7 Day Trips from Banff – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Banff, nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. While Banff itself offers a plethora of activities and sights to explore, venturing out on day trips from Banff allows visitors to discover even more of the stunning beauty that the region has to offer. From majestic mountain peaks to turquoise lakes and charming mountain towns, day trips from Banff provide a perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in the breathtaking landscapes of the Canadian Rockies. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a change of scenery, the day trips from Banff offer something for everyone.

Lake Louise

Travel tips

  • Distance from Banff to Lake Louise: 36 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 45 minutes by car
  • How to get there from Banff: You can take the Roam Transit bus from Banff to Lake Louise. The bus station in Banff is located at Banff High School. Alternatively, you can drive or take a scenic train ride on the Rocky Mountaineer.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Lake Louise

Exploring Lake Louise: Things to do

Lake Louise is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The stunning turquoise waters of the lake set against the backdrop of the majestic Rocky Mountains create a picture-perfect setting that will leave you in awe.

One of the top activities at Lake Louise is hiking. The area offers a variety of trails for all skill levels, from leisurely strolls along the lakeshore to more challenging hikes up to viewpoints like the Plain of Six Glaciers. The views along the trails are simply breathtaking, with opportunities to spot wildlife such as mountain goats and grizzly bears.

For those looking to relax and take in the beauty of the surroundings, a canoe ride on the pristine waters of Lake Louise is a must-do. Paddling along the glacier-fed lake surrounded by towering peaks is a serene and unforgettable experience.

During the winter months, Lake Louise transforms into a winter wonderland, offering world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities. The Lake Louise Ski Resort is known for its powdery slopes and stunning alpine scenery, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

Whether you visit in the summer or winter, Lake Louise is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories of the natural beauty and outdoor adventures that the Canadian Rockies have to offer.

Jasper National Park

Travel tips

  • Distance from Banff: Approximately 180 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 3.5 hours by car
  • How to get there: You can drive from Banff to Jasper National Park via the Icefields Parkway, one of the most scenic drives in the world. Alternatively, you can take the Brewster Express bus service or the Via Rail train to Jasper. The bus station in Banff is located at 100 Gopher Street, and the train station is at 327 Railway Avenue.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Jasper National Park

Exploring Jasper National Park: Things to do

Jasper National Park is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The park boasts stunning mountain landscapes, crystal-clear lakes, and abundant wildlife, making it a paradise for adventurers. One of the top activities in Jasper National Park is hiking, with trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

For those seeking a more leisurely experience, a scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway is a must-do. This iconic route takes you through some of the most picturesque scenery in the Canadian Rockies, with opportunities to spot wildlife such as elk, bighorn sheep, and even bears.

If you’re a water enthusiast, don’t miss the chance to explore the turquoise waters of Maligne Lake or take a boat tour to Spirit Island. For a unique experience, hop on the Jasper SkyTram and soar to the top of Whistlers Mountain for panoramic views of the park.

Jasper National Park is also a designated Dark Sky Preserve, making it an ideal spot for stargazing. On clear nights, marvel at the millions of stars visible in the unpolluted night sky.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, wildlife enthusiast, or simply looking to unwind in nature, Jasper National Park offers something for everyone, making it a destination not to be missed.

Yoho National Park

Travel tips

  • Distance from Banff to Yoho National Park: Approximately 50 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 hours by car
  • How to get there from Banff: Take the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) west towards British Columbia. Yoho National Park is located just across the border. The nearest bus station is in Banff, and the nearest train station is in Lake Louise.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Yoho National Park

Exploring Yoho National Park: Things to do

Yoho National Park is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The park offers stunning mountain scenery, pristine lakes, and a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.

One of the top things to do in Yoho National Park is to visit the iconic Takakkaw Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada. The sight of the water cascading down the cliff is truly breathtaking and a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts.

For those looking for a bit of adventure, the park offers excellent hiking trails, including the Iceline Trail which provides panoramic views of the surrounding glaciers and mountains. The Burgess Shale fossil beds are also a popular attraction for those interested in paleontology.

If you prefer a more leisurely experience, you can take a scenic drive along the Kicking Horse River and stop at Emerald Lake for a peaceful picnic or a paddle in a canoe.

Overall, Yoho National Park is a gem in the Canadian Rockies, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor activities that make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the region.

Moraine Lake

Travel tips

  • Distance from Banff: Approximately 9 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 25 minutes by car
  • How to get there: From Banff, take the Trans-Canada Highway 1 west towards Lake Louise. Then, turn onto Moraine Lake Road and follow the signs to Moraine Lake. If you prefer public transportation, you can take the Roam Transit bus from Banff to Lake Louise and then transfer to the Parks Canada shuttle to Moraine Lake.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Moraine Lake

Exploring Moraine Lake: Things to do

Moraine Lake is a stunning glacially-fed lake situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park. The vibrant turquoise waters of the lake against the backdrop of towering mountains make it a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the top activities at Moraine Lake is hiking. The area offers a variety of trails for all skill levels, from leisurely strolls along the lakeshore to more challenging hikes up to the surrounding peaks. The Rockpile Trail is a popular choice for its panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Photography is another highlight of Moraine Lake. The changing light throughout the day creates stunning photo opportunities, especially during sunrise and sunset. The iconic view of the lake with the Ten Peaks in the background is a photographer’s dream.

For those looking to relax, there are picnic areas around the lake where you can enjoy a meal while taking in the breathtaking scenery. Canoeing is also a popular activity on the lake, allowing visitors to paddle through the crystal-clear waters and soak in the serenity of the surroundings.

Overall, Moraine Lake offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreation, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Canadian Rockies.

Johnston Canyon

Travel tips

  • Distance from Banff: Approximately 15 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 30 minutes by car
  • How to get there: From Banff, take the Trans-Canada Highway 1 west towards Lake Louise. Follow the signs for Johnston Canyon. The nearest bus stop is Banff High School, and the nearest train station is Banff Train Station.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Johnston Canyon

Exploring Johnston Canyon: Things to do

Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Johnston Canyon is a natural wonder that attracts visitors from around the world. The main highlight of Johnston Canyon is its stunning series of waterfalls, with the Lower Falls and Upper Falls being the most popular. The turquoise waters rushing through the canyon create a mesmerizing sight that is perfect for photography enthusiasts.

Visitors can embark on a scenic hike along the well-maintained trails that wind through the canyon, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests. The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, keep an eye out for the unique rock formations and diverse flora and fauna that call Johnston Canyon home.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, ice climbing is a popular activity in Johnston Canyon during the winter months. The frozen waterfalls provide a challenging yet rewarding opportunity for thrill-seekers to test their skills against the icy walls.

Whether you’re a nature lover, outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Johnston Canyon is a must-see destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Plan your visit to Johnston Canyon and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Canadian Rockies.

Kootenay National Park

Travel tips

  • Distance from Banff to Kootenay National Park: Approximately 56 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 hours by car
  • To get to Kootenay National Park from Banff, take the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) westbound. Continue on Highway 1 until you reach the exit for Highway 93 South (Banff-Windermere Highway). Follow Highway 93 South until you reach the entrance of Kootenay National Park. The nearest bus station is in Banff, and the nearest train station is in Calgary.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Kootenay National Park

Exploring Kootenay National Park: Things to do

Kootenay National Park is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The park offers a diverse range of activities that showcase the stunning natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies.

One of the top things to do in Kootenay National Park is to visit the iconic Marble Canyon. This breathtaking limestone canyon features turquoise waters and impressive rock formations, making it a popular spot for hiking and photography. The easy 1.6-kilometer loop trail allows visitors to explore the canyon and enjoy its beauty up close.

For those seeking a more challenging adventure, the Stanley Glacier Trail is a must-do hike in Kootenay National Park. This 10-kilometer round trip trail takes hikers through a scenic valley, past waterfalls, and ultimately rewards them with stunning views of the Stanley Glacier. The trail offers a great opportunity to experience the park’s diverse landscapes and wildlife.

In addition to hiking, Kootenay National Park is also known for its hot springs. The Radium Hot Springs, located within the park, provide a relaxing and rejuvenating experience for visitors. Soaking in the mineral-rich waters surrounded by mountain views is a perfect way to unwind after a day of exploring the park.

Overall, Kootenay National Park’s combination of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and relaxation opportunities make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of the Canadian Rockies.

Canmore

Travel tips

  • Distance of Canmore from Banff: Approximately 15 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 20-30 minutes by car
  • How to get there from Banff: You can take the Roam Transit bus service from Banff to Canmore. The bus station in Banff is located at Banff High School, and in Canmore, you can get off at various stops in the town. Alternatively, you can drive or take a taxi for a more flexible travel option.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Canmore

Exploring Canmore: Things to do

Canmore, a charming town nestled in the Canadian Rockies, is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The town offers a perfect blend of stunning natural beauty and a wide range of activities to enjoy.

One of the top things to do in Canmore is hiking. With its proximity to Banff National Park, Canmore boasts numerous hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. From leisurely walks along the Bow River to challenging hikes up Ha Ling Peak, there is a trail for everyone to explore the breathtaking mountain scenery.

For those seeking adventure, Canmore is a paradise for rock climbing and mountain biking. The rugged terrain and towering cliffs provide the perfect playground for adrenaline junkies looking to test their skills. Additionally, the town is a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months.

If you prefer a more relaxed pace, you can stroll through Canmore’s quaint downtown area, filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample local cuisine at one of the town’s restaurants, offering a mix of international flavors and Canadian specialties.

Overall, Canmore’s natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of the Canadian Rockies. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a thrill-seeker, or a food enthusiast, Canmore has something for everyone to enjoy.

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