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Banff National Park

Updated: February 7th, 2023

One hour outside of Calgary in Alberta, is the incredible Banff National Park. This 6,641 square kilometer piece of land is nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Millions of people come through to the park every year to enjoy the snow-capped mountains, hiking along Lake Louise, white water rafting and mountain climbing. If you want to relax for a few days, there are many resorts, boutique guesthouses and inns around the park.

What is Banff National Park?

Banff National Park is a national park in Canada that is positioned as the country's flagship for its national park system. It is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain range and has been honored by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The park is renowned for its variety of natural wonders which includes snow-capped mountains, great blue lakes and vast forests that span thousands of square kilometers.

List of Things you can do in Banff National Park

A List of Things to do in Banff National Park

Hiking Trail in Banff

Hiking has never been more fun than at Banff National Park. With a variety of trails where you can view the stunning falls of the Takakkaw with the Emerald Lake Trail and where breathtaking views await you around every corner.

More interested in history, then the Iceline Trail may be just for you. This is a more challenging trail that will let you traverse past Takakkaw Falls, the Rockies, glaciers and wind your way to the Burgess Shale Fossil Beds.

If you have a love of heights then maybe try out the Johnston Canyon hike. Which allows you to wander up constructed walkways, cross chasms over bridges and hike your way up challenging terrain with stunning views.

There are also a number of different trails you can take to satisfy all levels of hikers, from beginners to advanced like the:

  • Moraine Lake Hike
  • Rockpile Trail
  • Wenkchemna Pass
  • Eiffel Lake
  • Sentinel Pass

Fossil Hunting

Get your hands on ancient fossils with the interactive Burgess Shale exhibit at the Field Informative Centre, or if you want, continue on to the Yoho River to enjoy some thrilling rafting on the open waters!

Feel more like relaxing and watching the world pass you by? Then take some time off your exploration and sit back and watch trains passing through the Spiral Tunnels. These train tracks made the areas and its surroundings what it is today. Plus watching the trains wind through the Rocky Mountains is just plain fun.

Banff’s Sightseeing Lift

Hiking not your thing? You can still savor the fantastic vista of the Canadian Rockies with the popular Sightseeing Lift, that gives you an unforgettable aerial view that will make you feel like king of the mountain.

Skiing for All

Great activities to do in winter at Banff involve snow and lots of it. It should come as no surprise that skiing should make this list. So if you want to take to the slopes, then maybe the Sunshine Village could be the place to do it.

Designed to cater for skiers from all levels, from beginners to the more advanced and seasoned skiers with steeper runs, rugged terrain and tree lines to make for a more daring run.

Backcountry Camping

Banff National Park presents a perfect opportunity for backcountry enthusiasts to experience treasured natural wonders at a more leisurely pace. It also allows you to experience the park away from the clamor of visiting crowds.

Your mode of transportation is your choice whether it’s hiking, cycling or even riding on horseback. Please make note that the peak of the hiking season is from May to October. If this interests you, pack your tent, sleeping pad and bag, repair kit and backpack full of supplies.


The extensive river system of Banff National Park has notoriously wide berths that makes them navigable by canoe. By navigating the park by canoe you get to have a close encounter with the natural with the natural wonders of Banff National, thereby giving you a great impression and appreciation of how wondrous they are.

Please remember to bring along a change of clothes, wet weather gear to keep you dry, a wet or dry suit, wet boots, neoprene socks, runners, waterproof bag and double bag.

Hot Springs

Banff National Park has some hot springs for those looking for a less strenuous alternative in their sojourn in nature. You can reach the Hot springs via bus, car or hike.

For a comprehensive outline of the various activities that you can do at Banff National park, take a look here.

How can you Visit Banff National Park?

The Banff National Park is easily accessible to Canadian citizens and residents via car, bus, rail, bike and walk/hike. For immigrants who seek to visit Canada’s Banff National park, the easiest and most accessible way to do so would be via International Experience Canada’s (IECs) Working Holiday Canada program. The program allows the recipient to work and travel in Canada for a period of one to two years.

To apply for a working holiday visa you have to create an express profile and enter an open working holiday draw with the express interest of receiving an invitation to apply (ITA). If you receive an Invitation to Apply you will have 20 days to accept the invitation, after which you will have about 10 days to apply for a work visa. During the period of applying for a work permit we recommend that you gather the required documentation to travel to Canada legally.

How can we Help you Visit Banff National Park?

At CanadianVisa, we can help you apply for a working holiday visa by helping you to create an express entry profile, assisting with the facilitation of your eligibility test, entering your profile into the working holiday express entry draw, acceptance of your ITA and work permit application.


Are There any Other Large National Parks That you can Visit in Canada?

Besides Banff, other Canadian National parks include Yoho National Park, Jasper National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, Gros Morne National Park and Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Can you Bring Your Children With you to the Park?

Children are admissible to the park.

Are There Lodging Facilities at Banff National Park?

There are various accommodations available to visitors at the park which are at almost every price bracket.

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