Banff Activities

Banff Activities

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Banff Activities

With such an active tourist trade, there are plenty of Banff activities or things to do near Banff. Or there’s the Banff shopping, which in itself could keep you entertained for hours.

Banff Heli Skiing & Other Skiing and Snowboarding Activities

If skiing or snowboarding at the Banff ski resorts hasn’t been enough exercise for you, you can go cross-country skiing to further appreciate the scenic wilderness around Banff.

Or to raise the adrenaline levels more, you can go heli skiing or heli boarding. All that fresh powder is just too much of a lure! Banff heli skiing isn’t permitted within the national park, but there are a couple of options nearby.

RK Heliski is based at the Panorama Ski Resort and they provide shuttles from Banff to their base area. They offer 3 run packages for those that just want a taste of heli skiing, or 5+ run packages for powder hounds that know they’re greedy when it comes to fresh lines.

There is heli skiing based in Golden BC, which is a very scenic 1.5 hour drive from Banff. The heli skiing tenure is massive and the powder is abundant, with approximately 590 inches (15 metres) of snowfall per season. 

Adventure Activities Banff

There are snowmobiling tours that also offer the opportunity to see the beautiful landscape and the wildlife (although you might also see the wildlife walking down the main street of Banff). Once again, the snowmobiling isn’t possible in the Banff National Park but a Golden snowmobiling outfit has a shuttle schedule from Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise.

There are a couple of dog sled tour companies that operate outside the Banff National Park, one of which is located in Spray Lakes Provincial Park, 30 mins from Canmore.

Banff Hot Springs

For complete rest and relaxation, it seems essential to have a soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs after a strenuous day of skiing (entry pass is incorporated with the BIG 3 multi-day lift tickets). The spa and bathhouse is historic (you can even rent old fashioned bathers) and against the backdrop of spectacular scenery, it’s rather lovely. However if you’ve experienced the fantastic Japanese onsens, you may find the Banff hot springs a bit of a let down. It feels like a swimming pool (they even have a life guard!) and during winter there is not enough hot spring flow, so they partially fill the pool with town water and chlorinate it, which detracts from the therapeutic properties of mineral hot springs.

If you don’t have a car, there are ROAM buses that head up to the hot springs from downtown Banff.

Banff Gondola

Nearby is the Banff sightseeing gondola up Sulphur Mountain, which is an iconic Banff activity and provides tourists with sensational views of the town of Banff and the surrounding mountains. There are also options for meal packages at the Sky Bistro. However for skiers and snowboarders, a gondola ride probably doesn’t seem that special, and the views from the gondola at Lake Louise are probably far superior!

Ice Skating

At the Recreation Centre and the Banff Springs Hotel there are ice-skating rinks, but if you’re going to Lake Louise it’s worth saving yourself for a skate on the lake outside the chateau.

Other Leisure & Family Activities

Leisure and family oriented activities include horse-drawn sleighs or visiting museums such as the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. Or there are nearby helicopter sightseeing tours, and whilst helicopters can’t fly over the Banff National Park, the tours are incredibly scenic.

Snowshoeing tours are another option or there are ice walks to see the stunning winter landscapes of frozen waterfalls and rivers.

Or if you’ve got a car, go for a drive between Banff and Lake Louise along Highway 1A, the Bow Valley Parkway. It’s a slower drive than along the main highway, but it’s very picturesque and you may spot some wildlife.

Banff Day Spas

There are various Banff day spas that offer a large range of spa and beauty treatments. Some also include hot pools and steam rooms.

Nearby Activities

There are also various Lake Louise activities and things to do in Calgary such as shopping. Otherwise you can visit the Olympic sites such as the ski jump, bobsled track and the Olympic museum. And if you get the chance, it’s worth seeing an ice-hockey match to lap up some Canadian culture.