Site preloader
Canada

How to Spend a Weekend in Banff National Park

July 22, 2017
How to Spend a Weekend in Banff National Park

Banff National Park is one of the most gorgeous national parks within the Canadian Rockies. Visiting Banff National Park has been high on my “to see” list for years. I finally got an opportunity to spend a weekend in the mountains, and I am forever a changed woman. Between the crisp mountain air, snow-capped mountains, and turquoise-clear lakes, Banff National Park absolutely stole my heart. 💜

 

I’ve put together a guide on how to spend a weekend in Banff, enjoy!

 

How to Spend a Weekend in Banff National Park

 

How to Spend a Weekend in Banff National Park

 

Getting to Banff National Park

The easiest way to get to Banff National Park is by flying into Calgary, Canada. Unless you are with a tour, renting a car is a necessity. From Calgary, the drive into Banff is roughly 1.5 hours.

 

Where to Stay

I was pleased to find out there are plenty of accommodation choices within the Banff National Park.

 

 

Airbnb is also a great option! For one of the nights during my stay in Banff National Park, I stayed in an Airbnb in Canmore just minutes from the park entrance. The rates were cheaper than within the park, and it wasn’t much of an inconvenience.

 

 

What To Do

I spent a long weekend (3 days) during my trip to Banff National Park. Honestly, I struggled with too much to do, and so little time to do it. Trust me, this place is gorgeous and you’ll want to do everything. But here are my top 8 recommendations I would put in the “must do” category. 🙂

 

FYI: Before hiking any trails, it’s extremely important to first check with the Visitor’s Center. For example, I was hoping to hike to the Plain of 6 Glaciers Teahouse, and as an afterthought I stopped by the Visitor’s Center only to find out the trail was closed due to several avalanches.

 

 

1. Downtown Banff

Banff’s downtown is just adorable and the perfect place to start your weekend. This is where you’ll want to be for coffee, restaurants, shopping, and the visitor’s center. There is plenty to see and do, even if just to wander down the streets and gaze up at those gorgeous snow-capped mountains. I would recommend spending at least half a day here to stroll through the many shops, cafés, and restaurants to take in the ambiance.

 

 

 

Food Recommendations:

Two standouts were Evelyn’s Coffee World for coffee and for possibly the best pizza I’ve ever had, The Bear Street Tavern. Even if you don’t order pizza (I went halfsies on a pizza and salad combo) literally everything on the menu is fantastic, you won’t be disappointed. 😉

 

 

 

2. Lake Louise

About a 40-minute drive from downtown, Lake Louise is the show-stealer of Banff National Park. It’s the most photographed lake in the world, and it’s no secret as to why. This place is stunning. Often times, famous locations don’t match the hype, but this place surely does! The only complaint you might have is that it tends to be overrun with tourists because it’s so darn beautiful. Everyone wants a piece of it! There is a pathway around the perimeter of the lake that’s nice for strolling, or you can go kayaking. There are also a number of hikes that start from Lake Louise.

 

Read more: 8 Tips for Visiting Lake Louise

 

 

3. Castle Lookout at Lake Louise

While at Lake Louise, the 1.3km hike (0.8 miles) to castle lookout is definitely worth it. It’s a short hike, but still a bit steep and difficult. From here you can see amazing views of the castle-esque Fairmont Hotel Lake Louise.

 

4. Castle Mountain

Castle Mountain is located between Banff and Lake Louise. It is a relatively short hike, 3.7km (2.2 miles) one way. However it’s extremely steep, but has the most rewarding views of the Canadian Rockies.

 

Read more: A Guide to hiking Castle Mountain Lookout

 

 

5. Moraine Lake

Lake Moraine is similar to Lake Louise in that it’s also a gorgeous turquoise-blue lake with stunning mountain ranges. Some might like it better as it’s more low-key than Lake Louise, and there tend to be fewer tourists. I loved it so much I actually went back twice; one for sunset and again during the day because I needed moooooore of those beautiful views. There is also an option for kayaking the Moraine Lake or walking around the rim of the lake.

 

Read more: 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Moraine Lake

 

 

6. Hiking Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is an extremely popular day hike, and is perfect for families of all levels of fitness.

 

You can hike the trails to Lower Johnston Falls (1.1 km or 0.5 miles) or Upper Johnston Falls (2.6 km or 1.5 miles). There’s also an option to continue on the trail to the Ink Pots which is roughly an additional 3km or 1.8miles.  There are also a number of longer hikes that continue on from the upper falls that are suitable for backcountry camping.

 

Read more: A Guide to Hiking Johnston Canyon & the Ink Pots

 

 

7. Gondola Rides

There are two locations to ride gondolas up into the Canadian Rockies:

  • Banff Gondola – Banff Gondola is the most popular and is located near the downtown area. At the top you can enjoy spectacular views from a 360-degree rooftop observation deck. There are also cafés and restaurants available for dining.
  • Lake Louise Gondola – At the Lake Louise Gondola, the price tag is a bit cheaper, and you’ll see amazing views of Lake Louise and the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. There are also dining options at the top. 

 

 

8. Upper Hot Springs

After hiking, sightseeing, and touring all day, soaking in some natural hot springs might sound like a fantastic idea. For this, head on over to Upper Hot Springs, located near Banff’s downtown.

 

Read More

8 Tips for Visiting Lake Louise

A Guide to Hiking Castle Mountain Lookout

A Guide to Hiking Johnston Canyon & the Ink Pots

20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Moraine Lake

 

Like this post? Pin it for later!

How to Spend a Weekend in Banff National Park

 

What are your favorite things to do in Banff National Park? Love to know in the comments below!

 

TIFFANY NICOLE

Tiffany created Lavender Vines as a place to share her love for Jesus and adventures from around the world. She has a slight obsession with salted caramel lattes, Japanese kimonos, and an ongoing love affair with NYC and Paris.

0

Comments

  1. Noelle Across The Pond

    July 26, 2017 at 11:02 am Reply

    Looks like a beautiful place to visit!

    1. Tiffany Nicole

      Tiffany Nicole

      July 26, 2017 at 1:57 pm Reply

      It is girl!

Leave a Comment

Lavender Vines About Page

Welcome to Lavender Vines! 
Hi I’m Tiffany, a Jesus loving free spirit who can’t get enough of adventure, salted caramel lattes, & farmers markets. At Lavender Vines my mission is to help you grow in your faith, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest.
READ MORE

Join the Journey!

  • "For the mountains may move and hills disappear, but even my faithful love for you will remain."
-Isaiah 54:10
•
Every time I read this verse I fall in love with it all over again. 😍 How crazy is it that when everything around us is shaky, God is stable. He is the one we can rely on. His love for us remains, no matter what. 💖 As I look at these gorgeous mountains, I'm reminded of His love and faithfulness to us. 💕❄️
.
.
.
.
.
#morainelake #banffnationalpark #radgirlscollective #glt #goplaces #topdeck #thediscoverer #travelgrams #topdecker #traveloften #photodiary #getlostclub #travelchannel #athomeintheworld #timeoutsociety  #propelwomen #Jesuslives #allglorytoGod  #lampandlight #christianblogger #faithinGod #spiritualjourney #proverbs31 #praisehim #Jesusislord #Godlovesyou  #praisethelord #proverbs #bedeeplyrooted #intentionalliving
  • The hikes in Jasper are mesmerizing. 😍 I can't get over just how blue the rivers and lakes are! ❄️💦
•
Have you been to Jasper before?
.
.
.
.
.
#jaspernationalpark #travelgirls #radgirlscollective #glt #goplaces #topdeck #thediscoverer #travelgrams #topdecker #traveloften #photodiary #getlostclub #travelchannel #athomeintheworld #timeoutsociety  #propelwomen #Jesuslives #allglorytoGod  #lampandlight #christianblogger #faithinGod #spiritualjourney #proverbs31 #praisehim #Jesusislord #Godlovesyou  #praisethelord #proverbs #bedeeplyrooted #intentionalliving
  • The best thing about life is every day you have an opportunity to be a better version of yourself. 💁💕❄️
✧
I am no stranger to doubts and insecurities, and I pray constantly for God to help me to be a bolder and better version of myself. When you have bad days, don't worry! Dust yourself off and pray for strength. There's a new day to be tackled. 💪🏻🙏
✧
Who's doing anything exciting this week? Just another work week for me, what about you?? 💖
✧
PS: My promo code to @danielwellington is still available! Get 15% off using LAVENDERVINES #DWforeveryone #ad⠀
.
.
.
.
.
#edmontonmade #glt #goplaces #topdeck #thediscoverer #travelgrams #topdecker #traveloften #photodiary #getlostclub #travelchannel #athomeintheworld #timeoutsociety  #propelwomen #Jesuslives #allglorytoGod  #lampandlight #christianblogger #faithinGod #spiritualjourney #proverbs31 #praisehim #Jesusislord #Godlovesyou  #praisethelord #proverbs #bedeeplyrooted #intentionalliving
  • New Orleans, You make it easy for me to love you. 💕💋
What's your favorite part of New Orleans?
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
.⠀
#theadventurehandbook #radgirlscollective #glt #goplaces #topdeck #thediscoverer #travelgrams #topdecker #traveloften #photodiary #getlostclub #travelchannel #athomeintheworld #timeoutsociety  #propelwomen #Jesuslives #allglorytoGod  #lampandlight #christianblogger #faithinGod #spiritualjourney #proverbs31 #praisehim #Jesusislord #Godlovesyou  #praisethelord #proverbs #bedeeplyrooted #intentionalliving

Follow Me!




Read previous post:
FaithStay Accommodation
Checking In with FaithStay

On a casual Thursday afternoon I opened my inbox to find an email from FaithStay. Having never heard of this...

Close