Best time to visit Banff & Jasper National Parks

11 days
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
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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.


Rocky Mountaineer Train

April–October • activity

This is more than just a train!

Moraine Lake

late June–early October • nature

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

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

Glacier Skywalk

May–mid-October • activity

Treat yourself to an adrenaline boost high above the ice

Mountain Biking

May–October • activity

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

Bow Falls

June–August (all year round) • nature

Take a trip to an unusual waterfall famous for its colour

Tunnel Mountain Hiking

April–October (all year round) • activity

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

Banff Gondola

late January–early October • activity

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


July–mid-September • activity

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

Vermilion Lakes Sunrise & Sunset

all year round • nature

Everything that happens at Vermilion Lakes becomes an unforgettable experience

Lake Minnewanka Cruise

late May–early October • nature

Untouched natural beauty all around you

Wildlife in Banff National Park

all year round • nature

Over 50 different species feel at home here

The Great Divide Trail

July–mid-September • activity

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

Miette Hot Springs

early May-early October • activity

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

White Water Rafting

mid-May–mid-September • activity

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


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

mid-December–mid-April • activity

Visit one of the world’s most incredible skating rinks

Jasper Dark Sky Festival

October 12–21, 2018 • event

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

Banff Marathon

June 17, 2018 • event

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

Skiing & Snowboarding

mid-November–late May • activity

Don't miss the best time for skiing

Santa Claus Parade of Lights

November 17, 2018 • event

Why not get into the Christmas mood in the Canadian Rockies

Banff Yoga Festival

June 01–03, 2018 • event

Absorb all the mindfulness in the world among stunning mountain views

Johnston Canyon Ice Walk & Climb

December–mid-April • activity

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

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

Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival

October 27–November 04, 2018 • event

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