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What To Do Near Banff National Park?

by K Gordon Schultz
Banff National Park Activities, Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park

While you’re in the Canadian Rockies, you might as well take advantage of all that Mother Nature has to offer and experience the activities that speak to you along with your BC whitewater rafting day trips. Here are four top Banff National Park activities you can partake in before or after a rafting day trip with your trusted, local outfitter, Wild Water Adventures.

Twenty minutes from Field, BC, you’ll find a short trail to Takakkaw Falls. From the Cree word meaning “magnificent,” Takakkaw could either be a refreshing start to your day or a great way to finish!

Park in the lot and begin the short hike. Once you reach a fork in the trail, you can either turn left to go across the bridge that will take you to the base of the waterfall, or turn right and visit the viewpoint. There you can see the waterfall tumbling behind the trees. Note that the trail is only open from June until October.

Other hiking options include Emerald Lake and the Iceline Trail. It takes about an hour to hike all the way around Emerald Lake but it’s a great way to see the local wildlife and to sneak a peek at the Burgess Shale fossil beds. The Iceline Trail is a more intense day trip that begins at Takakkaw Falls but takes you around mountain peaks, glaciers, and the Yoho River. One day of rafting and another around the Iceline Trail, and you’ll be spent!

Banff National Park Activities, Hiking in Banff

The interactive Burgess Shale exhibit at the Field Information Centre allows you to explore the mysteries of a long-gone world that existed half a billion years ago. Fossils extracted from the fossil bed are also on display. Visiting Emerald Lake will also allow you to view the fossil site.

The Spiral Tunnels were an important part of Western Canadian history, as they allowed for safer, easier transport within the Canadian Rockies. Two viewpoints are available to watch the trains that still pass through daily.

One of the most popular Banff National Park activities is taking the Sightseeing Lift, which allows you to get a birds-eye view of the Canadian Rockies in all their splendor. Combine this with a gentle whitewater rafting trip (or something a little more advanced!), and that would be an exciting, fulfilling day. See our whitewater rafting specials for our Up the Mountain and Down the River activity package. If you are in need of lodging, be sure to check out the unique accommodations at the Beaverfoot Lodge & Resort!

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