Anyone been to Banff?

Has anyone here been to Banff (Canada)? We are pondering going there for a vacation in maybe late July or early August. Just wondering if anyone has been there and has any tips. Thanks!


Check on forest fires before your trip. July and August can be very dry.

It has been quite awhile since we were there. Lake Louise is a very pretty area. The water is too cold for swimming.

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Thanks for the tip on the forest fires. I will definitely check on that.

Yeah, I bet that lake is cold all the time. We have a pool at our house here in Florida, so we don’t really care about swimming on vacation. Looking for some scenic terrain though – not much to look at here in Florida… unless beaches are your thing. We figured Banff would give us our thrill on looking at some nice views.




A long time ago. I attended the Cosmic Ray Conference there (Calgary). Afterwards, drove over to Banff. The road north towards Jasper has many worthy stops. I based out of the town (Banff), and did day-trips Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and numerous waterfalls, and some glaciers. Spent about three or so days there.

It was a long time ago, so I don’t have any current info. I do remember that the 3-toe glacier (“Bird’s Foot”??) had recent lost one of it’s talons, and was only 2-toed. With climate change, maybe one or both remained toes have broken off and melted.

Still a beautiful area.

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There are some beautiful alpine meadow type plateaus you can hike up to … but don’t forget bug spray … the summer feeding season is only what 6 weeks … they are pretty ravenous …


We were there in late July, 2005. Banff, Yoho, and Kootenay are beautiful places to hike. We tried to get up to Jasper but the weather didn’t cooperate. Driving in the rain to hike in the rain lost out to hiking without the rain.

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Thank you for posting this question. You sent me looking at the photos my wife and I took on that trip. It is a spectacularly beautiful region.

I can understand your need for that type of scenery. As a former Kiwi I have missed some of that…

Many years ago we took the train trip from Montreal to Vancouver and the Rocky Mountaineer through the Banff area, which is lovely. We have booked a trans-Canada trip again for June ( 3rd time as we had to cancel two years running ref Covid) starting in Toronto.

We know we are both too old now to climb to a top bunk in the train, so this year we will have nice beds on a real floor…(so much easier for those bathroom trips in the middle of the night…)

If you want great comfort, fabulous scenery, and no physical effort on your part, try the Rocky Mountaineer upper class…

Enjoy your trip.


It was 2005 when we took the Rocky Mountaineer on up to the remains of the Olympic Village, thought about Jasper, but didn’t make it… In 2010, we again headed on up, camping, etc… Both trips we chased some of Chahuli’s work in WA, but always enjoyed our Canadian wanderings…

Banff and its surrounding National Park attractions are pretty nice. But, I prefer its sibling, Jasper/ Jasper NP.

Made a couple of visits to the Banff area in the April - May timeframe.
Some attractions are better during that time

  • Appreciated Moraine Lake and its melting snow views a lot more after a strenuous hike through deep snow.
  • Snow in Lake Louise was only partially melted. But, it still had some nice views and a lot fewer visitors than the summer months.
  • Banff Hot springs
  • Enjoyed walking around the town of Banff
  • Camped at one of local campgrounds (early morning train toots were startling the first time, but after that I got used to the sounds)
  • Helpful Visitors Information Center in town.
  • I do recall a data-point about Jasper, but don’t know if it applies to Banff. During the summer months, the population of Jasper triples due to all the visitors/tourists. I imagine longer wait times for some attractions e.g. mountain trams, boat rides, etc.
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Thanks for all the insight. We have some airline miles we are going to use… so have to hope for a seat with the free miles… then trying to figure out which week for great weather… then have to find accommodations… I figure except for those 3 factors, we’ll just rent a car and make day trips from Banff… We really love Florida but yearn for some “in your face scenery” when we vacation.

I am wondering if the first week after Labor day will be too cold? I guess most of the tourists will be gone back to school by then. I think first or 2nd week of August will be nice weather. We’ll probably try for that time frame…

I am a little late in planning this… hope we can find accommodations… Thanks.



Been a while since we were there.

Lots of scenery, waterfalls and wildlife to see in the National Parks.
Hike the glacier if they still allow it.

Be brave, go swimming in one of the lakes. We did at Horseshoe Lake. The jump in is a shock, but if you swim at the surface the thermalcline is really pleasant in late summer.

Enjoy, John

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Be brave, go swimming in one of the lakes. We did at Horseshoe Lake. The jump in is a shock, but if you swim at the surface the thermalcline is really pleasant in late summer.

A fun memory …

When I was in the army I was stationed in Vicenza, Italy. (Northern Italy) (Yeah, I know tough duty.)

One weekend I took a trip to Lake Garda. IIRC, it was in May. I watched a group of German kids, maybe on school holiday, fooling around on a pier. Apparently one guy wanted them to go swimming. Now, I did not speak German at that time, but I could almost tell what they were saying. The others all said it would be too cold. So he says, “I will go in the water!” and they all dared him to. So he jumped off the pier into the lake, which is fed by melting glaciers. That was a very short swim! The others all laughed at him for being foolish. I learned to never dare a German to do anything. They had to help him out of the water.


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