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. As you are forming your plans, securing your spots, and setting your expectations, there are two bits of information that will be helpful to know.
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.
The weather is beautiful this time of year!
There is a reason summer is the busiest season! Even May and June can see some snow, but July–July is prime warm weather in Banff! The average temperature is around 24℃ making these sunny Banff days the prime time for exploration. You could see rain, but the chance is pretty low.
What you should wear in Banff in July
As our summer weather rolls in, the shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops roll out! Typical summer attire is totally appropriate for Banff this time of year, but it never hurts to have a light layer or two just in case of rain or a chilly night!
Now you know what to expect, how to pack, and how to plan (in advance!), so let’s move on to what kind of summer Banff activities and sights you should plan to see and how you can see them.
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 of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. During the day, these two popular lake destinations are completely packed with people, so an evening tour is a great strategic move to be able to soak up the beauty of both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake with a little less viewing competition. Departing in the afternoon and starting with an early dinner at the charmingly rustic Baker Creek Bistro means that by the time we all show up at Lake Louise, most of the other visitors have left for the day. Even with a later start, we’ll still be able to 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
Banff is known for its great wildlife, but our furry friends can be unpredictable in the hot season. We don’t want you to miss out on meeting the wildlife though, so that’s why we have a Discover Grizzly Bears Tour! This tour guarantees that you will see Boo, the grizzly bear, in his sanctuary at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. This full-day tour also 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 Banff in July
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. We also provide a gourmet picnic lunch and transport – we’ll even bring the bear spray! We have everything covered so that your experience of hiking in Banff in July is seamless and everything you want it to be.
Looking for a customized hike? We can also offer private guided hikes on these trails and many more.
Find the best Banff activities in July here
Private Hiking Tours
Guided Signature Hikes
Banff Sightseeing Chairlift
Discover Grizzly Bears
Columbia Icefields Parkway Tour
Lake Louise & Moraine Lake
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! Like we said earlier, seeing these lakes are one of the BEST things to do in Banff in the summer. Seeing the turquoise waters of iconic Lake Louise and Moraine Lake is a must, but you also don’t want to miss out on the beauty of Bow Lake, the scenic Icefields Parkway, and Emerald Lake. Because these spots are at their prime in July, it helps to have a guide (and a guaranteed parking spot!) when going to see them. As previously mentioned, we have an afternoon and evening tour of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, but we have other tours as well! You can see Bow Lake on a full-day tour along the scenic Icefields Parkway, and you can catch a great view of Emerald Lake on a full-day tour to Yoho National Park.
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 Valley with the stunning jagged edges of Mt Rundle as a feature for all your photos. It’s a great way to see and experience Banff in July and at the top, you can relax over a snack or meal, craft brews, or a glass of wine at the Cliffhouse Bistro. What could be better than that?
6. Take a private horse-drawn carriage ride through Banff
As Banff starts booming in the summer season, horseback rides are a super fun way to see it all. There are even private horse-drawn carriages, complete with a cowboy driver as your personal guide through the streets of Banff. These carriage rides follow the Bow River with extension options to see some of Banff’s original homesteads and the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. So, hit all of the sights with style, comfort, ease, and great historical information.
Is your time in Banff extending into August? Check out our recommendations for What To Do in Banff in August.
Have More Questions About Travelling to Banff in July? We have Answers.
Is July a good time to visit Banff?
Yes! With warm weather and long sunny days, July and August are the most popular months to visit Banff National Park for a reason. It’s also the best time to view the turquoise glacier lakes, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
Where can I see bears in Banff?
It’s possible to see wild bears in Banff, but harder to find them in July. For a guaranteed and up-close bear sighting, you can join the Discover Grizzly Bears Tour to meet Boo, a grizzly bear that lives in the largest enclosed grizzly bear habitat in the world.
Is hiking in Banff safe?
Every physical activity comes with risks, but hiking is one of the most popular activities for visitors in Banff National Park for a reason. Just make sure that you are aware of trail conditions, closures, and wildlife. You can also choose to join a small group hike with a professional guide for extra guidance and safety.
Can you hike in Banff?
Yes! 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 colouring of the famous turquoise and green lakes in Banff is caused by the sunlight reflecting off rock flour silt particles that are suspended in the water that flow from the glacier.
Can you drive to Moraine Lake?
Yes, the road to Moraine Lake is open from late May to October but has very limited parking, especially in the summer. To guarantee access, it can help to join a guided tour.
Which gondola ride is better in Banff?
The Banff Gondola is the most popular and open year-round. In summer, the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola and Banff Sightseeing Chairlift at Mt Norquay are popular alternatives.
What is the weather like in Banff in July?
July and August are the best months for Banff travel because the weather is beautiful! The sunny days are long and the average temperature is around 24℃, making it the perfect time to explore Banff!