Banff National Park

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Banff National Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Banff: Banff Gondola Admission Ticket

1. Banff: Banff Gondola Admission Ticket

Climb aboard this iconic 4-person gondola cabin with large windows and relax. During the 8-minute ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, take in the views of the town of Banff, Bow Valley, and six different mountain ranges. While on the mountain's peak, be amazed by 360-degree views. Explore the interactive Above Banff Interpretative Center to learn about the early explorers, wildlife, and local area. Hike across the Sulphur Mountain boardwalk to explore the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, a National Historic Site. Then stop at the coffee shops, restaurants, and gift shops.

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Banff: Family Friendly Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride

2. Banff: Family Friendly Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride

Start your tour in Banff, where you will meet a member of the riding office, who will check you in for your sleigh ride. Now it's time to climb into the sleigh and get cozy with your loved ones under a cozy wool blanket. Hear the tinkling of sleigh bells, as the horses lead you on a journey through Banff's mountain meadows. Along the way, listen to stories from your guide and soak in the spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains, while keeping your eyes peeled for local wildlife, such as elk and deer. Finish your memorable excursion with a fireside warm-up stop after the ride, where you can toast a marshmallow and enjoy a warm drink back at the stables.

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Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

3. Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Start with pickup from Banff and travel in a modern minibus along the Bow Valley Parkway to the Canyon. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the moderate 2.7 kilometer hike with 135 meter elevation to the Upper Falls. Walk along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way you'll learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed and stop at the Lower Falls, where you'll have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view. At the Upper Falls, enjoy a brief stop on the upper deck with a small refreshment break to enjoy the views. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. Once you've finished your hot chocolate, hike back down and your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

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From Banff: Lake Louise Half-Day Winter Tour

4. From Banff: Lake Louise Half-Day Winter Tour

Begin your journey with a scenic drive along Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise, where you may be lucky enough to spot wildlife. Once at Lake Louise, your guide can provide you with complimentary snowshoes and will lead you on an introduction to snowshoeing. Enjoy some free time at the lake and take an easy, quaint snowshoe walk through the serene woods and take in iconic views along the shoreline. Explore Lake Louise, a picture-perfect winter wonderland. The lake transforms into a real-life snow globe in the winter that has to be seen to be believed. Enjoy some hot chocolate and local maple taffy. Come and discover this winter wonderland for yourself.

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Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

5. Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

Get picked up by your friendly guide from the meeting point in Banff, then enjoy the drive in a modern minibus. Take the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, a scenic drive through a wildlife-rich habitat. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the easy 1.1km hike with 65m elevation gain to the lower falls, walking along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way, your guide will highlight unique features by powerful flashlight and pause for moments of darkness and quiet to foster an appreciation for spending time in the canyon at night. At the turn around point, your guide will illuminate the expanding ice that encases the rushing water. Have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view of the lower falls while also enjoying a refreshment break with hot chocolate and a maple cookies snack. The return journey is your opportunity to travel without your headlamp (should you wish). Be amazed as to how quickly your eyes adjust to the darkness, enough for you to travel through the pine forest guided only by the ambient light of the moon and the stars above your head. At the end of the tour, your guide will then transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

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Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour

6. Canadian Rockies: Scenic Helicopter Tour

Choose between a 20-minute, 30-minute, or 55-minute tour over the Canadian Rockies with a professional pilot. The day starts at the helicopter base surrounded by mountain views. Go through a thorough safety briefing with the flight crew before learning about the controls and getting kitted out with a professional headset. Feel the excitement build as the crew readies for takeoff. Once in the air, the itinerary will vary depending on the option selected. Either way, breathtaking sights are guaranteed. 20-Minute Tour Deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, take in an incredible view of Abraham Lake - its incredible blue color and unique bubble patterns are truly a sight to see. After a glimpse of the lake, continue the flight around the Canadian Rockies. 30-Minute Tour The most popular of the 3 flights, this adventure covers crevasses, glaciers, and waterfalls over the beautiful Wilson Icefield. Soar at a cool 100mph, 9000ft (2900m) over Cline Pass. Admire the impressive fierceness of the mountains while flying alongside them. 55-Minute Tour The “Complete Columbia Icefields Tour” is just that – a complete, full, 55 minutes of gorgeous scenery and ancient ice. See the iconic Columbia Icefield the way it was intended, an awe-mazing trip highlight to remember for years to come. Marvel at incredible panoramas of waterfalls, emerald-green lakes, and mountain ridges. Pass over 6 different glaciers surrounded by frozen lakes and waterfalls. Many mountains reveal themselves along the trip, including Purple Mountain, Mount Cline, Resolute Mountain, Mount Harlan, Minster Mountain, and more. This trip is sure to leave anyone speechless. All the trips end with one last 360-degree view of the Canadian Rockies and Abraham Lake before landing softly back at the heliport.

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Cochrane: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Tour

7. Cochrane: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary Tour

Visit one of the largest sanctuaries in Canada and hear about the mission of this wolfdog rescue organization. Learn about wolfdogs during a 30-minute presentation and go inside one of the wolfdog enclosures behind a short barrier. An experienced staff member will safely lead you through the enclosure during the tour. Enjoy a self-guided sanctuary walk either before or after your tour.  Take photographs of one of the packs of wolfdogs from inside their enclosure and ask the wolfdog experts any questions you may have. Please note that there is no interaction with the wolfdogs on this tour.

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Canadian Rockies: Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles Helicopter Tour

8. Canadian Rockies: Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles Helicopter Tour

Start the day at the base with a hearty hot buffet that might include stew, chili or soup with freshly made bread, dessert and a side salad, veggies or fruit. Then, embark on your helicopter flight over Abraham Lake. Fly over the Canadian Rockies to Landslide Lake for breathtaking views and an experience you will never forget. Admire the impressive fierceness of the massive mountains as you fly close to them. Pass over 6 different astonishing glaciers surrounded by frozen lakes and waterfalls.  After landing at Landslide Lake, go on a guided snowshoe tour with complimentary hot chocolate and Irish cream. Then, head back to base by Helicopter taking a different route back with equally spectacular views of the Rockies and valleys. When you return to base, take a seat around a fire to warm up your toes. Roast some marshmallows as you enjoy complimentary coffee or tea. Finally, take a guided tour of the Bubbles on Abraham Lake. Marvel at this natural phenomenon of methane gas getting trapped in the ice, a mesmerizing sight that makes for great pictures and attracts a lot of attention on social media platforms.

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From Banff: Columbia Icefield Tour with Glacier Skywalk

9. From Banff: Columbia Icefield Tour with Glacier Skywalk

Begin the tour with hotel pickup in Banff and embark on an unforgettable experience. On the way to the Athabasca Glacier, listen as your guide shares stories and facts about the wildlife, geology, culture, and how glaciers have shaped the landscape of the area.  Enjoy spectacular vistas over the Canadian Rockies, turquoise lakes, and numerous glaciers. Stop at Crowfoot Glacier and Bow Lake to capture a perfect picture. The Athabasca Glacier is one of the "six toes" of the Columbia Icefield, and where you’ll have the unique opportunity to walk on a glacier and to sip from its virgin streams. Board a massive Ice Explorer and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime adventure as you ride directly onto the glacier. Afterwards, spend approximately 20 minutes walking on the extremely thick, 25,000-year-old ice. After a delicious hot lunch at Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre, take a short ride to the Columbia Icefield Skywalk. Perched on a cliff on the side of the Sunwapta Valley, this glass-floored platform stretches out for astonishing views. Stride boldly out for a thrilling adventure and enjoy the views of the mountains and glaciers around you, as well as Sunwapta River with its waterfalls and crystal-clear water below. The tour will end with hotel drop-off in Banff.

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Banff: Winter Wildlife and Sightseeing Minibus Tour

10. Banff: Winter Wildlife and Sightseeing Minibus Tour

Get ready to explore the best of Banff, as you discover the history of the Bow Valley. Be picked up from your hotel in a modern minibus by your guide, and start your 3-hour experience. Learn about local wildlife while you keep watch for elk, deer, and bighorn sheep.  Visit frozen Bow Falls, where many iconic movies from the 1950s were filmed. See the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, known as the Castle of the Rockies. Stop at Lake Minnewanka, and learn the importance of wildlife management practices from your expert guide. Be amazed by iconic views from Surprise Corner and the Hoodoos Lookout. There will be plenty of stops along the route for you to enjoy the sights, snap photos, and walk to incredible viewpoints. At the end of your tour you'll be dropped off back in Banff.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Banff National Park

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What people are saying about Banff National Park

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 513 reviews

We really enjoyed this day! Obviously exciting going up to the top of the mountain in a gondola, but all the extra fun Christmas things they had was amazing! Santa was there, cookie decorating and ornament making. Cool Christmas cartoon and frozen maple treats. We walked the boardwalk and went all the way up to the top of Samson Peak. Breath taking views! My husband and both daughters (aged 9 & 15) really enjoyed this day. Amazing gift shop and also Starbucks service was great. Staff was very welcoming. Totally worth it!

We loved the views and knowledge our tour guide had. The only thing that didn’t work out for us was that our 9 year old found the snow shoes too difficult to maneuver. As a result, we did not snowshoe and just took advantage of the picture taking opportunity. Beautiful place!

Our guide Gina is the best! Interesting and fun bus trip to location with helpful tips and instruction on what to expect. Beautiful nature under a dark night sky. Hot chocolate and maple leaf cookies at half-point of walk. You even get to keep your cool headlamp.

There was a delay with the extreme cold. However, when they got going, we were guaranteed first priority for boarding according to our booked time.

Amazing views and wonderful staff, definitely worth it and will go again!