How to Get Around Banff National Park this Summer

How to Get Around Banff National Park this Summer

With so much to see and do in Banff National Park this summer, you’ll want to get from A to B as seamlessly as possible to maximize your time exploring. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide of insider tips for successfully exploring the park. Because Banff is such a popular destination from May to October, this guide will help you have a successful summer getaway.

Getting out of your vehicle and onto the pavement with your own two feet (or public transportation) is the first step to the best exploration. Here are the easiest places to park your wheels.

Banff

Parking at Fenlands Recreation Centre
Parking at Fenlands Recreation Centre

Stick to the perimeters of the town of Banff when looking for free parking, and finish the journey on foot. Fenland Recreation Centre and the Train Station Parking Lot can be found just off the Norquay Road exit, and offers 9 hours of ample free parking in the summer. Downtown Banff is a only a short 10-minute walk from here, with complimentary shuttle service available on weekends. You can also check out real time parking lot capacity with the Town of Banff’s parking page, but be prepared for paid-parking charges. Also a reminder that Residential Permits are now required for streets close to the downtown core, so avoid a ticket by reading signage and sticking to allocated lots.

Lake Louise & Moraine Lake

ROAM Transit bus to Lake Louise, photo by Damian Blunt
ROAM Transit bus to Lake Louise, photo by Damian Blunt

Parking can be limited in Lake Louise during peak summer times. Consider parking at the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola and stopping in for lunch, before taking the shuttle into the village. Limited paid parking is available at Lake Louise from mid-May to mid-October, so you should consider using the Park & Ride Service offered by Parks Canada. Reserving a spot on this shuttle service (no walk-ups available) will guarantee you the chance to experience both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.  Learn more about parking in Lake Louise and reserving a spot on the Park & Ride service visit the Banff & Lake Louise Tourism for details on how to reserve your Park & Ride Shuttle.

Another option is to leave your car in the town of Banff and jump on the ROAM Transit Scenic service to Lake Louise for just $10 per adult one-way, this is the easiest way to travel to Lake Louise. Choose from the Express Bus or jump on the Scenic service. Reservations are available for the scenic service, and you can even bring your bike for an extra $2. Advanced reservations are recommended for bikes as capacity is limited to just 3 bikes.

ROAM Transit

ROAM Transit Bus on Banff Avenue
ROAM Transit Bus on Banff Avenue

Roam Transit offers several local routes within the towns of Banff and nearby Canmore, as well as regional routes between Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise. Check out the Roam Transit website for information on real-time schedules, routes and fares, as well as tips on planning your transportation – including to popular summer hot spots like Johnson Canyon, Lake Louise and Lake Minnewanka.

Foot Power

Walking in Pedestrian Zone on Banff Avenue
Walking in Pedestrian Zone on Banff Avenue

The town of Banff is very pedestrian-friendly, with most amenities and several attractions within walking distance of downtown Banff. For summer 2021, a section of Banff Avenue and some blocks of Caribou and Bear Street are open only to pedestrians, providing more room to roam by foot.

E-Bike

Explore Banff by e-bike
Explore Banff by e-bike

E-biking is a great way to get around town and cover more mileage than on foot. Pick up your e-bike rentals from the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub downtown, offering a fleet of various models to suit your biking style. Reserve your bike in advance to guarantee your ride and save a few dollars at the same time.

RV Access

RV Summer Parking in Banff
RV Summer Parking in Banff

Arriving for (or en route to) a summer camping trip? Check out these essential tips for RV Users navigating Banff National Park, including designated long-term parking areas in the townsites. This information is key for avoiding traffic congestion and ensuring a stress-free travel experience.

Need help booking your hotel stay? Package your hotel with e-bike and paddleboard rentals for that perfect summer vacation experience. Our friendly Reservations Team is always happy to share their local knowledge and experience to help you find the best summer package for your style and budget. You can reach them via Live Chat (scroll up for the Live Chat link at the top of our website), or by calling 1-844-754-2443.

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