Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper holiday highlights

National parks
Entrance fees for Canada’s national parks (operated by Parks Canada) are approximately CA$10 per adult per day and not are included in the price of your holiday. In many parks, admission for children 17 years and under is free. If you’re planning on visiting a national park on seven or more days, it may be worth purchasing a Discovery Pass which allows unlimited admission at over 80 Parks Canada places. For more information, see the Parks Canada website or information centres when in destination.

Banff town is a charming base from which to explore. Hiking trails lead out from the town, and the Bow River is ideal for canoeing. Banff National Park is simply beautiful; ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain on the Banff Gondola to soak up panoramic views of the valley below, or hike one of the glorious alpine trails. Hope to spot caribou, elk, coyote, wolves, and black and grizzly bears. From November to May, the park’s mountainous terrain and dry powder is popular with skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

Not far from the southern boundary of Banff National Park, along the Trans-Canadian Highway, is the town of Canmore, once a mining town and today an ever-growing tourist destination that's an alternative to the much more crowded township of Banff. The mountain backdrop is similar to that of it's more famous neighbour, with Rocky Mountains framing the town; the most recognisable of these are the triple peaks of the Three Sisters.

In the middle of Banff National Park, Lake Louise is one of the Canadian Rockies’ most beloved destinations and probably the most photographed. Here turquoise waters sparkle underneath the towering Victoria Glacier. Enjoy hiking and horse riding on the lake shore, or take a boat out onto the water in the summer. The village itself is tranquil and picturesque, with restaurants and a number of hotels. Also visit nearby Moraine Lake, surrounded by the dramatic Valley of the Ten Peaks.

The drive from Lake Louise to Jasper takes you along the spectacular Icefields Parkway. Witness amazing mountain vistas, towering jagged peaks and beautiful lakes, and stop at the dramatic Columbia Icefields en route. The town of Jasper itself is an authentic mountain community, gateway to serene Jasper National Park. Natural attractions include Maligne Canyon, the breathtaking Maligne Lake and the Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls. Take the Jasper Tramway up to Whistlers Peak, for far-reaching views.

Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper key facts

Time difference

GMT -8 hours

Capital

Provincial capital: Edmonton

Currency

Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Flying time to destination

Calgary: 9¼ hours

Language

English is widely spoken all over Canada except Québec, which is bilingual (French-English).

Passport & visas

An Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) is now required for British citizens travelling to Canada, please speak to a Personal Travel Expert for details.

Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper good to know

Tipping

Many Canadians in the service industry rely on tips to supplement their income. Tips or tax are not usually automatically added to a bill in Canada, but you should always check. Taxi drivers, hairdressers and waiters are generally given 10-15%. Bellhops, porters and doormen are generally paid CAD$1 per item of luggage. It may be advisable to carry small change for this purpose. These figures are for guidance only and assume that service has been good.