10 Things To Do In Banff National Park This Spring
Spring in the Canadian Rockies happens quickly. Taking advantage of mild weather (packing should consist of layers) and fewer crowds should be high on your to-do list. Banff National Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, name the season and there is a plethora of activities and attractions to do. Spring in the mountains is something special. At higher elevations, the mountains are still covered with snow, to the delight of those who live for spring skiing. At lower elevations, the snow has melted to reveal the wonderful hiking & biking trails that transport you into a whole new world.
1. EARLY SEASON HIKING
For those eager to stretch their legs and start the hiking season off with a bang there are many trails around Banff in the spring that are snow-free early into the season. From Tunnel Mountain to Sundance Canyon Trail – these spots offer some of the most picturesque scenery around. It’s always a good mountain practice to check the weather and trail conditions that might impact you. A tried and true packing tip? Layers. So whether the day starts out chilly and ends warmer, having different layers on will ensure you stay comfortable. Did you know: Guests of the hotel are also able to sign up for our guided hikes through our Resort Activities team?
2. RELAX AT THE SPA
Whether you spent all winter being super active or made the most of your Netflix account – nothing beats a personal spring refresh. The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Banff Springs boasts mineral pools, a heated outdoor pool & hot tub, relaxing treatment rooms, a quiet room and a newly renovated and expanded salon (you know it’s time for that mani/pedi) and more. Still, wondering what to do in Banff in spring? Hit the spa, duh. Keep an eye out: Mid-week & spring spa offers can help you maximize your time at the Willow Stream Spa.
3. SPRING SKIING
Looking for a local’s tip to enjoying spring in Banff? Banff National Park famously has a long ski season, in fact, it’s the longest non-glacial ski season in North America! So, if January and February were too cold to leave the house you have until late May to try your hand at skiing in some of the best spring conditions. With the snow a little softer, fewer crowds, and an après scene that leaves even the Oscar after-party to shame, there really isn’t a reason to miss it. Plus, with closing day drawing near you can make your money go farther with last-minute deals, mid-week specials and much more. Secret season tip: Never skied?! Not a problem, our friends at Ski Big 3 offer plenty of programming to get you out on the hill!
4. GO SIGHTSEEING
With the Icefields Parkway, a short car ride away from our doorstep – seeing one the world’s most picturesque drives is easier than you think. With sightseeing tours offered with partner companies like Pursuit or Discover Banff, your senses will be in overdrive over the drive up the Icefields Parkway. Have your camera ready: You’ll probably see some incredible wildlife along the way! Stops along the highway can include; Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, Columbia Icefield Skywalk & Columbia Icefield Adventure.
5. BECOME A FOODIE
Still in hibernation mode? Banff’s best restaurants are here with the ultimate cure. Whether you’re searching for the best brunch in Banff, best bars in Banff or even somewhere casual to indulge in some locally sourced and indulgent delights look no further than the Canadian Rockies. Foodie recommendation: Start your culinary journey at the intimate 1888 Chop House at Fairmont Banff Springs. This restaurant is all about remaining true to its western roots. 1888 Chop House celebrates its rich menu – everything you could want from a modern steak house -with a wine list that matches!
6. GALLERY HOP
Announced as a national park in 1885, Canada’s first, Banff has a history unrivaled by those surrounding it. From the iconic Cave and Basin to the Whyte Museum, there’s a wide variety of ways to learn about Banff for all those history buffs. To add even more on your plate, Banff also boasts a high number of galleries, from the Banff Centre’s Walter Philips Gallery, Canada House Gallery and the Carter-Ryan Gallery, your eyes will be dancing at all the beautiful art!
Staying at Fairmont Banff Springs: Registered guests of the hotel are able to soak in the history of Canada’s Castle in the Rockies with a complimentary 60-min Heritage Tour. This tour speaks to the incredibly rich history that the hotel is known for from Royal visits to Marilyn Monroe herself!
7. GO IN ON GOLF
Home to Banff National Park’s only golf course The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course is a championship course. Boasting some of the best views, golfers of any level can keep it casual on the driving range, up-the-ante on the Tunnel 9 Course or really lean in and play all 18 holes on the Stanley Thompson Course. Did we mention that the golf course is home to an incredible patio – serving delicious fare and drinks? Keep an eye out: Early Season, Nine & Dine & Driving Range specials can help you take advantage of the game!
8. REACH NEW HEIGHTS
Home to not one, not two, but three stunning Gondola’s in Banff National Park – your list of things to do in spring in Banff has hit an all-time high. Take for example the Banff Gondola, scaling to the peak of Sulphur Mountain boasts stunning views, no-surprise there, but is also home to some wonderful events throughout the spring season. Their interactive centre is also home to some great dining.
Still, looking for some next-level views? Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort also have gondolas that are perfect for spring activities. Since these gondola’s run in tandem with the ski season and summer seasons – closure on certain dates should be expected.
9. HIT UP A FESTIVAL
From the Banff Gondola’s Alpenglow Festival, where you can take in ‘magic hour’ in the mountains, to the Starlight Dinner at the Cliffhouse Bistro and finally the après scene at The Brewski Festival at the Lake Louise Ski Resort, spring in Banff is full of wonderful sights and sounds. Be in the mix at any one of these (or all!) festivals and feel how socializing in the Canadian Rockies is unlike anything else!
10. GO SHOPPING
With mild days on the horizon it’s time to dig out the spring clothes and leave the winter ones in the dust – but not so fast. Spring in Banff means the best time to shop! With most gear and apparel heavily marked down, you’ll be kicking your future self for not taking advantage of the deals that spring has in store. Hit the shops in the town of Banff or even those in Fairmont Banff Springs – trust us, you’ll thank us.
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