Famous for its surreally coloured lakes, majestic mountain scenery and endless outdoor adventures, Banff National Park is one of the world's most awe-inspiring mountain destinations. Outdoor activities abound throughout the year and wildlife is abundant.
Established as Canada's first national park in 1885 after railway workers stumbled onto a thermal hot spring, Banff National Park is today part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spans 2,564 square miles of mountainous terrain packed with spectacularly scenic valleys, peaks, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers.
In the picturesque town of Banff, wander along lively Banff Avenue and you'll discover a diverse collection of clothing boutiques and souvenir shops, as well as vibrant art galleries, museums, spas, bars and first-class restaurants.
For a loftier perspective of the town and valley, hike the 2.6 mile trail up Tunnel Mountain or hop on the Banff Gondola which is open year round and floats its way up Sulphur Mountain. When in need of some relaxation and rejuvenation head to the geothermally heated Banff Hot Springs.
It's magical to sit in the pools whatever the time of year or time of day.
Alternatively, don your hiking boots or hire a bike and discover more than 1,000 miles of maintained trails. Wander or ride along the shores of glittering blue-green lakes, trek up a mountain pass, hike across a frozen lake and be entranced by the landscapes around you.
Notable sights within the area include the large glacial Lake Minnewanka, where scenic cruises go out to Devil's Gap. Or you can travel under your own steam and hire a canoe or kayak. Johnston Canyon is another must-visit natural attraction along with Vermilion Lakes.