10 Best Scenic Drives in Banff

Banff is a gorgeous Canadian town nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and it’s an area renowned for its scenic drives. Whether you want to explore the natural beauty of Lake Louise, discover the charming townsites of Banff and Canmore, or traverse the high alpine passes, there are endless opportunities to get out and explore!

From easy routes along beautiful rivers to challenging roads that climb high into the mountains, Banff offers road trips filled with breathtaking vistas of glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and wildflowers set against soaring mountain peaks.

For those looking for a leisurely drive through stunning landscapes, the Bow Valley Parkway meanders through some of Canada’s most iconic scenery and provides access to wildlife viewing areas where visitors can often see elk, deer, black bears and other animals.

On the other hand, if you’re feeling adventurous you can embark on more challenging roads such as Icefields Parkway which winds past towering glaciers and roaring rivers as it slices through two national parks. Regardless of your route choice, you will be rewarded with stunning views around every corner – from glacially-sculpted valleys boasting vivid turquoise water to sweeping mountain meadows blanketed in wildflowers – making for truly unforgettable scenic drives in Banff!

10 Best Scenic Drives in Banff

Banff is a picturesque town located in the Canadian Rockies, in Alberta’s Banff National Park. It is situated within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is renowned for its beautiful mountain vistas, outdoor activities, and charming downtown core. Its natural beauty defines it as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada.

The town of Banff has a long and fascinating history. First inhabited by Indigenous people thousands of years ago, they were later replaced by fur traders in the 1700s. In 1883, the area was established as Canada’s first National Park and today it remains one of the country’s most beloved parks.

Banff offers a wide range of outdoor activities to explore such as skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, and kayaking. During winter months you can admire sparkling snow on the majestic peaks while during summer you can bask in the sunshine while trekking through lush green forests. The nearby Bow River also offers great fishing opportunities or simply just an enjoyable day spent paddling along its tranquil waters. There are plenty of other exciting ways to explore Banff’s wild beauty such as horseback riding and guided glacier hikes.

The main attractions of Banff include Sulphur Mountain which features several lookout points for viewing spectacular panoramas across the valley below; Lake Louise with its iconic turquoise waters; Johnston Canyon which provides scenic views with an easy walking path; Peyto Lake with its breathtakingly vibrant blue-green colour; Moraine Lake set against a backdrop of rugged mountains; Vermillion Lakes which are three picturesque mirror-like lakes connected by channels; and Bow Falls which are cascading waterfalls boasting thunderous power amidst serene surroundings.

Banff also boasts an array of cultural attractions including galleries, museums and vibrant nightlife options to discover and explore – from upscale restaurants to quaint pubs there’s something here for everyone’s taste! With endless opportunities for adventure – from downhill skiing to horseback rides – it’s no wonder why Banff attracts millions each year who come seeking a unique outdoor experience in this incredible destination.

scanic drives in Banff

Why Scenic Drives Are A Great Way To Explore Banff

Scenic drives are a great way to explore the natural beauty of Banff National Park, located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Alberta. They provide visitors with amazing views of mountains, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests. Not only is it an incredible sightseeing experience, but scenic drives offer a unique opportunity to experience the park through its many different ecosystems.

Banff is home to over 65 species of mammals and 260 species of birds which can be seen while taking a drive through its roads. There are also numerous hiking trails along the way as well as picnic areas where visitors can stop and take in the spectacular surroundings that Banff has to offer. The most popular scenic drives include Bow Valley Parkway, Icefields Parkway, and Lake Minnewanka Loop Road.

The Bow Valley Parkway takes you from Banff National Park’s eastern boundary near Lake Louise all the way west to Castle Junction. This route provides jaw-dropping views of some of Canada’s highest peaks like Mount Temple and Mount Gordon. Along the drive, there are plenty of places for wildlife viewing, including grizzly bears and elk. Hiking trails run parallel to the road so you can enjoy nature walks right off the highway if you choose!

Icefields Parkway is one of Canada’s most iconic routes that stretch from Jasper in Alberta to Lake Louise on its western edge. This drive takes travelers through multiple valleys surrounded by snow-capped mountains and glacier-fed rivers as far as your eyes can see! With plenty of photo ops every few kilometers along this route, Icefields Parkway gives travelers a chance to witness some breathtaking views including Peyto Lake and Crowfoot Glacier before reaching beautiful Lake Louise at its western endpoint.

Finally, there is Lake Minnewanka Loop Road which circles around stunning Lake Minnewanka where visitors can go boating or fishing for trout or whitefish during warmer months before winter sets in for its frozen lake activities such as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on its icy surface! The loop road also offers amazing views of Mount Inglismaldie which rises majestically above the lake’s glistening water surface.

Scenic drives give you a great chance to explore Banff National Park at your own pace while taking in all its gorgeous scenery at once! Whether it’s gaping at jagged mountain peaks or being mesmerized by cascading waterfalls, these drives will leave you with lasting memories that will stay with you long after your visit has ended!

1. Icefields Parkway (Highway 93)

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) is one of the most breathtaking and spectacular drives in the world, offering travelers a chance to experience the wild beauty of Banff National Park. Located in Canada’s spectacular Rocky Mountains, this incredible drive begins at Lake Louise and runs 232 km through some of Canada’s most stunning alpine scenery, winding up at Jasper.

Along the route, visitors can marvel at the raging glacial waters of the mighty Athabasca River or stand in awe before such iconic landmarks as Crowfoot Glacier, Mount Edith Cavell and Peyto Lake. Glacial lakes like Bow and Clearwater sparkle in shades of turquoise, while soaring mountain peaks rise majestically above, providing heavenly vistas that photographers won’t want to miss. Wildlife is abundant along this route with bighorn sheep, black bears and elk regularly spotted by lucky visitors.

The Icefields Parkway is also known for its amazing roadside attractions like Columbia Icefield Centre which offers guided tours onto an actual glacier! With crystal clear snowfields and tranquil blue pools, it makes a great photo opportunity and provides insight into how glaciers are formed when you take a tour with an experienced guide. Other highlights along the way include Sunwapta Falls where water cascades 20 meters down into a thundering basin below – sure to get your heart racing! Just further north you’ll find Athabasca Falls – don’t forget your camera here either as this dramatic landscape is bound to make any photograph look amazing!

For those lucky enough to have time on their hands – why not extend your journey along the parkway? Make sure to allow plenty of time for stops at each of these attractions as well as for hikes off-road; discovering hidden gems like Wilcox Pass Trail or Parker Ridge will be worth every extra minute. The views from places like these are often unbeatable – so be sure to pause and take them all in as you go! Get ready for memories that will last a lifetime on this quintessential Canadian scenic drive – The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93).

Icefields Parkway

2. The Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A)

The Bow Valley Parkway (Highway 1A) is renowned for its breathtaking views and scenic drives in the stunning Banff National Park. It’s been a popular route for picturesque road trips since the late 19th century when tourists and photographers began to explore the area. This winding highway takes you through some of Canada’s most rugged and beautiful terrain, with striking views of the majestic Canadian Rockies, sparkling lakes and rivers, and lush valleys filled with wildlife.

At just over 40 kilometers long, The Bow Valley Parkway is an excellent route to take if you’re looking for a leisurely day trip or a longer getaway. The drive starts near Lake Louise—the gateway to Banff National Park—and winds east along the Trans-Canada Highway until it reaches Castle Junction. Here you can make a few detours to explore nearby attractions like Johnston Canyon or Moraine Lake before continuing your journey further into the park.

The Bow Valley Parkway has plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and photo ops along the way; from soaring mountain peaks to cascading waterfalls, there’s something to capture your attention at every turn. Keep an eye out for some of Banff’s most iconic landmarks like Tunnel Mountain and Surprise Corner as well as several picturesque picnic spots perfect for taking a break from your travels.

You’ll also find countless wildlife viewing opportunities on this drive; elk are often spotted wandering through meadows in springtime while bears, bighorn sheep, moose, coyotes, wolves and other animals can often be seen at various points throughout the year. In addition to its incredible nature scenes, visitors can also learn more about Banff’s rich cultural heritage at several historic sites located along The Bow Valley Parkway including Vermilion Lakes Residence and Cave & Basin National Historic Site—the birthplace of Canada’s national parks system.

So if you’re looking for one of the most spectacular drives in Canada then consider hopping on The Bow Valley Parkway—a true gem nestled in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains!

The Bow Valley Parkway

3. Tunnel Mountain Drive

Tunnel Mountain Drive is one of the most popular scenic drives in Banff National Park. This 6km long drive winds around the base of Tunnel Mountain, providing stunning views of the surrounding mountain range. The drive starts at the east side of Banff Avenue and follows a meandering course to the end at the Tunnel Mountain campground. Along this route, visitors can catch glimpses of some of the park’s most idyllic sights such as Mount Rundle, Sulphur Mountain, Cascade Mountain, and Mount Norquay.

Tunnel Mountain Drive is filled with incredible vistas that are prime for photoshoots. With its wealth of natural attractions and wildlife, it is no surprise that this road is one of the most popular drives in Banff National Park. In addition to the stunning views, travelers can also spot numerous species of birds and wild animals such as elk, bighorn sheep, grizzlies, black bears, wolves and several others.

This stretch is also popular among cyclists due to its low-traffic environment and moderate ascent slope which makes it suitable for all types of cyclists including families with children. It’s important to note that there are no facilities along this route so it is recommended to bring along snacks and drinks while on this journey. Along with being an ideal destination for cycling enthusiasts, Tunnel Mountain Drive also offers plenty of recreational activities like camping sites at Tunnel Mountain campground where visitors can set up tents or rent cabins to enjoy a night under the stars away from civilization.

For those looking for a relaxing afternoon activity amidst nature’s beauty then look no further than Tunnel Mountain Drive as it provides a perfect opportunity to soak in all that Banff National Park has to offer!

Tunnel Mountain Drive

4. Minnewanka Loop Road

The Minnewanka Loop Road is one of the most stunning and peaceful scenic drives to be found in Banff National Park, Alberta. It winds through the majestic Rocky Mountains and overlooks some of the most beautiful sights in Canada. This 42 km loop takes you around Minnewanka Lake, a deep glacial lake that is home to an abundance of wildlife. Along the way, you will also see amazing alpine meadows with wildflowers, turquoise mountain lakes, and breathtaking views of Cascade Mountain.

As you take this drive, you might even spot some local wildlife such as elk, deer, bear and moose. The area has a rich history dating back centuries when it was used by Indigenous Peoples for trading routes. In addition to the incredible scenery and wildlife spotting opportunities, visitors can also enjoy camping at the nearby Two Jack Main Campground or take a boat tour on Minnewanka Lake.

The road itself is well maintained but can become quite busy during peak tourist season so plan accordingly if visiting during this time. Even when busy though, it’s still worth taking your time to stop at various points along the route to appreciate all that this area has to offer. Pack a picnic lunch or some snacks so that you can sit along the shoreline of Minnewanka Lake and truly take in its beauty while watching birds soar overhead or listening to waterfalls cascading down rocky cliffsides around you. There are many side roads off the main loop that lead off into more remote areas where you can explore further if desired while still enjoying plenty of spectacular views of rugged mountain peaks blanketed in snow year-round and serene glacial valleys filled with lush green forests below them.

Overall, taking a drive along the Minnewanka Loop Road is definitely an experience not to be missed by those who visit Banff National Park!

Minnewanka Loop Road

5. Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive

Taking a scenic drive on Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park is an experience like no other. With its stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, pristine glacial blue waters, and abundant wildlife, it’s impossible not to be amazed. Over 12 kilometers long and extending to a depth of over 201 meters, Lake Minnewanka is one of the deepest lakes in the Alberta Rockies. It’s also one of the largest at approximately 2 km wide and 5 km in length.

The lake was formed by glaciers during the last ice age and is surrounded by steep cliffs and rocky ridges that make for stunning vistas. The lake is known for its unique beauty and provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including camping, fishing, canoeing, boating, paddling, swimming and more. For those looking to take in some history while they explore, there are also several historic sites located around the lake including an old coal mine that operated until 1906.

During your scenic drive, you will pass through various habitats where wildlife roams freely including bighorn sheep, elk, moose, bear, and bald eagles. There are plenty of trails surrounding the lake so if you’re feeling adventurous you can stop off and go on short hikes or explore some untouched areas within the park as well. As you travel along the route be sure to take note of any wildflowers in bloom as there are several different species to admire during springtime.

Visitors can access Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive from either Banff Avenue or Tunnel Mountain Road depending on their preference for route selection. Whether it’s for a leisurely cruise or a journey into nature with friends or family members alike; this scenic drive offers something worthwhile for everyone who visits!

Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive

6. Johnson Canyon Drive

Johnson Canyon Drive is one of the most renowned scenic drives in Banff National Park, situated in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It’s a winding mountain road that passes through stunning alpine valleys and wildflower meadows, providing expansive views and opportunities to spot wildlife.

The drive starts at Bow Valley Parkway near Johnston Canyon campground, taking drivers past a series of bridges and waterfalls. The sightseeing trail leads to a breathtaking canyon valley with towering limestone cliffs and beautiful cascading waterfalls. Visitors can take their time exploring this canyon paradise, marveling at its dramatic limestone formations, vibrant streams, and lush green forest.

Along the way, visitors can also keep an eye out for some of Banff’s native wildlife such as elk, deer, bighorn sheep, marmots and even bears! There are plenty of places to stop along the drive so visitors can take photos or simply take in the majestic landscape that surrounds them. Johnson Canyon Drive is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that everyone needs to have on their bucket list.

Further along on Johnson Canyon Drive lies Cave Mountain Trailhead where hikers can explore the many mountain trails or head up to Johnston Lake for some fishing or swimming on hot summer days. You can also find several picnic areas located around the lake with spectacular views across the valley – perfect spots for barbecuing with family and friends as well as just relaxing in nature’s beauty.

No matter what time of year you visit Johnson Canyon Drive it will not disappoint; from winter skiing down slopes blanketed in snow to summer bliss filled with wildflowers – there’s something for everyone here! Whether you are looking for a day trip full of adventure or simply want to get away from it all amidst natural beauty – Johnson Canyon Drive won’t disappoint!

Johnson Canyon Drive

7. The Bourgeau Lake Road

Bourgeau Lake Road, located in the heart of Banff National Park, is one of the most breathtaking scenic drives in Canada. Starting off at the town of Banff, travelers can take a breath-taking drive up to the lake on a road that winds its way through some of the park’s most spectacular landscapes. Along the route, visitors will be treated to stunning views of snow-capped peaks, lush fields, and pristine lakes.

The Bourgeau Lake Road is a great way to experience all that Banff National Park has to offer. As you drive along this scenic route, you’ll be surrounded by towering mountain peaks including Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade as well as numerous alpine meadows teeming with wildflowers in summertime. During winter months, visitors will be able to take in majestic views of snow-covered forests and frozen lakes while listening to the soothing gurgle of nearby waterfalls. The road also passes through some smaller communities like Field and Lake Louise which offer unique opportunities for wildlife viewing as well as access to popular hiking trails such as those found near Moraine Lake and Sunshine Village Resort.

In addition to its natural beauty, what makes Bourgeau Lake Road particularly special is its remarkable history. First built in 1898 by surveyors from the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was intended as an access road for CPR engineers who were mapping out the region’s landscape. In subsequent years it served many purposes including providing transportation for local miners and their families during gold rush times when Lac des Arcs was known for its rich gold deposits. Despite being temporarily closed due to rock slides and avalanches between 1955-1985, Bourgeau Lake Road eventually reopened and continues to be a popular destination among locals and tourists alike today!

8. Moraine Lake Road

Moraine Lake Road is a picturesque highway located in the majestic Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. The road runs along the shoreline of Moraine Lake, giving visitors an opportunity to admire the stunning alpine scenery of the Canadian Rockies while they drive. With its winding roads and breathtaking views, Moraine Lake Road is one of the most popular scenic drives in Banff.

Stretching for nearly 5 km (3 mi), Moraine Lake Road meanders around and up a valley, providing spectacular vistas around every corner. Along this section of road, travelers can enjoy awe-inspiring views of snow-capped mountains and lush subalpine forests. As you continue your journey, be sure to keep your eyes open for wildlife such as deer, elk, bears, moose, and even bighorn sheep that can often be spotted grazing along the road’s side.

At the end of Moraine Lake Road lies Moraine Lake itself – an iconic turquoise-colored lake that is considered by many to be one of Canada’s most beautiful natural attractions. Visitors to Banff are encouraged to take some time to admire this incredible sight from various points along Moraine Lake Road or from the nearby Rockpile viewpoint before continuing their travels.

The surrounding land around Moraine Lake Road is also filled with plenty of activities for adventure seekers looking to explore more of Banff’s wild spaces. Notable highlights include a variety of hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty and spectacular views; biking routes that take you through some truly remarkable landscapes; white water rafting opportunities; photography locations; wildlife viewing spots; fishing areas; horseback riding trails; plus much more.

Whether visitors are looking for peaceful tranquility or exciting outdoor adventures, Moraine Lake Road provides something special that will stay with them forever – an unforgettable experience in one of nature’s greatest playgrounds!

Moraine Lake Road

9. Norquay Road

Norquay Road is a scenic drive located in the majestic Banff National Park of Alberta, Canada. This picturesque road meanders up the rocky mountainside, providing breathtaking views of the Bow Valley below. As you drive along it, you are treated to vast stretches of evergreen forest and craggy peaks in every direction. The road winds its way up to the summit of Mount Norquay where visitors can take in a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding area. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing or hiking on trails leading away from Norquay Road into the surrounding forests and mountainsides.

The winding mountain road offers spectacular vistas no matter when you decide to explore it. During springtime, Norquay Road is filled with wildflowers and lush vegetation that bring vibrant pops of color and life to the mountain pass.

In the summertime, one can experience endless blue skies and sunshine as you make your ascent. During autumn, golden foliage and crisp air fill the air as fall brings a unique beauty to this part of Banff National Park. As winter approaches, snow blankets mountaintops and trees are dusted with frosty powder offering a magical atmosphere that is truly something special to behold.

No matter what time of year it is, Norquay Road is sure to provide an unforgettable experience! Take some time to explore this hidden gem while admiring some amazing scenery – don’t forget your camera! Along with spectacular views, visitors can enjoy beautiful hikes along trails that lead away from Norquay Road into pristine mountain terrain filled with flora and fauna native to Banff National Park! Whether you’re looking for a quick stop or an afternoon adventure full of spectacular sights and sounds – Norquay Road has something for everyone!

Norquay Road Banff national park

10. Kananaskis Country Trail

Kananaskis Country Trail is a stunning drive located in the heart of Banff National Park. This picturesque route stretches from the pristine Bow River Valley to Highwood Pass, offering an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts and sightseers alike.

The Kananaskis Country Trail winds through some of Alberta’s most beautiful scenery, showcasing sweeping valleys, spectacular mountain views, crystal-clear alpine lakes and majestic wildlife such as wolves, grizzly bears and bighorn sheep. Along this scenic route is Spray Lakes, consisting of seven large alpine lakes ranging in depths up to 25 metres. This area is a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and camping during the summer months. At times you may even be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of peregrine falcons soaring above the adjacent peaks!

Other attractions along the trail include Barrier Lake Lookout with its sweeping mountain vistas and Fortress Mountain Resort where visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding during winter months. Wildlife viewing opportunities also abound throughout Kananaskis Country Trail with elk, deer and moose often spotted meandering through the lush meadows that line the pathway.

For those looking for an exhilarating experience, look no further than Mount Lorette Ponds which is just south of Highwood Pass; here you have a chance to spot golden eagles in their natural habitat! The pass itself is one of the highest paved roads in Canada at 2237 meters above sea level; making it one of the most attractive places for panoramic views as far as Calgary on clear days.

For travelers looking to explore Banff National Park from a different perspective, you cannot go past a journey along Kananaskis Country Trail – one that will surely leave lasting memories long after you have returned home!

Kananaskis Country Trail

Tips for Enjoying the Drive

If you’re looking for a great drive, then the majestic mountain roads of Banff, Alberta should be at the top of your list.

There are so many beautiful sights to take in on the scenic drive through this incredible national park. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your driving experience:

1. Pack a picnic lunch and plan to make a few stops along the way. A great spot to stop is at one of the many stunning viewpoint areas where you can take in breathtaking mountain views, or park your car and go for a short hike. There’s nothing quite like exploring the pristine forests and wide open valleys of Canada’s Banff National Park!

2. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks with you to keep your energy levels up during the drive. Stock up on nourishing items such as fruit, nuts, protein bars, granola, and other healthy treats. Don’t forget water to stay hydrated – it’s easy to get distracted by all the beauty around you while driving!

3. Be sure you have a map (or use your GPS) to navigate what can be winding roads. Make sure you familiarize yourself with local traffic regulations so you know where to pull over or when it’s safe to pass.

4. Be aware of any wildlife that may be around. Many species call this area home so keep an eye out for animals crossing the road, especially in early morning or late evening hours. If you do see wildlife nearby always maintain a safe distance away from them – never approach or feed wild animals as doing so can endanger both yourself and them!

5. Dress in layers as temperatures vary greatly depending on elevation and time of day. Choose clothing made from light fabrics that will help keep you comfortable whether its hot or cold outside! Also remember that since UV rays are stronger at higher altitudes sun protection such as sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, etc., should also be packed along with your drive essentials.

6. Finally – don’t forget your camera! The beauty of Banff National Park is truly unrivalled and there are countless opportunities to capture stunning photographs along your journey – make sure not miss out on any amazing shots!


Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Banff for a scenic drive is in late summer and early autumn. From mid-August through the end of September, you can witness the spectacular fall colors that adorn the landscape as the foliage changes from its lush green hues to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. As temperatures drop and days grow shorter, you will enjoy an abundance of sunshine during the day and a cool crispness in the air each night. August and September are also accompanied by wildflower blooms, giving you incredible views of vast fields filled with colorful blooms making an otherwise ordinary drive into something surreal.

This is also when wildlife is most active as elk, deer and bears roam through the area searching for food before winter sets in. While on your drives it’s highly recommended to prepare yourself for potential animal sightings by familiarizing yourself with safety precautions should you encounter any wildlife along your journey. This is also when many bird species migrate through Banff, so keep your eyes peeled for some stunning feathered friends gliding through the sky or perched atop trees or rocks – which could make for some beautiful photos!

Once October comes around it’s still possible to have nice weather with clear skies but be prepared for snow if temperatures become too chilly. If you’re looking to experience snow-covered forests and snowy peaks then this may be perfect timing since by mid-October many parts of Alberta can already see snowfall – although this is dependent on location within Banff National Park itself.

Finally, there are many trails that are available year round which can give access to frozen waterfalls or other winter wonders like ice climbing routes or backcountry skiing runs – all of which make great memories!

Preparing for the Drive:


Before setting out on a drive through Banff, travelers should make sure they are properly prepared with the right supplies. This means packing warm layers, rain gear, and plenty of food and water in case of an emergency. It is also important to check the forecast prior to your drive so you know what to expect weather-wise and can plan accordingly. Additionally, it is recommended to bring a map or two so you don’t get lost!

When it comes to navigating roads in Banff, there are some roads that are closed seasonally due to snowfall or other hazardous conditions. Make sure to check online sites (such as 511 Alberta) before heading out on your journey so you know which roads are open at all times. Additionally, some roads require 4×4 vehicles because of their steep grade or rocky terrain – especially during times when mud or snow may present special driving challenges.

The Drive for Scenic Drives in Banff also requires travelers to be aware of local wildlife and practice safe driving habits at all times. Be mindful when driving around animals such as elk, deer, moose and bear – they’re unpredictable creatures!

Additionally, use caution while driving around blind corners and always obey posted speed limits – they’re there to protect both drivers and wildlife alike!

Banff National Park boasts stunning natural beauty throughout its many scenic drives – just make sure you plan ahead appropriately before setting out on your journey! From checking the forecast before leaving home, making sure you have all the necessary supplies packed up tightly in your vehicle, familiarizing yourself with any seasonal road closures that may be impacting your route, being conscious of dangerous terrain if applicable and being respectful of local wildlife at all times…the Drive for Scenic Drives in Banff is sure to be an unforgettable experience as long as proper care is taken into account beforehand!

Must-Have Supplies:

If you are planning on taking a scenic drive in Banff, Alberta, there are some essential supplies you must have to make your trip safe and enjoyable.

Most importantly, be sure to bring a full tank of gas and also plenty of snacks and drinks for your passengers. Gas stations can be scarce in rural areas, so it’s best to plan ahead and make sure you have enough fuel for the journey. And if you’re travelling with children or friends, having some yummy snacks is sure to keep everyone happy during long stretches of highway driving. A cooler with sandwiches, chips, granola bars and bottled water will do the trick.

Make sure your vehicle is road-ready before setting off – check the tires, oil levels, brake fluid and windshield wiper fluid as well as any other maintenance that may be due. It’s also wise to keep an emergency kit in the car which should include a first aid kit with bandages and antiseptic wipes; a flashlight; flares; jumper cables; a tire repair kit; an extra gallon of washer fluid; tools such as pliers, screwdrivers and wrenches; and an ice scraper for days when frost covers the windows overnight.

To get the most out of your drive through Banff National Park, pack binoculars so you can see wildlife from afar without disturbing them. Bring along a camera or smartphone so that you can capture great photos of breathtaking views. And if you plan on stopping frequently along the way to take photos or explore trails, bring along hiking shoes or boots that provide good grip on slippery terrain.

Finally, wear layers during all seasons – summer days can turn chilly quickly at higher altitudes while evenings in winter often require heavier coats than expected during sunny day drives. For extra comfort while driving in cold weather conditions bring hand warmers or a thermos filled with hot tea or coffee!

Road Conditions:

Banff is a stunning location to take in some of the most beautiful and majestic scenery in Canada. From breathtaking mountain views to lush green valleys and pristine lakes, there are plenty of scenic drives for visitors to explore in the area. While many of these drives offer spectacular views, careful attention should be paid to road conditions when planning a journey.

The roads in Banff National Park are generally well maintained, with regular snowploughing and graveling taking place during the winter months. However, due to its mountainous terrain and higher altitude, Banff can experience extreme weather conditions including heavy snowfalls and icy roads. When travelling during colder temperatures it’s important to remember that conditions may change quickly, so always check the forecast before setting out on your journey. It’s also essential to drive slowly and carefully over icy or snow-covered surfaces, as well as keeping an eye out for patches of black ice which can be hard to spot until it’s too late.

In addition to adverse weather conditions affecting road surfaces, certain trails may become difficult or even impassable at times due to fallen rocks or trees. If you should encounter any hazardous situations like this on your route then do not attempt to pass them but instead turn back and find an alternate route. Also, be aware of animals such as deer which may choose to cross the road unexpectedly; keep a safe speed limit at all times and never approach wildlife if you see them along the roadside.

Although some roads within Banff National Park are closed during winter months due to dangerous driving conditions, there are still plenty of opportunities for visitors wishing to take part in scenic drives throughout other seasons. To ensure a safe journey it is advised that drivers familiarize themselves with both current and forecasted road conditions before beginning their trip; sites such as DriveBC offer detailed updates regarding highway closures and warnings in the area so always check here first if you have any concerns about safety matters before travelling through Banff National Park!


In conclusion, Banff is a great destination for those looking to enjoy scenic drives. From the winding Bow Valley Parkway and the awe-inspiring Icefields Parkway to the picturesque Lake Minnewanka Drive and other breathtaking roadways, like the Tunnel Mountain Drive and Norquay Drive, there are plenty of options for a fun and memorable day trip. For those looking to explore a bit further, longer routes such as the Highwood Pass or Spray Road offer even more spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies.

Along with these amazing drives through one of Canada’s most incredible national parks, you’ll come across numerous vistas of snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes and rushing rivers—all surrounded by dense forests and wildflower meadows. Whether you’re taking a weekend getaway or just out for an afternoon drive, the stunning landscapes in Banff National Park won’t disappoint!