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Where To Stay On A 7-Day Trip To Banff


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Lucky Lerma



Canada is home to many breathtaking destinations, but one place that truly stands out is Banff National Park. Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Banff offers a unique blend of stunning natural beauty, outdoor activities, and charming mountain town vibes. With its rugged landscapes, turquoise lakes, and towering peaks, Banff is a dream destination for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and photographers.


If you’re planning a 7-day trip to Banff, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. This itinerary will guide you through the must-see sights and activities, ensuring that you make the most of your time in this incredible national park.


From the moment you arrive in Banff, you’ll be greeted by awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains and the charming town nestled at their feet. Banff Town, the gateway to the national park, offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. Whether you prefer a cozy mountain lodge, a luxury resort, or a budget-friendly hostel, Banff Town has it all.


As you embark on your 7-day adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to explore iconic locations such as Lake Louise, known for its dazzling blue waters and majestic Victoria Glacier. Moraine Lake, another gem of Banff, offers a similar breathtaking experience. The stunning turquoise waters surrounded by towering mountains create a scene that seems straight out of a postcard.


For those seeking a bit of adventure, a hike to Johnston Canyon is a must. Its picturesque waterfalls and dramatic rock formations make it a popular spot for photographers and nature lovers. If you’re visiting during the winter months, you can even explore the frozen waterfalls during an ice walk.


To experience the thrill of skiing or snowboarding, a visit to Sunshine Village is highly recommended. This ski resort offers some of the best slopes and breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Even in the summer, Sunshine Village transforms into a hiker’s paradise with stunning trails and scenic vistas.


During your 7-day journey, make sure to explore the scenic Bow Valley Parkway. This scenic drive offers numerous viewpoints and opportunities to spot wildlife, so keep your camera ready. And don’t forget to make time for relaxation and rejuvenation in the local hot springs, where you can soak in the warm mineral waters and enjoy a peaceful break from your adventures.


As your trip comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had in Banff National Park. From the awe-inspiring natural beauty to the wide range of outdoor activities, Banff truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a serene escape, Banff will leave you with lasting memories and a yearning to return.


So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable 7-day journey through the stunning landscapes of Banff National Park. Your adventure awaits!


Day 1: Banff Town

Welcome to Banff! Your 7-day trip begins in the charming town of Banff, the perfect place to start your adventure in Banff National Park. The town is nestled in the heart of the Rockies, surrounded by magnificent peaks and stunning natural beauty.


Start your day with a hearty breakfast at one of the local cafes or restaurants in Banff Town. Fuel up for the day ahead, as you’ll have plenty of activities to explore. After breakfast, take a stroll down Banff Avenue, the main street in town. Here you’ll find a variety of boutique shops, art galleries, and souvenir stores.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Banff Park Museum is a must. Established in 1895, it’s Canada’s oldest national park museum. The museum showcases a wide range of exhibits that highlight the natural history of the area, including wildlife specimens and indigenous artifacts.


After soaking in the history and culture, it’s time to get outdoors and experience the natural beauty of Banff. Take a short drive to the Banff Gondola, where you’ll be whisked to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Banff, the surrounding mountains, and the Bow Valley.


Once you’ve taken in the stunning vistas from the top of Sulphur Mountain, embark on a hike to the nearby Bow Falls. This picturesque waterfall is easily accessible and offers a tranquil setting to relax and enjoy the soothing sound of rushing water.


In the afternoon, head to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, where Banff National Park was first established. Explore the exhibits and learn about the history of the area, including the hot springs that attracted early visitors to Banff.


As evening approaches, it’s time to unwind and enjoy the vibrant dining scene in Banff. Indulge in a delicious dinner at one of the many local restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines to satisfy every palate. After dinner, take a leisurely stroll along the Bow River, taking in the peaceful ambiance and beautiful scenery.


End your day by treating yourself to a relaxing soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Immerse yourself in the warm mineral water while soaking up the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. It’s the perfect way to end your first day in Banff, rejuvenating your body and preparing for the adventures to come.


After a day filled with exploration and relaxation, head back to your accommodation in Banff Town and rest up for Day 2, which will take you to the stunning Lake Louise.


Day 2: Lake Louise

Day 2 of your 7-day trip brings you to the iconic Lake Louise, one of the most stunning and recognizable destinations in Banff National Park. Prepare to be captivated by the turquoise waters and breathtaking mountain backdrop that have made Lake Louise a favorite among travelers and photographers.


Begin your day with an early start to beat the crowds and experience the tranquility of Lake Louise at its finest. Take a short drive from Banff Town to reach the parking lot near the lake. As you approach, you’ll be greeted by the awe-inspiring sight of the pristine lake nestled at the base of towering peaks.


Spend some time exploring the shoreline of Lake Louise, taking in its beauty from different angles. Admire the vivid turquoise color of the water, which is a result of the rock flour suspended in the lake. Marvel at the towering glaciers and snow-capped mountains that frame the lake, including the stunning Victoria Glacier.


For a more intimate experience, consider renting a canoe and paddling across the serene waters of Lake Louise. The tranquility of the surroundings combined with the breathtaking views will create a memory that lasts a lifetime.


If you’re up for a hike, take the opportunity to explore the nearby trails. The Lake Agnes Tea House hike is a popular option, offering stunning views of Lake Louise and the surrounding mountains. Reward yourself with a well-deserved break at the tea house and enjoy a hot cup of tea while soaking in the beautiful scenery.


For those seeking a more challenging adventure, consider hiking up to the Plain of Six Glaciers. This longer hike rewards you with panoramic views of the surrounding glaciers and mountains. Be prepared for a strenuous trek, but the vistas and sense of accomplishment make it well worth the effort.


After your outdoor adventures, take some time to relax and have lunch at one of the charming restaurants near Lake Louise. Indulge in a delicious meal while enjoying the picturesque views.


In the afternoon, continue your exploration by visiting the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This renowned hotel offers stunning views of the lake and is a great place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or a refreshing cocktail. Take a leisurely stroll through the hotel grounds, and don’t forget to snap some photos of this iconic landmark.


As the sun begins to set, prepare to be amazed by the magic of Lake Louise at golden hour. The mountains and the lake take on a warm glow, creating a truly mesmerizing scene. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife wandering near the shoreline.


As the day comes to an end, bid farewell to Lake Louise and head back to your accommodation in Banff Town. Reflect on the beauty and serenity you experienced at Lake Louise, and get ready for Day 3, which will take you to the equally enchanting Moraine Lake.


Day 3: Moraine Lake

On Day 3 of your 7-day trip, get ready to be mesmerized by the enchanting beauty of Moraine Lake. Known for its vivid turquoise waters and towering mountain peaks, Moraine Lake is often considered one of the most breathtaking destinations in Banff National Park.


Start your day by making the scenic drive from Banff Town to Moraine Lake. Be sure to arrive early, as this popular destination tends to get crowded later in the day. The drive itself offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, adding to the anticipation of what awaits you at the end of the road.


Upon arrival, take a moment to soak in the panoramic vistas of Moraine Lake. The brilliant turquoise color of the water, surrounded by the majestic Valley of the Ten Peaks, creates a scene that seems almost unreal. Capture the astounding beauty in your photographs, but also take the time to simply embrace and appreciate the awe-inspiring surroundings.


Embark on a leisurely hike along the lakeshore to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of Moraine Lake. The Rockpile Trail is a short and easy option that offers a rewarding view of the lake from above. Climb the staircase to the top, where you’ll be treated to a breathtaking vista that showcases the vivid colors of the lake against the backdrop of the majestic peaks.


For a more challenging hike, consider exploring the trails that lead deeper into the Valley of the Ten Peaks. The Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass hike offers stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges, alpine meadows, and, if you’re lucky, vibrant fall foliage during autumn.


After working up an appetite, enjoy a picnic lunch by the lakeshore or treat yourself to a meal at the Moraine Lake Lodge. Indulge in a delicious meal while savoring the panoramic views of the lake and surrounding wilderness.


If you’re up for more adventure, consider renting a kayak or canoe to explore the crystal-clear waters of Moraine Lake. Paddle across the lake and take in the towering mountains from a different perspective. Whether you choose to explore on foot or by water, Moraine Lake offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.


Before bidding farewell to Moraine Lake, make sure to capture one last glimpse of the stunning landscape. As the sun begins to set, the golden hour casts a warm glow on the mountains and illuminates the turquoise water, creating a scene of unparalleled beauty.


As your day at Moraine Lake comes to an end, make your way back to Banff Town, feeling grateful for the natural wonders you’ve been fortunate enough to witness. Reflect on the magical experiences at Moraine Lake and get ready for Day 4, which will take you to the enchanting Johnston Canyon.


Day 4: Johnston Canyon

Day 4 of your 7-day trip brings you to the breathtaking Johnston Canyon, a natural marvel that showcases the beauty and power of water. Located in Banff National Park, Johnston Canyon is famous for its stunning waterfalls, striking rock formations, and picturesque hiking trails.


Start your day by driving to Johnston Canyon, which is easily accessible from Banff Town. As you arrive at the parking lot, you’ll be greeted by the sound of rushing water and the fresh scent of the surrounding pine trees.


Begin your hike along the well-maintained trail that follows the course of Johnston Creek. Winding through a narrow canyon, the path provides an immersive experience, with the rushing water on one side and towering rock walls on the other.


The Lower Falls will be your first stop on the hike. Marvel at the power of the water as it cascades over the limestone cliffs, creating a captivating spectacle. Take your time to capture photos and soak in the natural beauty.


Continue your journey deeper into the canyon as you make your way towards the Upper Falls. The trail meanders through a series of catwalks and offers stunning viewpoints of the canyon and the creek below. Keep an eye out for unique rock formations, such as the Ink Pots, which are a set of small, vibrant blue-green mineral pools.


As you reach the Upper Falls, prepare to be awed by the sheer scale and beauty of the waterfall. The water plunges into a deep pool, creating a mesmerizing display of nature’s power. Take a moment to appreciate the sight and feel the mist on your face.


For a more adventurous experience, during the winter months, you can join a guided ice walk to explore the frozen falls and ice formations. Equipped with ice cleats, you’ll find yourself walking on a winter wonderland of frozen beauty. It’s a truly unique experience that allows you to witness Johnston Canyon in a completely different light.


After your hike, replenish your energy by enjoying a packed lunch amidst the natural splendor. Find a scenic spot to rest and reflect on the remarkable sights you’ve witnessed.


As you make your way back along the trail, take the time to appreciate the tranquility of the canyon. The sound of rushing water and the gentle rustling of the trees create a peaceful ambiance that will leave a lasting impression.


Before leaving Johnston Canyon, don’t forget to visit the gift shop, where you can find unique souvenirs and mementos to commemorate your visit.


As the day comes to an end, head back to your accommodation in Banff Town, reflecting on the beauty and power of Johnston Canyon. Get ready for Day 5, which will take you to the picturesque Sunshine Village, known for its thrilling winter sports and stunning summer landscapes.


Day 5: Sunshine Village

Day 5 of your 7-day trip takes you to the remarkable Sunshine Village, an all-season destination nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter, as well as its breathtaking hiking and scenic beauty in the summer, Sunshine Village offers an unforgettable mountain experience.


Start your day by driving from Banff Town to Sunshine Village. As you ascend to higher elevations, you’ll be greeted by panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, hinting at the adventures that await you.


If you’re visiting during the winter months, strap on your skis or snowboard and hit the slopes. Sunshine Village boasts over 3,300 acres of skiable terrain and receives abundant snowfall, ensuring a thrilling experience for winter sports enthusiasts of all levels. Enjoy spectacular views as you carve through the fresh powder, with the towering peaks as your backdrop.


If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your cup of tea, fear not. Sunshine Village also offers a range of winter activities, such as snowshoeing, tubing, and even a sightseeing gondola ride for those who prefer to take in the stunning scenery without hitting the slopes.


If you’re visiting during the summer months, Sunshine Village transforms into a hiker’s paradise. Lace up your hiking shoes and explore the network of trails that wind through wildflower-filled meadows, alpine ridges, and breathtaking vistas. The Sunshine Meadows hike is a popular choice, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and a chance to witness the vibrant colors of the alpine meadows.


Take a break from your outdoor adventures and enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the on-mountain restaurants. Savor a hot meal while soaking in the mountain views and enjoying the crisp alpine air.


After refueling, continue to explore Sunshine Village and take advantage of the endless activities available. If you’re visiting during the summer, consider renting a mountain bike and tackling the thrilling downhill trails, or test your skills at the high ropes course. Adrenaline seekers can also try their hand at zip-lining, experiencing the rush of soaring through the mountains.


As the day comes to an end, soak in the last moments of Sunshine Village’s beauty. Capture the scenic vistas in photographs, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had throughout the day.


Before leaving Sunshine Village, be sure to stop by the village’s amenities, such as shops and cafes, where you can find unique souvenirs and enjoy a warm beverage to end your day on a cozy note.


As you make your way back to Banff Town, cherish the memories created at Sunshine Village and prepare for Day 6, which will take you along the picturesque Bow Valley Parkway, filled with wildlife-spotting opportunities and scenic viewpoints.


Day 6: Bow Valley Parkway

Day 6 of your 7-day trip invites you to explore the scenic wonders of the Bow Valley Parkway. This picturesque highway stretches for 51 kilometers from Banff to Lake Louise, offering breathtaking views, wildlife sightings, and numerous recreational opportunities.


Start your day by driving from Banff Town to the beginning of Bow Valley Parkway. As you make your way along this scenic route, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as elk, deer, and even the occasional bear. Be sure to drive cautiously and adhere to any wildlife viewing guidelines to ensure a safe and respectful experience.


As you journey along the parkway, make stops at various viewpoints to admire the stunning mountain vistas. Peyto Lake Viewpoint is a must-visit, offering a panoramic view of the turquoise Peyto Lake nestled in the valley below. The stunning colors of the lake and surrounding peaks make it a photographer’s dream.


Continue driving along the parkway and make a stop at Johnston Canyon if you haven’t already visited on a previous day. The canyon offers another opportunity to witness the power of water as it carves through the limestone walls, creating dramatic waterfalls and stunning rock formations.


For those seeking a leisurely hike, the Bow Valley Parkway offers several accessible trails that cater to all skill levels. The Johnston Canyon Trail to the Ink Pots is a popular option, providing unique geological features and vibrant blue-green mineral pools at the end of the trail.


Enjoy a packed lunch amidst the beauty of the Bow Valley Parkway. Find a scenic picnic spot or utilize one of the designated picnic areas along the route. Take the time to connect with nature and appreciate the peaceful ambiance of the parkway.


Continue your journey along the parkway, making stops at viewpoints such as Morant’s Curve. This iconic spot offers an ideal vantage point to photograph the train tracks curving through the valley with stunning mountain scenery in the background.


As you near the end of the Bow Valley Parkway, make a visit to the charming village of Lake Louise. Explore the quaint shops, indulge in a sweet treat or a cup of coffee at one of the local cafes, or simply bask in the serene beauty of Lake Louise itself.


End your day by heading back to your accommodation in Banff Town, reflecting on the peaceful serenity and captivating beauty of the Bow Valley Parkway. Prepare for your final day of adventure in Banff National Park, which will be spent exploring the diverse wonders of the park itself.


Day 7: Banff National Park

On the final day of your 7-day trip, take the time to immerse yourself in the diverse wonders of Banff National Park. As you explore the park, you’ll realize why it has captured the hearts of travelers from around the world, with its majestic landscapes, abundant wildlife, and endless opportunities for adventure.


Begin your day by visiting the stunning Vermilion Lakes, located just outside of Banff Town. This series of lakes offers breathtaking views of Mount Rundle, especially during sunrise and sunset. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, capturing the mirror-like reflections and enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings.


Next, head to one of the park’s most iconic destinations, the Banff Park Museum National Historic Site. Step back in time as you explore the exhibits, which showcase a wide array of preserved specimens and artifacts from the park’s natural and cultural history.


Continuing your journey, make your way to the Banff National Park Visitor Centre. Here, you can gather information about the park’s trails, wildlife, and current conditions. The knowledgeable staff can provide guidance on the best hikes, viewpoints, and activities based on your interests and the current weather conditions.


Venture deeper into the park and embark on a hike that suits your fitness level and interests. From the scenic Tunnel Mountain hike for panoramic views of the Bow Valley, to the more strenuous Sulphur Mountain trail that rewards you with breathtaking vistas from the summit, there’s a hike for everyone in Banff National Park.


While exploring the park, keep an eye out for wildlife that call Banff home. Spotting a majestic elk, a curious deer, or even a shy bear is always an exhilarating experience. Remember to maintain a safe distance and respect their natural habitat.


After a day of adventuring, take the time to relax and unwind in one of the park’s natural hot springs. The Banff Upper Hot Springs or the Radium Hot Springs offer a soothing soak in mineral-rich waters while surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.


To end your trip on a high note, indulge in a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants in Banff Town. Savour the flavors of the region, from hearty Canadian cuisine to international fare.


As you reflect on your journey through Banff National Park, cherish the memories you’ve created and the natural beauty you’ve witnessed. Banff’s remarkable landscapes, diverse wildlife, and thrilling adventures will leave a lasting impression in your heart.


As your 7-day trip comes to an end, bid farewell to Banff, knowing that you’ve experienced the best that this incredible national park has to offer. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty, serenity, and awe-inspiring nature that make Banff National Park a true Canadian gem.



As your 7-day journey through Banff, Canada’s awe-inspiring national park, comes to an end, you can’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for the unforgettable experiences and breathtaking beauty that you’ve encountered along the way. From exploring the charming town of Banff, to witnessing the turquoise wonders of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, to adventuring through Johnston Canyon, Sunshine Village, the Bow Valley Parkway, and the heart of Banff National Park itself, each day has been filled with awe-inspiring landscapes and remarkable encounters.


You’ve witnessed the power of water as it flows through Johnston Canyon and cascades down waterfalls, and marveled at the stunning colors of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake that seem to defy imagination. You’ve embraced the thrill of skiing down snowy slopes in Sunshine Village and reveled in the tranquility of hiking through alpine meadows. Along the scenic Bow Valley Parkway, you’ve glimpsed wildlife, captured awe-inspiring vistas, and appreciated the serenity of the park’s natural wonders.


Throughout your journey, you’ve encountered the diverse wildlife that calls Banff home, from grazing elk to curious deer. You’ve learned about the rich history and cultural heritage of the park through visits to the Banff Park Museum and the Banff National Park Visitor Centre. And you’ve relished moments of relaxation and rejuvenation in the park’s natural hot springs.


As you bid farewell to Banff, you realize that this Canadian gem has left an indelible mark on your heart. The memories of stunning landscapes, thrilling adventures, and peaceful moments will forever be cherished. Banff National Park showcases the sheer beauty and raw power of nature, reminding us of our connection to the natural world and the need to preserve and protect it.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or simply a place to reconnect with nature, Banff offers it all. From its charming town to its world-renowned lakes, canyons, and mountain peaks, Banff National Park is a destination that beckons all who yearn for exploration and an escape from the ordinary.


So, as you reflect on your 7-day journey through Banff, take a moment to appreciate the incredible beauty, serenity, and adventure that you’ve experienced. Carry these memories with you, and perhaps one day, you’ll feel compelled to return to this remarkable corner of the world, where natural wonders and outdoor adventures await at every turn.