Welcome to Banff & Jasper National Parks


Of the thousands of national parks scattered around the world today, Banff, created in 1885, is the third oldest and Canada's first, while adjacent Jasper was only 22 years behind. Situated on the eastern side of the Canadian Rockies, the two bordering parks were designated Unesco World Heritage sites in 1984. In contrast to some of North America's more remote parks, they both support small towns that lure from two to five million visitors each year.

Despite the throngs who come for the parks' more famous sites, like Lake Louise and Miette Hot Springs, it's by no means difficult to escape to a more tranquil experience of this sublime wonderland. However you choose to experience the parks, be it through hiking, backcountry skiing, paddling or simply sitting at a lake's edge beneath towering, castle-like mountains, the intensity and scale of these parks will bowl over even the most seasoned traveler. The more you see, the more you'll come to appreciate these parks' magic – and the more you'll want to discover.


Top experiences in Banff & Jasper National Parks

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Starting at $36.39

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Banff & Jasper National Parks activities

$124.19 Day Trips & Excursions

Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Day Trip from Banff

This is a great excursion for anyone who loves incredible scenery. Journey along the Bow Valley Parkway as you head for Emerald Lake. At Emerald Lake, enjoy a quick yet delightful lunch before making your way to Victoria Glacier, Moraine Lake, and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. As you cross the Great Divide into Yoho National Park via the scenic Kicking Horse Pass, stop at the Spiral Tunnels. Then it's on to the magnificent Yoho Valley and Takakkaw Falls before returning to Banff in the late afternoon. This tour is seasonal and only operates from June through to October.

$201.61 Day Trips & Excursions

Columbia Icefield with Glacier Skywalk from Banff

The Columbia Icefield is one of the largest accumulations of ice south of the Arctic Circle. The Icefields Parkway runs from Banff National Park into Jasper National Park and is one of the most scenic drives in Canada. Visit Lake Louise, the icon of the Canadian Rockies, before your spectacular journey along the Icefields Parkway. At Lake Louise stand on its emerald green shores with a picture perfect view of the Victoria Glacier. With photographic stops at Crowfoot Glacier and Peyto Lake, you head towards the impressive view at the Big Hill. On this guided tour learn about the unique ecosystem and the creation of the glaciers you experience on your way to the Columbia Icefield. After your ride on the all-terrain Ice Explorer, there is time to visit the Glacier Gallery, restaurant or gift shop at the Icefields Centre. Return to Banff in the late afternoon This tour is seasonal and only operates from May through to October.

$55.65 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Jasper National Park Tour: Maligne Valley and Medicine Lake

After pickup from your Jasper hotel, you’ll travel by comfortable coach with an experienced local guide into Jasper National Park. You’ll stop first at Maligne Canyon where a short walk takes you across two bridges over a 165 foot (50m) deep gorge that has been carved into the limestone. Catch great views of the waterfalls spilling into the canyon below as you explore the area with your guide, who will share information about the geology and wildlife in the area. After checking out Maligne Canyon, you’ll continue to drive to Medicine Lake, taking a gorgeous road that winds through a dramatic mountain and forest landscape. Medicine Lake is famous for ‘vanishing’ every summer, the result of an extensive underground karst system — one of the largest in the world.From Medicine Lake you’ll follow the road to gorgeous Maligne Lake where you’ll have a choice of a boat cruise to Spirit Island or a 2-mile (3.2km) guided hike on an easy and level trail. If you choose the hiking option, you’ll follow your guide on the Mary Schaffer Loop trail, which skirts the shore of Maligne Lake to a beautiful viewpoint with interpretive displays and benches before continuing into the trees and back to your starting point. If you take the boat cruise, you’ll board a comfortable enclosed boat with large windows for a scenic tour on Maligne Lake. Your boat will stop at Spirit Island, a small gem in the lake, where you’ll have time for photos and a short stroll.Throughout the day, your guide will explain the natural and human history of the area and will keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that lives here. Sightings may include bear, deer, caribou, wolves, moose, bighorn sheep, bald eagles and osprey, among the many animals of Jasper National Park. At the end of your tour, you will be returned to your Jasper hotel.

$103.23 Tours & Sightseeing

Banff City Sightseeing Tour

See spectacular scenery as you learn the history of the birthplace of Canada's Banff National Park. Find out what the beautiful Bow Valley has to offer during your stay. This morning excursion takes you up the mountain tops aboard the Banff Gondola. Whether from the 360-degree view deck or the 0.6-mile (1-km) boardwalk, you'll discover views to last a lifetime. Then along Tunnel Mountain Drive for views of Banff, Cascade Mountain, Mt Rundle and Bow Falls.  Finally ending the day before heading back at Lake Minnewanka. This tour is seasonal and only operates from May through to October.

$36.25 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Jasper SkyTram

Take an unforgettable ride on the Jasper SkyTram, the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in all of Canada. This exciting trip offers incredible views of mountain ranges, the town of Jasper, numerous turquoise-coloured lakes and the Athabasca River valley. A perfect adventure for all ages. Arrive at the SkyTram any time during opening hours. Climb aboard your enclosed 26 person tram cabin for the ride to the mountain alpine region. An experienced and knowledgeable guide will accompany you on your trip, sharing a few insights about the area, its history and the wealth of wildlife nearby during your ride.  Over the course of your 7.5 minute ride, you’ll ascend to a height of 2,263 meters (7,425 feet) above sea level, enjoying superlative views of the surrounding mountain ranges as you climb. Soon you arrive at the upper station, where you can take in the panoramic scene of the surrounding landscape. Make sure to take a stroll on the boardwalk and try hiking the 1.4 km Summit Trail to the peak of Whistlers Mountain at 2,463 meters (8,081 feet) where you can view six mountain ranges. You might spot a ptarmigan, ground squirrels, hoary marmots (famous for their whistling alerts), pikas and sometimes even bighorn sheep along the way. Before you leave the mountain, make sure to stop at the Summit Restaurant for a meal at the top of the Canadian Rockies. Visit the gift shops at the upper or lower stations, where you can purchase a memento for yourself or souvenir for friends back home. Please note: Jasper SkyTram operates from late March through to the end of October.

$59.68 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Maligne Lake Cruise

Jasper National Park is the largest national parks in the Canadian Rockies and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Imposing granite peaks circle a wonderland of cascading waterfalls, lush forest, hot springs, and diverse wildlife such as caribou, moose, elk, deer, wolf and bear. At the heart of the encompassing park lies one of the true treasures of the Canadian Rockies - Maligne Lake and Spirit Island.  Your 90-minute cruise of the lake starts dockside near the Maligne Lake Boathouse and Chalet. Boats leave approximately on the hour and your ticket is good for any trip during your selected day. After boarding, you will pull away from the dock and be treated to a fully narrated, interpretative tour of the area's unique history and special ecology. Each boat is glass enclosed and fully heated, ensuring you will stay warm while experiencing majestic views throughout the trip.  From Spirit Island, which is only accessible by boat near the center of the lake, you will be treated to some of the most spectacular views found anywhere in the world. Jagged, snow-capped peaks ring a lake of vibrant blue water and ancient forest. Wildlife regularly prowl the shoreline, so keep your camera close and your senses alert as you scan the area for the eagles, bears and deer that call this area home. Expert and amateur photographers alike will be treated to incredible opportunities to attempt to document the natural splendor surrounding them, all the while recognizing that no photograph can do justice to the alpine scenery surrounding them.  Each cruise last approximately 90 minutes, after which you will return to the boathouse where you can grab a warm beverage or bite to eat from the nearby lodge and chalet. You can stay as long as you like, relaxing while you take in the view from the shoreline, or you can walk back to the parking lot to pick up your car and head off on your next adventure.

Banff & Jasper National Parks in detail