If you’re looking for breathtaking scenery and unforgettable experiences, look no further than the Canadian Rockies. This amazing region offers something for everyone, whether you’re interested in a relaxing vacation or an action-packed getaway. From hiking and skiing to exploring glaciers and wildlife, the Canadian Rockies have it all.
The Canadian Rockies comprise the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range. Geographically, the Canadian Rockies extend from the Interior Plains of Alberta to the Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia, and southern end from the border of the USA to northern British Columbia.
Planning a trip to Canada‘s Banff National Park is easier than ever thanks to this comprehensive guide. From where to stay to how to get around, this planner will help you create the perfect itinerary for your
Here is everything you need to know about Visiting Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies.
Table of Contents
Did you know?
- Highest peak. Mt. Robson (12,972 ft., 3,954 m)
- Five national parks are located within the Canadian Rockies, four of which interlock and make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage site. (Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks)
- The Canadian Rockies have over 1,000 glaciers.
Explore the Parks & Trails
Whether you’re planning a family vacation or a romantic getaway, there’s no better place to enjoy nature than in one of Canada’s national parks. With so much to see and do, you’ll never run out of things to do in these stunning natural spaces.
Eat Like a Local
There’s nothing more authentic than eating at home with friends and family. However, when you travel, you might find yourself craving local cuisine. Luckily, there are plenty of restaurants serving up delicious dishes made with fresh ingredients.
- Banff Places To Eat – The Ultimate List of Restaurants In Banff, AlbertaLooking for the best Banff places to eat? You’ll find everything from casual cafes to upscale eateries serving up local and international cuisine.
- Summer in Banff – Where to have CoffeeI really can’t tell if it is because it seems like it has been the longest winter in Banff or whether it really is sweltering but simply put the weather is stunning right now in Banff and the Rockies. There isn’t a trace of snow around town. Though this may be bad news for the ski lovers, the plus side…
- Best Themed Bar in BanffThe decorations are so over the top that you can’t help but feel like you are indeed in the craziness of a Mexican bar but with less moustaches and kidnap threats! Best bar in Banff award goes to the Magpie and Stump located on Caribou Street.
- A French-inspired bakery in the Canadian RockiesLe Fournil’s goal is to provide small moments of pleasure in the form of edible art – from crusty authentic French baguettes to delightful pâtisseries. Using only the highest quality of natural ingredients, always considering seasonal availability, and sourcing locally whenever possible. Le Fournil’s accomplished team is dedicated to the art and science of baking;…
- JK Bakery Cafe in Banff & Canmore, AlbertaJK Bakery has been providing unique and custom quality products to some of the best restaurants and hotels in the Canadian Rocky Mountains since we first began in 1994.
- Dining Specials in Banff – Tommy’s Neighbourhood PubTommy’s Neighbourhood Pub – 120 Banff Avenue, Alberta Ahh good old consistent, cheap, laid back Tommy’s! It is one of the only bars in Banff that feels quite normal. No disrespect meant but it is also one of the only bars that doesn’t have beautiful young ladies serving. I never thought I would say it…
- Dining in The Fairmont Banff SpringsLearn more about your dining options at The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel- whether you’re a guest or not!
- Dining in Banff: Family RestaurantsRead here about where you can take the kids to eat in Banff.
- Dining in Banff: Quick EatsRead here about where to go for a quick bite in Banff.
- Dining in Banff: Fine DiningRead here about your fine dining options in Banff, Alberta.
Things to Do
Whatever the season, there are a host of activities to enjoy during your visit to in the Canadian Rockies. Among the most popular are Horseback Riding, Whitewater and Family Rafting trips, Zipline and ATV adventures, Hiking and Mountaineering along with some great options for road and mountain biking. In the winter, Downhill and Cross County skiing, Sled Dog tours, Snowmobile tours and Horse-drawn Sleighrides are the favourites.
There are so many things to see in the Canadian Rockies, it’s virtually impossible to list them all. But, you’ll want to take in as many of the turquoise glacial lakes, scenic viewpoints, spectacular drives and rejuvenating hikes as time will allow during your visit.
If you’re planning a trip to Banff National Park, check out our ultimate guide to things to do in Banff National Park. We’ve got some fun activities for everyone!
- Valley Zipline AdventuresValley Zipline Adventures offers a hands-on experience that puts you in charge of your own gear. That’s right, you will be using our equipment yourself as you move throughout the zipline tour!
- The 8 Best Ride Mountain Biking Trails in CanmoreOut of the enormous amount of outdoor activities available to you on your next Canadian Rockies vacation, take some time out to ride the mountain biking trails in Canmore and Kananaskis Country. You’ll definitely want check out Canmore, Alberta. Sitting on the border of Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park, it accesses some of the best, most amazing…
- Kananaskis Country in Review: The Perfect Golfers WeekendWith its meadows filled with brilliantly colored flowers, crystalline rivers, and pure alpine air, the summer months in Kananaskis Country make for exceptional hiking, fishing, and biking. Those are all great activities, but we are here to talk golf!
- Summer Sightseeing ToursAre you looking for something fun to do in Banff this summer? Why not take a sightseeing tour? There are many tour companies that offer summer sightseeing tours in Banff.
- 9 Amazing Places to Visit in Banff National ParkBanff National Park offers visitors many things to see and do. From hiking to relaxing, you’re all set for the perfect Banff vacation!
- 28 Best Drives and Walks Around BanffWe have compiled a list of the 28 best drives and walks there are to be found in Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies.
- The 3 Best Canoe Trips in Banff National ParkBelow you’ll find a detailed breakdown on our favorite Canadian Rockies canoe trips in and around Banff National Park.
- The 11 Best Canmore Hiking & Walking TrailsWith a network of walking trails through Canmore, along the river side and into mountain valleys, you won’t want to forget your camera.
- Canadian Rockies Cycling: Highwood PassBut if you have more time and can endure another ascent similar to the one you just completed, pedal through the pass and swoop into the Highwood River Valley.
- Our Favourite Waterfalls in the Canadian RockiesThere’s something about the power of the water rushing over rock, and thinking about how this process is in many ways what created the amazing mountains you see in the Canadian Rockies today that I love.
Where to Stay
There are a host of accommodation options, from large to small, from nationally recognized “chain” hotels to intimately managed, cozy and comfortable “Mom and Pop” properties. Inside of Banff National Park, Banff and Lake Louise are the most popular places to stay. Jasper is the largest town and offers the most options in Jasper National Park. Many choose to stay outside the National Parks with the most popular choices being Canmore, Alberta, and Golden or Radium in British Columbia.
There are so many places to stay in Banff National Park, but we’ve narrowed down the options to make your decision easier. You can choose between hotels, cabins, hostels, bed & breakfasts, and more.
- The 21 Best Cabin Rentals in Banff, AlbertaThere are many different types of cabins available for rent in Banff National Park, so finding one that’s perfect for you and your group should be no problem. Here are 23 of our favorite cabin rentals in Banff:
- Banff Springs Hotel, Canada’s Most Famous ResortThe Banff Springs Hotels offers visitors an authentic Canadian Rockies experience with its beautiful scenery, cozy accommodations, and delicious food. It also offers a variety of activities for guests to enjoy, such as hiking, horseback riding, golf, fishing, and skiing.
- Johnston Canyon Lodge & BungalowsThere is no better way to experience the Canadian Rockies than to stay at Johnston Canyon Lodge & Bungalows
- The Six Least-Trafficked Campgrounds Near Banff National ParkOur exclusive list of the top Banff National Park campgrounds where you have the best chance to grab a spot.
- Canadian Rockies RV Camping: Tunnel MountainTunnel Mountain is Banff’s largest RV camping area, with 320 sites. Staying here, you’ll get great views of the valley, the Hoodoos and the Banff Springs Golf Course.
- Banff Park Lodge Resort Hotel and Conference CentreQuality accommodations in the heart of Banff Conveniently located in the Town of Banff, just steps away from the glacier-fed Bow River, Banff Park Lodge is a full-service resort hotel and conference centre. Here visitors can experience the best of both worlds: the peace and solitude of a quiet location, yet quick access to a…
- Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain LodgeWhere Backcountry Beauty & Luxury Meet Get swept away from the busyness of your everyday life as you relax, rejuvenate and refresh in the picturesque Kananaskis Valley. A 1hour drive from Calgary’s city limits you’ll find a completely modern getaway nestled amidst the pines where luxury and mountain living blends seamlessly. Rediscover excitement, bliss, and…
- Rimrock Resort HotelIt is our absolute pleasure to welcome you to the Rimrock Resort Hotel. Thank you to everyone for your support and patience as we transition away from restrictions and back into the freedom of relaxing and enjoying the refreshing atmosphere that we have missed and all want to experience again. I am very fortunate to…
- Juniper Hotel – BanffThe Juniper was built more than 60 years ago. It’s a blink in the life of this vista, but our retreat is one of Banff’s most celebrated as we know it today. From this vintage modernist homebase only minutes from downtown, spirit-seeking adventurers and travellers land with us to find fresh air and fresh perspective.
- Basecamp Resort – Canmore, AlbertaOur Basecamp Properties offer modern hotel experiences for adventure travelers in the heart of Canadian Mountain Communities.
Find the best deals with our exclusive discounts.
We’re offering special discounts on accommodations throughout the park. If you book now, you can save up to $50 off your room rate!
Getting to the Canadian Rockies is very easy from nearly anywhere in the world. International airports to the east of the Canadian Rockies are found in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.
Banff Airporter provided a shuttle service from Calgary International Airport to Banff National Park.
Flying into Vancouver, British Columbia would leave approximately a 10 hour drive to get here.
Driving north from the United States bordering states of Montana, Idaho and Washington would leave anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to reach Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, depending on your travel route.