Best time to visit Banff & Jasper National Parks

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Banff & Jasper National Parks
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Best time of year to visit Banff & Jasper National Parks

Although Banff seems to be a year-round destination with three seasons (cold winter, warm summer, and transition spring and autumn), June to August and December to March are deemed to be the best time to visit Banff. Crowded and warm summers offer stunning views of Moraine and Vermilion Lakes, as they are frozen for most of the year. Hiking and biking is another pure pleasure for nature lovers. Winter is a prime time for skiing, snowshoeing, and skating. Christmas and New Years are the busiest times, getting less crowded and cheaper towards March. Bring sunscreen, as no matter the season, the sun is ruthless in alpine regions. A transition period from April to May is great for witnessing Banff's abundant wildlife and exploring Columbia Icefield, but hiking and driving is limited in some areas. Choose October if you are a passionate stargazer—Jasper Dark Sky Festival won't last forever.

20 THINGS TO DO IN BANFF & JASPER NATIONAL PARKS (JULY 30 - AUGUST 08)

Rocky Mountaineer Train

Rocky Mountaineer Train

April–October • activity

This is more than just a train!

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

late June–early October • nature

It's not a 20 dollar view, it's a million dollar view!

Glacier Skywalk

Glacier Skywalk

May–mid-October • activity

Treat yourself to an adrenaline boost high above the ice

Columbia Icefield, Athabasca Glacier

Columbia Icefield, Athabasca Glacier

mid-April–mid-October • nature

A giant one kilometre wide and six kilometre long tongue of the Athabasca Glacier hidden beyond the mountains

Takakkaw Falls & Twin Falls

Takakkaw Falls & Twin Falls

mid-June–September • nature

The most picturesque part of Yoho National Park

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise & Sunset

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise & Sunset

all year round • nature

Everything that happens at Vermilion Lakes becomes an unforgettable experience

Alberta Highway 40

Alberta Highway 40

mid-June–November • activity

One of the greatest and wildest drives in Canada

Hiking

Hiking

July–mid-September • activity

Imagine the wild and boundless landscape of the Canadian Rockies spread before your eyes

Lake Minnewanka Cruise

Lake Minnewanka Cruise

late May–early October • nature

Untouched natural beauty all around you

Banff Gondola

Banff Gondola

late January–early October • activity

Marvel at the unrivalled snowy view while soaring to the top of Sulphur Mountain

Bow Falls

Bow Falls

June–August (all year round) • nature

Take a trip to an unusual waterfall famous for its colour

Wildlife in Banff National Park

Wildlife in Banff National Park

all year round • nature

Over 50 different species feel at home here

Tunnel Mountain Hiking

Tunnel Mountain Hiking

April–October (all year round) • activity

Tunnel Mountain, with no actual tunnel, is a popular hiking destination

Miette Hot Springs

Miette Hot Springs

early May-early October • activity

Nothing is more relaxing than soaking in the hottest mineral pools of the Canadian Rockies

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

May–October • activity

Let’s be honest: biking in Banff is all about the scenery

The Great Divide Trail

The Great Divide Trail

July–mid-September • activity

This great corridor along the Canadian Rocky Mountains divides two of Canada's provinces

White Water Rafting

White Water Rafting

mid-May–mid-September • activity

Join the thousands of visitors who have already made their vacation unforgettable

Parker Ridge Trail

Parker Ridge Trail

June–October • activity

A scenic route at Columbia Icefield area, the largest icefield south of the Arctic Circle

Big Beehive

Big Beehive

June–September • activity

A much photographed mountain in Banff National Park

Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway

June–September (all year round) • activity

Drive through the wildest and most remote parts of Banff and Jasper National parks

13 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Frozen Abraham Lake

Frozen Abraham Lake

December–mid-March • nature

The stunning bubbles under the surface of this frozen man-made lake could be rather dangerous

Skating on Lake Louise

Skating on Lake Louise

mid-December–mid-April • activity

Visit one of the world’s most incredible skating rinks

Jasper Dark Sky Festival

Jasper Dark Sky Festival

October 18–27, 2019 • event

Celebrate the stars in the second largest dark preservation site in the world

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

September–April • nature

National parks are an ideal place to view aurora borealis

Banff Marathon

Banff Marathon

June 16, 2019 • event

Say yes to one of the most beautiful and amazing running experiences!

Skiing & Snowboarding

Skiing & Snowboarding

mid-November–late May • activity

Don't miss the best time for skiing

Santa Claus Parade of Lights

Santa Claus Parade of Lights

mid-November 2019 (TBA) • event

Why not get into the Christmas mood in the Canadian Rockies

Dog Sledding

Dog Sledding

December–April • activity

Glide across a fresh snowy powdered valley with the jingling sounds of husky collars and the soft thuds of their paws

Johnston Canyon Ice Walk & Climb

Johnston Canyon Ice Walk & Climb

December–mid-April • activity

Choose this once-in-a-lifetime experience only available in Canada

Banff Yoga Festival

Banff Yoga Festival

May 24–26, 2019 • event

Absorb all the mindfulness in the world among stunning mountain views

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival

Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival

January 17–27, 2019 • event

Canada's most scenic and beautiful ice festival

Banff Christmas Market

Banff Christmas Market

November 22–25, 2018 • event

A cozy and magic weekend-long celebration

Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival

Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival

October 25–November 02, 2019 • event

Nine days filled with stories of remote journeys, expeditions, and adventures expressed in films, books, and photographs