Banff, Alberta

Elevation: 4,800 feet. Population: 6,700. Normal high temperatures for June, July and August are (°F) 72, 82 and 80 while normal lows are 41, 45 and 44 respectively.

Banff is a beautiful tourist town nestled within four Canadian National Parks: Banff, Kootenay, Yoho and Jasper. Two additional national parks, Glacier and Mount Revelstoke, are a relatively short drive away. The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1 of 161 world natural sites considered as having outstanding universal value.) Together, these parks comprise one of the largest protected areas anywhere.

The town of Banff is 30 miles south of Lake Louise, a famous landmark of the Canadian Rockies.

Steve and Kevin spent about seven days in the Banff area at the end of August, 2005. It is one of the most beautiful areas in the world, and we’d love to explore it more thoroughly. For those of you who have seen the movie Brokeback Mountain, the beautiful scenery was filmed in Alberta near Banff.


  • The town of Banff is somewhat larger than Estes and is very charming; there are many nice shops and restaurants. Banff is located within Banff national park and is surrounded on all sides by beautiful snow-covered peaks.
  • The highest mountain in the area is Mt. Columbia at 12,293 feet. The vertical rise of almost 1.5 miles provides imposing views.
  • Banff NP alone is 2,564 square miles; Jasper NP is 4,200 square miles; Kootenay NP is 543 square miles; Yoho NP is 507 square miles. Banff NP alone has more than 1,000 miles of hiking trails. (As a point of reference, the large and beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park is 415 square miles.
  • The Icefields Parkway that starts 30 miles northwest of Banff is considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world. It connects Lake Louise and the town of Jasper, and runs for 143 miles through Banff NP and Jasper NP.
  • Some of the largest icefields in North America are located in the Canadian Rockies near Banff. Banff alone has over 1,000 glaciers. Snocoach tours provide access to the icefields for kids and adults.
  • The Banff Upper Hot Springs has a large and well-equipped pool area, and the water temperature usually hovers around 40°C (105°F). In the 1990s its historic pool house was carefully restored to its original 1930s design. Due to the high levels of hydrogen sulfide being released during the heating process, the water has a very strong sulphuric smell, making the Banff Springs full of minerals and an intriguing, completely natural experience
  • Banff has a municipal swimming pool and wading pool plus two indoor waterslides. Bowling and ice skating are also available.
  • Canoes are available for rent at three area locations (including Lake Louise.) A variety of whitewater rafting options or river float tours of 1, 2 or 3 hours are available.
  • Many guided horseback rides are available, from 1-3 hours in length.
  • The Banff Summer Arts Festival holds over 200 events, many of them free, from May through August.


Three families (8 individuals) can drive to Banff in less than one day. Four families (14 individuals) are within 1,000 miles of Banff.

Map of town of Banff

Map of Banff National Park

Map of Alberta, Canada

Mapquest map of Banff

Banff is within driving distance of Montana and Seattle (and possibly Salt Lake, but is 960 miles). Banff is 80 interstate miles from the Calgary Alberta airport, which is served by American Airlines, America West, Northwest, Southwest, United, Air Canada and numerous international airlines.

Passport requirements

Passports are now required for all adults and children who fly to Canada. Passports are not required for those who drive, although this may change as of 01 Jan 2008. Passports cost:

Age 16 + (10 year):
Under 16 (5 year):
Renewal (10-year):

To avoid the passport requirement, consider flying to Kalispell, MT. (A proposal has been made to require passports for drivers as of 01 Jan 2008.) It is then a beautiful 300 mile drive to Banff (versus 80 miles from the Calgary airport.)

Minimum flight costs to Calgary
$260 - or 2,502 miles
$300 - or 2,227 miles
$302 - or 2,657 miles
$329 - or 2,018 miles
$329 - or 2,044 miles
$354 - or 1,957 miles
Stevensville, MT
448 miles
$290 - or 1,619 miles
Salt Lake City
$350 - or 960 miles
Santa Fe (Albuquerque)
$314 - or 1,565 miles
$195 - or 640 miles


All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tax rate is 12%; 6% of which is a GST tax that is reclaimable by non-Canadian residents. Home rentals are not technically allowed within the town of Banff although some home listings can be found on the Internet.

  • Hidden Ridge Resort could affordably accommodate our entire group. The modern condos and rustic A-frame chalets at Hidden Ridge Resort feature wood burning fireplaces, full kitchens and patios or balconies. Soak in the giant outdoor hot tub, barbeque in the covered barbeque area or take a stroll along one of the many hiking trails around Tunnel Mountain that start outside your door. The tranquil and secluded setting makes it one of Banff's best-kept secrets.
    • 2BR + loft condos sleep 10, with queen beds in each bedroom plus 2 queen beds in the loft plus a pull-out sofa for $2,800 US/wk.
    • 1BR + loft condos sleep 8 in a similar configuration for $1,700/wk.
  • VRBO #10761 - 4BR/2BA; sleeps 8. $2,600 US/wk. A tastefully decorated four-bedroom home located in the heart of Banff town site. Refurbished throughout in November 2005 to provide the perfect home for your holiday in Banff and surrounding areas. We are only steps away from the best restaurants, bars, and shops that Banff has to offer.
  • VRBO #86305 - 4BR/3BA. $2,600 US/wk. In the heart of Banff, three blocks to downtown, this property is a gem in the Canadian Rockies. Our Swiss influenced four bedroom 2,200 square foot home offers classic styled luxury. Backing onto to hiking trails, you will find our location perfect. Three balconies, a six person hot tub, and two fireplaces will make your stay here truly memorable.
  • VRBO #40028 - 4BR/3BA. $2,160 US/wk. Hidden in a quiet residential area, but within very easy walking distance to all amenities in town. Views of Cascade, Rundle, and Tunnel Mountains out your windows. You can relax at home, or walk to the pubs or restaurants. You will be comfy and cozy in front of the fireplace surrounded by custom log furniture and original local paintings on the walls. Everything you could need at home is here for you.


Are we related?

Here are the GEDmatch Kit #s for my father and mother:

GI: A909282
CL: A216073

This website is under construction. Thanks for your patience!

Website under construction

All of the links below are old and will be replaced.

Please use the buttons across the top.

Interesting Links

Grandma Ireland's 100th Birthday