Sightseeing in Banff
Listed below are a few areas of interest
Banff boasts. Banff’s evergreen nature has
definitely stolen the hearts of many locals and
Highways and Scenic Roads (4)
Many places of attractions are accessible
through a few major roads that travel throughout
Canada. Stated in this section are some fun
facts about these highways and a few points of
interest each respective route will pass.
Spectacular view of the landscape at your own
leisurely pace. This is a scenic alternative to
the Trans-Canada Highway 1 (see below).
Detailed signs are located along the road thus
making traveling convenient.
It passes along the majestic Bow River Valley
and many other places of interests.
Bow Valley Parkway
This route will allow you to enjoy the scenery
through both Banff and Jasper National Parks.
Named after the icefields that spread through
the Rockies, this road has been agreed to be one
of the world’s most panoramic highways.
Bow Summit, Saskatchewan River Crossing, Lake
Louise, Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls are
just some of the places this road passes along,
not forgetting the occasional view of roaming
This is a portion of Highway 1A that is
stretched 51m (30.6mi) from Banff to Lake
Picnic areas are available, short hikes are a
norm, and there are three lodges offering cabin
accommodation and services for travelers.
If you’re visiting Johnston Canyon, a self-
guided tour will aid you through the hike in
Johnston Creek where two bountiful waterfalls
A 5.6 km (3.5mi) hike will take you to six
cool springs spurting from the ground, at the
This is the longest national highway in the
The main road stretches 7604km (4725mi) from
coast to coast (St. Johns Newfoundland to
Victoria, British Columbia).
This incredulous route also passes through all
Venue: Roy Andersen Photography
Galleries, Museums &
Interpretive Centres (19)
Address: PO Box 1556 Banff AB T1L 1B5
Contact: 1 403 762-2691
Brief: Roy Anderson, a commercial photographer
focuses his pictures on prairie landscapes and
the Canadian Rockies which he has successfully
Venue: Artistic Journeys
Address: PO Box 131 Banff AB CA T1L 1A3
Contact: 1 403 762-5528
Brief: Offers guided tours to the Canadian
Rockies and British Columbia to
artist-adventurers. Various location targeted
and tour varies anywhere from 1 to 4 days where
meals, accommodation and painting supplies are
included. Held during the summer at various
locations throughout Banff.
Venue: Canada House Gallery
Address: 201 Bear St Banff AB T1L 1B5
Contact: 1 403 762-3757
Brief: Represents a large collection of
contemporary Canadian art, including paintings
and sculptures. Open daily.
Venue: About Canada Gallery
Address: 105 Banff Ave (PO Box 1507) Banff AB
Contact: 1 403 760-2996
Brief: Introduces the works of emerging artists
in Canada which includes crafts, sculptures,
paintings, photography etc. Works of the
legendary Bruno Engler and well-known Douglas
Leighton are also presented. Open daily from
10am – 9pm.
Venue: Walter Phillips Gallery
Address: 107 Tunnel Mountain Road, Box 1020 Stn
40 Banff AB T1L 1H5
Contact: 1 403 762-6281
Brief: Committed to the production,
presentation, collection and analysis of
contemporary art. Workshop/ Lessons available.
Open Tues to Sun from noon – 5pm.
Venue: Aura Gallery of Contemporary Art
Address: 100 Mountain Ave (Rimrock Hotel), Box
1109 Banff AB T1L 1B1
Contact: 1 403 760-6102
Brief: Distinctive artworks and hand-crafted
objects by local, regional and international
artists mainly focusing on artists’
perspectives. Open daily 10am – 10pm.
Venue: Summit Gallery of Fine Art
Address: 120 Banff Ave Banff AB
Contact: 1 403 762-4455
Brief: Offers a large selection of art jewellery,
ceramics and hand-blown glass—all inspired by
nature. Private viewing room provide. Open daily
from 10am – 9pm.
Venue: Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont
Address: Banff Springs Hotel, 403 Spray Ave
Contact: 1 403 760-2382
Brief: A commercial gallery focusing on Canadian
art. Daily 10am – 10pm.
Venue: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
Address: 111 Bear St Banff AB T1L 1A3
Contact: 1 403 762-2291
Brief: Located beside the Bow River in the heart
of downtown Banff. Guided historic, walking
tours. Mainly targets historical/cultural
artistry. Daily 10am – 5pm.
Venue: The Quest Gallery
Address: 105 Banff Ave, Box 1046 Banff AB T1L
Contact: 1 403 762-2722
Brief: Native Indian (Inuit) sculptures present
well-known from 6 Generations before. Carvings
of Ben Henry and his three sons, Vince Bomberry
and distinguished potter Steven Smith are
Venue: Buffalo Nations Museum
Address: 1 Birch Ave, Banff AB T0L 0C0
Contact: 1 403 762-2388
Brief: Named for the historic moments when the
Natives followed buffalo herds to the Bow Valley
area. Displays the lifestyles of the
aboriginals, including ongoing stories of their
myths and legends. Souvenir shop on site.
$6/student, $2.50/senior, 6-12 years; free,
families $16.50. Open 11am – 6pm in summer and
1pm-5pm in winter.
Venue: Cave & Basin National Historic Site
Address: 311 Cave Ave
Contact: 1 403 762-1566
Brief: Exhibits, guided tours and the film
Steam, Schemes & National Dreams recount how the
discovery of the Cave and Basin springs led to
the creation of Banff National Park. Along with
the caves, explore the unique flora and fauna.
$4/adult, $3.50/senior, $2 for 6 – 16 years,
$10/family. 11am daily in summer and Sat/Sun in
winter. Mid May - Sept 30: 9am - 6pm, otherwise:
Mon-Fri 11am - 4pm and Sat - Sun 9:30am - 5pm.
Venue: Heritage Hall
Address: The Fairmont Banff Springs Banff AB CA
Contact: 1 403 762-2211
Brief: Heritage Hall hosts demonstrations on the
western mountains above the Fairmont Banff
Springs lobby. Free. 9am - 9pm.
Venue: Canadian Ski Museum West
Address: Throughout Cascade Plaza, 317 Banff Ave
Contact: 1 403 762-8484
Brief: Displays the heritage of Banff’s skiing
evolution, Swiss mountain guides, development of
the Alpine Resorts, memorabilia from Olympic
skiers trained on local slopes and many more!
Venue: Banff Park Museum National Historic
Address: North of the bridge, 91 Banff Ave
Contact: 1 403 762-1558
Brief: This is western Canada’s oldest
historical museum. Preservation showpieces of
mammals, insects, birds and exquisite plants are
proudly displayed here. Interpreters are
available together with reading rooms and
hands-on discovery rooms. May 15 - Sept 30 10am
- 6pm; Oct - mid May 1 - 5pm.
Address: Lake Minnewanka Rd., 7.4 km (4.6 mi)
Brief: Historic site of an early 1900's coal
mine, colliery and town including ruins and
photographs of the mine and bears.
Venue: Cave and Basin Centennial Centre
Address: 311 Cave Ave. Banff AB CA
Contact: 1 403 762-1557
Brief: Visitors can walk into the cave and
observe the intact basin while learning the
fascinating story of the spring’s discovery.
Geological videos are played to share the park’s
history. Tours are available.
Venue: The Banff Centre
Address: Box 1020, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff AB T1L 1H5
Contact: 1 403 762-6157
Brief: This centre is home to many festivals
that Banff throws every now and then. It is also
Canada’s only learning centre that is dedicated
to the arts, leadership development, and
Venue: Canada Place
Address: In Park Administration Building at the
end of Banff Avenue
Contact: 1 403 760-1338
Brief: Catering to about 400 visitors per day,
Canada Place has knowledgeable interpreters that
can clarify any doubts or questions that you
might have about Canadian history. Enjoy real
birch bark canoes and their recording studios.
Free admission for everyone.
Lake: Vermilion Lakes
Bodies of Water (6)
Address: Branches off Mt. Norquay just before
the Banff/Norquay overpass
Consists of 3 lakes. A drive along these lakes
would grant you the opportunity to view Banff’s
flora and fauna, common to marshland areas. A
favourite spot for many birdwatchers,
photographers, nature-lovers, and cyclists.
Lake: Peyto Lake
Address: 190 km (118.75 mi) S of Jasper/40 km
(25 mi) N of Lake Louise
The Bow summit, 2088m above sea-level, is the
highest point on the Icefields Parkway. A short
trail from the lower parking area at Bow Summit
will take you uphill to the Peyto Lake lookout.
Lake: Lake Louise
Address: Access road is S of the Trans-Canada
Yield to the beauty of the Victoria Glaciers and
Lake Louise, where visitors can also enjoy
canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, riding and
many more. Most popular lake out of the lot.
Lake: Bow Lake
Address: 93 km (58 mi) N of Banff just off Hwy
93 N (Icefields Parkway)
This is the original source of the Bow River.
Across the lake is part of a very large ice
field covering an area of the Great Divide (see
below). The Bow Glacier extends from this field
over the cliffs.
Lake: Hector Lake
Address: 214 km (133.75 mi) S of Jasper/16 km
(10 mi) N of Lake Louise
The green waters of Hector Lake spread below a
fresh carpet of lush forest. The southern part
of the lake is forest-enclosed while the
northern end is exposed to rugged mountains,
which is typical of a lake formed in a glacial
Lake: Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten
Address: 12 km (7.5 mi) E from Lake Louise
This emerald green lake set before a backdrop of
sharp peaks, was formerly imprinted on the back
of the Canadian $20 bill. Mount Temple, the
highest mountain in the Bow Range and third
highest in Banff National Park, can be seen
north of this lake. Many trails provided for
Caves and Canyons (3) Name: Hole in the Wall
Address: 1.1 km (6.8 mi) W of Banff from the
Muleshoe picnic area
Once thought to fill Bow Valley, this cavern
appears to have been cut away by the melting
waters from the glacier.
Name: Johnston Canyon
Address: 26 km (16.25 mi) W of Banff on Hwy 1A
Observe water erosion in action as you follow
the self-guided interpretative trail along
Johnston Creek. 5.6 km (3.5 mi) walk will take
you to the Ink Pots. Six cool springs bubble out
of the ground year-round. A pleasurable sight of
an array of aqua colours created by the glacial
sediments in the springs can be viewed.
Name: Mistaya Canyon
Address: 159 km (99 mi) S of Jasper/71 km (44
mi) N of Lake Louise
A quick 10 minute trail lures you to this
amazing canyon where the waters of Mistaya
Canyon have delicately shaped the gorge, leaving
many circular “potholes” in the canyon walls.
Glaciers and Hot Springs (4) Name: Columbia Icefield
Address: Icefields Parkway AB
Composed of a massive plateau of ice, and 6
major glaciers (and numerous smaller ones), this
massive field of ancient ice covers 325 sq km
(125 sq mi) and reaches depths estimated at 365
m (1299 ft). Melt waters from the ice field flow
to three different oceans (the Pacific, Arctic
and Atlantic). Called a hydrological apex, it is
one of only two in the world that feeds three
oceans. Ice-walk tours are also available April
10th until October 20th.
Name: Crowfoot Glacier
Address: 197 km (123 mi) S of Jasper/33 km (20.6
mi) N of Lake Louise
Years ago, this glacier resembled a crows foot,
with three large toe-like extensions. The “lower
toe” of this foot has receded so much over the
years that only 2 toes remain.
Name: Cave & Basin Hot Springs
Address: Banff AB
Contact: 1 403 762-4900
The centre is open year-round while the swimming
pool is open from mid June to Labour Day.
Geological and historical displays of how the
warm sulphur water creates its effects on the
flora and fauna in the area.
Name: Banff Upper Hot Springs
Address: 101 Mountain Avenue Banff AB T1L 1K2
Contact: 1 403 762-1515
Equipped with modern amenities/ facilities that
of a modern spa, this historic bathhouse
features an outdoor hot pool, a day spa, an
email kiosk, a gift shop and cafe. Swimsuits,
towels and locker rentals available. Open
Mountains and Waterfalls (2) Name: Parker Ridge
Address: 113 km (70.6 mi) S of Jasper/l 17 km
(73 mi) N of Lake Louise. T3K 5G4
This peak provides an excellent view of the
largest tongue of the Columbia Icefield; the
Name: Bow Falls
Address: Banff, AB
A convenient, short walk from the Banff Centre
at Tunnel Mountain or the Banff Springs Hotel.
It drops approximately 30 feet near its
divergence with the Spray River.
Parks and Gardens (4) Venue: Banff National Park
Address: Banff National Park P.O. Box 900 Banff
AB T1L 1K2
Contact: 1 403 762-1550
An awesome site, surrounded with nature’s
wildlife, towering mountain peaks, and glaciers.
Discover the history and heritage of Banff here.
Address: 4 km (2.5 mi) from Banff on Tunnel
Sculpted by wind and water, these spires
overlook the Bow River. Wheelchair access
Venue: The Great Divide
Address: Follow the sign
The meeting point of where all waters flow
either W to the Pacific Ocean or E to the
Atlantic Ocean. The creek separates through
mid-flow. Located west of Lake Louise on the
border between Alberta and British Columbia.
Picnic spots available.
Venue: Cascade Gardens
Address: In the Park Administration building
grounds at the 5 end of Banff Ave
Enjoy belvederes, waterworks, pools and flower
gardens at one of western Canada’s most historic
Sports and Entertainment (1) Venue: Cinema Lux Centre
Address: 229 Bear Street Banff AB Canada
This theatre shows the latest films on five
screens. A good break after a long day of
activities, or an alternative time-killer on a
View “ski resorts” section for more information
on winter sports.
Observation Decks/Lookouts (1) Venue: Banff Gondola
Address: PO Box 1258, Mountain Ave (near the
Upper Hot Springs) Banff AB T1L 1B2
Contact: 1 403 762-2523
World-renounced; an awesome and relaxing
activity for honeymooners and first-time
visitors. Hop on one of the modern gondola cars
that will take you for an 8-minute trip to a
spectacular summit. Provides outstanding views.
An observation terrace, two restaurants, snack
bar and gift shop are available. Also, indulge
in a self-guided walk to Sanson’s Peak where the
original 1903 stone observatory is located. Open
year round. Adult: $21.50 Child: $10.75.