A train coming on the railway line in the Banff National Park with mountains in the background. A train coming on the railway line in the Banff National Park with mountains in the background.

Is Banff National Park Residential? A Guide to 6 Distinct Areas

Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest National Park and was established in 1885. What started as a mere 26 square kilometre hot springs reserve now spans across 6,641 square kilometres within the heart of the Canadian Rockies. This Canadian treasure was also designated as a World Heritage site in 1984.

Planning trips to popular mega-destinations such as Banff National Park can be difficult, as I’ve discovered from my regular travels. It is true, especially when choosing the best accommodation. This National Park can be very busy during summer, so you might want to book your next tour early.

1. Accommodation Options 

Comparatively, the best aspect of visiting this world-famous park is its richness in natural beauty. All year round, it is an ideal holiday destination.

Namely, it portrays stunning sceneries, the Rocky Mountains, lush forests, musical rivers, and nature. Moreover, it has world-famous sparkling glacial lakes. Furthermore, you will enjoy your stay even more with beautiful weather in the Canadian Rockies.

1.1. Pass and Shuttle

Before entering the park, you need a single-location or seasonal entry pass. Parks Canada offers an annual Parks Canada Discovery Pass. Fortunately, it benefits you to enter 80+ notable destinations within the park for 12 months.

Conveniently, Parks Canada Shuttle buses keep you worry-free. Moreover, they take you to all noteworthy and famous spots.

Annual Parks Canada pass from the Government of Canada website.
Screenshot taken from the Government of Canada website

1.2. Sleeping at This Picturesque Destination

This world-famous park offers options for accommodation, albeit limited to a few particular yet renowned spots. You can not stay in the parts of the park that are home to wild animals.

Therefore, it leaves fewer parts available for residential purposes. Nonetheless, some natural settings are available at campsites like Tunnel Mountain Campground.

2. Exploring the Possibilities of Staying at Banff

For hotels in National Park, I always consider the town of Banff my number 1 choice. After that, there is the Lake Louise area, the Bow Valley Parkway, and the Icefields Parkway. Some prefer nearby Canmore. Adventure lovers often head to its designated campsites.

2.1. Banff Town- A Rich Accommodation Hub

Banff, a mountain town, is the first choice of visitor to stay in the park. Conveniently, the stay in Banff is best for groups, families, and first-time visitors. Banff Avenue has hotels, restaurants, tea houses, spas, pubs, and nightclubs. Walking tours along Banff Avenue provide their overview, saving time and effort.

Banff Town & Residential Houses Winter Tour | Amazing Canadian Rockies Banff Day Trip

All Banff hotels offer unique services. For instance, rooftop hot tubs are in the Moose Hotel, and private rooms are in the Hi Banff Alpine Center. Likewise, a heated indoor pool is the gift of Hi Country Inn Banff.

For a serene backcountry stay in Banff, check in at Sundance Lodge and Baker Creek Mountain Resort. Simultaneously, the Hidden Ridge resort is ideal for families and groups. Then, stepping into the High Country Inn gets you near the town.

Banff Attractions: Going for the Banff Gondola, Banff Upper Hot Springs, Sulphur Mountain, and sightseeing excursions are famous in Banff Town. Many history lovers venture towards Cave and Basin National Historic Site. On the other hand, hikers visit Tunnel Mountain, Lake Agnes, and the Plain of Six Glaciers.

2.1.1. Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Fairmont Banff Springs is a luxury hotel in Banff Town. Altogether, it is quiet, kid-friendly, and romantic. This historic hotel has a range of amenities to suit all tastes, including food lovers and spa-goers. The castle-like rooms are elegantly designed and provide stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.

The hotel is near Downtown Banff Village, Bow Falls, and many hiking trails. Its private parking entrance, swimming pool, and lounge are unique.

Can you Stay in Banff National Park?
By simon94 / Pixabay / Copyright: 2022

In Banff Town, the Rimrock Resort Hotel is among the best luxury hotels. Also, Basecamp Suites Banff and Banff Inn, top-rated hotels, provide a convenient location during your stay in Banff. In any case, these hotels ensure that children and adults have a pleasant and comfortable visit.

2.1.2. Fox Hotel and Suites

Foxhotel and Suites
Screenshot taken from the official site: Foxhotel and Suites

Check in the Fox Hotel and Suites for a comfortable stay in Banff. Following that, it gives you a prominent view of the Canadian Rockies. It is a 3-star mid-range hotel situated at Banff Avenue near Downtown Banff. This hotel features a hot tub area, a gym, and a complimentary breakfast.

The rooms could use updating, but they have a comfy bed and coffee maker. The hotel offers free bus passes and free underground parking.

Check out other mid-range hotels, like Banff Boutique Inn (a Boutique Hotel), if you visit Banff. Afterward, experience a spa bath at Castle Mountain Chalets. Likewise, Buffalo Mountain Lodge has a fitness centre and a wood-burning fireplace. Additionally, Storm Mountain Lodge has private cabins.

2.1.3. Hi Banff Alpine Centre

Although a 1-star affordable hotel in Banff, it is well-furnished and clean. Banff Alpine Centre has relatively modern rooms. It is well worth the cost with all the amenities and services.

Banff Aspen Lodge, Banff Caribou Lodge, and Banff International Hostel are affordable hotels in Banff. Likewise, Banff Rocky Mountain Resort, the Juniper Hotel, and Tunnel Mountain Resort are also noteworthy.

Banff Alpine Centre
Screenshot taken from the official site: Banff Alpine Centre

2.2. Lake Louise Hotels

Lake Louise is one of the busiest tourist spots. Therefore, you will run into crowds wanting the same turquoise-blue waters. It further leads to plenty of world-famous attractions and enjoyable activities. Because of this, the expenses to stay at the lake are even higher in National Park.

So, you might visit Lake Louise Village or the lake itself. Therefore, you should get there with that understanding.

Despite this, it is surprising how its accommodations are always busy receiving guests. It is a demonstration of the enormous popularity of this majestic lake.

2.2.1. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Hotel Highlight: The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise | SmarterTravel

Here, you get a romantic getaway to create a divine experience. It is one of the best hotels besides the stunning lake views. If you can afford its high costs, pay for it. After that, it is like the 5-star Chateau Lake Louise Hotel is yours.

It is a perfect spot for VIP business meetings and conferences. You will like a well-stocked gym, enjoyable spa, and vibrant nightlife. Next to the picturesque lake, a rich bundle of outdoor fun is its luxurious treat.

2.2.2. Lake Louise Inn

Screenshot taken from the official site: LakeLouiseInn

Lake Louise Inn is a 3-star hotel. It is just a 5-minute walking distance from Lake Louise Village. It satisfies you with an indoor pool, hot tub, restaurant, and breakfast buffet. I call it the best hotel for families in Lake Louise village. It has a pet-friendly environment.

Although there is no AC, the rooms are comfortable, thanks to the ideal weather. It offers a free shuttle service to the nearby glacial lakes.

2.2.3. Lake Louise Ski Resort

One day of riding at Lake Louise Ski Resort

In the winter, most of the crowds in the park come to this place to enjoy their holidays. Here, you have unlimited access to skiing and skating on the white sheets of heavenly-attired snow. But, it is not a residence.

From here, the tourists get all the excitement during the winter. You can stay in nearby famous hotels like Mountaineer Lodge and Hi Lake Louise Alpine Centre.

2.2.4 Things to Do at Lake Louise

Lake Louise area is full of exciting things for you to explore. For instance, adventure lovers try canoeing, hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, and cycling.

From here, it is easier to access famous lakes like Emerald Lake, Bow Lake, and Moraine Lake. These are just a few fun-time activities at the breathtaking lake area.

2.3. Stay at Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake Car Parking Area with trees and mountains in the background.

Moraine Lake Lodge is the only hotel built on the banks of Moraine Lake. Here, it pampers you with unlimited access to its majestic waters. With the availability of the Lake connector shuttles or private buses, reaching any part of the park is easier.

2.4. Book a Canmore Hotel to Explore Banff

It’s famous among tourists as ideal for budget-friendly residential benefits. Not only is it convenient, but it is also just 27 minutes away from Banff.

You will have two different yet calm experiences when travelling from Canmore to Banff. This way, you can also enjoy its famous mountain biking expedition. Book an affordable room in Canmore. Consider Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn, Canmore Inn and Suites and Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge.

2.4.1. Canmore Downtown Hostel

Canmore Downtown hostel with mountains in the background.
Screenshot taken from the official site: Canmore Downtown Hostel

Built in a natural setting, it is a quiet, clean, and comfortable lodging in the heart of Canmore. This budget-friendly hostel features a well-equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi, laundry, and bedside lockers. Additionally, it has free parking and an active nightlife.

2.5. Hotels Near the Bow Valley Parkway

Bow Valley Parkway is a picturesque 48-kilometre route near the Bow River and Trans Canada Highway. Staying along this unique route is possible when spending your vacation at National Park hotels. This way, it will also take you past some world-renowned attractions in the Canadian Rockies.

A few accommodations, like Johnston Canyon Lodge, Mountaineer Lodge and Bungalows, are on this road. Some other examples include Hi Castle Wilderness Hostel and Baker Creek By Basecamp.

2.6. Hotels Close to the Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada.
By Andrew Svk / Unsplash / Copyright: 2021

Icefields Parkway, 230 kilometres long, runs through the heart of Banff, connecting Lake Louise and Jasper. As a result, it led to many popular vacation spots like Athabasca Glacier, Bow Lake, and Peyto Lake. There are fewer hotels along this marvellous road.

To get an experience, stay at Num Ti Jah Lodge. Furthermore, Fairmont Park Lodge, Pyramid Lake Resort, Glacier View Lodge, and Rampart Creek are on the way. Also, many tourists like staying in one of its campsites, such as Columbia Icefields Campground.

3. End Note

Primarily, the beauty of the park is nature. As nature lovers, the constantly changing rules about exploring national parks may change your view.

Secondly, they can also create more possibilities for your stay in this magnificent park. It means, now more than ever, you need a bit of research.

Furthermore, it would be best if you also had a road map to get the ideal place to stay in Banff.

Last Updated on by Arnab Nandi


  • Zahra Jabeen

    Zahra Jabeen is an emerging SEO content writer from Pakistan. With a master's degree in Language and Literature from the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, she combines her academic background with her love for nature and passion for traveling. Having six years of experience as a teacher and a deep appreciation for yoga, spirituality, and environmental science, Zahra is committed to producing engaging and transformational material. Her inspirational content encourages self-improvement, sustainable living, and a closer relationship with nature, reflecting her expertise and genuine enthusiasm.

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