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Banff National Park, AB

General InformationThe park, which is open all year, has about 354 kilometres (219 mi.) of scenic roads. Hwy. 1 to Vancouver and Calgary and Hwy. 93S (Banff-Windermere Hwy.) are open year-round, as is the northern end of Hwy. 93N (Icefields Parkway) from Lake Louise to Jasper; check locally for road conditions. One- or multiple-day bus tours of the park's major points of interest and things to do also are available.

More than 1,500 kilometres (932 mi.) of trails traverse the park. All activities involving an overnight stay in the backcountry require a wilderness permit that is available for purchase at visitor centers in the Banff and Lake Louise townsites. Most public campgrounds in the park are available by reservation; book your campsite online or phone (877) 737-3783.

Lake Louise's waters, about 4 C (39 F), are too cold for swimming but are ideal for canoeing or kayaking. Motorboats may be used only on Lake Minnewanka. Cruises on Lake Minnewanka are offered during the summer. Skating, skiing, curling and hockey are available in the park in winter.

Park naturalists conduct interpretive programs at major campgrounds most evenings and at key attractions daily throughout the summer. Bankhead, a once-booming mining town 4.8 kilometres (3 mi.) northeast of Banff, has a self-guiding trail with explanatory signs and a mining exhibit.

Special events include the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival , held late October through early November. From May through August, The Banff Centre, a performing arts venue off Tunnel Mountain Drive in the town of Banff, hosts the Banff Summer Arts Festival .

Throughout the summer guides and outfitters offer fishing, hiking, float trips and other adventurous things to do in Banff. Saddle horses are available for treks through the mountains to glacier-fed lakes. White-water rafting trips and helicopter tours can be arranged outside the park boundaries in Canmore and in Golden, British Columbia.

Information, interpretive program schedules and backcountry trail tips are available at the Banff Visitor Information Centre, (403) 762-1550, 224 Banff Ave., and the Lake Louise Visitor Information Centre, (403) 522-3833, 201 Village Rd.; topographical maps and trail guides are sold at both locations. Visitor center hours vary throughout the year; phone ahead for current schedules.

A public shuttle runs to the viewpoint at Lake Louise and to Moraine Lake mid-May through mid-October. Both shuttles run from the Lake Louise Park and Ride lot, 10 km (6.2 mi.) east of Lake Louise. The Lake Louise shuttle fare is $4; $2 (ages 7-17 and 65+). The Moraine Lake shuttle fare is $6; $3 (7-17 and 65+). Fares are paid in debit/credit only.

Fishing is permitted; national park fishing permits are sold at park visitor centers as well as at some boat concessionaires and tackle shops. Check at the visitor centers in Banff or Lake Louise for a summary of park fishing regulations.

Note: Hunting is strictly prohibited; visitors entering the area must have firearms dismantled. Motorists driving at dusk, dawn and during the nighttime should be attentive for wildlife on roadways. It is not only dangerous but also against national park regulations to feed, approach or harass any wildlife in a national park.

ADMISSIONADMISSION to the park is $9.80; $8.30 (ages 65+); free (ages 0-16); $19.60 (up to seven people arriving in a single vehicle). An annual pass, valid at most Canadian national parks, marine areas and historic sites, is available.

PETSPETS are allowed in the park but must be leashed or physically contained at all times. Pets are restricted in some areas during winter months; phone ahead for more information.

ADDRESSADDRESS inquiries to the Banff Visitor Centre, 224 Banff Ave., Town of Banff, AB, Canada T1L 1K2; phone (403) 762-1550.

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Banff National Park, AB

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