A Beautiful Fall Weekend in Banff, Canada

Advisor - Kim Reynolds
Curated By

Kim Reynolds

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  • Banff

  • Canada

  • Adventure Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Babymoons

  • Outdoors

  • Relaxation

  • Sightseeing

Morraine Lake
Curator’s statement

Banff was always a bucket list destination for me. I remember the first time I ever saw a picture of Lake Louise and could not believe that this was not some place in some far-off magical land but only a few hour flight to Canada. It is spectacular in every way, and the pictures do not even begin to do it justice. Be prepared to fall in love!

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

Fairmont Banff Springs

The Fairmont Banff Springs, nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, offers an unparalleled luxury retreat amidst breathtaking natural beauty. With its iconic castle-like architecture and world-class amenities, it stands as a premier destination for discerning travelers seeking adventure and relaxation in Banff National Park.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Indulge in unparalleled grandeur and pristine natural beauty at this iconic lakeside resort.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Advisor - Kim Reynolds

Unlock perks by contacting Kim to book your trip.

Day 1: Fly into Calgary International Airport

Lake House

In order to get to Banff, you will need to fly into Calgary International Airport. I highly recommend booking a rental car at the airport. The drive to Banff is about 90 minutes.

There is an entry fee into Banff National Park, which will be good for the length of your stay.

Since your Banff adventure will probably start mid-afternoon, I recommend booking the Banff Gondola right before sunset to make sure that you are at the top of Sulphur Mountain when the sun starts to go down. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen and is a MUST on your Banff trip.

While up on Sulphur Mountain, grab a dinner reservation at Sky Bistro. The food is delicious and the views are to die for!

Day 2: Morraine Lake and Hiking Trails

Grizzly house

Parks Canada Shuttle: There is a Parks Canada Shuttle that will take you to both Morraine Lake and Lake Louise, but you need to drive to the shuttle, which is about a 40-minute drive from the center of Banff. You need to book these shuttles in advance, especially during busy seasons, as they book up fast!

Book Early: It's advisable to book an early shuttle because the trails can get crowded, especially during peak times.

Take Your Time: Don't try to visit both Morraine Lake and Lake Louise on the same day. If you have the time, break it up like I did. It will be much more enjoyable and you won't have to rush.

Trails at Morraine Lake: Morraine Lake offers several different trails that vary in difficulty. For an easy hike, climb up the Morraine rocky pile trail for the best views of the lake, or do the Morraine Lake trail, which is about 3 miles.

Dinner Reservation: After all that hiking, you'll be hungry for dinner! Book a dinner reservation at Banff's famous fondue restaurant, Grizzly House. Before dinner, check out all of the cute shops in Banff's downtown area.

Day 3: Lake Louise and Canoe

Lake Louise

Lake Louise Shuttle: Similar to Morraine Lake, you will need to book the Lake Louise Shuttle in advance.

Arrive Early and Book a Canoe: Arrive early and book a canoe for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on Lake Louise.

Hiking Trails: Just like at Morraine Lake, there are hikes at Lake Louise of varying degrees of difficulty. For an easy hike, do the shoreline hike. If you're feeling more ambitious, try the Lake Agnes tea house hike, which is labeled as easy but is straight uphill and a more moderate hike. It's worth it when you get to the adorable tea house at the top. For a more challenging hike, consider the Little Beehive via Agnes Tea House Trail, which offers incredible views of Lake Louise.

Dinner at Waldhaus Pub and Biergarten: After a day of adventure, stop by the Waldhaus Pub and Biergarten at the Fairmont Banff Springs for some well-deserved beers and German pretzels.

Before you leave Banff, enjoy one of its many hot springs!

Need to Know

I am sure there is loads to do during ski season, but in my opinion it is probably best to visit in summer or early fall. I went the first week in October and the weather was perfect. Winter comes quick in Canada and leaves quite late in the season, so make sure you look into any seasonal closures (most start in October) before booking your trip.

Advisor - Kim Reynolds

Travel Advisor

Kim Reynolds

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Banff. For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Diana Turner’s guide, Things to Do On A Winter Visit To Banff.