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Summer activities in and around Banff

There are few travel destinations that can offer the kind of thrill that you would experience by spending a summer vacation in Banff. Coupled with low humidity and warm temperatures that go up to an average high of 22 C, summer is arguably the best time to visit. But besides the pleasant conditions during summer, the wide selection of outdoor activities to take on makes this the ideal time to plan for an exciting trip. Here is a comprehensive overview of all the activities that will provide you with a seemingly never ending adventure in the stunning surroundings of the Canadian Rockies.

Hiking and Walking in Banff

If you want to explore the breathtaking surroundings in Banff, walking and hiking are the perfect way to take in the dreamlike sights with the remarkable mountainous landscape in the backdrop. Hiking trails in Banff National Park are only a short distance from the town and they connect with other trails that lead to the outskirts of town, thus providing you with trails of varying lengths that are perfect for casual walks as well as long backpacking excursions. For a successful hike, you can seek information on trail conditions and get maps from Parks Canada and visitor information centers, or alternatively opt for guided hiking tours.


Biking is a popular activity in Banff during summer since trails are in good condition during this time. Whether you want to cycle for leisure or to take an epic mountain biking expedition, there are numerous biking trails that accommodate riders of all abilities. Banff National park and the surrounding mountains are crisscrossed by both unpaved and paved trails to suite all kinds of bikers. Biking rentals are also found within the town-site, thus offering you the convenience of not having to carry your bike when traveling.


Head out on a clear and sunny day to witness magnificent views of the Canadian Rockies on the Banff Gondola ride which takes visitors to the Peak of Sulphur Mountain. At over 2000 meters high you will marvel at the stunning views of the surroundings as you ascend to the top. The Banff Skywalk (a boardwalk at the summit) affords visitors some of the best photo taking opportunities of the mountains, so you better come prepared with your camera and binoculars in hand. For a more epic sightseeing tour, you can opt for airplane and heli rides that offer grand views which span beyond Banff's Rockies, although a bit expensive but nonetheless quite rewarding.

Horseback Riding

Horseback ridding in Banff is quite common and is a fantastic way of exploring the amazing surroundings. You can experience one of the most scenic horseback rides with minimal effort thanks to tour operators that will guide you through the trails. Horse riding adventures can last from several hours to days, thus offering enough horseback riding thrill to suite just about anyone.

Wildlife Gazing

Banff is home to a large number of different species of wildlife. You can spot deers, elks, grizzly bears, mountain cougars, beavers and so many other animals within the area. With so many dangerous wild animals roaming freely in the wild, tourists are advised to make use of professional tour guides for their own safety. It is also a great way to maximize your chances of viewing as many animals as possible and you will also get to learn about the animals as well.


With over a dozen camping grounds that have more than 2000 camp sites, Banff offers plenty of camping opportunities and options to campers looking for all kinds of experiences. Summer however is one of the peak seasons, so you may want to head out early enough to catch a spot or better yet make camping reservations if you do not want to miss the opportunity of enjoying the fresh mountain air during every moment of your stay.

Tennis and Golfing

Tennis and golfing are some of the best leisure sports to enjoy in Banff during the vibrant summer season. Play a round of Golf in one of the finest golf courses in world, the Banff Springs Golf course or swing some tennis rackets at the Banff Recreation Grounds and experience playing these sports while being surrounded by spectacular views of Banff's Rockies.

Rock climbing and Zip Lining Tours

Scale the heights of the Canadian Rockies by taking on rock climbing excursions and witness panoramic views of the area upon reaching the summit of one of the many available mountains. With numerous peaks to climb that range from moderate to difficult climbs, there is something to suite climbers of all abilities. If rock climbing is too much of a challenge, zip lining tours will guarantee you an exhilarating experience as you fly at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour and at heights of 130 feet high. Guided tours are highly recommended since experienced and qualified guides offer valuable tips as well as proper equipment for both of these activities.

Water Sports and Activities

Summer in Banff is an inviting time for those that love to have a great time on the water and there are many water sports and activities to choose from. Adrenaline junkies can take on thrilling river adventures such as whitewater rafting while those that are after a more moderate yet enjoyable activity can enjoy one of the most scenic trips on calm waters while kayaking or canoeing in the tranquil ambiance of the Bow River. For those that love to get all soaked up, scuba diving at Lake Minnewanka and swimming at Banff's Hot Springs also feature at the height of summer. Fishing is also another activity that offers great family bonding time, and fishing experiences range from a casual fishing to fly fishing trips which add some fun into the experience.