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Three Experiences to Add to Your Banff Bucket List

Three Experiences to Add to Your Banff Bucket List

If you’ve got a bucket list going, Banff should be somewhere near the top. The picturesque mountain town nestled in the pristine Canadian Rockies is home to many an Instagram photo and plenty of viral TikTok videos. One look at the town, and it’s easy to see why. Surrounded by majestic, snow-capped mountains and kept stunningly beautiful by Parks Canada, a trip to Banff is unlike any mountain town visit you could possibly make. As a longtime visitor of Banff, I finally got to make my summer trek on a media trip with Pursuit. These three experiences created some amazing core memories, so add them to your Banff travel list today!

Three Outdoor Bucket List Experiences in Banff National Park

Banff Gondola at Sunset

Even if you’re afraid of heights (like me), make a trip up the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain at sunset. The smooth ride to the top provides unparalleled views of Banff National Park from all angles. You’ll get a stunning overhead shot of the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (the castle in the mountains), a look at the many lakes surrounding Banff, and a beautiful view of the Canadian Rockies.

Views From Banff Gondola (©Melanie Lee)
Views From Banff Gondola (©Melanie Lee)

If you get there early enough, make the boardwalk hike over to the Suphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station. No matter the time of year, the view is phenomenal. Round out your visit with a dinner at Sky Bistro—the large windows allow you to continue enjoying the stellar view while enjoying some delicious seasonal cuisine.

Banff Gondola Boardwalk (©Melanie Lee)
Banff Gondola Boardwalk (©Melanie Lee)

E-Biking to Vermilion Lakes

I’m not an athletic person, and I don’t actually bike, but the e-biking experience in Banff National Park is one you shouldn’t miss. Black Diamond Bike & SUP Rentals provides a fantastic rental experience from start to finish, and it’s right in the downtown area. You can easily take a ride over to the Instagrammable Banff sign, wander over to Vermilion Lakes for some gorgeous views.

Vermilion Lakes (©Melanie Lee)
Vermilion Lakes (©Melanie Lee)

If you’re really experienced and comfortable with a long ride, you can continue on to Bow Valley Parkway which runs all the way to Johnston Canyon and even Lake Louise. Make sure to bring lots of water, some sunblock, and bear spray, since the bears are out and about for the season.

Vermilion Lakes (©Melanie Lee)
Vermilion Lakes (©Melanie Lee)

Exploring Lake Minnewanka

Getting out on the water is a must-do in Banff National Park—after all, there are so many stunning lakes surrounding the area, it would be a shame not to explore at least one! The Lake Minnewanka Cruise includes a free Roam Transit pass that will take you to and from downtown Banff to the lake, so you don’t have to worry about parking or transportation.

Lake Minnewanka Cruise (©Mike Seehagel)
Lake Minnewanka Cruise (©Mike Seehagel)

There are various cruise options throughout the summer months, including the Beer Voyage (for guests 18+ only and including a selection of craft beers) and a family-friendly Junior Explorer Cruise (one free child ages 6-15 for each paid adult ticket). Cruises range from an hour to an hour and a half, depending on your selection, and allow visitors the chance to get up close with the landscape and possibly even local wildlife.

Lake Minnewanka Cruise (©Mike Seehagel)
Lake Minnewanka Cruise (©Mike Seehagel)

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