Located to the west of Calgary, Alberta, is Banff National Park, Canada's first national park, along with the adjacent Kootenary National Park and Yoho National Park. Further to the northwest is Jasper National Park. These parks offer unparralled scenic views year round, plus a vast number of lakes, rivers, forests, and glaciers.
The town of Banff is accessed from the Trans Canada Highway 1, and is located about 127km from Calgary, and 58 km from Lake Louise to the west.
The peaks of Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade, part of the Rocky Mountains, dominate the Banff skyline.
Banff and Lake Louise are located within the confines of Banff National Park.
|Scene along the Icefield Parkway near Lake Louise, Canada|
What makes Banff National Park so special is its easy access and close proximity to the vast unspoiled wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. The park includes 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) of mountainous terrain, with spectacular valleys, scenic peaks, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers. It is home to black and grizzly bears, wolverines, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, bald eagles and many other mammal and bird species.
Calgary International Airport (YYC) is serviced by major national and international carriers with multiple flights arriving daily. From the airport, it’s a scenic 90 minute (140 kilometre or 87 mile) drive to Banff & Lake Louise. There are regular shuttle bus connections from the airport directly to your hotel in Banff & Lake Louise, or you could rent a car or hire a private car service.
From the airport, rent a car and take Trans-Canada 1 west from Calgary straight into the park, through Banff and Lake Louise. A direct bus service from the airport or downtown Calgary is also available to Banff and Lake Louise, as are shuttle services through tour operators.
If you are coming from the west, Banff & Lake Louise is a scenic day’s drive (850 kilometers or 530 miles) from Vancouver, travelling through the Coast Mountains, wine country of British Columbia and then the spectacular Canadian Rockies.
The town of Banff and hamlet of Lake Louise are great for getting around by bike or foot, with lots of sidewalks and dedicated bike paths. You can rent bikes from several places in Banff & Lake Louise. In the town of Banff, “Roam” is a hybrid bus with regular services throughout the town and the Bow Valley.
|Aerial view of Banff as seen from the top of the Banff Gondola|
|The well known "Banff" sign just outside the town|
|Scene on Banff Avenue downtown|
Banff has attractions and things to do for all ages, and interests. Some of the popular attractions include the following:
|Banff Avenue, looking north, with the red roofs of the Moose Hotel on the left in the distance|
Banff Travel Information from TripAdvisor
Hotels in Near the Banff Gondola
Restaurants and dining options in Banff
|Snowy day in September of 2017, at the top of the Banff Goldola|
|One of the finest lodging options in Banff ... the Moose Hotel|
|Vermilion Lakes Parkway in Banff|
|Wildlife crossing overpass on the Trans Canada Highway near Banff|
|Elk crossing the road ... near Banff, Alberta|
|Fairmont Chateau Hotel at Lake Louise|
|Bow Valley Parkway between Banff and Lake Louise|
|Glacier-fed Lake Moraine, offering spectacular lake and mountain views, and lined with man hiking trails for visitors to enjoy.|
|Lake Louise ... Deep, Cold and Beautiful|
|Post Hotel in the Village of Lake Louise|
Lake Louise Travel Information from TripAdvisor
Post Hotel and Spa in Lake Louise
Restaurants and dining options in Lake Louise
|Early season snowfall along the Icefield Parkway ... September, 2017|
|Snow-covered high peak along the Icefield Parkway|
|Quiet lake reflection along the Icefield Parkway|
|Simpson's Num-Ti-Jah Lodge along the Icefield Parkway|
|Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre|
|When planning your trip to the incredible Columbia Icefield, be advised that crowds are to be expected. It's a popular destination, and rightfully so!|
|Entering Jasper National Park of Canada|
|Welcome to Jasper. Wonderful. Formidable.|
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Banff Travel Guide from TripAdvisor: Hotels, Restaurants, Things to Do
Lake Louise Travel Guide from TripAdvisor