British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
Canadian Pacific Railway opened the original Banff Springs Hotel in 1888 at a site chosen for its outstanding natural beauty and as a means to encourage people to see the wonders of the Canadian West. Nearby the iconic landmark, now one of the premier resort hotels in the world, the town of Banff prospered within Banff National Park. Millions of people have visited Banff in recent decades, and a lucky few have been able to make their home there. From the very young to a new vigorous set of retirees, people are drawn to Banff for the pleasures of nature and outdoor recreation.
Situated amidst one of the most scenic mountain wildernesses in the world, Banff is the town with the highest elevation in Canada (1,463 m) and was the first municipality to be incorporated within a Canadian National Park.
Above Bow Falls, near the junction of the Bow and Spray Rivers, and surrounded by Mount Rundle, Sulphur Mountain, Mount Norquay, and Cascade Mountain, Banff offers excellent lodging, restaurants and extensive shopping.
Summer and winter, the list of things to do in the outdoors from your base in Banff is extraordinary. The famous ski resorts of Sunshine Village and Lake Louise are located in close proximity. There is golf, scenic alpine hiking, fly fishing, and exhilarating ice climbing; canoe trips on glacial lakes, photography and painting tours; ice skating, mineral baths, bear watching, and cable car rides. But perhaps nothing is more rewarding than simply gazing upwards, wondering at the forces that took an ancient seabed skyward and turned it to mountain peaks, or into the surreal green of a glacial lake.
Banff is located 126 km west of Calgary and 58 km east of Lake Louise, on the Trans-Canada Highway.
Banff Things to Do