Banff, Canada: Your Ski-Hike-Bike Luxury Wilderness Vacation Destination
Banff is at the heart: the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the heart of Alberta, and the heart of the national park that bears its name. Banff, Canada, is the perfect location for the holidays or a vacation getaway, whether you want to relax in luxury, breathe fresh alpine air and take in awe-inspiring scenery, or you want to get outside and play – skiing, trekking, biking or otherwise roughing it in the pristine wilderness amidst glacier-carved mountains and valleys.
Situated just 129 kilometers west of Calgary (about 1.5 hours driving time; there is a shuttle from the Calgary airport), 416 kilometers south of Edmonton and 847 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, British Columbia, the city of Banff resides at 1,383 meters, or about 4,537 feet. That makes it the highest town in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. It is surrounded by the wild beauty of Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park.
Banff National Park began as a 26-square-kilometer hot-springs reserve more than a century ago. Now it covers some 6,641 square kilometers of unspoiled mountain scenery in the Canadian Rockies. While the park offers limitless opportunities to rough it in untouched wilderness, you can also be pampered as much as you like in Banff with luxury hotels and resorts, and plenty of dining and nightlife options.
Wondering about the name? Banff comes from Banffshire, a county in Scotland. It seems two founding directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway were born there, and chose to honor their heritage by naming the town Banff.
Banff Area Map
Banff Monthly Weather Averages
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Cities and towns of Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies
Banff isn’t the only place in Banff National Park or Western Canada from which to base that perfect outdoor recreation getaway or that alpine holiday. There are many other cities and towns, along with several other national parks, that serve as gateways to the Rocky Mountains, offering all sorts of opportunities for getting outdoors, enjoying beautiful scenery and wildlife, or relaxing in luxury at a resort spa or boutique hotel.
You can find out more about the warm and welcoming cities and towns of the Canadian Rockies below.