Banff is a magical place to visit at any time of year. With an array of seasonal activities, sports, festivals and drastic changes in the weather, it can be hard to decide on the perfect month to visit—that’s why we’ve created this month-by-month snapshot!
Banff sits in the heart of the jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains, and can range from a winter wonderland to the perfect summer getaway, so make sure you pick the right time to visit.
January in Banff
January is an exciting time in Banff. With winter fully settling in, there’s plenty of seasonal events and festivals to keep you busy. Check out the fantastic winter-themed art at SnowDays, an outdoor gallery of snow sculptures in the town of Banff, or the spectacular ice carving contest at the Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise. You can ice skate on the famous lake with a backdrop of mountain ranges—it’s the perfect family day out.
Photo: Ice skating on Lake Louise brings magic to the Canadian Rockies in the winter.
February in Banff
In many ways, February is the heart of winter in Banff—so make sure you bring lots of warm clothing! This is a popular month for skiing and snowboarding as the conditions are at their prime, with some of the fluffiest driest powder there is. The days begin to get slightly longer in February, giving you plenty of time to explore winter activities like ice walks, tobogganing or tubing.
Photo: Crisp, clear winter days are plentiful in February.
March in Banff
As the likelihood of severe cold snaps starts to wane and the average temperature warms up to around 1°C, we begin to see the first signs of spring in March, making it a popular month to visit Banff, particularly during Spring Break. March sees the biggest snowfall of the year with some of the best powder, making this month a fantastic time to ski and snowboard. Spend your evenings curled up by a fireplace, watching Alpenglow from the top of the Banff Gondola or checking out one of the events in town or at the Banff Centre.
Photo: Skiing in the Rockies.
April in Banff
One of the “secret months”, April is a hidden gem in the calendar and can be superb here in Banff. Skiing and snowboarding conditions generally remain excellent, but the temperatures are more moderate—usually ranging from 2°C to 10°C. The weather can be a little unpredictable, from crisp sunny days to heavy snowfall.
Photo: Take a walk by Vermillion Lake for astounding views of Mt. Rundle, Tunnel Mountain and more.
May in Banff
May is when spring really starts to take over. There’s still some alpine skiing and snowboarding to enjoy but it’s dry and warmer in town. The frozen lakes and rivers thaw and begin to flow again, making May a very picturesque shoulder season. More hiking trails become available in May with loads of active wildlife, and this is usually a great time for barbecues and bonfires.
Photo: May is the perfect time to get started on the hiking trails.
June in Banff
Things start to pick up in June as the lakes and rivers transition into the stunning turquoise blue colour and the temperature begins to rise. Water sports and activities like whitewater rafting and kayaking grow in popularity. It’s a great time for hikes and picnics—locals tend to come out of their shells in June and patios are hopping. With the long days and late evenings, Banff is active from dawn to dusk. It’s one of the most popular times to visit, and high season starts midway through the month.
Photo: Get on the water at Lake Minnewanka.
July in Banff
July kicks off with celebrations and festivities to celebrate Canada’s birthday on July 1st. The town of Banff is the perfect place to celebrate Canada Day. There are fun family-friendly events running for the whole day, including the colourful parade down the main street (Banff Avenue) and a lively show in the evening at Central Park. July is usually the busiest month, so rates can be higher than other months. But it’s also the perfect time to go canoeing, hiking and get some fabulous pictures of your surroundings.
Photo: Warm weather in July is perfect for driving the Icefields Parkway and taking in the views.
August in Banff
August is considered prime time in the Canadian Rockies. There’s so much to see and do—everything is open and everyone is here! Nature and wildlife are at their most impressive during this time and the days are long and sunny. You can do anything from lake cruises and horseback riding to mountain biking and cave tours. Catch the magic from the end of the day at the Banff Gondola’s Sunset Festival. August is divine in the Rockies.
Photo: Summer sunsets like you've never seen at the Banff Gondola atop Sulphur Mountain.
September in Banff
Locals love Banff in September. It’s the second of the “secret months”. September is optimal season for hiking, with plenty of dry trails and fewer hikers. Temperatures start to cool down and prices in town drop as well. September is also a great month for Northern Lights sightings and the wildlife in the evenings is spectacular—keep an eye out for beavers making nests in the rivers!
Photo: Fall is prime hiking season at Larch Valley in Banff National Park.
October in Banff
October is a beautiful month where all aspen and larches trees turn from green to yellow to autumnal browns and reds. It’s Shoulder Season! If you’re visiting Banff in October, make sure to check out the annual Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival - a world-renowned festival showcasing the best adventure and mountain films across the world. Biking is still popular in October before the first snowfall hits.
Photo: In the shoulder season, locals and visitors alike head indoors to enjoy the world's best mountain films.
November in Banff
November is a very quiet month in Banff. If crowds aren’t your thing, this is the month for you! It’s a great time to get in some early skiing as November is the start of the ski and snowboard season. Many of the restaurants in Banff have super dining specials for both locals and visitors during this time.
Photo: Winemakers Dinner at Sky Bistro featuring a specialty dinner menu and select wine pairings.
December in Banff
December is an especially magical and festive time in Banff, with Christmas lights hung through the town and winter events running on a daily basis. Christmas at the Banff Gondola is becoming a new tradition among locals—join Santa at the top of Sulphur Mountain for a birds’ eye view of the quaint, snow covered town below. There plenty of early season skiing and snowboarding. December is the best time to do the ice walk at Johnston’s canyon for that extra special festive day out with friends or family.
Photo: The jolly old fellow himself, Santa Claus, at the Banff Gondola.
Banff National Park sits in the heart of the jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains, and can range from a winter wonderland to the perfect summer getaway. Make sure you pick the right time to visit for your favourite activities and adventures.