What to see and do in Banff in July:
Looking for the best things to see and do in Banff in July?
It’s July and summer is here! The heat of the sun brings the heat of our travel season, which is why you need to book ahead. Summer is our busiest season in Banff National Park and we recommend planning in advance to avoid disappointment. Looking for a more private and tailored experience? Try one of our custom tours so you can avoid crowds, choose the time, and stay longer.
1. See Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in the evening after the crowds have left
As the crowds grow, it’s the perfect time to enjoy an extended evening tour to Lake Louise. Departing in the afternoon, we’ll start with an early dinner at the charmingly rustic Baker Creek Bistro before heading to Lake Louise after most of the other visitors have left for the day. And of course, we’ll also stop at Moraine Lake with enough time to take a short walk up the Rockpile and take in the famous view over the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Prefer to visit during the day? Join our morning or afternoon Lake Louise & Moraine Lake Tour and get guaranteed access even when the parking lots are full.
2. Meet Boo the grizzly bear
Wildlife can be unpredictable in the hot season, so for a guarantee of seeing a grizzly bear, take advantage of our Discover Grizzly Bears Tour to see Boo the grizzly bear in his sanctuary at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. This full-day includes stops at Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake, a sightseeing gondola ride up to the top of the mountain and lunch at Canada’s highest restaurant!
3. Spend a day hiking in the Rockies
The Canadian Rockies are known for their hiking trails – and taking a full-day tour with a professional guide is the best way to explore the beauty of Banff’s backcountry. We’ll take you to our favourite trails including the iconic Plain of Six Glaciers at Lake Louise and Larch Valley at Moraine Lake. A gourmet picnic lunch and transport is provided – we’ll even bring the bear spray! Looking for a customized hike? We can also offer private guided hikes on these trails and many more.
4. See the turquoise waters of glacier lakes
The weather’s warm, the sun is out and the glacier-fed lakes that the Canadian Rockies are known for are at their best! See the turquoise waters of iconic Lake Louise and Moraine Lake on an afternoon or evening tour, Bow Lake on a full-day tour along the scenic Icefields Parkway, and Emerald Lake on a full-day tour to Yoho National Park. For those looking for tours from Calgary, the full-day Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Tour is a great way to see Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Emerald Lake all in one day. Looking to go swimming? These lakes provide spectacular photo opportunities, but most are much too cold for swimming. Try the Banff Upper Hot Springs or locals’ favourite Johnson Lake.
5. Soar to 6,900 feet on an open-air chairlift
You might have heard of the extremely popular Banff Sightseeing Gondola, but did you know Banff also has a sightseeing chairlift? Less crowded and less expensive, you’ll take an 8-minute open-air ride up to 7,000 feet at Mount Norquay for breathtaking views looking across the Town of Banff, Spray and Bow Valleys with the stunning jagged edges of Mt Rundle as a feature for all your photos. At the top relax over a snack or meal, craft brews or a glass of wine at the Cliffhouse Bistro.
6. Take a private horse-drawn carriage ride through Banff
Horseback rides are in full swing but did you know that you can take a private horse-drawn carriage, complete with a cowboy driver as your personal guide, through the streets of Banff? Seating up to six passengers, the carriage rides follow the Bow River with extension options to see some of Banff’s original homesteads and the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
Is July a good time to visit Banff?
With warm weather and long sunny days, July and August are the most popular months to visit Banff National Park and the best time to view the turquoise glacier lakes.
Where can I see bears in Banff?
It’s possible to see wild bears in Banff, but for a guaranteed bear sighting join the Discover Grizzly Bears Tour to meet Boo up close at the grizzly bear refuge.
Is hiking in Banff safe?
Hikers in Banff National Park should be aware of trail conditions, closures and wildlife, or choose to join a small group hike with a professional guide.
Can you hike in Banff?
The Canadian Rockies are known for their hiking trails, and taking a full-day tour with a professional guide is the best way to explore the beauty of Banff’s backcountry.
Why are Banff’s lakes so blue?
The famous turquoise and green lakes in Banff are caused by the sunlight reflecting off rock flour silt particles suspended in the water that flow from the glacier.
Can you drive to Moraine Lake?
The road to Moraine Lake is open from late May to October, but with limited parking is very busy in summer. To guarantee access, join a guided tour from Banff.
Which gondola ride is better in Banff?
The Banff Gondola the most popular and open year round, or in summer the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola and Banff Sightseeing Chairlift at Mt Norquay are popular alternatives.