Banff National Park covers 6,641 sq. km (2,590 sq. miles) of some of Canada’s most dramatic and beautiful scenery. The Canadian Rockies that run through the park are home to an incredible amount of wildlife (very commonly seen in the park) as well as glaciers, lakes and rivers. Banff is the first national park of Canada, founded by the first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald in 1885. When you arrive in the park on your Banff vacation, you’ll quickly see why Banff Canada was the first park area in the country to be set aside.
The two towns of Banff National Park, Banff and Lake Louise, are just as enjoyable as the wilderness around them. World-class hotels and restaurants in these towns make an excellent setting for some R&R after a day exploring the great outdoors.
Lake Louise is one of the most stunning parts of Banff Canada, and the top location for Banff skiing. If you want to ski Banff, Lake Louise is the place to do it. Lake Louise is the largest ski area in Canada with 4200 skiable acres. And what a setting for Banff skiing! Not only is the scenery fantastic, the unique layout of the ski area allows skiers of all levels and abilities to ski together.
When Banff skiing is closed, Lake Louise opens up to a number of different outdoor possibilities. The main attraction is the lake itself, shimmering with a deep green color, reflecting the snow-capped mountains. Take the Lakeshore Trail around the lake, to take a look at the lake from all angles. If you’re looking for a bit more exercise, the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail is a 5km (3 mile) hike up to a panoramic viewpoint.
While on your Banff vacation in Lake Louise, it is impossible to miss seeing the famous Chateau Lake Louise. This Chateau is one of the most famous hotels in Canada, in an unparalleled location. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to stay at the Chateau Lake Louise on your Banff vacation, at least take a look around inside at the variety of shopping, dining and recreational options.
Banff National Park has a huge range of outdoor activities to enjoy in a spectacular setting. Though the summer months draw crowds, there is enough wilderness to go around. Hiking, biking, walking, horseback riding, swimming, bird watching, rock climbing, camping, canoeing, boating, backpacking, fishing, even scuba diving are some of the many summer activities. Many of these activities can also be enjoyed during the winter months as well as typical winter sports like skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding.
To soothe away the day, the Banff Upper Hot Springs offer the more relaxing side of Banff Canada. Open year-round, the hot springs are located in a 1930’s heritage bathhouse and provide awesome views of Mount Rundle while you soak.