Family Travel Guide to Banff National Park

Are planning a family vacation to Banff National Park? Well, if you are, then you’re in the right spot. Our summer visit to Banff was one of the most relaxing yet breathe taking vacations we’ve ever had. We haven’t stopped talking about it, and I don’t think we ever will. We spent 4 days in Banff and we’re thrilled to see a lot of the parks’ natural wonders. Here are a few travel trips we gleaned from this vacation.

Banff itself is a cute town, lots of old world charm, dining, shopping, and hot springs. However, it’s also very pricey. We decided to stay just 15 minutes away at a hotel in Canmore. It was less expensive and the daily drive into Banff was something that we loved! The views are spectacular.

When to Go

Most tourist venture to Banff National Park from mid June to September. This is a good time to visit because the Canadian weather is at its warmest (July & August). We visited during the later half of June. This was a great time of year for us for two main reasons: the weather was a cool 60-70 degrees, which was perfect for hiking, and yielded less mosquitoes. Canadian schools do not begin summer vacation until July which keeps Banff National Park from being overcrowded. Keep this in mind when booking your trip.

Where To Stay

Banff itself is a cute town, lots of old world charm, dining, shopping, and hot springs. However, it’s also very pricey. We decided to stay just 15 minutes away at a hotel in Canmore. It was less expensive and the daily drive into Banff was something that we loved! The views are spectacular.

How to Get There

Traveling from the United States, the closet international airport to Banff is located in Calgary, Alberta. From Calgary, you’ll need to drive another 90 minutes to reach Banff National Park. We highly recommend that you rent a car to get around. Once you reach Banff National Park, there are a number of buses and shuttles that you can take. However, when traveling with children, it’s just less stressful and easier to have your own car to transport around all their gear. Jason also likes to take along a whole slew of camera equipment. Dragging this one and off a bus Ong strangers would have been a nightmare!

What To See & Do (in no particular order)

Swim at Banff Upper Hot Springs– the pool itself is very small. However, it’s family friendly and offers relaxing mountain views. We went in the evening and swam as the sun set. Don’t miss this.

Canoe at Lake Louise– For about $100 a family of 4 can share a canoe on Lake Louise. You will go bonkers at the idea of spending that much money for a boat ride. (Jason did.) However, I insisted and we all loved it. While there, we ventured inside the Hotel for a quick cup of hot cocoa, went hiking to the glacier behind the Chateau, and saw Grizzly Bears!

Gondola/Chair Lift Ride at Ski Lake Louise– the ride up was very relaxing! The views were amazing and if you feel like splurging for a meal, there is a restaurant once you reach the top. It has one of the best patios for viewing that park of Banff. After some time, it began to pour and we realized that we couldn’t do anything until the rain passed. So we decided stayed on the mountain to eat dinner, watching the billowly clouds roll by. It was wonderful!!

Hiking at Johnston Creek– one for the most fun things we did as a family was hiking. Johnston Canyon is an excellent place to hike with children! There are clean restrooms at the beginning of the trail, snack bars, and small diner. The two well paved trails are moderate in difficult. They twist, curve, and wind throught the canyon in a way that always keeps your interest. You can choose the shorter or longer trail, but both end at lovely waterfalls. Score!

Lake Moriane– The water at Lake Moriane is absolutely stunning, as is the huge rockpile that sits next to it. You can rent a canoe here as well. There is also a campsite nearby. We loved walking along the side of the water sucking in the clean moutain air.

Lake Peyto– was Jason’s favorite of all because of its turquoise blue colors. It truly is something to behold, but please be warned, it will take a while for your to reach Lake Peyto from the city of Banff. Pack a lunch, lots of snacks, your tablet, and winter coats. There is lots of snow at Peyto Lake, which is perfect for building snowmen with your little ones. Jocelyn loved it, but she did whine a little on the drive. Get out and stretch your legs once you reach Castle Rock, and it will the kids going. It was worth it!

Have a Beaver’s Tail and Explore the streets of Banff- we took a while day and just explored the town of Banff, from the famous Fairmount Hotel at the mom and pop brunch spot. There are dozens of great places to eat and to shop at. However, my favorite thing to do was to eat Beaver’s Tail, a Canadian pasty. My favorite is to have it apple pie a la mode style!

And there you have it- excellent places in Banff to visit as a family. What about Jasper, Alberta which is located in northern Banff? We recommend that you stay the night in Jasper instead of trying to the drive 3 hours back to Baff or Canmore. We did not have time to go make it up to Jasper during our 4 day visit. We plan to visit Banff again in the future to see it’s great sights.

In the meantime, I hope you found this blog post helpful. Would you like to win a trip to Banff? BEARPAW is partnering with ABOMINABLE for a chance to embark on an unforgettable journey to Banff National Park for the ultimate family adventure! Just as Yi, Jin, and Peng and their magical friend Everest venture to the mystical snow covered Himalayan mountains, BEARPAW wants to send you and your family on an exciting trip. Enter for a chance to win the trip of a lifetime! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the 50 USA states who are 18 or older. Begins 8/16/2019 10am PST and ends 10/1/2019 12pm PST. Limit 1 entry per person. To enter, and for official rules, odds, and prize details, visit Sponsor: Romeo & Juliette d/b/a BEARPAW. Best wishes from my family to yours for a happy family vacation.


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