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Bow Valley Parkway

Bow Valley Parkway: Our most recommended tours and activities

Banff National Park: Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Day-Pass

1. Banff National Park: Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Day-Pass

Maximize your time in Banff National Park with this Hop-On-Hop-Off Pass and see all the main sights at your own pace. The stops include Johnston Canyon, Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and the Lake Louise Gondola (admission is not included). There are 3 departures from Banff, so you can start early and see everything, or sleep in and enjoy a tour along the famous Bow Valley Parkway to Moraine Lake before your return to Banff. • Stop 1 - Banff - The tour departs at 07:45 AM, 9:30 AM, and 12:15 PM daily • Stop 2 - Johnston Canyon - Hop off here to hike up to the beautiful Upper and Lower Falls or even go all the way up to the famous Ink Pots • Stop 3 - Lake Louise Gondola - Soar by gondola or chairlift to the most stunning views on the Lake Louise Gondola • Stop 4 & Stop 5 - Lake Louise - Make sure to hop-off here to enjoy Lake Louise and all that it has to offer. Check out Lake Agnes Teahouse and the breathtaking Plain of Six Glaciers • Stop 6 - Moraine Lake - the most stunning lake in the Rockies. Experience the absolutely breathtaking Valley of the Ten Peaks that surround the lake. Return to Banff as early as 1:45 PM or enjoy all the stops and come back to the town at 6 PM. On your way back to Banff open the windows and watch for wildlife along the famous Bow Valley Parkway. Grizzly bears, black bears, elk, bighorn sheep have all been spotted here. Your bus will stop for photos at any sighting. Enjoy your tour on the original yellow school bus style with a professional driver and a tour guide. All the buses all guaranteed to be 5 years old or newer. Guides on board each bus will help you plan your day on a 1 on 1 basis and give you a personalized itinerary that matches what you want to do. They also have extensive knowledge of nearly everything you would ever want to know about Banff and can help you with hiking suggestions, or even just great places to eat.

From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

2. From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

Experience Banff’s famous lakes on a guided tour of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.  Keep your eyes peeled for animals such as deer, elk, and bears on your way, and admire views of Castle Mountain before arriving at the first lake of the day. Hear stories about Banff National Park, its history, and the local animals from your guide. Enjoy a 30-minute visit to Lake Louise. Wander the famous shoreline and take photos of the lake against the backdrop of the mountains and Victoria Glacier.  Admire the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel from the outside or inside. Explore Moraine Lake, set in the rugged Valley of the Ten Peaks with waterfalls and rock piles. Enjoy a short guided walk to the famous Valley of the Ten Peaks viewpoint, or relax and take in the lake from the shoreline. Enjoy hot chocolate and maple cookies at one of the scenic stops. After a 30-minute break at the viewpoint, return back to Banff and drop you off at your hotel.

Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

3. Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Start with pickup from Banff and travel in a modern minibus along the Bow Valley Parkway to the Canyon. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the moderate 2.7 kilometer hike with 135 meter elevation to the Upper Falls. Walk along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way you'll learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed and stop at the Lower Falls, where you'll have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view. At the Upper Falls, enjoy a brief stop on the upper deck with a small refreshment break to enjoy the views. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. Once you've finished your hot chocolate, hike back down and your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

4. Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

Get picked up by your friendly guide from the meeting point in Banff, then enjoy the drive in a modern minibus. Take the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, a scenic drive through a wildlife-rich habitat. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the easy 1.1km hike with 65m elevation gain to the lower falls, walking along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way, your guide will highlight unique features by powerful flashlight and pause for moments of darkness and quiet to foster an appreciation for spending time in the canyon at night. At the turn around point, your guide will illuminate the expanding ice that encases the rushing water. Have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view of the lower falls while also enjoying a refreshment break with hot chocolate and a maple cookies snack. The return journey is your opportunity to travel without your headlamp (should you wish). Be amazed as to how quickly your eyes adjust to the darkness, enough for you to travel through the pine forest guided only by the ambient light of the moon and the stars above your head. At the end of the tour, your guide will then transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff: 4-Hour E-Bike and Walking Tour in Johnston Canyon

5. Banff: 4-Hour E-Bike and Walking Tour in Johnston Canyon

See the best of Johnston Canyon and Bow Valley Parkway by combining cycling and hiking on this 4-hour guided tour. Ride with your guide through Vermilion Lakes, then make your way up the Legacy Trail. Ride along Bow Valley Parkway and ditch your e-bikes for your hiking boots as you hike up Johnston Canyon. Enjoy spectacular views of the Lower Falls Bridge and see wildlife along the way, including deer, elk, and bears. Enjoy your return shuttle back to Banff. Relax and admire the views on your way after a total of 26 kilometers of cycling and 3 kilometers of walking.

From Banff: Lake Louise Half-Day Winter Tour

6. From Banff: Lake Louise Half-Day Winter Tour

Begin your journey with a scenic drive to Lake Louise, where you may be lucky enough to spot wildlife. Once at Lake Louise, your guide can provide you with complimentary snowshoes and will lead you on an introduction to snowshoeing. Enjoy some free time at the lake and take an easy, quaint snowshoe walk through the serene woods and take in iconic views along the shoreline. Explore Lake Louise, a picture-perfect winter wonderland. The lake transforms into a real-life snow globe in the winter that has to be seen to be believed. Enjoy some hot chocolate and local maple taffy. Come and discover this winter wonderland for yourself.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Explorer

7. Banff: Johnston Canyon Explorer

Get to know Banff National Park's Johnston Canyon on a guided hiking tour with opportunities to explore at your own pace. Drive along the scenic Bow Valley Parkway, hike with crampons/ice cleats, traverse bridges over frozen waterfalls, and discover a natural cave. Start the adventure with pickup from select locations in Banff. Drive along the beautiful Bow Valley Parkway, with stops along the way at jaw-dropping viewpoints and local secret spots for wildlife sightings. Upon arrival at Johnston Canyon, you'll be fitted with ice cleats and hiking poles before embarking on an easy 30-minute guided hike to the Lower Falls, along bridges suspended over the canyon. Walk over two frozen cascading waterfalls with pillars of blue ice surrounding you. Along the way, witness daredevil ice climbers scaling the frozen canyon walls. Then, discover a natural cave with uninterrupted views of the frozen waterfalls. From there, you'll have the chance to continue on your own to Upper Falls, a further 30-minute hike, to see the largest of the frozen waterfalls at Johnston Canyon. Alternatively, you can return with your guide to the van to relax with a hot drink. At the end of your adventure, enjoy transportation back to your starting location in Banff.

Other Sightseeing Options in Bow Valley Parkway

Want to discover all there is to do in Bow Valley Parkway? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Bow Valley Parkway

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 259 reviews

This was our first time doing this and the experience was great! We only got to do the lower part of the Rockies for the top was closed but got to go to some other beautiful lookout points to make up for this. The tour guides were great! Would recommend this for sure! The frozen waterfall was beautiful! Dress warm for it can get chilly out there!

My experience was satisfactory. Our guide was easy going and extremely knowledgeable when it came to the terrain we hiked and Banff as a whole. I would recommend this because it gives you a little more insight on the beautiful views rather than just going on your own. Thanks!

Was only in Banff for one day so this was the perfects way to see all the important attractions in the park without the hassle of driving or trying to find parking. Would 100% recommend this to anyone visiting the park

The walk was beautiful and fun. Our guide, Emma, was extremely knowledgable and personable!

Enjoyable experience and the Johnston Canyon is a must-see!