Has the worry of leaving your top dog at home hindered your travel plans to Banff National Park? Well, no need to fret. The world-class destination, best known for its dramatic Canadian Rockies scenery and epic lineup of year-round adventure opportunities, is also exceptionally pet-friendly. Whether you prefer roaming back-country trails, getting out on the water, or shopping and patio-hopping, you'll find plenty of pup-approved pursuits awaiting you and your pooch.
Start planning your woof-worthy getaway to Banff National Park with these tail-wagging favourites to eat, stay and play:
Dogs must be leashed on all trails and public areas in Banff National Park. For a short half-hour stroll near downtown, head to Marsh Loop or the creekside Fenland Trail. Both are protected by trees, so great winter options when the wind picks up. If your pooch prefers more of a climb, the Tunnel Mountain Trail will get both your heart rates up. The reward at the top is a breathtaking view of Banff and the surrounding Canadian Rockies scenery.
One of the best ways to exhaust rambunctious energy is at an off-leash park. Bring your buddy to Banff's fenced dog area on Hawk Avenue to roam, run and play. Rumour has it a second off-leash park is coming to town, thanks in part to Banff National Park's many local and visiting pets.
If your pup's a water baby, pack a pet-lifejacket and set off on a paddling adventure. Canoe, kayak and SUP rentals are available in town through the Banff Canoe Club and the Adventure Hub. Or, take a spectacular drive to Lake Louise and paddle amidst a Canadian Rockies paradise. For retail therapy and pooch couture, visit the Banff Dog House on Banff Ave. The pet-friendly shop carries top brands—including Canada Pooch—designed to keep your dog cozy and on-trend. Rocky Mountain Flannel Company is another local find for stylish pet bandanas. The bonus? Sale proceeds go to the Bow Valley SPCA.
Patio-hop your way through Banff's array of pet-friendly restaurants. Fuel up for the day at Wild Flour Bakery. This local favourite is best known for its barista creations, delicious baked goods and signature breakfasts. Your pup will also be impressed with Wild Flour's fresh-made doggy treats—pick up a few extras to help with motivation on the trails. For gourmet pizza, local brews and piled-high nachos, grab a seat at The Bear Street Tavern. If you can't find an open patio table, swing by Good Earth Coffee House in the Elk + Avenue Hotel for grab and go soups, sandwiches and salad bowls, and have a picnic in the park.
Securing pet-friendly accommodation is simple in Banff, as many hotels welcome polite, well-behaved pups. The Elk + Avenue, in the heart of Banff Ave, is an excellent choice within walking distance of the town's restaurants, shops, parks and trails. Dine at the property's signature restaurant, Farm + Fire, and order the rotisserie chicken. Pack leftovers in a doggy bag, and your pooch will be forever grateful.
While Banff National Park is a fantastic place to bring your pet, here are some handy tips and safety measures you should know:
Learn more about pet-friendly accommodation in Jasper and start planning your hound-happy Canadian Rockies getaway.