Banff, with its snow capped rugged mountains, turquoise coloured lakes, rushing waterfalls and lush alpine meadows is a great place to relax and rejuvenate. In addition to visiting the ‘touristy’ Banff attractions, to experience the real Banff, you need do some of the following summer activities in Banff .
1. Boating, Canoeing & Fishing
What is the best way to enjoy the park filled with pristine ethereal coloured Lakes – explore them through boat cruises, and canoeing!
Lake Minnewanka, a glacial lake near Banff, may not be as well know as Lake Louise or Moraine Lake; but it presents a unique environment surrounded by rugged peaks and teaming wildlife. Go on the cruise and also learn about the submerged city.
4 person pedal boats can also be rented at the Lake Minnewanka Boat house for $44.95 per hour and $25.00 for each additional hours.
Canoeing in Banff National Park
The best way to enjoy Vermillion Lakes is to canoe in them. Go for guided canoeing or rent a canoe on your own, but do not miss this rejuvenating experience and explore 40 Mile Creek, Vermillion Lakes and Bow River.
If you do not own a canoe, it can be rented from Banff Canoe Club located at located at the corner of Wolf Street and Bow Avenue. Canoe or Kayak can be rented for $38.00 per boat (additional hour @ $20.00) with a maximum of 3 adults or 2 adults & two children per boat. Instructions, life jackets, safety whistle, and bailing buckets are provided.
They also offer a voyageur canoe tour of 1.5 hours duration where one can take the whole family including young kids along.
Canoe till the end the lake and see the creek which causes the turquoise colour of the lake.
Canoes can be rented from the lake shore; see for more details
One can also canoe in the calm Two Jack lake and Johnson lake located along the Lake Minnewanka Scenic drive.
If you are an experienced canoeist, you can also paddle along the allowed sections of the Bow river flowing along Bow Valley Parkway.
Fishing in Banff National Park
Fishing is allowed in many creeks and lakes of the National park including Johnson Lake, Two jack lake and Lake Minnewanka.
Check Alberta Fishing guide for allowed limits, rules and closure dates. You need a National park fishing license to go fishing in Banff.
Many fishing companies also offer guided fishing in Banff.
2. Hiking, Biking & Back country trails.
Banff National Park has about 100 hiking, biking and back country trails.
Hiking: Check Parks Canada Website for the complete List of Hiking trails & Back country Trails.
See these for a list of
Amongst the many biking trails in Banff , Lake Minnewanka scenic drive is extremely popular. Parks Canada has developed a Banff legacy trail of 26km long from Bow Valley Parkway to Banff Park East Gate, especially for bikers and roller bladers. For mountain biking trails, check here
3. Golf in Banff
Spread out between Mount Rundle and Tunnel Mountain along the Bow River, Banff Spring Goff Course is one of the worlds most scenic golf courses which also gives one opportunities to see wild life.
Fairmount Banff Springs Golf Course. For information regarding dress code, equipments rentals and other details see Fairmount Golf
4. Horse Riding in Banff
Have a go at this traditional way of touring the Park, See Horse back riding in Banff National Park for all the details about companies and their rates.
5. Scuba Diving In Lake Minnewanka
The town of Minnewanka that existed by the side of the Lake was submerged when dams were built in 1912 & 1941. The original town can be seen only by scuba diving in Lake Minnewanka. There are three main dive sites : town area, 1912 dam area and the bridge.
Lake Minnewanka is a ‘high altitude’ dive. The scuba divers should be certified. Check Parks Canada for detailed information.
Lead by a certified guide, make your way up the cliffs above the Mt Norquay Ski area assisted by a fixed anchoring system of cables, ladders and a suspension bridge and enjoy the view extraordinaire!.
7. Water Rafting In Banff
Though Banff is not the place for water rafting action, you can experience the serenity of the rivers in Banff by going on a guided float trips on the Bow River.
Rocky Mountain Raft Tours offers 1 hour guided float tours to Hoodoos from Bow falls for Adult @ $50.00 & Youth(15 and under) @ $20 and a two and a half hour safari for adults @ $85 and Youth (15 and under) @ $40.
8. Bird & Wild Life Watching in Banff
For a detailed description on which birds and animals to watch out for and where, see Parks Canada Website.