Banff National Park Facts & History

The oldest and most beautiful national park in Canada

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is a massive park of stunning and breathtaking beauty, located in Alberta - Canada. It is Canada's first national park (oldest) and the third largest in the world. The park covers an extensive variety of terrain, including glaciers, towering mountain ranges, lakes and a variety of wildlife. Some of the most well-known features are Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

These are noted for their strong colours from mineral deposits left behind from melting glaciers, these melting glaciers cause the lakes to take on a beautiful turquoise blue colour. Other notable locations in the park include Johnston Canyon, Bow River and Banff Springs Hotel. The park was established on April 1, 1885, named after Banffshire's county town of Banff. The word "Banff" is derived from the Banffshire region of Scotland.

The park has been used as an inspiration for movies like Planet of the Apes (2001) starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth and Helena Bonham Carter.

The Town of Banff


The town of Banff is located just outside of the national park. This town acts as a gateway for those touring the park. It is also a tourist hot spot in its own right. The town has a population of around 8,500 and the people living here are mostly hotel owners, resident employees and those working in local restaurants. The town is also a thriving tourist destination with an active nightlife and many hotels, most of which have been built only recently. Since 2010, the town has been developing a new four-year operational plan to help guide its future growth. With an elevation of 1,383 m above sea level, Banff is the highest town in Canada.

Things To Do

Some things to do in Banff include hot air balloon rides, ziplining, bike rentals and sightseeing tours that give guests a close look at wildlife such as elk, deer and bears. Hot air balloon rides are fairly cheap in Banff but takes up a lot of time. It only costs $190 to ride a balloon, and a flight usually lasts around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Aerial views from the top of the mountain are one thing to do at Banff. Because there is no cell phone reception or radio signals while riding in the hot air balloon, it's important for people to fill out an emergency form before the trip. A list of emergency contact numbers should be made and given to someone else who is coming along on the trip.

Animals To Expect

Banff National Park is home to many animals, including moose, mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and monarch butterflies. Some of the most seen animals are beavers and bald eagles. The population of moose in the park is about 2,400-3,600. Also, more than 50% of the entire world's population of Dall sheep resides in Banff National Park where there are about 3,500-4,000. There are also around 619 black bears in the park. The number of grizzly bears is estimated at 60-70.

It is a Huge Tourists Attraction

The park attracts over 4,000,000 tourists every year. The most visited season at Banff is July to August when there are more than 800,000 visitors annually. The best time to visit Banff National Park is in summer. However, the park can be visited throughout the year because of the well-planned facilities that are available for tourists. They have staff on duty 24/7 and there are facilities that could accommodate any type of vehicles from bikes to buses. There are also numerous hotels and inns with a variety of services such as spas and dining establishments in the town of Banff itself.

If you visit Canada, make it your goal to visit Banff National Park, we promise that you will not regret it!