3 Days In Banff National Park This Spring

Spend 72 hours in the Canadian Rockies this Spring

Planning a vacation to Banff, Alberta and not sure how long to plan for? Well fear not, we have you covered! Our three-day jam-packed itinerary showcases some of our favourite things you can do with your time in the heart of Banff National Park. Thinking of staying longer? Check out our 7 day Banff Itinerary!

Introduction to Banff National Park

Located in the Canadian Rockies and in the province of Alberta, Banff National Park covers around 6 641km² of land. Filled with snow-covered peaks in every direction you look in, diverse wildlife, rushing rivers and so much more, Banff National Park is a spectacular place to spend some vacation time! Below we’ve listed some things you should know ahead of your itinerary:

Location: Alberta, Canada
Nearest City & Airport: Calgary
Available Transportation to the Park: Car Rentals, Shuttle Buses
Available Transportation in the Park: Shuttle Buses, Car Rentals, Bikes, Public Transportation etc. Guests of the hotel are entitled to free local transit as part of our Resort Experience Fee
Park Pass Costs: Can be found via the Parks Canada Website

Photo Credit: Epic Trails

3 Days in Banff National Park – Spring

Admittedly 3 days in Banff National Park, regardless of the time of year, is not enough to see and do everything. Still, if you are ok with jam-packing your days, this itinerary will allow you to see some really cool things, get those iconic pictures and will give you enough of a taste to plan a return trip.

Day One

Morning: Tunnel Mountain Sunrise Hike & Breakfast at STOCK Food & Drink
Afternoon: Gondola with lunch at the top
Evening: Dinner & drinks at the Castle

Morning

You have three days in Banff, and you have to make the most of it – so if you expected this itinerary to encourage sleeping in, wrong place. Plus, when was the last time you could brag to friends that you did a sunrise hike – insert jaw-dropping Instagram photos here.

Time to get moving! A local secret to hiking in Banff National Park is hitting the trails before anyone else can. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views and fewer crowds. Grab a coffee at STOCK Food & Drink and head to the Tunnel Mountain Trailhead. Fairmont Banff Springs also offers a guided Sunrise Hike to guests staying in-house – this option also provides a certified guide who can share some really incredible stories and facts about life in Banff National Park.

Tunnel Mountain is a moderate 4km (there and back) hike, which gives you some really incredible views of the town of Banff & The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course. Our tip – bring crampons as it can become a little icy this time of the year.

After your hike, which depending on fitness levels, shouldn’t take more than an hour, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the town of Banff. After exploring the town, take the trail along the river back to the hotel to prepare for your afternoon adventure!

close up of rosetta latte art
aerial of golf course in the winter

Afternoon

If you haven’t been to the Banff Gondola yet – this will be a big highlight for you! At the top, the views will definitely not disappoint, mountain ranges in every direction, an interpretive centre and theatre, great restaurants and a boardwalk that will provide the perfect backdrop to pictures everywhere you look. More info & pricing can be found here.

two people hiking with gondolas overhead
Photo Credit: Chris Amat
couple looking down a the town from a look off

Evening

Canada’s Castle in the Rockies has an amazing culinary scene. Whether you’re in the mood for some homegrown Alberta beef – 1888 Chop House, French-Canadian cuisine found at The Vermillion Room or some homemade pasta proudly served at Castello Italiana, you won’t be left hungry after your dinner at the Castle. You can make reservations or view other options here.

If you have room for a night cap, we recommended heading to our legendary Rundle Bar. Serving delightful cocktails and food, Rundle Bar is the place to see and be seen.

Hint – Try the Wildflower cocktail at Rundle Bar. This signature cocktail is made locally and is the perfect companion for an evening of cocktails.

purple cocktail with yellow petal garnish

Day Two

Morning: Morning Skate at Lake Louise
Afternoon: Afternoon Tea
Evening: Dinner & drinks in Town of Banff

Morning

Another early morning but equally as worth it! Either grab a filling breakfast at STOCK Food & Drink or enjoy a lovely lay in while ordering some room service. Once you’ve gotten some coffee into your system, walk over to Chateau Mountain Sports, located in the hotel’s conference centre, to rent a pair of skates and get a head start to Lake Louise for a spring skate! Depending on the time of the year, the ice at Lake Louise could still be open to the public to skate on, which will once again provide you with an awesome backdrop for some photos.

Photo Credit: Paul Zizka
table scape of breakfast food

Afternoon

After gliding and doing triple axels across Lake Louise it is time to head back to the Castle and get ready for a unique experience like no other – Afternoon Tea. Proudly serving a menu fit for royalty and of course the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountain views you’ll be quite content in spending the rest of your afternoon lounging in the Rundle Bar.

Evening

Spend the evening taking a walk into the Town of Banff. This is an easy 15 min walk, one way, to find a great place to eat & people watch! New to the Banff food scene is Three Bears Brewery offering a fantastic food and beer menu. Or hit up the Banff staple – Park Distillery Restaurant for a unique dining experience.

bar area with tan and brown tones

Day Three

Morning: Spring Skiing
Afternoon: Nibbles at Rundle Bar
Evening: The Fairmont Spa

Morning

Banff National Park famously has a long ski season, and in fact, it’s the longest non-glacial ski season in North America! Skiing in spring in Banff National Park offers softer snow, fewer crowds and a fantastic après scene. Home to three of North America’s ski hills, Lake Louise Ski ResortSunshine Village, and Mt. Norquay Ski Resort – the choices are all within a short drive of Banff’s town. Never skied?! Not a problem, our friends at Ski Big 3 offer plenty of programming to get you out on the hill no matter what ski level you are!

Photo Credit: Reuben Krabbe / SkiBig3

Afternoon

Once you’re done at the hill and the ski rentals have been returned, head to Rundle Bar to enjoy some lunch bites and to enjoy the views.

Evening

After your late lunch, head to Fairmont Spa to enjoy some rest and relaxation! Home to saunas, steam rooms, a quiet lounge, world-renowned treatments, an epic outdoor hot tub and more. This is the best place to end your amazing 72 hours in Banff National Park.

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