- 2. Eat and drink.
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- How you can prepare
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Plan to visit Banff in June for a good chance to see wildlife. Cruise this road at dawn or dusk for a chance to spot bears, deer and moose, but always stay in your car, never ever get out to see these wild animals up close. If you really want to guarantee wildlife viewing, head to Radium Hot Springs 1. If you want to guarantee seeing some bears and other wildlife, you can go on a full day grizzly bear tour. As you get deeper into June and throughout July and August, the tops of the mountains will be dry with little snow on top, like the photo above taken in July.
As far as accommodations go, July and August will be the most expensive time of year to stay in a hotel in Banff. Your best value option is the Inns of Banff , which is one of the least expensive options. My next choice is the Banff Ptarmigan Inn. If you want a unique place to stay in Banff, try camping in a luxury canvas tent. Fall is a beautiful time of year to visit Banff. The leaves will be at their maximum color change sometime between mid-September and mid October. You will likely get epic scenery of the copper, orange, red and yellow leaves as a backdrop to the turquoise lakes and icy blue glacier rivers.
These are the coveted golden larches that make the Banff fall colors so famous.
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- When is the Best Time to Visit Banff??
In Banff, the weather in October can vary between being crisp and chilly yet comfortable, or downright frigid. It really depends on the year.
A pair of cute winter boots are a must! Banff in October is a perfect time to visit.
2. Eat and drink.
The end of summer crowds have left, the weather can still be very pleasant. Many of the summer attractions will likely be closed by the Canadian thanksgiving holiday which is always the 2nd Monday in October. Because the summer attractions are closed for the season and the ski hills not yet open, you will find that Banff is not very busy in October. So if you want a quiet holiday to do some hiking, photography and leisurely sightseeing around town, October is a great time to go to Banff.
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Wildlife viewing is still possible in the fall, many people have success heading to Lake Minnewanka to catch elk roaming around. As far as things to do in Banff if you visit in the Fall, this is the best time of year for hiking and photography to see the gold and copper colors. Winter offers a whole new experience and perspective in Banff. Snow capped mountains are postcard perfect, and nothing is more magical than waking up to a fresh blanket of snow with chunky snowflakes still gently falling out your window. Winter in Banff offers a whole new set of things to do like viewing f rozen waterfalls , dog sledding , ice skating and skiing and snowboarding.
Most of the lakes freeze in the winter time including Lake Louise. Soon after the lakes freeze, they get covered with snow. You can check the webcam at the Chateau Lake Louise for live conditions. The hotel staff clears the snow off for ice skating and you can rent skates on site as well. The National Parks service closes the road from early-November to March or April due to high avalanche potential in the area.
Flowers blooming in Field, BC Canada | Flowers, Yoho national park, Bloom
There are some more popular trails though that are safe and usually well-packed down. The loop around Lake Louise is always nice, and definitely head to the Fairmont Lookout. Johnston Canyon is a light hike and is awesome and well worth it in the winter, but you absolutely need ice cleats as the trail descends down hill on the way in and is always pure ice.
The Christmas season in Banff oozes holiday magic! Book your accommodations well in advance, as prices will be a little higher than normal during this 2-week period. Perhaps one of the most beautiful and most sought after sights in the mountains is the northern lights. Head to Vermilion Lakes or Lake Minnewanka for the least light pollution to view them better.
And you can sign up for email alerts or check the Aurora Watch website, which is run by the University of Alberta and predicts the possibility of catching the Aurora Borealis each night. Keep in mind that in the winter it also gets dark around 5pm, so be sure to plan your daytime activities accordingly.
How you can prepare
My favorite place to stay in Banff in the Winter is at the Moose Hotel. The rooftop hot tub is incredible here! The photos below are when I visited on the first weekend of May. The start of the day was pleasant and sunny, but by the end of the evening it was cold and snowy. We appreciate your understanding and support! Better than a gift card, send smiles twice! We are now offering Gift Now, Deliver Later , so you can still send a gift for your loved one during this time.
Thanks for supporting our local business during this time!
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Cascade Gardens, Banff: Address, Cascade Gardens Reviews: 4/5
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