The Best Activities for Banff in June

Are you planning a June vacation to Banff and unsure what to do? I know it can be overwhelming of what to prioritize. Also, due to Banff’s popularity, you’ll want to plan around summer crowds. Well, great news- Banff in June is the absolute best to visit.

Our family recently spent a wonderful June vacation at Banff National Park. It was probably one of my favorite family vacations with my kids. The weather was amazing and sites were gorgeous. i’m excited to share with you why visiting Banff in June is a terrific idea.

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Best Condo
Gondola Tour
Organized tour of Banff
Horse Back Riding
Columbian Icefields

What to wear in Banff in Early Summer

I highly recommend packing layers. The snow has melted in most places and it is starting to warm up. The temps will drop as the sun goes down, so you will want at least a light jacket if not something warmer. If you plan on hiking, don’t forget your hiking boots & bear spray.

Pro tip: Check the weather before you go! We went in early June, and there was a heat wave that brought temperatures into the high 70s.

Average Temps in June

  • Average High’s in the 60’s
  • Average Low’s in the 70’s

Why June is the Best time

The national parks in Alberta are wildly popular in the summer months. On social media, you can watch viral videos of long lines of hundreds of cars waiting to get into the park in July & August.

June is an excellent time to visit this stunning national park. See below for why June is the best time of the year. 

  • It’s warm, but not too hot or cold
  • Lower crowds, especially in Early June, at popular places like the Lake Louise area 
  • Lower prices on hotels & vacation rentals compared to the peak summer season
  • fewer people in local restaurants 
  • Shorter lines (if any at all) at major attractions
  • Many students are still in school during the first ½ of the month will decrease the crowds- by late June, crowds increase as you move into the peak season. 
  • The glacial lakes have melted, granting visitors stunning views. It is the perfect time to experience the lakes. 

Banff Tips

  • Buy passes for Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in advance through Parks Canada. In the summer, reservations are required.
  • Book your vacation rental in advance to secure your desired location and price point
  • Pack layers, sunscreen & a rain jacket

Things to do in Banff in June

1. Lake Louise

Lake Louise is an iconic jewel in the national park’s heart, drawing countless photographers to its shores. When we pulled up, it was our first destination, and we were instantly entranced by the azure tones of the lake set against the majestic Canadian Rockies.

Lake Louise is beautiful in June

Numerous activities await visitors here, offering ample opportunities for exploration. While canoe rentals are available, they come at a premium price for an hour-long session. Many opt to capture the quintessential photo op between the canoe rental area and the hotel, though patience is vital if it’s crowded, as this spot tends to be a tourist magnet.

Once you’ve snapped that iconic snapshot, I suggest venturing onto the relatively flat walking trail encircling the lake. This path offers a quieter alternative, especially the farther you tread. For those wanting a more strenuous hike, the snow has melted and you can access the trails to famous places like the Lake Agnes teahouse.

However, if you plan on embarking on a longer walk, be aware that navigating with a stroller may become more challenging the farther you venture from the hotel. Some of our most cherished memories and photos stemmed from our stroll along this trail.

2. Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake stands as one of the other renowned glacial lakes, and our family unanimously favored it over Lake Louise for its serene ambiance and breathtaking views. We also found fewer crowds than Louise, which is a definite perk to visiting in the month of June. 

However, accessing Moraine Lake presents a bit more of a challenge, as visitors must utilize the shuttle service. During peak seasons, the parking lot may be closed to all but hotel guests, restricting car traffic to ensure a more peaceful experience.

Much like Lake Louise, canoe rentals are available at Moraine Lake, but securing one is a waiting game since they only offer a limited number, and it’s a sought-after activity for capturing the area’s stunning scenery.

It’s important to note that swimming isn’t permitted in the lake due to its chilly temperatures.

Banff in June gives visitors these views

Exploring the lakeside path proved to be a highlight of our visit. While the trail isn’t overly strenuous, it’s not stroller-friendly, with rocks and tree roots dotting the path. For those with mobility concerns, using a walking stick or sticking to areas accessible from the bus drop-off points might be preferable.

One of our favorite experiences was the brief yet rewarding uphill short hike to the summit of the rock pile, offering an unparalleled vantage point overlooking the lake. While our kids easily managed the climb, it could prove challenging for toddlers due to its steep sections. 

However, the breathtaking views from the top made every step worthwhile. Remember to snap a picture here!

Pro-tip: Bring snacks! There’s a small snack shop that is pricy. We learned the hard way and purchased expensive water bottles and hot dogs.

🚌Book an organized tour if you want to take out the stress of seeing both lakes. Click HERE!🚌

3. Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake

views of Peyto Lake

I might go against the grain here, but Peyto Lake has to be my personal favorite of the glacial lakes. After reading numerous reviews recommending a visit, we decided to include it in our afternoon exploration along the Icefields Parkway, and I’m incredibly grateful we did. The lake’s vibrant blue hue is absolutely stunning!

For a brief visit to Peyto Lake, make your way to the viewing deck. A short walk is required to reach it, with a nice parking lot available at the bottom of the trail and a smaller one closer to the top for handicapped guests. 

Reviews had described it as a small and easy hike, taking about 10-15 minutes, albeit with some incline. If mobility is a concern, consider parking at the top or arranging for drop-off.

The breathtaking views from the observation deck make the walk well worth it. It truly left me in awe, solidifying Peyto Lake as a must-see destination in Banff.

4. Two Jacks Lake

Two Jacks Lake

One afternoon, we decided to take a leisurely drive around the park, hoping our youngest might catch a nap along the way. Our impromptu journey led us to the hidden gem of Two Jacks Lake. 

With ample parking and a spacious beach area, it’s ideal for kids to enjoy skipping rocks or splashing in the tranquil waters. We even spotted a few brave souls taking a swim. Our kids spent a lovely afternoon playing on the rocky beach of the lake. Later in the day is a good time to explore this lake. 

For those with a canoe, kayak, or paddle board, this spot is perfect. Additionally, there are designated picnic areas and the iconic red Adirondack chairs provided by the Park Service, offering the ideal setting for a relaxing lakeside break.

5. Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Nearby Two Jacks Lake lies the stunning Lake Minnewanka. With its expansive parking lot, it’s likely to be bustling during peak seasons, especially accommodating tour buses. However, arriving in the late afternoon proved advantageous for us as the area had quieted down.

Lake Minnewanka is one of the popular destinations for its scenic cruises, so booking ahead is advisable to secure your spot. Check the weather conditions before your ride!

6. Banff Gondola

Views from Banff Gondola

views from the top of the Banff Gondola

Located just a short drive outside of town, the Banff Gondola is a must-visit, only adding a few extra minutes to your journey. Before embarking on your gondola ride, take some time to explore the gift shop.

The ride offers breathtaking views, but if motion sickness is a concern, you might want to reconsider. Upon reaching the top, you’re greeted with panoramic vistas of the Banff community that are simply stunning! 

Keep an eye out for the resident mountain goats, a favorite among my kids. Additionally, you can stroll along an elevated path to another lookout point, although be mindful of the numerous stairs if you’re navigating with a stroller.

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7. Explore the Town of Banff

downtown Banff

Besides lending its name to the park, Banff also functions as a town. Visitors can park their cars in one of the public lots and explore the town on foot. 

During the bustling summer season, a section of Banff Avenue is designated for pedestrians only, providing ample space for wandering. This pedestrian zone also features outdoor dining areas set up by many restaurants to accommodate guests.

We opted for an early lunch during our visit when the area wasn’t too crowded. However, as we finished our meal, foot traffic increased noticeably. I recommend that visitors consider having breakfast or shopping early in the morning to avoid the crowds. By the end of June, crowds will start to increase in town.

8. Eat A Beaver Tail

a beaver tail

Beaver tail

You can’t visit Canada without trying one of their classic deserts, a beaver tail. The pastry is a fried dough dessert that can decorated with your favorite toppings. I found it too sweet, but one of my kids loved every single bite. 

Beware- they can be huge! Downtown Banff is the perfect place to try as shops are all over town.

9. Banff Upper Hot Springs


If you’re seeking a distinctive experience and a reprieve from hiking or sightseeing, consider a visit to Banff Upper Hot Springs. This warm pool that includes natural hot springs offers stunning views of the Rockies.

It’s worth noting that parking is extremely limited here. To arrive, they suggest utilizing public transportation, with Banff boasting an efficient transit system. 

During our visit, we found mixed reviews on the springs. Given our limited time, we decided to forego this activity. However, if we had an extra day or two to spare, we would have certainly given it a try.

10. Bow Falls

Bow Falls is beautiful when you visit Banff in June

Located on the outskirts of downtown, the Bow Falls Trail leads you to a breathtaking waterfall. The trail is predominantly wide and flat, suitable for families with strollers, and offers ample shade, particularly refreshing during late summer.

As you approach the falls, the trail transitions into a series of stairs leading to the captivating sight. The falls are truly remarkable, offering a delightful surprise to visitors. We spent some time at the bottom, allowing the kids to play in the water.

11. Bow Valley Parkway

Bow Valley

Views along the Bow Valley Parkway

One afternoon, we dedicated a few hours to leisurely driving along the picturesque Bow Valley Parkway. If luck is on your side, you may even catch a glimpse of some wildlife along the way. It is one of the best places to spot wild animals. 

While navigating this tranquil route, don’t miss the opportunity to stop by Johnston Canyon for a refreshing hike. Additionally, there are several other scenic viewpoints along the parkway where you can pull over and admire the stunning vistas.

Before setting out on your journey, it’s a good idea to consult Parks Canada’s website for any potential road closures, as maintenance or other factors may affect certain sections of the road.

12. Johnston Canyon Hike

Johnston Canyon

This spot, alongside Moraine and Peyto Lake, quickly became one of my favorites. The hike offers several options for exploration. You can opt for a stroll to the Lower Falls, and if you’re up for it, continue onwards to the Upper Falls. The path to the lower falls spans 1.2 km each way, while the route to the Upper Falls extends to 2.5 km each way.

This hike is wildly popular and in peak summer months, the trail is packed. A perk of traveling on the shoulder season is that you’ll encounter fewer crowds and have less trouble finding a parking spot. 

The hike to the lower falls is relatively easy-going. We did spot some families with strollers along the trail, although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as certain sections were a bit rugged. If you do bring a stroller, just be prepared to exercise patience.

Johnston Canyon

Lower Falls at Johnston Canyon

The trail winds alongside a picturesque waterway, leading you deep into the heart of the canyon. At times, you’ll find yourself walking on catwalks above the water, offering a truly majestic experience. 

My husband, kids, and I absolutely adored this trail. The culmination of the hike brings you to a magnificent and gushing waterfall. If you venture across the bridge over the water, you’ll discover a small cave that allows for an up-close and personal view of the waterfall. In later summer months, the line is long to see this beauty. One of the best things about visiting in June is that you won’t have to wait as long. 

After you’ve finished your hike, why not treat yourself to some ice cream from the charming stand located at the end of the path? It’s the perfect way to cap off your adventure.

13. Icefields Parkway

One of the primary routes in Banff is the Icefields Parkway, a scenic highway that leads to the glaciers in Jasper National Park. The drive from Banff to Jasper typically takes around two hours under optimal conditions. 

However, during peak season, which sees heavy traffic from cars and tour buses, this journey can extend to 3-4 hours. During our visit in early June, it took us about 2.5 hours which another great reason to plan a trip for this amazing month. 

views along Icefields Parkway

Once you embark on the Icefields Parkway, you’ll immediately understand why it’s so beloved. Even in early June, we were greeted by snow-capped mountains, showcasing the area’s natural beauty.

The breathtaking views make it easy to lose track of time, and if you’re fortunate, you might even spot some wildlife. During our drive, we were lucky enough to encounter a black bear cub and a small fox lounging by the roadside.

Along the Icefields Parkway, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to pull over and soak in the stunning scenery, whether it’s for scenic views, invigorating hikes, peaceful picnics, or exciting kayaking adventures  on that gorgeous blue water. Don’t miss the chance to visit Peyto Lake while you’re on the Parkway—it’s truly a must-see destination.

Here’s our top tip: Make sure to fuel up before you depart from Banff or Canmore. There are very few options for refueling along the way. While there is one sizable gas station equipped with a restaurant and convenience shop, be prepared for higher prices for everything, including gas.

🚌Book your tour of the Icefields Parkway by clicking HERE!🚌

14. Columbia Icefield

Columbia icefield

Despite being a few hours away, I highly recommend making time for the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park. This was undoubtedly one of our kids’ favorite activities throughout the trip, and we had a great time. This excursion does come at an extra cost, but it is worth it. 

Side Note- this activity is available in the summer and early fall.

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15. Cave and Basin National Historic Site

At the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, you’ll discover the fascinating history of thermal springs. It all began in the late 1880s when railway workers stumbled upon these springs, sparking the establishment of Canada’s first national park.

Today, the site boasts engaging exhibits, picturesque walking trails, and serene picnic areas, along with the iconic Banff red Adirondack chairs waiting to be discovered. Additionally, guided tours are available for those interested, though they may require an extra fee.

Packing supplies for a family

Where to Stay in Banff

If desire proximity to the national park, then consider staying in the town of Banff. We prefer staying a little further out in the adorable town of Canmore. We love the quaint downtown, great restaurants, newer and roomy vacation rentals as well as lower prices.

FAQ: Visiting Banff

🌲Is Lake Louise still frozen in June?


🌲Is Lake Louise blue?

Yes, the snow & ice have melted by June, and guests experience that famous vibrant blue water.

🌲Is Banff worth visiting in June?

Yes, it is the perfect time due to the nice weather and lower crowds compared to the other summer months. Fall is also a wonderful time too.

In Conclusion: The Best Activities for Banff in June

I hope my guide on the best activities for Banff in June helps you plan your next great adventure!

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