

For more information visit: banffnorquay.com 

What is the Lake Louise Ski Resort?

The Lake Louise Ski Resort is a world-renowned ski resort located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and was recently named one of the Top 3 World’s Best Ski Resorts. The resort offers the following:

  • 4,200 skiable acres of world-class terrain
  • A unique layout of beginner, intermediate, and expert runs from every chair
  • Endless chutes, glades and gullies, gentle slopes, cruising runs, remote bowls, and some of the most challenging terrain in the Rockies
  • Incredible dining, sightseeing, snowshoeing, snow-tubing, and world-stage events such as the Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup
  • In summer, the Lake Louise Summer Gondola provides the best Grizzly Bear viewing and scenery in the Canadian Rockies. Great dining, guided interpretive hikes, sightseeing and spectacular views await

For more information visit: skilouise.com

Art & Culture

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What museums and historic sites are in the towns?

Banff: Banff Park Museum, Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Historic Luxton Home, and Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. The Cascades of Time Gardens is a historic feature of the area and the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is a national historic site.

Lake Louise: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a national historic site.

Find out more on our Historic Sites and Museums page. 

Where is...

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Where are Bow Lake and Peyto Lake?

These two lakes are located on the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93 North) between Lake Louise and Jasper. Bow Lake is approximately a 1-hour drive from Banff and 30 minutes from Lake Louise and is visible from the highway. Peyto Lake is located a few minutes north of Bow Lake and the viewpoint is a short walk from the Bow Summit parking area.

Where can I exchange my money?

Freya’s Jewelry & Currency Exchange, Money Mart, Banks

Where is the Bow Valley Parkway?

The Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) between Banff and Lake Louise is located approximately 5 km west of Banff’s Norquay exit. On the northern end, it is located approximately 1 km east of the Lake Louise Trans-Canada Highway exit. The Bow Valley Parkway is subject to seasonal wildlife closures. For up-to-date information please check the Parks Canada website.

Check out Filming and Photography along the Bow Valley Parkway for key photo stops along the way. 

Where is the grocery store?

Banff: Nesters Market is located at 122 Bear Street and IGA is located at 318 Marten Street.

Lake Louise: The Village Market is located at 101 Village Road.