BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Banff National Park is one of the most stunning places in Western (and perhaps, all) of Canada. It is comprised of the Rocky Mountains, the largest mountains in North America, pristine Lake Louise and natural woodland areas. Banff was discovered by railway workers and immediately recognised for the value of its scenery and natural heritage. It became the first national park in 1885, setting the way for other areas to be designated.
Within the Park is the town of Banff, one of only two towns incorporated within the national park. To reside in the park, residents must satisfy eligibility requirements. This restriction is set to preserve the park area and wildlife in as pure a condition as possible. Visitors do not require permits; only permanent residents. The city is run in such a way to minimize disturbing any local wildlife.
Things to do in Banff National Park
One of the key natural attractions at Banff is the therapeutic springs. Natural springs are not only luxurious and relaxing, but have many health benefits. A day, or half a day, at this spa, operated by the renowned Fairmount Company, is a great way to relax and escape mentally and physically. The spa offers services such as manicures, pedicures and other traditional favourites. Let the warm water and professional staff take away your stress.
Ice field Tours
The stunning mountain landscape was carved by retreating glaciers over millennia. To truly appreciate why this area is designated not only by Parks Canada, but by UNESCO as a natural heritage site, tours of the ice fields are a must. Bring good walking shoes and prepare to be amazed bit the power of ice and time.
Whyte Museum of the Rockies
This is an art gallery and local history museum that features the art, culture and history of the Banff-Lake Louise area. It has a resource library, exhibit halls and an archive that are valuable resources for historians and researchers. Its exhibit teaches people about the natural history of the area: how it was formed, how it changed and how it is changing today. To truly appreciate Banff’s geological splendour, a visit to this centre is a must.
Chateaux Lake Louise
The Château Lake Louise was built along the CN rail lines to home the executives’ of this new rail line. This location was chosen for obvious reasons - the stunning landscape. Being able to afford a stay in this stately historic hotel (now owned and operated by Fairmount) may not be in your budget, but tours of the public areas and amenities (such as their spa) are worth experiencing. At the very least, roam the grounds of this historic building.
Best time to visit Banff National Park
Tourists visit Banff in Summer
Banff is stunning throughout the year, so plan your visit according to the activities you intend to peruse: Winter is clearly the season to visit for skiing and winter activities
Getting to and around
Two international airports are located under 30 KM (20 miles) from Banff: Calgary and Edmonton. Shuttle buses run regularly between these two major cities and Banff. Within Banff itself you can drive, walk or take public transit. It is not a large town, so getting around isn’t daunting. Banff Tourism suggest the energy efficient Roam buses as the most efficient and economical way of getting around.