Banff is a town in Canada that is getting more and more famous. You plan to go 3 days to Banff? I will tell you all you need to know about a 3 day Banff itinerary in summer.
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Must See Places For A 3 Day Banff Itinerary
Situated in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park consists of untapped nature trails with abundant wildlife, turquoise glacial lakes, and awe-inspiring mountain scenery.
This beautiful destination should definitely be on the top of your bucket list! Keep reading for my 3-day Banff itinerary that includes the best things to do in Banff in the summer, including the best hikes in Banff.
Johnston Canyon Trail Hike
The Johnston Canyon Trail is one of the most beautiful and famous places of Banff. The hike to the Lower Johnston Falls is around 30 minutes and the hike to the Upper Johnston Falls is around one hour. If your plan is to hike all the way to the upper Johnston Falls you can expect a return time of around 2 hours.
Be prepared for different temperatures. Some parts of the trail are really sunny and hot, some others are in shades and can become pretty cold. Take a jacket you can easily take on and off!
The trail is 6.7 miles roundtrip and has an elevation gain of just over 1,080 feet. You will need around 4 hours for that, so don’t forget to take some food and more importantly, water!
Lake Louise is definitely the most famous place around Banff and you can find thousands of amazing pictures that prove how beautiful it is with it’s blue water that reflects the glacier!
The best time to visit it is in July/August. It’s located about 35 miles northwest of Banff what will take you 40 minutes with the car. It’s really important to show up at the lake as early as possible!
At 10am it gets extremely crowded by tour buses and tourists. My recommendation is to book a kayak tour and to enjoy the lake completely.
There are also some hiking trails around the lake. I would recommend the Lake Agnes Tea House trail. This trail is about 4.4 miles round-trip and offers some beautiful view over the lake.
The Icefields Parkway is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The Highway 93 connects the Banff National Park with the Jasper National Park and is 230 kilometres long. It offers over a hundred glaciers, blue lakes, waterfalls and canyons. Since 1984 the park is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
To pass the Icefields Parkway you need to have a passage ticket or an annual Discovery Pass. The Discovery Pass gives you access to all National Park and many activities in the Canadian Rockies.
If you want to learn more about the Icefield Parkway and the best stops there check the article Top Stops in Icefields Parkway.
The Athabasca Glacier is part of Highway 93 and definitely one of its highlights. You can book ice walking tours through the glacier what offers you stunning views over the Jasper National Park.
Some tours of the glacier are seasonal, operating from April or May until October. Belonging to the rising number of tourists who come to visit the Athabasca Glacier I recommend you to book as early as possible.
Another point that needs to be mentioned is that the Glacier is decreasing about five meters a year. So visit it before it’s going to disappear!
The cute mountain town of Banff is just 30 minutes from the Johnston Canyon Trail Hike. That’s why it’s the perfect place to get some dinner and enjoy a few drinks.
With a population of 8000 people it’s not a really big city tough. But you can be sure to find some great food here!
The Morain Lake is the other famous lake near Banff and one of the must see places in your 3 days Banff itinerary. The lake is only half the size of Lake Louise, but at least as beautiful as its nearby neighbour.
It’s located in the beautiful Valley Of The Ten Peaks in Banff National Park and surrounded by beautiful mountains and trees as you can see in the header image.
The same as at Lake Louise you can rent a canoe or do one of the many hikes it has to offer. If you want to see the famous blue water of the lake you need to make sure to come at the right time.
The road to the Morain Lake usually opens around May depending on the weather. At the end of July until October you are able to see the famous blue water until the road closes again.
You can find a more detailed guide here.
Bow Riverow River
The Bow River is a river in the Canadian province of Alberta. It starts in the Rocky Mountains until it meets the Oldman River and both form the South Saskatchewan River.
It’s just next to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake and offers some nice hikes. It’s also a nice place to just make a break and relax as there are not many tourists.
If you don’t mind to pay a little more on your trip and want to save some stress I always recommend to book a tour with Get Your Guide!