According to neovideogames, Banff National Park is Canada’s first park, established in 1885. Located in the province of Alberta, about 110 kilometers from Calgary, it is also considered the largest national park in Canada and one of the largest in the entire world.
In order to enter the park, you need to buy a ticket. An adult ticket for one day costs 9.80 CAD, children under 17 years old are free. In addition, there are tickets valid all year round.
How to get there
The closest international airport to the park is in Calgary. A little closer is the Springbank airport – 80 kilometers from the park – but only domestic flights arrive at it. There is also an airport in the park itself, in the city of Banff, but passenger planes do not land there. See andyeducation for North America.
Approximately an hour and a half to the park, you can drive from Calgary along Highway 1. Highway 11 can be reached from Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer, and Highway 93 from Radium Hot Springs and Cranbrook.
Greyhound and Brewster buses leave regularly from Calgary, as well as from many cities in British Columbia. In addition, you can book an excursion to Banff Park and get to it on a sightseeing bus. Most of these excursions are in Calgary and Vancouver.
To get around the park, you will need a car, which you can rent in Calgary, Banff or Lake Louise. Alternatively, you can rent a bike, but be aware that it is quite difficult to ride it in mountainous terrain and it is best not to do so if you have never ridden mountain bikes before. You can also rent a bike in Banff or Lake Louise. And finally, you can rent a moped from Bactrax/Snowtips.
Most of the hotels in the park are located in the city of Banff. At the HI-Banff Alpine Center, rooms start at 32 CAD, and at the Banff Y Mountain Lodge, from 46 CAD for a private room or 22 CAD for a bed in a hostel. Both hotels have a kitchen, laundry and internet.
Banff Ptarmigan Inn and 333 Guest House are located in the heart of the city, close to most shops and restaurants, but the prices for accommodation there are somewhat higher. And if you are not on a budget at all, you can stay at The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, the most luxurious hotel in the entire park.
There are a few fewer hotels on Lake Louise, but if you want to stay there, you can do it. HI-Castle Mountain Wilderness, HI-Lake Louise Alpine Center and HI-Mosquito Creek hostels have hostels that cost 25-30 CAD per night, and the last two have private rooms that start at 70 CAD, in depending on the season. In addition, there is a beautiful upscale hotel Chateau Lake Louise near the lake, but the prices are extremely high.
Almost all local restaurants are also located in Banff. At the Balkan restaurant, owned by a Greek family, you can dilute the beautiful but undeniably cool scenery of the Rocky Mountains with a festive southern atmosphere. And in Wildfire Grill you will be warmed by excellent steaks, reasonable prices and warm service – in addition, the view from the windows there is simply excellent.
The luxurious The Maple Leaf has an extensive wine list and excellent cuisine, and you can find a huge selection of cocktails on the lower floor of the Saltlik Steakhouse. And, since you are in Banff Park, by all means go to Grizzly House – it is unlikely that you will have the opportunity to visit such an original establishment and try the same unusual cuisine soon next time.
Attractions and attractions in Banff
There are two companies in the park that can offer you gondola rides – Banff Gondola and Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola. If you are interested in golf, do not miss the opportunity to play in such a picturesque place. You can do it at The Fairmont Banff Springs, designed by Stanley Thompson, a renowned Canadian golf course architect.
The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is the birthplace of Canada’s first national park. There you can find several hot sulfur springs and a real Canadian bath built in 1887.
And at the Banff Park Museum, you can see many of the region’s animals that hide too well among the trees for you to spot just walking in the park. At Canada Place, you will be introduced to Canadian history, local customs and culture. In addition, it is worth visiting Peyta Lake, which is hardly inferior to Lake Louise in terms of picturesqueness.
Banff Park is also a real find for lovers of skiing and snowboarding. At Sunshine, located eight kilometers west of Banff, you’ll be lifted up to 2,730 meters to see all of British Columbia before descending (CAD 64 for adults and CAD 49 for students). You can also go skiing and snowboarding in Lake Louise and the slightly more budgetary Mount Norquay.
In winter, if you are not used to driving in the snow, use some other means of transportation. If you decide to go deep into the park, do not forget about the possibility of avalanches. Also, never ski or snowboard anywhere except in designated areas.
While attacks by bears and cougars are extremely rare, statistics show that wild animals are the leading cause of injury in national parks. To avoid unpleasant incidents, you need to follow a few simple rules:
- Moose and deer can be just as dangerous as bears or wolves, so stay within 30 meters of them. It’s also better to leave the idea of photographing them up close, even if you’re in the car. The most aggressive are females with small cubs (from May to July) and males during the mating season (from September to November).
- If you see a bear, wolf, coyote or cougar, try to keep a distance of at least 100 meters.
- Sheep are much more friendly, but it’s best to stay at least 10 meters away from them.
- Use binoculars to see animals up close.
- If you decide to get out of the car in a wild roadside part of the park, first look around and wait a bit.
In case some wild animal is already in the immediate vicinity, you should do the following:
- If there are small children near you, pick them up immediately.
- Try to seem bigger, you really are the weight – for example, raise your arms above your head or some large object.
- Don’t turn away from the animal and move slowly. Don’t run and play dead.
- Maintain constant eye contact with the animal, do not look away.
- If the animal continues to approach you, yell, brandish a stick, or throw rocks.
- If the animal does try to attack you, resist. Hit him with a heavy stick or stone.
You can get the most complete information about safety rules directly from the park staff.