Banff Summer Weekend Getaway

Kayaking, picnics, hiking and hottubs!

Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Country: Canada
Budget: $420
Budget is based on one person paying for everything, with dining out for all dinners and packing a lunch on the Saturday. Hotel prices are estimated $120/night, and $30/meal. Individual prices will vary depending on how many people you are going with. Park passes are $20 per car. Estimated about $50 for gas while you are in the park.
Banff National Park is a great place for a weekend getaway! Its only an hour and a half away from the hustle and bustle of Calgary, and offers endless activities for all capabilities. 

Weekend getaways to Banff are a staple in my life during the entire year (more so in the winter actually) but during the summer months there are so many activities to do, how do you choose the right ones and not feel like you are missing out?! 

Of course there are a ton of other things to do and see in Banff, but this is the perfect guide to follow if you have not been to Banff before, or have only been a couple of times! 

 

  • Money spent on Accommodations 90% 90%
  • Money spent on food 50% 50%
  • Money spent on activities 10% 10%
  • Money spent on park pass 10% 10%
As always in the mountains, be prepared for sudden weather changes and wildlife encounters. The weather can change very quickly, so dress in layers and bring extra water and food if you are venturing out of town. Wildlife encounters are common, and are not to be feared but make sure you are equipped with bear spray and know how to use it, just in case. Always stay a safe distance from all wildlife. 

My Favourites

1. Johnston Canyon

This is definitely one of my favourite places in the park! Make sure to get there early because it can get very busy during the day which can take away from your experience if you are just dodging tourists. 

2. Lake Louise

Lake Louise is a great place to spend an entire day at. There are a number of trailheads around the lake, and you can also canoe or kayak in the lake if the weather is decent! 

3. Banff Hot Springs

Any trip to Banff needs to end with a visit to the hot springs. Although not naturally heated anymore, it is still a great way to relax after a day of hiking! 

Day 1; Friday

Bow Falls

Once you are settled into your accommodations, you won’t have much time left in the day, so head over to Bow Falls before you grab a bite to eat for dinner! There are short trails near the falls to explore, and the falls can be seen from both sides of the river.  

Dinner

There are so many dining options in Banff! On the main strip almost every other building offers somewhere to eat. Find a place that offers great eats and chow down! For a full list of dining and where they are, check out the Banff map at the end of the post!

Star Gazing

To end the night head out on a quick 10 minute drive to Johnston Lake for some star gazing! On clear nights the stars will leave you breathless. 

Day 2; Saturday

Two Jack Lake

Up and early today, (I know its Saturday, but its worth it!) Head out to Two Jack lake right before sunrise and watch the orange glow creep over the water with a hot cup of coffee in hand from a local cafe. Make sure to bring a lunch with you today! 

Dinner Time

After a day on the lake (or up on the mountain around it) head back into town for dinner!  

Johnston Canyon

Once the sun has risen, head to Johnston Canyon. It gets very busy here so getting here early will allow you to avoid the crowds and really enjoy the falls. After the upper falls, keep climbing up to the ink pots! Chow down on your lunch and enjoy the views!

Banff Hot Springs

After a long busy day of exploring head to the Banff Hot Springs for another night of star gazing, but this time in a hot tub! Sit back, relax, and enjoy the jets! 

Lake Louise

After a morning climbing Johnston Canyon, jump back into your car and head to Lake Louise! If you aren’t hiked out, then head up the Lake Agnes Trail or walk around the shoreline of the lake! You can also rent (or better yet, bring your own) canoe/kayak and head onto the water!Your afternoon will be full of exploring!

Day 3; Sunday

Marsh Loop Trail

If you don’t have to head back home right away today then sleep in today and relax! You are probably going to be a little tired from yesterdays activities! Once you’re up, head to the Marsh Loop Trailhead for a morning stroll. Its only 2.8km and in the morning you have a great chance of seeing some wildlife!   

Lunch

Head into town for some lunch! Check out main street for endless options on grub! 

Explore the Town

After lunch, take some time to explore the town! After all, you haven’t spent much time actually in the town yet! Finish off your trip by getting to know the shops and events going on in Banff! 

Banff Map

Not sure where all the lakes are? No problem! Use the Banff Map to easily locate all the destinations you want to explore! Also includes hiking trails, accommodations and dining recommendations! Add a driving layer and easily follow the directions right to your destinatino!

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