2 - 3 Hours
One Per Car
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Banff Tour
Discover Banff’s breathtaking beauty and natural splendor with our self-guided driving tour! Set in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff offers stunning vistas, crystal clear lakes, and wildlife encounters. Navigate the scenic routes of this captivating mountain town at your own pace, and see the famous Bow Falls, Banff Springs Hotel, and Sulphur Mountain.
About the Tour
Your Banff Tour starts in the heart of the Banff Townsite. From there, you’ll meander along the Bow River towards the mighty Bow Falls, a natural spectacle you’ll remember forever. Hear the fascinating stories of its early inhabitants and the geological forces that shaped it.
Next, you’ll head towards the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, the “Castle in the Rockies.” Learn about its rich history, spanning over a century, and how it became a symbol of Banff National Park.
From there, take a leisurely drive along Banff Avenue, the main street in the town, which offers a plethora of restaurants, shops, and galleries set against the stunning backdrop of Cascade Mountain. The tour will share tales of Banff’s beginnings and its transformation into the bustling town it is today.
As you continue your drive, you’ll reach the Banff Gondola at the base of Sulphur Mountain. Here, you can choose to embark on a gondola ride (ticket not included) to the summit of the mountain for breathtaking panoramic views of the Banff Townsite and the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rockies.
Journey next to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, the birthplace of Canada’s national park system. Discover the natural hot mineral springs that led to the creation of Banff National Park, and hear tales of cultural significance to indigenous people.
Your tour will take you past Vermilion Lakes, a perfect spot for wildlife sightings. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, deer, and even bears! Hear stories of the area’s diverse wildlife and the intricate balance of the mountain ecosystem.
Return to the heart of Banff Townsite as your tour comes full circle. The tour concludes here, leaving you with unforgettable memories of this unique mountain town’s natural wonders and rich history.
Where to start?
Start your tour from 224 Banff Ave., Banff, AB T1L 1B3, Canada
How does it work?
- Once you book a tour, you’ll get a text/email with instructions.
- Download the app (while in good wifi/signal) and use your unique password to access your tours.
- To begin touring, go to the starting point and launch the app.
- The audio starts automatically once you reach the starting point. Stick to the tour route & speed limit for the best experience.
- Please note that no one will meet you at the starting point.
What You'll See
Surprise Corner Viewpoint
First Nations or Native Americans
Kiguli Pithouses of Banff
Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr
The Stoney People
The Lake Minnewanka Monster
The Abandoned Mining Site
Chinese Workers of Bankhead
Fire and Flood
Mount Norquay Lookout
Preview The Tour
The tour starts in the heart of the Banff Townsite.
The tour features Bow Falls, a natural spectacle, and shares stories about its early inhabitants and the geological forces that shaped it.
The tour includes the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, also known as the “Castle in the Rockies,” and shares its rich history spanning over a century.
The tour includes Sulphur Mountain, and visitors have the option to embark on a gondola ride (ticket not included) to the summit for panoramic views of Banff Townsite and the Canadian Rockies.
Banff Avenue is the main street in the town of Banff, and the tour highlights its restaurants, shops, and galleries, providing insights into Banff’s beginnings and transformation into a bustling town.
The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is the birthplace of Canada’s national park system. It features natural hot mineral springs that led to the creation of Banff National Park and shares stories of cultural significance to indigenous people.
Visitors can spot wildlife at Vermilion Lakes, and animals like elk, deer, and bears might be encountered. The tour provides stories about the area’s diverse wildlife and the mountain ecosystem.
The tour meanders along the Bow River, and it is significant for its role in shaping the landscape and early history of Banff.
The natural hot mineral springs at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site played a pivotal role in the creation of Banff National Park.
Must-see attractions in Banff National Park include Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake, Johnston Canyon, and the Columbia Icefield.
The Icefields Parkway is approximately 232 kilometers (144 miles) long, and it typically takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to drive without stops. However, with stops at viewpoints and attractions, it can take a full day or more to enjoy fully.
The best time to visit Banff and the Icefields Parkway is during the summer months (June to August) for pleasant weather and access to hiking trails. Fall (September to October) is also beautiful with colorful foliage. Winter (December to February) is ideal for winter sports.
Yes, you can see several glaciers along the Icefields Parkway, including the famous Athabasca Glacier. The Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre offers guided tours to the Athabasca Glacier.
Banff Townsite is situated at an elevation of approximately 1,383 meters (4,537 feet) above sea level. The elevation along the Icefields Parkway varies, with some areas reaching over 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) above sea level.
Yes, Banff and the Icefields Parkway offer excellent opportunities for stargazing due to their remote locations with minimal light pollution. The Jasper Dark Sky Preserve along the parkway is renowned for its stargazing experiences.
Inclusions and Exclusions
- App on your phone: A link to download the Action Tour Guide App and Password for your tours.
- Flexible schedule: Use any day, any time. Travel over multiple days or on next trip. Never expires.
- Easy to use: Stories play automatically by GPS. Hands-free. Get HELP all day: Call, Chat, or Email.
- At your own pace: No group. Take breaks for photos/ snacks/hikes. Go at your own pace.
- Offline use: No cell signal or wifi required. Offline GPS Map & route. Stop-to-stop direction.
- Don’t miss a thing: Full itinerary, travel tips, professionally narrated videos, text, and hidden gems.
- Transportation, parking fees, food, and drinks.
- Entry tickets or reservations to any attractions along the route.
- Car Rental: Please arrange a rental car at the closest airport or train station.