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How to Spend 3 Days in Banff

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How to Spend 3 Days in Banff
Tempting with glacier adventures and wildlife hikes, Banff draws in thrill-seeking travelers year-round. Plan a trip that includes a grizzly bear tour, horseback riding trip, and white-water rafting adventure. Here are a few ways to spend three days in Banff. 

Day 1: Welcome to Banff
Get your bearings in Banff with an introductory tour. Climb aboard the hop-on hop-off bus for quick and easy transportation with stops at Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon, Moraine Lake, and Samson Mall. Catch a bird’s-eye view of Banff National Park with an admission ticket to the Banff gondola and go for a ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain with views of six mountain ranges. Maximize time in Banff National Park with a tour that might include Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Leave the driving to your guide and admire views as you travel between these two lakes. Travelers that are interested in seeing Banff’s famous wildlife might want to sign up for a grizzly bear-themed tour that typically includes a stop at the Grizzly Bear Refuge. 

Day 2: Outdoor Adventure
Experience the adventurous side of Banff with an adrenaline-pumping day of outdoor activities. You might choose a rafting adventure on the Kananaskis River, a horseback riding excursion in Banff National Park with Rocky Mountain views, or a canoe tour along the Bow River with wildlife sightings. Travelers who are interested in glaciers may want to join a trip to the Athabasca Glacier, which typically includes a drive along the Icefields Parkway and a walk across the glass-bottomed Glacier Skywalk. For a glimpse into the backcountry, head out on a guided snowshoeing excursion. To see the views, but skip the exertion, opt for a mountain lakes and waterfalls day trip that often includes a bus tour with stops at Emerald Lake, Takakkaw Falls, and the Victoria Glacier. 

Day 3: Photography, Food, and Sleigh Rides
Capture the beauty of winter in Banff with a photography tour led by a professional photographer. Visit several Rocky Mountain landscapes, which might include Abraham Lake for the chance to photograph natural phenomenons like the ice bubbles beneath the lake’s surface. Discover the culinary scene in Canmore with a food-themed walking tour—many of which cover local ingredients such as Alberta-grown bison. Go for a ride in the mountains of Banff National Park on a horse-drawn sleigh ride and cuddle up beneath warm blankets while admiring the views. Both group tours that are a fit for families and private tours designed for couples are available. 
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Banff Tours & Activities (10)
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Banff Gondola Ride AdmissionAttraction Tickets

Banff Gondola Ride Admission

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Maximize your views of Banff National Park with minimal exertion during this round-trip gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Take in views of six different mountain ranges and nearby rivers aboard your state-of-the-art alpine transport, offering large windows and seating for four guests. Enjoy time exploring the ridge line boardwalk before returning back to town.
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  • 2 hours
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$42.83 
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  • 2 hours

Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from BanffSki & Snow

Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

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Enjoy this full-day tour from Banff, visiting the Athabasca Glacier and the stunning scenery lining the breathtaking Icefields Parkway. This tour travels halfway along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, recognized as one of the top drives in the world passing numerous Rocky Mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, and emerald lakes. Your tour also includes round-trip transport from Banff, a mountain picnic lunch, Glacier Skywalk, and an all-terrain Ice Explorer tour.
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  • 11 hours
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$218.20 
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  • 11 hours

Banff National Park Tour with Lake Louise and Moraine LakeNature & Wildlife

Banff National Park Tour with Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

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Discover Lake Louise and Moraine Lake on this guided tour from Banff. Located inside the Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the lakes are well-known for their distinct turquoise hues. Gain insight into the area’s mountaineering history, admire views of the Valley of Ten Peaks and leave with plenty of frame-worthy photos. Round-trip transportation is included on this small-group tour. Don’t miss this seasonal tour that operates from April to November.
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  • 4 hours 15 minutes
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$70.31 
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  • 4 hours 15 minutes

Discover Grizzly Bears from BanffNature & Wildlife

Discover Grizzly Bears from Banff

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Pursue the elusive Canadian Grizzly Bear on this 10-hour excursion through Banff and Yoho National Parks, perfect for animal- and nature-lovers alike. Head out for a gondola ride up to 7,700 feet for a mountain-top lunch at Canada’s highest restaurant, and then take a chairlift ride up to the world’s largest enclosed and protected grizzly bear habitat to see Boo the resident bear rescued as a cub. This full-day trip also includes round-trip transportation, professional guide, lunch and light refreshments.
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  • 10 hours
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$185.88 
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  • 10 hours

Hop-On and Hop-Off Banff BusBus Services

Hop-On and Hop-Off Banff Bus

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Discover Banff National Park at your own pace with a ticket for the Hop-On bus. Buy your ticket in advance to guarantee your spot on the shuttle that zips around to attractions in the park not easily accessible without wheels. The modern school bus style shuttle goes between the town of Banff, Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Samson Mall, and the Lake Louise gondola. You choose where to visit and when. 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
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$52.85 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

3 Hour Bow Valley Loop Horseback RideHorseback Riding

3 Hour Bow Valley Loop Horseback Ride

Situated within Banff National Park, the pretty town of Banff is the stepping stone to some of Canada’s most beautiful mountain landscapes. On this tour, swing into the saddle and trek through the Rocky Mountains scenery on horseback with your guide. Follow rugged trails past dense forests and shimmering lakes, and enjoy a relaxing introduction to the spectacular Banff National Park. Along the way, spot native beavers and elk in their natural habitat.
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  • 3 hours
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$135.77 
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  • 3 hours

Abraham Lake and Banff Winter Photography TourPhotography Tours

Abraham Lake and Banff Winter Photography Tour

The stunning phenomenon of the Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles make for photographs to treasure. This excursion takes you from your Banff accommodations to several stunning Rocky Mountain landscapes including Abraham Lake to capture the bubbles trapped under the ice. Your professional photographer guide will give you personalized attention to help you capture the best photos possible.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$442.56 
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kananaskis River Rafting Adventure with TransportWhite Water Rafting

Kananaskis River Rafting Adventure with Transport

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Enjoy an introduction to the fun of whitewater rafting on an idyllic stretch of the Kananaskis River during this afternoon excursion that’s perfect for families and groups. During your rafting trip along the pristine waterways of the Kananaskis River, scout for local wildlife and enjoy the unrivaled beauty of the Canadian wilderness. This tour includes optional pickup from select hotels in Banff and Canmore, an experienced river guide, all equipment, and a free digital photo of your rafting adventure.
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  • 4 hours
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$95.36 
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  • 4 hours

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride in BanffEco Tours

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride in Banff

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Take a charming horse-driven sleigh ride through the snow-covered meadows of Banff during this rustic 40-minute tour. Cozy up under a wool blanket with family, friends, or a loved one as your friendly driver whisks you away on a sightseeing tour of the area’s stunning mountain peaks.
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  • 40 minutes
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$33.94 
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  • 40 minutes

Canmore Food Walking TourFood Tours

Canmore Food Walking Tour

Savor Canmore’s mouth-watering culinary offerings during this 4-hour food-themed walking tour with a small group. Get a taste for this beautiful outdoor area as you explore its mountain scenery and public art, sampling delicacies like flatbreads, Alberta-grown bison, Brazilian-style barbecue, sweet treats, and much more. Lunch is included and vegetarian options are also available.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
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$110.92 
From  
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation