Banff
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Banff History & Heritage

Banff: Banff Gondola Admission Ticket

1. Banff: Banff Gondola Admission Ticket

Climb aboard this iconic 4-person gondola cabin with large windows and relax. During the 8-minute ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, take in the views of the town of Banff, Bow Valley, and six different mountain ranges. While on the mountain's peak, be amazed by 360-degree views. Explore the interactive Above Banff Interpretative Center to learn about the early explorers, wildlife, and local area. Hike across the Sulphur Mountain boardwalk to explore the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station, a National Historic Site. Then stop at the coffee shops, restaurants, and gift shops.

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Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

2. Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Start with pickup from Banff and travel in a modern minibus along the Bow Valley Parkway to the Canyon. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the moderate 2.7 kilometer hike with 135 meter elevation to the Upper Falls. Walk along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way you'll learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed and stop at the Lower Falls, where you'll have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view. At the Upper Falls, enjoy a brief stop on the upper deck with a small refreshment break to enjoy the views. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. Once you've finished your hot chocolate, hike back down and your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

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From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

3. From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

Enjoy the drive from Banff in a modern minibus after your friendly guide picks you up from the meeting point. Keep your eyes peeled for animals such as deer, elk, and bears as you drive along scenic, winding Bow Valley Parkway. Your guide will share stories on Banff National Park, its history and the local animals on the way. Arrive at iconic Lake Louise after a scenic stop along the Bow Valley Parkway to admire the views of Castle Mountain. Your 30-minute visit at the lake gives you plenty of time to wander the famous shoreline, take photos of the lake against the backdrop of the mountains and Victoria Glacier, and admire the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel. Next, your guide will take you to Moraine Lake, set in the rugged Valley of the Ten Peaks with waterfalls and rock piles. Enjoy a short guided walk to the famous Valley of the Ten Peaks viewpoint, or relax and take in the lake from the shoreline. After a 30-minute stop here, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

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Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

4. Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River on a family-friendly canoe tour. Get ready to be amazed by extraordinary views of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies around you. This sightseeing tour is perfect for the whole family and doesn't require any previous experience. Meet at the Banff Canoe Club, just a 5-minute walk from downtown Banff. As you journey upstream, your expert guide will entertain you with stories of the past, history of canoeing, and interesting local facts. Admire the scenery around you, while learning how to paddle as a team. After 1 and a half hours of fun, enjoy a complimentary, refreshing lemonade on the shore.

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Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

5. Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

Hike up through Johnston's Canyon on walkways extended into the canyon. Enjoy beautiful views while passing waterfalls or icefalls, depending on the time of year. Walk through the home of the migratory and endangered Black Swift. Learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the Canadian Rockies. After hiking through the canyon enjoy the quiet hum of the forest before arriving at a cool spring, the Ink Pots, with great views of Mt. Ishbel. Enjoy some time to relax at the Ink Pots before returning back to the carpark.

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Calgary to Lake Louise: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

6. Calgary to Lake Louise: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Follow your audio tour guide along the Trans-Canada Highway 1, one of the most exciting drives in Alberta. Start anywhere along the route between Calgary and Lake Louise. Starting points also include Sunshine Ski Resort & Nakiska. The tour experience is the same in any direction. Learn about the discovery of the Banff Hot Springs and admire the beauty of Banff National Park. Hear about Kananaskis Country and other sights at your own pace. With no time constraints, enjoy the freedom to stop anywhere and take your time exploring. Entertaining audio clips will play automatically as you drive using a live GPS map, and no data is used during the tour. Enjoy a fun audio tour with information and trivia to keep the whole family laughing and engaged along the way. Each point of interest along the way has a multiple-choice trivia question about the sights. Keep score and learn plenty of interesting facts along the route.

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Banff: Eat the Castle Food Experience at Banff Springs Hotel

7. Banff: Eat the Castle Food Experience at Banff Springs Hotel

Meet your guide inside the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and begin with a welcome tasting with all in-house prepared breads, meats and preserves plus a beverage pairing. Take a tour the greenhouse or micro-greenery, and mingle with the culinary team as you go behind-the-scenes to learn some pastry arts. Head to a closed to the public dining room for a formal sit down seafood and wine pairing. Meander the hallways to learn about history, art and architecture with your storytelling guide. Cozy up in the wine cellar for a private tasting and food pairing.  Access the photo archives to get a glimpse into Banff as it used to be. Receive a special parting gift and get tips on other great things to do in the area.

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Banff: City Highlights Smartphone Audio Walking Tour

8. Banff: City Highlights Smartphone Audio Walking Tour

Enjoy listening to the history and culture of Banff on an audio-guided tour. Chart your own course using the GPS map and find out where to find the towns statues, sculptures, and murals. Dive into the story of Banff as you explore the historic downtown. Find out the story of how the town was founded. Challenge yourself with a location-based trivia game at sites like the riverside Banff Central Park or the historic Victorian-style home at the Luxton Home Museum.  Have the freedom to explore sights at your own pace. Pause and resume your tour at anytime. Learn about the buildings, sculptures, surrounding mountains, and parks that have played a role in the town’s history.

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Banff: Marble Canyon Snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park

9. Banff: Marble Canyon Snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park

This is an excellent trip for beginners as it covers mainly flat terrain with minimal elevation gain, and also suits anyone wanting a pleasant activity outdoors in the majestic Kootenay National Park. Your guide will pick you up from Banff in a modern minibus and take you along Highway 93 South, a scenic drive that takes you into Kootenay National Park. On arrival at the Marble Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on snowshoes over your winter boots, as well as give you an introduction on the art of snowshoeing. To start the tour, you'll hike along the bridges around Marble Canyon’s 40-meters deep gorge, worn away over centuries by the rushing waters of Tokumn Creek. Look down over the railings at the frozen falls below. Then, take a 3 kilometre winter walk along the nearby trails and search for snowshoe hare, moose and wolf tracks while exploring how the landscape is changing and animals are adapting. After this crisp winter walk, enjoy hot chocolate and a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert. At the end of your  adventure, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at the meeting point or your hotel.

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From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

10. From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

Once your guide has picked you up from the meeting point, take a scenic drive in a modern minibus along Highway 93 South from Banff into the neighboring Kootenay National Park. Upon arrival at the Paint Pots trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on snowshoes over your winter boots and give you an introduction to the art of snowshoeing. Then, start down the easy 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) winding forest trail, perfect for beginners as it covers a mainly flat terrain with minimal elevation gain. Cross a bridge over the frozen Vermilion River to the fascinating Paint Pots, mineral deposits once used by First Nations people for rock painting. As you explore this cultural treasure within the Kootenay National Park, learn about the history of the fur trade with your guide. Throughout your snowshoeing tour, hear stories of Banff’s indigenous people, explorers, and fur traders who lived in and traveled through the Rockies. After the crisp winter walk, enjoy hot chocolate and a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert. What's more, try a crazy carpet slide down the hill while the maple taffy is being made - kids and adults alike love this part of the tour! After your snowshoeing adventure, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Banff

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What people are saying about Banff

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 8 reviews

We really enjoyed this day! Obviously exciting going up to the top of the mountain in a gondola, but all the extra fun Christmas things they had was amazing! Santa was there, cookie decorating and ornament making. Cool Christmas cartoon and frozen maple treats. We walked the boardwalk and went all the way up to the top of Samson Peak. Breath taking views! My husband and both daughters (aged 9 & 15) really enjoyed this day. Amazing gift shop and also Starbucks service was great. Staff was very welcoming. Totally worth it!

What a wonderful way to start our morning! There was 5 of us which included to 16 year olds and an 18 year old and they also loved it! Andrew was our guide and what an asset to that team he is funny, informative and made the tour even better! Definitely suggest booking this, and the morning as it’s much quieter.

There was a delay with the extreme cold. However, when they got going, we were guaranteed first priority for boarding according to our booked time.

Amazing views and wonderful staff, definitely worth it and will go again!

Great Food, Great drinks, Great value. Tracy was awesome.