Once the snow melts in Banff National Park, glaciers ooze through gaps between rocky peaks, clear mountain air blows across turquoise-blue lakes, wildflowers bloom and animals roam in expansive alpine meadows. No matter the size of your adventurous spirit, or if you’re keen to simply relax and enjoy the scenery, Banff National Park boasts plenty of summer activities to choose from!
A variety of hiking and mountain biking trails can be accessed from the Mt. Norquay parking lot, including the hike to Cascade Amphitheatre/Cascade Mountain and the Upper and Lower bike trails on Stoney Squaw. Be sure to stop at the “Green Spot” along the Mt. Norquay Road to take in some great views of the Town of Banff.
The hiking in Banff National Park is about as good as it gets – anywhere. What Banff has to offer is variety, and we’ve made the choice easy by featuring some CLASSIC hikes. Here you can hike along the shores of dazzling blue lakes, up to quaint mountain teahouses, through carpets of wildflowers and up high to spectacular viewpoints.
Whitewater Rafting & Float Trips
Enjoy the perfect mix of mountains, scenery, fun and a little action on an exciting whitewater rafting adventure or peaceful float trip that takes you through the mountains along the sweeping curves of the Bow River.
Sightseeing and Tours
Sightseeing is one of the most popular activities in Banff National Park, and for good reason! Cruise the scenic roads to stunning alpine lakes on your own or join in on a guided tour through one of the local tour operators. Among many options, boat cruises, guided hikes, rafting trips and GPS-guided driving tours are also available!
Golfing is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy some friendly competition. In Banff National Park, the game gets even better with world-class holes that each come with amazing views in all directions.
The Lake Louise Ski Area
The open slopes at the Lake Louise Ski Area make for spectacular grizzly bear viewing in the summer en route to the scenic viewpoint at the top of the Lake Louise Sightseeing Lift. Skoki Lodge, just beyond the ski area, is also open throughout the summer and is the perfect destination for an authentic backcountry experience.
Banff National Park boasts some of the most scenic roads in the world, making it a road biker’s dream, no matter how far they like to ride. And mountain bikers can enjoy big hills and rocky, rooty trails that make for some adventurous riding! No matter what you’re style, there are numerous biking options to choose from.
Mountaineering & Climbing
These mountains aren't just nice to look at! You can climb to the roof of the Canadian Rockies with the assistance of a highly-certified alpine guide. Or, for an exhilarating alternative, take a stab at rock climbing under the watchful eye of a guide who will, literally, show you the ropes and get you climbing in no time.
There is a long tradition of horseback riding in Banff National Park. Today you can enjoy the quiet, leisurely pace of a horseback trail ride and take in the views while your four-legged friend propels you onward. Both half-day and full-day rides are available and include a hearty breakfast, picnic lunch or BBQ.
The hot springs in Banff National Park are what first made this destination so famous. With an average temperature of 37 degrees Celsius, the Banff Upper Hot Springs are the perfect way to unwind, relax and enjoy the mountain scenery. Evenings can be cool in summer, and are a great time to experience the warmth of these mineral-rich waters.
The hiking in Sunshine Meadows, which can be accessed directly from the base of Sunshine Village or from the village itself, is some of the best in the
Rockies, and is known for the colourful wildflowers that line the trails.
Link the trails with the Egypt Lake backcountry area for some great overnight options.
Canoeing and Kayaking
The glacier-fed waters of the Bow River and stunning alpine lakes, such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, offer a unique view of the surrounding landscape. Enjoy the peace and quiet of paddling your own canoe or kayak, which you can rent from a number of locations in Banff National Park.
See more mountains in a moment than most see in a lifetime! Ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain to experience a bird's eye view of six mountain ranges. The Banff Gondola is located just five minutes from the Town of Banff, on the shoulder of Sulphur Mountain. The 360o view from the upper gondola terminal, view-decks and Summit Ridge Interpretive Boardwalk offer the very best vantage point in the area.
The stunning alpine lakes of Banff National Park are full of fish and just waiting for you to cast a line. Chartered fishing boats take you out into deep water while guided fly fishing gives you the chance to wade deep for a great catch. Guided fishing trips include all equipment and permits necessary.