Banff Jasper Collection

Heading to the Canadian Rockies this spring and looking for some ideas of things to do in Banff?

With so many outdoor activities and attractions, from spring skiing to sightseeing, spring is one of the best times to visit Banff National Park. And since spring is shoulder season, there are plenty of hotel specials in Banff. Beat the crowds and visit while there's still snow on the mountain peaks — the perfect backdrop for photos that’ll surely draw ooos and ahhs from friends and family.

  1. Dinner at Sky Bistro: With the daylight hours stretching into the evenings, you’ll have amazing views for your cocktails through to your dessert from the Sky Bistro. Located atop the Banff Gondola, this restaurant focuses on quality Canadian cuisine. Come for appies and a glass of wine or for a two-course gourmet experience. Either way, the snowy peaks stretching into the horizon will make you want to linger.

The Sky Bistro dining room overlooking snowy mountain range

  1. Open Top Touring: Board a 1930s-style coach equipped with all the modern amenities and roll through Banff's most awe-inspiring destinations. Tap your feet to upbeat jazz-swing music as your guide — decked out in 1930s costume — relays stories of classic Banff characters.

Blue and white bus drives across the bridge.

  1. Columbia Icefield Adventure: Massive Ice Explorers, specially designed for glacial travel, take passengers on a remarkable excursion onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Come along for the ride of a lifetime as you learn a wealth of fascinating information about glaciers, icefields and their impact on our environment. Mid-point in the tour, passengers can safely step out onto the glacier and stand on this powerful ancient ice. The Columbia Icefield Adventure opens in May.
  2. Ski the Canadian Rockies: It's not uncommon for Alberta springs to be filled with great powder days. The conditions here are fantastic for warmer-weather skiing think sunny days, quieter slopes and relaxing après, right through mid-May.
  3. Fuel up at Farm & Fire: The menu at this cozy eatery is bursting with dishes featuring fresh ingredients from local Canadian farmers and many items are slow-roasted and wood-fired. This popular spot fills up quickly, so reservations are highly recommended.
  4. Columbia Icefield Skywalk: Step out on to breathtaking platform 918 feet above the valley floor! The Columbia Icefield Skywalk is a unique and unforgettable experience to learn about the mountains and do something you’ve never done before. It opens each May.

A family overlooking from the Glacier Skywalk.

  1. Hiking in Banff: Set out on your own two feet and really discover why Banff National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trails such as Tunnel Mountain, Sundance Canyon and the Marsh Loop can be snow-free as early as April. Make sure your camera is charged and ready — more animals start making an appearance in the spring.
  2. Banff Gondola: From morning exploration to evening stargazing, there’s no shortage of all-day fun at the Banff Gondola. Each of their signature seasonal activities have been designed to heighten every sense, by delivering memorable moments that celebrate the wonder of spring in the mountains.
  3. Lake Minnewanka Cruise: Lake Minnewanka lies in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and is the largest lake in Banff National Park. Learn all about the history, local folklore and geology, and make sure to keep your eyes on the shore for wildlife. The Lake Minnewanka valley offers some of the most spectacular scenery found anywhere in the Canadian Rockies. The cruises begin each spring, once the lake ice has melted.

A blue and white boat cruises on a lake below a forested mountainside.

  1. Tubing: Give your legs a break and head over to Mount Norquay for some tubing while there's still snow on the hill. Let their towing system pull you up and then enjoy the rush of going downhill. This activity is great for all ages and sizes.

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