Photo Credit: Travel Alberta
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. Take advantage of peak wildlife spotting season
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!
2. Embrace your inner cowboy on a bbq cookout ride
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!
3. See Lake Louise covered in ice
The lakes are starting to thaw and spring is a great time to visit Banff National Park’s most popular lake, iconic Lake Louise. The lake typically thaws around late May to early June, so May is a great time to see the lake covered in ice for some interesting photography. Towards the end of the month the access road to Moraine Lake re-opens and visitors can see two famous lakes on one tour!
4. Experience whitewater thrills on a rafting tour
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!
5. Cruise on Banff’s largest lake
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. Better yet, combine your cruise with a ride up the Banff Gondola in a package deal!
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.
As summer inches closer and lakes start to thaw, spring is a great time to experience whitewater rafting, see Lake Louise covered in ice, spot local wildlife and admire snow-capped mountains.
With daytime highs around 15C, the ski season is winding down and snow only remains in the mountains. Spring is a great time for wildlife viewing and enjoying spring starting to bloom.
The road to Moraine Lake opens in mid May, once the snow has been cleared. With limited parking, this popular lake can be easily visited on a guided tour from Banff.
Lake Louise is open year round, and is a 45 minute drive from Banff. In May the lake will still be covered in ice, which is a great time for interesting photography.
Banff’s largest lake, Lake Minnewanka, has daily scenic cruises from May to October. Many lakes permit water sports, although Lake Minnewanka is the only lake where motorized boats are permitted.
There’s lots of whitewater rafting near Banff, however none within the Town of Banff. The closest whitewater rafting is on the Kananaskis and Bow Rivers approximately 45 minutes from Banff.