For over 125 years the region of Banff Lake Louise has presented an attraction for nature and outdoor-sports lovers. Indigo blue rivers and lakes, a rare mountain flora and snow-covered glaciers attract active holiday-makers at any time of the year. The mild climate is perfect for discovering the wild nature of Banff National Park by foot or bicycle.
Unique experiences in Banff and Lake Louise
More than 1000 kilometers of hiking trails invite you to discover the unique landscape. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience is Heli Hiking. You are first taken up to lofty heights by helicopter. From the bird perspective you get a fantastic view over the Canadian Rockies with its clear mountain lakes, white glaciers and impressive summits. After landing, you start your hike through the national park.
Not-to-miss during your visit to Banff National Park is the hike to Sulphur Mountain. The 2.285 meter high mountain above the city Banff, counts as one of the scenic highlights. The tour starts at the valley station of the gondola in Banff and then leads you, mostly parallel to the gondola, for more than eleven kilometers to the summit. At the summit you will find an observation platform, from where you enjoy a gorgeous view over the region. After an extensive break at the summit restaurant, you take the gondola back to Banff.
The wild Johnston Canyon is also a scenic Must-See. This is an about twelve kilometer long hiking path through the canyons and is one of the most beautiful and well-known trails of the entire national park. You will be astonished by the impressive waterfalls, the Lower and Upper Falls, and will pass by the Ink Pots, green shimmering ponds with fresh spring water. The gushing springs inside these ponds are a wonderful and absolutely worth-seeing natural spectacle.
By bike through the national park
Some of the most beautiful cycle paths of Canada lead through Banff National Park. On two wheels you can discover quiet forests, refreshing glacier lakes and the sceneries beneath Banff's well-known summits. Some trails are open all year-round, but the most suitable time for a cycling holiday is between May and October.
A tour perfectly worthwhile is the cycle to Moraine Lake, a turquoise-blue mountain lake, south of Lake Louise. The challenging bikeway brings you over rocky tracks and grounds covered with roots, through the forest and into Moraine Creek Valley. There, you already have a fantastic view over the Moraine Lake as well as the famous Ten Peaks, ten characteristic mountaintops of the Wenkchemna Range. When you arrive at the lake, you can indulge in great culinary pleasures, as the Moraine Lake Lodge houses a gourmet restaurant.
Another impressive bike ride is along Icefields Parkway, a 213 kilometer long highway that leads from Banff to Jasper, midway through the Rocky Mountains. The 48 kilometer long track, which is suitable only for well-trained cyclists, brings you from the Lake Louise Info center to the Bow Summit. You will cycle across a wild mountain range, past age-old glaciers, idyllic valleys and clear mountain lakes. On a multiple day excursion you can also cycle further to Columbia Icefield or up to Jasper National Park.
One national park – three skiing regions
In winter, the Banff National Park transforms into an El Dorado for winter sports enthusiasts. Three skiing regions invite you to carve and powder. You can do all of them with the Tri-Area-Liftpass. The pass gives you access to a total of 8.000 hectares of untarnished ski pistes as well as transportation between the areas.
The largest skiing area is Lake Louise Ski Resort, with 4.200 acres of primed skiing slopes. Families can not only find great beginner tracks for their little ones, but also fantastic child care facilities for a day on the piste without the kids. The slopes have predominantly a medium level of difficulty and freeriders will find good opportunities for Tree Skiing at Lake Louise Resort.
Sunshine Village, with an area of 3.358 acres, is somewhat smaller, but just as worthwhile. The mainly intermediate pistes offer a diversity of ski-runs especially to advanced skiers and snowboarders. Freeriders can even enjoy Tree Skiing, which is so typical and well-known for North America.
Another great location is Mount Norquay, where winter sports lovers will find some great opportunities. Located just a ten-minute car drive away from Banff, the 190 hectare skiing area is ideal for a spontaneous day on the piste. With a beginner slope, medium mogul slopes and untouched powder snow, Mount Norquay is a proper allround ski region.