Lake Minnewanka

Banff Town

Lake Minnewanka (mini-won-ka) sits 13km east of Banff Town, making it a popular escape from downtown. The scenic recreational area has plenty of hiking, swimming, sailing, boating and fishing opportunities. The not particularly challenging walking trail around the lake is a good option for a stroll; the path is easy to follow and popular.

Lake Minnewanka Cruises operates interpretive cruises on the lake, offering insight into the region's history and geology. You can also fish here or hike up to the Alymer Lookout for spectacular lake and mountain views.

Roam offers summer bus service from Banff to the lake (route 6, one-way adult/child $2/1).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Banff Town attractions

1. Tunnel Mountain

5.65 MILES

It might be Banff’s smallest mountain at 1692m, but Tunnel Mountain is still one of the town’s most recognizable landmarks. The mountain’s distinctive…

2. Norquay Chairlift

6.01 MILES

This open-air skiing chairlift remains open in the summer, taking you on a 15-minute ride to a viewing platform on Mt Norquay (2133m). You'll find a…

3. Old Banff Cemetery

6.11 MILES

Banff’s shaded cemetery is worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in the town’s history. Some of the gravestones date back to the 1890s; among the…

4. Forty Mile Creek Picnic Area

6.12 MILES

This popular picnic area sits just outside Banff's city limits off Mt Norquay Rd and is a good spot to crack open a hamper if you're short on time or…

5. Banff Avenue

6.15 MILES

A little over a century ago, Banff Ave was Banff. Initially, the central street was home to little more than a handful of hotels, homesteads and trail…

6. Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies


Founded by local artists Catharine and Peter Whyte, the century-old Whyte Museum is more than just a rainy-day option. It boasts a beautiful, ever…

7. Banff Park Museum

6.33 MILES

Occupying the oldest surviving federal building in a Canadian National Park and dating from 1903, this museum is a national historic site. Its exhibits –…

8. Surprise Corner Viewpoint

6.37 MILES

About 1.2km east of Banff Town, the Surprise Corner viewpoint looks out over the rushing white water of Bow Falls.