Top 10 Best Things to Do in Banff, Alberta

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whitewater rafting in banff, alberta canada

Liz Behler
Staff Writer

BANFF, ALBERTA—Canada—Your plane tickets are bought, your bags are packed, and you can’t wait to touch down in Banff, Alberta to start your Canadian Rockies vacation. But once you hit the ground, do you know what you want to do? From golfing the green to braving the rapids on the Kicking Horse River, we’ve compiled a quick hit list of the top ten best things to do in Banff, Alberta. So, forget the guide books and read on as we cut through the clutter, highlighting only the very best things to do in Banff.

whitewater rafting in banff, alberta canada

Wild or mild, there's a river to fit rafters of all levels in Banff, Alberta.

1. Get on the Water for Whitewater Adventure

Whether you prefer your rapids wild or mild, whitewater rafting adventures await you in Banff, Alberta. Thrill seekers will love the non-stop rapids of the famous Kicking Horse River‘s Lower Canyon. For a more beginner-friendly float, try the Kananaskis River, which maintains Class I to II level rapids. The Elbow River and Horseshoe Canyon are two other options for those visiting the Banff, Alberta area.

Heading to Jasper? Experienced rafters should check out Sunwapta River and Fraser River, two rivers known for their more turbulent rapids. Those looking for a family-friendly activity in Jasper can opt instead for the mellow waters of the Athabasca River located in Jasper National Park. For more information about whitewater rafting in Banff, Alberta, visit or, or dial 1-800-519-4770.

2. Get a Bird’s Eye View With a Banff Gondola Ride

Get your Rocky Mountain views from on high with a Banff Gondola ride. Climb 2,285 meters to the top of Sulphur Mountain aboard an 8-minute ride in a fully enclosed passenger gondola. Once at the summit, take in panoramic views showcasing six separate Canadian Rockies mountain ranges. Located just five minutes from downtown Banff in Banff National Park, the Banff gondola is one of the best ways to get a birds eye view of the Canadian Rockies.

3. Soar Through the Trees on a Zipline Tour

Up for an adventure? Feel the wind against your face as you soar through the trees on a zipline tour in Banff National Park with Banff Travel. You’ll feel just like a bird as you zip between cliffs, through lush forests and over roaring rivers. The tour features increasing zipline levels, starting small and building to a final zipline 40 meters high, with speeds reaching up to 70 km an hour.

4. Take a Wintertime Sleigh Ride in the Canadian Rockies

Wintertime is a magical time in the Canadian Rockies, and a horse-drawn sleigh ride is one of the best ways to experience it. See the stunning, secluded countryside of the Bow River Valley on a one-hour tour through snowy woods. Choose from a public ride, or up the romance factor with a sleigh ride for two, complete with chocolate, liquors and robes to keep you snuggled up and warm. Sleigh rides are available every hour, on the hour, 7 days a week with Banff Travel.

ATV Tour in Banff Alberta with Banff Travel

Get off road with an ATV tour in Banff, Alberta.

5. Go Off-Road on an ATV Tour in Banff National Park

This is nothing like driving to and from your 9 to 5. Go off-road and into nature with an ATV tour through Banff National Park. Outfitter Banff Travel offers several options for 4X4 adventurers, including visiting a 1900’s silver mine, climbing 2,745 meters to take in mountaintop views, and crossing through the Kicking Horse River to see the beautiful Wapta Falls.

6. Mush Through The Wilderness with a Dogsledding Tour

What better way to see the beauty of the Canadian Rockies than with man’s best friend by your side? With a dogsledding tour in Banff National Park, you’ll drive your own team of Huskies through the spectacular wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. This ultimate backcountry adventure will stay with you, long after your vacation is over.

7. Tee Off with Banff Golfing

Pack your clubs and prepare to tee off at a Banff area golf course. With more than 275 golf courses in Alberta alone, the Canadian Rockies are a top destination for golfers. The challenging Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course, a breathtaking valley course designed by Stanley Thompson, one of Canada’s top golf architects, is a must-see for any golf enthusiast.

8. Fly High With a Helicopter Tour of Banff

Get off the ground and in the air for a different view of the Canadian Rockies with a Banff helicopter sightseeing tour. Get a bird’s eye view of Cline Glacier, Wilson Glacier or the Columbia Icefields, or choose a combination helicopter tour that blends sky-high views with seasonal activities like horseback riding, yoga, and hiking in summer, and skiing and icewalking in winter. Visit for more information about the combination helicopter tours offered.

Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta

Stunning Lake Louise is one of the top destinations for visitors to Banff, Alberta.

9. Get Out and See the Sites in Banff

There’s so much to see and do in Banff, Alberta. Make the most of your time with a sightseeing tour with Banff Travel. Discover the stunning blue-green waters of Lake Louise, or visit “the other lake,” the equally beautiful Moraine Lake. See the Columbia Icefields and trek across glacial fields, or choose a tour that combines the beauty of the mountains and the lakes.

10. Go for a Hike in Banff National Park

Strap on your hiking boots for an outdoor adventure in Banff National Park. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and take in the stunning scenic views on a rejuvenating nature hike. Nervous to go it alone? Join a tour with Banff Travel for a guided hiking, trekking or walking excursion in the Canadian Rockies. Choose from a single day or multi-day hike, where you’ll learn the fundamentals of mountain safety.

Want more information on the best things to do in Banff, Alberta? Visit, the official discount provider for tours, activities, and accommodations in the Canadian Rockies.

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