Looking for the best things to do in Banff in May?

It’s May and we’re not the only ones after the fresh air – our furry neighbours are waking up, feeding on berries in the low valley bottoms and giving wildlife watchers a show! As summer inches closer lakes start to thaw it’s the perfect time for water activities such as whitewater rafting and lake cruises.

1. Evening Wildlife Safari

Our daily Wildlife Watching Safaris are in full-swing and giving guests a treat while animals await snow in the high alpine areas to melt. We often spot elk, deer and bighorn sheep on this tour, and typically bears will start to become more active from mid May onwards. Wondering what we’ve seen lately on this tour? Check out our guides’ report!

Photo Credit: Celestine Aerden @celestineaerden

2. Cowboy Cookout Horseback Rides

Speaking of animals, horseback riding and cowboy BBQ cookouts have begun! The horses are frisky with the crisp morning air and waiting for adventure, and the cookouts are the perfect activity for the whole family with your choice of horseback ride or wagon ride with a delicious steak cooked to order!

Banff Horseback Cowboy

3. See Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

The lakes are starting to thaw and spring is a great time to visit Banff National Park’s most popular lake, iconic Lake Louise. Towards the end of the month the access road to Moraine Lake re-opens and visitors can see two famous lakes on one tour! Make the most of your visit on the evening Deluxe Lake Louise Tour by visiting both lakes after the crowds have left for the day, with an early dinner in the log cabin ambiance of charming Baker Creek Bistro.

See turquoise Moraine Lake and the Valley of Ten Peaks on the Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Tour with Discover Banff Tours

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4. Whitewater Rafting

Rafting season is finally here! The snow has melted and the rivers are rising – come and join us on three whitewater rafting rivers near Banff. May is a great month for rafting because the river levels are high and there’s lots of fun to be had. And it’s the perfect rainy day activity, you’ll be surprised how much fun it is to be out on the river in the rain!

Family friendly rapids fun on the Kananaskis River in the Canadian Rockies

5. Banff Lake Cruise

Banff’s largest lake, Lake Minnewanka, is also the only lake in Banff National Park open to public motorized boating. Take an interpretive 1 hour cruise on the lake’s emerald waters surrounded by forested pine and spruce trees and towering peaks.

Photo Credit: Banff Jasper Collection by Pursuit

6. Learn about Banff’s haunted history

Spend a spooktacular evening unearthing ghastly ghosts, ghouls and mysterious events lurking in the shadows of Banff’s historic streets on an evening ghost tour.

Banff ghost walks with an interpretive guide
Photo Credit: Canmore Theatre Productions

The best Banff activities in May

Take a Banff ghost tour led by an interpretive guide

Banff Ghost Walks

Spend a spooktacular evening unearthing ghastly ghosts, ghouls and mysterious events lurking in the shadows of Banff’s historic streets. Take
8:00pm
1 Hour 40 minutes

Kicking Horse River Classic Whitewater Rafting

The Kicking Horse River is the Rockies' most thrilling whitewater rafting with Class 1-4 rapids. Located 1.5 hours from Banff
9:00am, 12:30pm
4 Hours
Visit Lake Louise in the evening on the Deluxe Lake Louise Tour
Limited Space

Deluxe Lake Louise & Moraine Lake

This evening tour gives you more time to wander and soak up the beauty of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake
3:30pm
6 Hours
Cowboy Cookout Cooking Alberta Steak
Family Fun

Horseback Ride + Cowboy BBQ Cookout

Ride along the base of Sulphur Mountain to a delicious cowboy BBQ cookout at 3 Mile Cabin. First you'll ride
11:30am, 4:00pm, 5:00pm
3 Hours
Class 4 rafting rapids fun on the Horseshoe Canyon in the Canadian Rockies
Limited Space

Horseshoe Canyon Whitewater Rafting

Calling all adventure lovers - there’s no better way to get the adrenaline flowing than big waves! Jump into a
8:15am
4 Hours
Lake Minnewanka Lake Cruise Boat Tour

Lake Minnewanka Cruise

See the Rocky Mountains from a new perspective on a 1 hour interpretive boat cruise of the largest lake in
Throughout the day
1 Hour
Wildlife Evening Safari Elk
Most Popular

Evening Wildlife Safari

Where do you find the animals of Banff when the sun goes down? Your guide will know! So keep your
5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, Varies seasonally
2 Hours
Banff Covered Wagon
Family Fun

Wagon Ride + Cowboy BBQ Cookout

Take a relaxing wagon ride along the Bow River and join the horseback riders for a BBQ cookout. Arrive at
11:30am, 4:00pm, 5:00pm
3 Hours
Family friendly rafting rapids on the Kananaskis River in the Rockies
Family Fun

Kananaskis Whitewater Rafting

You'll get splashed by the frothy swells of the rushing river but it won’t wash the smile off your face
1:30pm
4 Hours
Most Popular

Lake Louise & Moraine Lake

See two of the world's most beautiful lakes including iconic Lake Louise - famous for its jewel-like water nestled between
8:00am, 1:00pm
4.25 Hours