Skip to Content

How to Get From Banff to Lake Louise – 4 BEST Ways!

How to Get From Banff to Lake Louise – 4 BEST Ways!

This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Lake Louise is one of the prettiest lakes in Banff National Park and it’s a must-visit if you’re staying in Banff! Luckily, there are lots of different ways to get there. I would know, living in the area for years we must have gone over a hundred times! 

Depending on your budget, how you like to travel, and what you want to see there are plenty of options. In this blog I’ll go over the modes of transportation you can use, the routes to get there, and some alternative options you may not even have known existed. Buckle up, it’s time to see the Canadian Rockies!

The 4 Best Ways to Get from Banff to Lake Louise

A car drives along the Bow Valley Parkway
Bow Valley Parkway
Daniel on the moraine lake bus company shuttle canada
It’s a comfy ride!

Lake Louise Drive Construction Notice: This summer (2024), construction will be on Lake Louise Drive, causing significant traffic delays. This means you could spend well over an hour sitting in traffic just to be turned away for lack of parking (over a thousand people are turned away each day during the peak summer months!). To avoid this, consider booking this hop-on hop-off shuttle from Banff instead! Check availability for the shuttle here – it fully books out in the summer months!

I’m going to start by briefly going over the 4 different ways you can get to Lake Louise from Banff. If one option in particular catches your interest, make sure to keep reading as I’ll provide a thorough explanation of each transportation method later in the post!

Car (rental or your own) 

The first and probably most obvious choice is to either take your own vehicle or rent one. We love driving as you get the flexibility to choose your route, decide when you leave, and stop to take in the scenery as much as you want! 

Just be aware that parking at Lake Louise is limited, especially during the summer, so we recommend heading there early to make sure you secure a parking spot. And keep in mind that parking at Lake Louise will cost you $36.75 CAD per vehicle if you visit between May to mid-October.

Otherwise, you can park at the Lake Louise Ski Resort Park and Ride and take a shuttle to the lake (make sure to reserve your spot in advance). Parking here is free but the roundtrip shuttle costs $8 CAD per adult with anyone 17 and under being free. As a bonus, this shuttle will also allow you to visit Moraine Lake!


Tours are a great option for those who don’t want to deal with planning and would rather sit back, relax, and let someone else figure out all of the confusing logistics (I don’t blame you!). I also love tours because you get a tour guide, meaning you’ll learn about the area along the way and can rest assured you’re going to the best spots and hidden gems.

Tours are also nice because they visit more than just Lake Louise, meaning you can maximize your time and check many things off your Banff to-do list in just one day! Keep on reading for a list of our favorite tours below. Or, if you already know you’d prefer to go this route, read our blog about the best tours from Banff to Lake Louise here.

Public bus

The public bus, also known as Roam Transit, departs from Banff at many different times throughout the day with one-way and round-trip options. Depending on the time of year you visit, there are both express and scenic routes you can reserve seats for. We think this is a great option if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding parking at the lake or renting a car. It’s also super cheap!


While there aren’t many companies that have shuttles from Banff Town to Lake Louise there are a couple that will still get you there. Shuttles are generally more expensive and most make several stops along the way. However, this isn’t to say they aren’t worth considering! This hop-on hop-off shuttle will take you to several places in the Rockies including Lake Louise and this Lake Louise Transfer will pick you up in Banff and take you directly there as well (more details on these to come!). 

Related Read: Most people visiting Banff fly into Calgary. Find out how to get from the Calgary airport to Banff here!

Driving to Lake Louise from Banff

Road with views of the mountains on the Bow Valley Parkway
Bow Valley Parkway!

Via Trans Canada Highway

If you’re looking for the easiest, most direct route, the Trans Canada Highway is the way to go. Taking approximately 40 minutes, you’ll get some decent views of Pilot Mountain and Mount Temple on your way. The route is 57 km (35.5 mi) one-way and while it’s not the most scenic, it is undoubtedly the fastest. Keep an eye out for wildlife crossing structures on your way, we have seen bears and deer in this area before!

Via Bow Valley Parkway

I love taking the Bow Valley Parkway. There are so many great places to stop and take in the views of the Canadian Rockies. Also known as the 1A, this 58 km (30 mi) stretch of road is the quieter and more scenic route to Lake Louise offering plenty of places to hike or sightsee. It does take slightly longer to get to Lake Louise this way, but the views more than make up for the 1-hour travel time. 

Best stops between Banff and Lake Louise

Waterfall at Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park
Johnston Canyon has beautiful waterfalls!
Lake Louise Gondola in summer
Photo credit: Ski Louise

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular hikes in Banff National Park. Although not a quick stop, we think it’s worth it! The boardwalk along the path leads you right into a canyon filled with seven glacial waterfalls that cascade over rocky cliffs. You can get right next to the water flowing from Johnston Creek and close enough to waterfalls to feel the spray of the water on your face! 

This is also a special place in the winter! The waterfalls freeze over and create layers of giant icicles, which are incredible to see. I did this guided ice walk tour last winter which was incredible! Our guide provided the safety gear necessary and we walked along the ice to view the breathtaking canyon.

Moose Meadows

This is a good spot to pull off the road on the drive between Lake Louise and Banff near a large field with a mountain backdrop. This used to be a popular spot to see lots of moose (hence, the name!), but it is a bit busier now. You may still see one though!

If not, it’s a great spot for pictures with beautiful views – especially at sunset. The meadow is often filled with wildflowers too which are especially brilliant in the Spring. It is just a small pullover bay, the location can be found on Google Maps here.

Castle Cliff Viewpoint

We always visit this quick viewpoint to see the cliffs of Castle Mountain in all their splendor. The castle-like appearance is due to different erosion rates of the layers of soft shale and hard limestone, dolomite, and quartzite.  

There’s a parking area here and a small path that leads to a viewing platform to stop and take photos. Bring your camera to grab some amazing shots! 

Morant’s Curve

This is an excellent stop for a photo along a bend in the Bow River where trains typically pass through with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Morant’s Curve is only a short drive from Lake Louise (about 5-7 minutes) along the Bow Valley Parkway.

Keep an eye out for the signs indicating the viewpoint and park in the small parking lot (marked on Google Maps here). For the best chance of catching a train for the iconic photo, we recommend visiting on a weekday – trains typically pass by at least once an hour!

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Located only a 4-minute drive from Lake Louise, you will find our favorite ski resort in the Rockies, the Lake Louise Ski Resort. It has access to four mountains with 160 runs! We think it’s the absolute best place for skiing and winter fun with gentle slopes for beginners and wide-open bowls for more experienced athletes. Plus, the snow lasts here from the first week of November until the beginning of May!  

In the summer, the Lake Louise Ski Resort parking lot is where you catch the Park and Ride Shuttle over to Lake Louise. But while you’re there, we recommend taking the sightseeing gondola up the ski hill to enjoy a spectacular view without having to hike up the mountain.

The gondola passes over areas that are home to grizzly bears. It’s quite common to spot a few on your ride up! Once at the top, we love enjoying a scenic meal at the Whitehorn Bistro, one of the best restaurants in Lake Louise! You can purchase gondola tickets in advance here!

Best Tours from Banff to Lake Louise

Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway Full-Day tour

Bailey stands on a rock at Lake Louise, Canada
Take the stress out of your visit!
The Lake Louise Boathouse
The Lake Louise Boathouse

This Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway full-day tour is a great way to see all of Banffs best natural wonders. You get picked up early from your Banff accommodation (or campground) to start your day of sightseeing. You will stop at the most Instagrammable places in Banff including electric blue lakes and glaciers!

We loved that the group has an absolute maximum of 22 people. It really helped to create a fun community for the day where we could chat, take photos of each other, and explore at a similar pace. Rob, our talented and all-around amazing driver, doubles as a tour guide, and will surely blow your mind with the sheer amount of info and trivia he knows! Traveling around the Rockies can be difficult, but being on this tour made the whole process so smooth. 

The drive along the gorgeous Icefields Parkway was one of our personal highlights and was a huge hit with the other travelers. It’s no wonder there are some amazing tours on the Icefields Parkway dedicated to just this stretch of road!

This 9-hour tour costs $195 CAD per person and visits not only Lake Louise but also Lake Minnewanka, Moraine Lake (during the summer), Bow Lake, and Peyto Lake!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Banff National Park with Lake Louise and Moraine Lake (Half-Day) 

Canoes sit in the water at Moraine Lake, Banff National Park
So stunning!

Sometimes full-day tours can be a bit much, that’s why we decided to try out this half-day Banff tour the last time we visited. It was nice to spend the morning enjoying Lake Louise and Lake Moraine and still be back in Banff Town for afternoon lunch!

Getting to Moraine Lake is even more difficult than getting to Lake Louise, so having a tour take us there really made everything so much easier! Plus, there’s a maximum group size of 24, so it never feels too crowded, and you won’t have to compete with other tourists for the best views.

There’s no hotel pickup and drop-off for this tour, but it leaves from the parking lot behind the Mount Royal Hotel in Banff which is still super convenient – plus, you don’t waste time collecting people from other hotels. To make your stay even easier, you could always book a room at the Mount Royal Hotel so you can just roll out of bed!

This tour costs $113 CAD for adults and it runs from June to October, so it’s a perfect activity if you’re visiting Banff in the summer. We think this is a great tour for anyone running short on time who wants to squeeze some nature sightseeing into their Banff itinerary!

Lake Louise and Yoho National Park

Scenic views at Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park
Scenic views at Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park
Bailey poses for a photo in a canoe in Moraine Lake
Of course!

On this full-day tour of Lake Louise and Yoho National Park, we spent the day cruising around on a scenic guided tour to some of our all-time favorite locations. Starting with a round-trip transfer from Banff, the group size on this tour is a bit larger, being capped at a maximum of 50 people.

Our day began at Lake Louise where we had around two hours to explore the trail around the lake and take a ton of photos. If you’re visiting Lake Louise in winter (from November to mid-April), you’re also in for a seasonal treat! This tour includes a 20-minute snowshoeing experience, which was one of our personal highlights.

Depending on what time of year it is, you’ll head to Moraine Lake or Vermillion Lake and pass by the stunning Spiral Tunnels railroad before moving on to Yoho National Park’s Emerald Lake, whose waters really are the most wonderful turquoise color imaginable! There’s also a good chance you’ll see some of Banff’s wildlife nearby, so keep an eye out for elk and other cute woodland critters who call the area home.

We adored our time on this tour! It was pretty special getting to visit two National Parks in one day. We think this is a great tour for families with smaller children as there is no age restriction unlike some of the other tours on this list. It costs $160 CAD per adult, including transportation, park fees, your guide, and even gratuities!

Related Read: Banff is such a great place to visit in the winter, especially during the Christmas season!

Private tour of Banff and the Icefields Parkway

Lake Minnewanka with a beautiful mountain backdrop
Lake Minnewanka!
Lake Louise foreshore and the Fairmont hotel in Banff National Park
Lake Louise Foreshore!

If a group of strangers feels like too much, or you’ve got a large group of your own, you can always book a private tour of Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway.

It can be hard to organize travel plans when you have a large group of people, that’s why a private tour is a great option. Not only will you have transportation, but a guide who can bring you to the best places and personalize your day.

On this full-day tour, you and your buddies will hop aboard a minibus for a day of action-packed sightseeing adventure, with an incredible 10 stops (yup, 10!). The folks over there really have the day down to an art, as you’ll hit all of the best spots, which just so happen to be some of our favorites, like Lake Minnewanka, Two Jack Lake, and Crowfoot Glacier on the Icefields Parkway.

We think a personal tour is perfect for a family reunion trip, a trip among friends, or even doing what we did and round up enough hostel neighbors to join you for a fun day around Banff!

The cost is a flat rate of about $2,200 CAD with a maximum of 12 guests per group. If you make the most of that capacity, you’ll only be spending about $183 CAD per person for 8 to 9 hours of your very own private tour – now that’s a sweet deal! Just be aware that their bookings can be a little glitchy. You’ll need to reserve the tour for one person but let them know your party size to be safe (you wouldn’t want anyone left behind!).

Public Bus to Lake Louise from Banff

a view of the outside of a Roam Transit bus in Banff National Park with mountains in the background
A Roam bus in Banff National Park

I briefly mentioned taking the public bus, Roam Transit, earlier, so let me tell you everything you need to know about booking this cheap and easy transportation. They technically offer two routes to Lake Louise depending on the time of year you visit, 8X and 8S, so let’s talk about both:

Route 8X (Lake Louise-Banff Express) The great thing about the 8X is that it’s offered every day, year-round, and has two convenient pick-up locations in Banff with one-way or round-trip options available. You can take it from Banff High School Transit Hub or the Banff Train Station at one of eleven different times during the day between 7:30 am and around 10 pm. Just make sure to be on time because it doesn’t wait around!

The bus goes directly to Lake Louise Lakeshore via the Trans Canada Highway. I’ve found that the ride takes about an hour and is very comfortable with free wi-fi and nice seats. The bus back to Banff departs from Lake Louise Lakeshore throughout the day with the final bus back leaving around 11 pm. Roam Transit buses are wheelchair accessible, can hold up to 3 bicycles, and run even on the holidays. 

Tickets are $10 CAD per person per way. You can see the full schedule and reserve your seat in advance here

Route 8S (Lake Louise-Banff Scenic Route) – Route 8S is ideal if you’re visiting between July and August and don’t mind your trip to Lake Louise taking a little longer. The 8S takes more time because it goes the scenic route on Bow Valley Parkway to the Lake Louise Lakeshore. This ride is much prettier but does make stops along the way and it’s taken me up to an hour and a half to arrive sometimes. Luckily, that means plenty of time to take in the views!

The bus is identical to the buses used for route 8X with wi-fi, comfortable seating, wheelchair accessibility, and room for up to 3 bicycles. They release the 8S schedule every year, so be sure to check the website for updates before you visit, especially since they’ve suspended service occasionally in the past.

One-way and round-trip tickets are $10 CAD and you can check the schedule and reserve your seat here.

Shuttles from Banff to Lake Louise

View out the window of the shuttle between Banff and Lake Louise
Sit back and enjoy the views!

You’d think there would be plenty of shuttles going from Banff to Lake Louise, but that is unfortunately not the case. Most that do operate out of Banff only go to the Calgary airport and back. I personally prefer booking a Roam bus ticket to save money, but I wouldn’t lie to you and say that you don’t have a couple of great shuttle options as well!

Hop-On and Hop-Off Banff Bus

Public transportation may be cheap, but it isn’t exactly flexible. This hop-on, hop-off bus does a great job of being both which is why it’s a great (although roundabout) way to Lake Louise. With stops at some of the best spots in the Rockies, you can tailor your day to see what you want and not have to stress about parking or getting around.

If you are unfamiliar with how hop-on, hop-off works you’re not alone. I was confused by the idea when we first did it, too. As the name suggests, there are several arranged stops that you can choose to get off at (hop-off) and then after exploring the area get on the next bus that comes by to take you to your next destination (hop-on). You are free to hop off at any stop you like, such as Lake Louise, or skip it and go to the next one. 

The bus makes several stops before getting to Lake Louise so it’s less direct, but it can also take you to Moraine Lake which is a huge bonus! If you decide to use this hop-on, hop-off bus I recommend getting on at its earliest departure from Banff at 7:45 am so you can spend more time exploring the areas you want to see. You can check out the full schedule and list of stops online here.

As a bonus, the onboard guides were hilarious and made sure we had all the information we needed to make the most out of our day. We got some great local recommendations about hikes in the area that we wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for them! The bus runs daily from June to September and a ticket for the day is only $95 CAD per person.

Read our review on Banff’s hop-on hop-off bus here to see all the details and if we think it’s worth it!

People look out the window on the shuttle between Banff and Lake Louise

Brewster Express Shuttle

If you are looking for an efficient way to get from Banff to Lake Louise this Brewster Express shuttle offers a direct transfer from your hotel for a stress-free trip.

Since this shuttle picks you up right from your Banff hotel and drops you off at your Lake Louise Hotel, it’s a great option if you are heading to Lake Louise to stay for a day or two. We have done this many times and love staying at the Fairmont Château. The shuttle drops you off right in front and the location right on the lake can’t be beat.

The bus itself is clean and comfortable with no thrills, but sometimes that’s exactly what you want when getting from one place to another. Your experience will be straightforward with door-to-door service regardless of where you’re going. To learn even more, read our full blog about this shuttle here. Prices for the Banff to Lake Louise route start at $41 CAD per person per direction.

Our Recommended Option

Bailey on the shores of Lake Louise
It’s almost too easy to get good photos here!
Bailey and her mum pose for a photo at Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake!

If you’re looking for the best way to get to and experience Lake Louise my suggestion is to take a tour. Public transportation like Roam is certainly cheaper, but having to plan your day around their schedule and not having transportation to other stops is incredibly inconvenient. We have found from our experience that a tour, while more costly, removes the stress of catching a bus or the hassle of getting to other Canadian Rockies highlights in the area.

Of course, I only say this if you plan to return to Banff at the end of the day. If you’re going to be staying in Lake Louise by far the easiest thing to do is drive there yourself! Whether it’s your vehicle or a rental car, the convenience of having your own wheels can’t be beat. 

Either way, you’re in for one epic trip to Lake Louise. Enjoy your time and travel safely!

Related Read: Lake Louise is just one of many incredible day trips from Banff!

Other Things to do While You’re in Banff

Banff Upper Hot Springs
The Banff Upper Hot Springs!

We hope you enjoy all the fun activities in Lake Louise – but it’s not the only place to visit near Banff! We discovered that there are so many things to do in Banff. But with so much to choose from, it might feel overwhelming. So below, I’ve picked some of my favorite activities in the area.

  • Look for wildlife – Banff is home to some pretty incredible wildlife. You might just spot elk, bears, deer, foxes, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and more! The best chance you have of seeing the most critters is on a wildlife tour in Banff. We really liked this small group tour where the guides tailor the itinerary to recent wildlife spottings, and you get to see highlights of the national park along the way.
  • Unwind at the hot springs – This is an absolute must after a long day of hiking out in nature. The Banff Upper Hot Springs have some incredible mountain views and is also one of Alberta’s best hot springs! It costs $16.50 CAD per person here for a pass, and I’d recommend going towards the end of the day when the springs are quieter.
  • Explore Banff town – While many nature-based activities are nearby, you shouldn’t neglect Banff town itself! Start your morning by visiting one of the cute local cafes, or grab patio drinks along Banff Avenue in the afternoon. To avoid traffic, check out the pedestrian-only Bear Street, with even more restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Where to Stay in Banff

At the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Me, in front of the Fairmont.

Where you stay is one of the most important parts of your trip and in Banff, the selection can be overwhelming and expensive. To help you decide, we’ve detailed the pros and cons of different areas in Banff National Park here. There are also plenty of great hotels in Banff town to consider. Below are some amazing hotels we recommend for a variety of budgets!

Fairmont Banff Springs – $$$

The Fairmont Banff Springs is by far the most luxurious hotel in Banff. It’s definitely not cheap, but the place is simply incredible – it seriously looks like a castle! Inside this one-of-a-kind hotel, you’ll find 11 restaurants, 14 shops, bowling, bars, a top-rated spa, a couple of pools, and so much more.

If you’re celebrating something special, such as a honeymoon, then this should be the hotel you choose! A one-night stay starts at around $744 CAD, and you can check prices and room availability for Fairmont online here.

Banff Inn -$$

The Banff Inn is a great midrange hotel that combines comfort with an incredibly welcoming atmosphere. I love staying here as not only is the hotel located right on Banff Ave, but all rooms are air-conditioned, and the staff is so friendly! In the hotel, you’ll find a hot tub, steam room, and sauna, as well as a restaurant and bar.

Rooms here at the Banff Inn start at around $266 CAD per night, and I highly recommend booking well in advance, as this is one of the most popular hotels in Banff.

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort – $$

Another fantastic midrange hotel is Banff Rocky Mountain Resort, which has a swimming pool, hot tub, gym, and all the rooms have kitchenettes or full kitchens. It’s the perfect place for families, since they also have two and three-bedroom units to pick from.

The Banff Rocky Mountain Resort is located in a peaceful spot on Tunnel Mountain that’s only a 5-minute drive from Banff town! With rooms starting at around $143 CAD, you can check availability and book Banff Rocky Mountain Resort online here.

Samesun Banff Hostel – $

Samesun Banff Hostel is a great budget hostel with dorm rooms – perfect for those on a tight budget who want to stay in the heart of Banff town. Their common real is ideal for meeting like-minded travelers, and they also have an on-site restaurant where you can grab a meal before your wildlife tour!

As this is a backpacker place, you won’t find any private rooms available, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great stay here. Dorms start from $53 CAD in the low season, but this does rise come summer! That’s why it’s a great idea to check your dates ahead of time, and to book your space on either or Hostelworld.

Important info: Accommodation in Banff can be tricky. For starters, you need to book well in advance if you want to have a large selection. I suggest booking a place ASAP! Using is great too because lots of hotels offer free cancellation, so just lock in a place (or two) for now and make the final decision later!

Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks (including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Kootenay, and more) then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

Single Daily Admission:

This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for a couple of days.

  • Adult (ages 18-64) is $11 CAD
  • Senior (65+) is $9.50 CAD
  • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

Group Daily Admission:

If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

  • $22.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and so much more.

  • Adult (age 18-64) – $75.25 CAD
  • Senior (65+) – $64.50 CAD
  • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $151.25 CAD

Hot Tip: Although more expensive up front, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers or booths at the entrance to many national parks.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is mesmerizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Read our honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter). Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable! Check out my review of Motorhome Republic here for tips before you book.

Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks (including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Kootenay, and more) then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

Single Daily Admission:

This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for a couple of days.

  • Adult (ages 18-64) is $11 CAD
  • Senior (65+) is $9.50 CAD
  • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

Group Daily Admission:

If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

  • $22.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and so much more.

  • Adult (age 18-64) – $75.25 CAD
  • Senior (65+) – $64.50 CAD
  • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $151.25 CAD

Hot Tip: Although more expensive up front, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers or booths at the entrance to many national parks.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at Lake Louise
Thanks for reading!

Lake Louise is one of our favorite places in Banff National Park and we’re sure you’ll have a blast at Lake Louise no matter how you decide to get there! That being said, we hope this guide made planning a little bit easier!

We hope you have a fantastic time exploring this incredible part of Canada! Make sure to check out our other Banff blogs before you go, or read about other destinations in Canada (Bailey’s home country!). To get started, click on one of the links below.

12 Absolute Best Lakes in Banff You NEED to Visit in 2024!

20 Fun Things to do in Banff When it Rains

Guide to Planning the Most Romantic Honeymoon in Banff & Lake Louise