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  • Woman sitting looking down at Lake Louise in Banff National Park
  • Planning Tips

Ultimate 5-Day Banff Summer Itinerary

Hey adventure seekers and mountain aficionados – welcome to Banff! We have put together an itinerary focusing on all the best places to hit up while in Canada’s first National Park. Get ready for five days of epic escapades, jaw-dropping views, and memories that’ll last a lifetime. So, grab your hiking gear and sunscreen (because you should always wear sunscreen), and let’s dive into the ultimate mountain playground!

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

What is Banff National Park?

Banff National Park is a wilderness wonderland in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Here, you can discover turquoise lakes reflecting towering peaks, meadows adorned with wildflowers, and hiking trails leading to some of the most incredible views. So, whether you’re seeking heart-pumping hikes or peaceful moments in nature, Banff offers an unforgettable escape for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. 

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

Nearest City & Airport: Calgary
Available transportation to the park: car rentals, Banff Airporter, shuttle bus
Available transportation in the park: shuttle bus, car rentals, bikes, public transportation etc. Guests of the hotel enjoy complimentary local transportation throughout the Town of Banff
Park Pass: Can be found via the Parks Canada website

Woman watching sunset at Vermillion Lakes in Banff

DAY ONE

Morning: Starting your day at The Rimrock feels like awakening atop the highest perch in the tree. You can see for miles as the skies turn pink and early morning clouds roll into the valley below. Grab breakfast and a Chronicle Coffee from the Rimrock Café, then drive to Vermillion Lakes to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and all the little birds eyeing your sandwich crumbs. Vermillion Lakes is a serene retreat with stunning mountain reflections and abundant wildlife. These lakes are a must-visit for nature lovers. 

Afternoon: Park your car at the train station and hit the streets of Banff for a dose of mountain town charm. Explore the quirky boutiques and sample the local fare, such as Mary’s Popcorn, Beavertail, or Cows! While you are walking around you can dive into Banff’s artsy side! Banff is a creative hub featuring local indigenous art at the Carter Ryan Gallery, stunning photography, and unique sculptures inspired by the Rockies. While in town, stroll to Bow Falls for Instagram-worthy snaps and enjoy lunch on the patio at the Waldhaus. The Waldhaus is the ultimate spot to kick back with a beer and enjoy a tasty Bavarian lunch on the patio. With stunning views, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring. 

Evening: After a full day of cruising around Banff, head back to The Rimrock to freshen up before hitting Larkspur for the night. Gear up for live tunes, killer cocktails, and tasty bites, all wrapped up in a lively vibe with those ever-present views. As the hotel’s social hub, it’s the spot to chill, chat, and cheer to an epic day.  

People paddling on a canoe on Lake Louise

DAY TWO

Morning: Rise and shine for a day of epic exploration at two of Banff’s most iconic spots: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. But first, breakfast. Head down to Primrose for a perfectly prepared latté with beans from Chronicle Coffee Roasters. Pair it with the Rimrock Breakfast or a stack of homemade pancakes topped with the quintessentially Canadian condiment – maple syrup. .

Afternoon: With our new shuttle service from The Rimrock to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, your adventure is hassle-free. No driving, no parking, no worries! The first glimpse of Lake Louise is nothing short of breathtaking. As you approach, the vivid turquoise waters strike a stunning contrast against the rugged beauty of the surrounding mountains and the pristine glacier above. First on the agenda is a hike around Lake Louise or rent a canoe to paddle across the glassy water. Afterward, fuel up with a hearty brunch at Fairview Bar and Restaurant before cruising to Moraine Lake for serious jaw-dropping moments. Moraine Lake is a true jewel of the Rockies. Tucked into the Valley of Ten Peaks, the lake’s vibrant, glacier-fed waters offer one of the most photographed views in Canada. Snap selfies at the Rockpile and soak up the scenery like a true mountain maven. As the sun dips below the peaks, return to the Rimrock for a night of relaxation.

Evening: After a long day of sightseeing, unwind and rejuvenate at The Rimrock Spa. Think soothing massages, refreshing facials, and total relaxation. It’s the ultimate way to recharge before visiting Primrose for a meticulously crafted dinner as you unwind and reminisce over a day of sightseeing in the Canadian wild. As the perfect finale to your meal, indulge in a slice of signature Pink Velvet Cake, a treat as delightful to the palate as it is to the eyes. 

Woman on the skywalk at the Banff Gondola

DAY THREE

Morning: Get ready to soar to new heights! Take the Banff Gondola for a scenic ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, or embark on a heart-pounding hike to the top. Each moment brings you closer to breathtaking panoramas that stretch across the horizon. Once at the top, visit the observation deck and feast on the stunning 360-degree vistas of Banff and its vast wilderness. 

Afternoon: Spend the afternoon exploring the mountain’s hidden gems, such as the boardwalk that leads you through the wild landscape, and for those more adventurous, the more challenging summit trails are begging to be explored. The top of Sulphur offers views and satisfies your appetite, so before you head back down, why not treat yourself to a gourmet lunch at Summit Restaurant? After an afternoon of adventures, it’s time to begin moving down the mountain back toward the hotel for a dip in the pool and hot tub to relax those adventure muscles. 

Evening: Now that you’re refreshed, head downtown for some pizza and bowling at High Rollers! High Rollers is a favourite hangout for the town’s younger crowd, which offers music, bowling, pool tables and 48 craft beers on tap!

Woman taking a picture of Lake Minnewanka

DAY FOUR

Morning: Fuel up with a hearty breakfast and grab another delectable coffee from the Rimrock Café before hitting the trails for a day of waterfall chasing and lakeside lounging. Start the day at Johnston Canyon, where you’ll hike alongside the rushing waters and cascading falls until you reach the breathtaking Ink Pots.

Afternoon: After snapping some photos at the Ink Pots, it’s time to head to Lake Minnewanka and/or Two Jack Lake for an afternoon filled with paddleboarding, wildlife spotting, and lakeside lounging. These stunning locales offer breathtaking scenery and ample opportunities to observe local wildlife in their natural habitat. Keep your eyes peeled for big horn sheep grazing on the hillsides, elk meandering near the water’s edge, and maybe even a bear in the distance. It’s the perfect setting to immerse yourself in nature.

Evening: As the sun dips below the horizon, retreat to The Rimrock for an unparalleled dining experience at Eden, Western Canada’s sole five-diamond restaurant. Here, exquisite meets exclusive, offering a culinary adventure unmatched in elegance. With stunning views that complement a menu crafted into pure art, your choices range from a sumptuous four-course feast to an immersive 7-course chef’s tasting menu.

friends biking the bow valley parkway

DAY FIVE

Morning: On your final day in Banff, savour every moment of your mountain escape before bidding adieu to this outdoor playground. Start your morning with a leisurely breakfast at Primrose, where you can fuel up with a wholesome breakfast buffet because your morning adventures are about to start! 

Afternoon: Imagine cruising along the Bow Valley Parkway, effortlessly pedaling down one of the most scenic roads in Banff National Park, all thanks to the power of an E-bike. Flanked by majestic mountains and dense forests, this stunning route is even more enjoyable on two wheels. With the extra boost from your E-bike, you can cover more ground and explore hidden gems without the fatigue that often comes with traditional biking. Stop at leisure to snap photos, spot wildlife, or soak in the panoramic views of valleys and peaks. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, e-biking along the Bow Valley Parkway offers a fresh and exhilarating way to connect with nature and experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. 

Evening: On your final evening, dive into Banff’s latest art exhibition that transcends the conventional gallery walls, inviting you to immerse yourself in the Art in Nature Trail along the picturesque Bow River. This unique exhibit begins at the historic Banff Park Museum and winds along the Bow River Trail. This trail isn’t just a walk; it’s a journey through a curated collection of over 65 art pieces from talented Bow Valley artists showcased in various mediums. Best of all, the exhibition is entirely free, open to the public, and self-guided. After dipping into the local art culture, finish the evening with dinner at LUPO on Bear Street for some incredible Italian fare and wine by the glass…or bottle. 

 

As we wrap up this five-day itinerary, we’re excited to share the best of Banff with you. Every moment was crafted to enhance your stay, from sunrise mountain views perfect for Instagram to gourmet nights that will tantalize your taste buds. We’re thrilled to be your base camp for adventure. As you pack up those memories (and souvenirs), remember: The Rimrock vibe doesn’t end here.

 

Save up to 20% on your next stay! Find out more here.

Arrival & Departure
Guests
Adults
Man standing above Petyo Lake in Banff National Park