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23 BEST Stops on the Drive from Whistler to Banff

23 BEST Stops on the Drive from Whistler to Banff

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You are about to embark on one of the most epic and beautiful road trips you can possibly do in Canada! There are SO MANY amazing stops on your drive from Whistler to Banff, each one presenting its own magic and beauty.

I encourage you to take your time at each one of these stops – although I think the bigger problem will be convincing you to leave each of these stops to continue to your next destination! You’ll get to experience breathtaking mountainscapes, emerald-colored lakes, national parks, and soothing hot springs on this drive from Whistler to Banff.

If you were to take this road trip without stops it would take about 10 hours, but take your time experiencing this road trip over several days. While these stops are listed from Whistler to Banff, you can easily do them in reverse as well driving from Banff to Whistler!

My hope is that after this blog you’ll everything about driving from Whistler to Banff. From the best stops to essential driving tips, I’ve included it all here.

Don’t have time to read the full article? There are many epic stops on your drive from Whistler to Banff, starting out with the Via Ferrata, rock climbing in Whistler. Our other favorite stops are exploring small towns like Salmon Arm, whitewater rafting in Revelstoke, and the goregous Moraine Lake. Once you’re in Banff, join a sightseeing tour to see the most while you’re here!

About the Drive from Whistler to Banff

The distance from Whistler to Banff is about 800 kilometers (500 miles), and without stops, the drive would take around 10 hours. As I stated, I highly encourage you to really take your time with this trip and enjoy and explore each of these individual stops over a several-day period.

The road trip from Whistler to Banff can be done year-round, however, if you aren’t used to driving in the snow I would avoid the winter months. It’s beautiful regardless of the season you visit, but the roads are much easier to drive on in the summer and fall.

If you do decide to do this road trip in the winter, your car will need winter tires for extra grip. Winter tires are mandatory on Highway 99 and most BC highways from October 1 until March 31. You could be fined if you don’t have winter tires in good condition, but more importantly, it’s much safer to have them!  

Without further adieu here is your list of the 23 best stops on the drive from Whistler to Banff!

23 Best Stops on the Drive from Whistler to Banff

1. Whistler

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at the Whitler Olympic rings in Whistler Town
Whistler Olympic Rings
The view out the window of the Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler, BC
How amazing is the view from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola?!

This epic road trip starts from one of the most beautiful towns in all of Canada – Whistler! There are plenty of fun things to do and see in Whistler, so many that you could easily spend weeks here exploring. If you’re visiting Whistler in the winter, then be sure to hit the slopes, and in the summer in Whistler, get out on those hiking trails. Whistler in Autumn is also especially pretty, as is spring!

As skiing and snowboarding are by far the most popular winter activities the place to go is Blackcomb Moutain. This ski resort is Whistler’s pride and joy with over 200 different runs, 3,307 hectares (8,171 acres) of terrain, and 36 different lifts.

The Whistler ski season typically runs from November to March and various passes are available including single-day passes, multi-day passes, and season passes. Lift passes for adults start at $229 CAD.

This is also where you’ll find the HUGE Peak 2 Peak Gondola that holds the world record for not only the longest gondola but also the highest and longest unsupported span of any lift in the world.

It connects the top of Blackcomb Mountain with Whistler Mountain and spans across the valley and offers some of the most beautiful views you’ll have ever seen.

Snowmobiling through the winter wilderness is another way to keep you enthused! This 3-hour snowmobiling tour is an awesome option with impeccable reviews but it is expensive at $250+ CAD, but if you can find the room in your budget then I wouldn’t skip this Whistler adventure!

If you enjoy ziplining then you have to check out this particular zipline called the Sasquatch! This huge zipline will have you reaching speeds of well over 100 km/hr (62 mph) – it’s an adrenaline rush for sure! This zipline experience starts at $147 CAD per person and can even be done in Spring, Summer, and Fall (until mid-October). It is only one zipline but is well worth it if you ask me – book it in advance here.

Daniel at the top of the Sasquatch Zipline in Whistler known as one of the longest
I must admit, it’s pretty scary!
Bailey at The Sasquatch zipline platform
Ready to go!

In winter, you can still have the zipline thrill by taking on the Superfly Ziplines, which is just as popular. This includes a 4×4 ride through the snow to reach the top and 4 ziplines back down for $198 CAD. Maybe you can even try both during either season and let us know which one is your favorite!

In summer, one of the best ways to spend a good chunk of the afternoon is by exploring one of the nearby lakes! Green Lake, Alta Lake, and my favorite, Lost Lake are accessible via easy walking trails through the surrounding pine forest.

No matter the time of year, wandering around Whistler Village is always fun! Check out the many local restaurants and boutique shops. Be sure to visit Purebread, an amazing bakery and coffee shop. There are also a few different museums to check out – if you want to learn about the culture of the Skw̲xw̲ú7mesh and Lílw̓at people head to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Center.

A few more of the best things to do in Whistler are below:

  • Go on a distillery tour – Deep in one of Whistler’s hidden neighborhoods you can take a tour of Montis Distilling for $88 CAD and taste all of their available products! There’s the option to upgrade your tour to include a curated charcuterie box from another local company Picnic Whistler that will pair well with all of your samples. At the end, you can be dropped off at one of the best cocktail bars in Whistler, The Raven Room. You can reserve this tour in advance here.
  • Kayak the river of Golden Dreamsthis kayaking tour travels between two of Whistler’s biggest lakes starting at Alta Lake. From here, you’ll head off down the river mouth while floating along casually paddling in the currents. Along the way, you’ll see geese, navigate past beaver dams, and enjoy overhanging greenery and stunning views. It’s a great self-guided tour that’ll cost you about $149 CAD for 3 hours on the lake with all of your equipment included – book your spot in advance so you don’t miss out!
  • Via Ferrata – Whistler is another great place in Canada to try Via Ferrata, an introduction to rock climbing. Challenge yourself to climb the entire 2160-meter (7,086 feet) summit of Whistler Mountain with safety cables and metal rungs. The scenery is indescribable and well worth the $209 CAD price tag. This is a popular tour, so book it in advance, here!

Where to stay in Whistler

Since you’re starting this road trip in Whistler, you’ll probably want to stay a few days to enjoy the area. As I said, you could easily spend weeks here doing all of the fun activities and there are some awesome places to stay in Whistler.

For budget travelers, the Pangea Pod Hotel is a great option. It’s a basic hotel with pod-style rooms with clean, well-looked-after facilities. The location is also really good and you are within walking distance to the ski lifts in Whistler Upper Village. It’s super easy to book through either Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

For luxury travelers, I obviously love the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, they nail every detail including the accommodating staff, beautiful rooms, and a list of amenities to take advantage of. Another option slightly cheaper is the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre. Its location is perfect for luxury skiers because it’s only 250 meters from the closest gondola.

Related Read: Did you know Whistler is a festive place to visit leading up to the holiday season? Read our blog about visiting Whistler in December for more info on annual events and special seasonal activities.

2. Nairn Falls

Nairn Falls, BC
The beautiful Nairn Falls!

Only 20 minutes outside of Whistler is the official first stop – Nairn Falls. While there is a whole park to explore and camp in if you want, this is great for a quick stop with a short hike (about 1.5 km/0.9 miles) to the falls. The hike is relatively easy, so it’s good for beginners or families and doesn’t require much pre-planning – just make sure you have good hiking shoes!  

The trail to Nairn Falls starts just off the Sea to Sky Highway in the Nairn Falls Provincial Park. Pull into the parking lot on the right off the highway and look for the trail at the edge of the parking lot near the restrooms. The trail itself is relatively even the whole way but does have a few ups and downs. The Green River will be on your left the entire time and soon you’ll hear the falls!  

Nairn Falls has two lookouts to enjoy the impressive views. The first viewing platform overlooks the upper falls and is located on the hill straight ahead. The other platform further down will give you a view of the lower falls.  

3. Pemberton

sunflower maze at Laughing Crow Organics in Pemberton, BC
This sunflower maze is located just outside of Pemberton.
Daniel and Bailey pose for a photo while horseback riding in Pemberton, BC
Horseback riding is one of the most popular things to do in Pemberton.

Pemberton is a small village located right at a mountain base. Mount Curries’ north face dominates the Pemberton Valley skyline and has even been featured in several movies and TV shows. Regardless of the season you visit, you’re sure to have plenty to do. Hiking, biking, fishing, and skiing and snowmobiling in the winter are some of the highlights.

Blackbird Bakery is an amazing spot for breakfast or lunch. Everything is baked fresh by a French pastry chef! They open early, and once everything is sold out they’re closed for the day. Enjoy one of their almond croissants or sandwiches as you take in the mountain views on the patio.

After you’ve had some food, I recommend checking out at least one of two of Pembertons’ craft breweries. If you prefer spirits to craft beer they also have a distillery with award-winning organic potato vodka.

One of the best things to do in Pemberton is to go horseback riding. Did you know there are more horses per capita here than in any other area in the entire province? We wrote a whole post on our experience taking a horseback riding tour while in Pemberton and let me tell you, it was so fun!

I’d recommend a 1 or 2-hour horseback riding tour. We went on a 2-hour tour with Copper Cayuse Outfitters. Pemberton is gorgeous, and I’ve always enjoyed experiencing the outdoors while horseback riding. We even saw three bear cubs on our ride! The tours are offered from April to October.

If you love thrilling activities then you can take advantage of seeing Pemberton and the surrounding areas from the sky on a paragliding tour with the company Sea to Sky Paragliding!

They offer tandem flights for $285 CAD from May to September, where a trained paragliding pilot will take you on a flight starting 1,219 meters (4,000 feet) above the valley floor!

If you do plan on hitting the next stop especially (Joffre Lakes), I highly suggest spending a night at the beautiful all-suite hotel Pemberton Valley Lodge. It’s a great place to relax as you can enjoy the outdoor pool and hot tub with mountain views, and you’ll be close enough to Joffre Lakes so you can get a jump start on the morning and beat the crowds!

4. Joffre Lakes

Panorama of lower Joffre Lakes, BC
Lower Joffre Lake

This is a must-visit on the drive from Whistler to Banff! The highlight of the hike through Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is Lower, Middle, and Upper Joffre Lakes with stunning turquoise blue water. The color is due to “rock flour” or glacial silt that lies suspended in the water and reflects the blue and green wavelengths from sunlight – it’s breathtaking!

The hike is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) long in total and goes uphill as you work your way to Upper Joffre Lake. Along the way, you’ll see the three amazing lakes, creek crossings, great views of the mountain range, a waterfall, and the Matier Glacier at the top overlooking Upper Joffre Lake. To get back, simply retrace your steps and enjoy the easier hike down and a second look at these stunning lakes.  

In the summer, this is a super popular destination and parking can be a problem. The parking lot often fills up and you’re not allowed to park on the road. Sometimes they run shuttle buses from a nearby overflow parking lot, but this isn’t always true. 

To avoid having any problems getting a parking space, get here at sunrise to get a spot in the parking lot. You’ll also be one of the first ones on the trail and enjoy it in peace (this is exactly what we did when we visited last summer.) When you’re done with your early morning hike and then hit the road early to your next spot. This is why I recommend staying a night in the nearby Pemberton.

5. Seton Lake

the u-turn viewpoint of Seton Lake
This is the view if you do the hike from Seton Lake.

Stop here to take a short 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) hike to a popular spot overlooking the lake with part of the Sea to Sky Highway making a U-shape in the foreground – known as the Duffey Lake Road U-Turn. It’s a great road trip picture!  

To get to the hike, you’ll park in a gravel area and cross the highway to a path on the other side. Follow the trail to get to the Seton Lake Lookout and enjoy the view!  

If you want to stay longer, Seton Lake is perfect for a swim! There’s a beach (but no sand!) with a marked-off swimming area. Or, rent a canoe and head out onto the lake. The water is so clear and blue here, it looks like a postcard.

6. Lillooet

The Fraser River runs through a canyon near Lillooet, BC
You can see just how desert-like the landscape is!

Lillooet is a small town along the Fraser River with some really dramatic mountain scenery on the way to Banff. During the Fraser River Gold Rush around 1858, Lillooet was one of the largest towns in North America as thousands of people flooded in looking to get rich. Now, you can see artifacts from the Gold Rush era inside the Lillooet Museum.  

It has a hot, desert-like climate with some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded in Canada. With a long growing season, you’ll also find orchards and wineries around here – try some of the award-winning wine from Fort Berens Estate Winery. While you’re here, walk across the Old Suspension Bridge. It was built more than a century ago and was just recently opened to pedestrians.  

If you want to stay a night here, check out the Reynolds Hotel for a nice place to stay with some historic charm (it was built in the 1940s) that has recently been updated. It has a great restaurant to eat at and a little convenience store to stock up on road trip essentials for the rest of the journey.

7. Kamloops

Pioneer Park Beach in Kamloops, BC
Pioneer Park Beach in Kamloops, BC

On your road trip from Whistler to Banff, Kamloops is the biggest city that you’ll pass through. Kamloops is a great place in any season with winter activities like downhill skiing or snowshoeing. Or if you’re visiting in the summer, take advantage of long summers with nice weather from April to November and go hiking or paddling on the nearby lakes and rivers.

There are more than 100 lakes within an hour of the city! These are great for a canoe, kayak, or even to try stand-up paddleboarding. Go to the gorgeous Kamloops Lake and see it from the water. You’ll see old stone train bridges and tunnels, rock bluffs, and may even spot an eagle’s nest. 

See wild animals up close at the BC Wildlife Park. It’s a rescue and rehabilitation center and most of the animals here are rescued. There are more than 60 different species including Clover the Spirit Bear, a rare white bear that is the only Kermode Bear in captivity in the world. There’s also a splash park, playground, and mini-train for the kids. Admission to the park is $18.95 CAD for adults.  

The hiking opportunities in Kamloops are endless. You can explore wide-open grasslands, ponderosa pine forests, sandstone canyons, and steep valleys. Try the Kenna Cartwright Nature Park with 40 kilometers (25 miles) of trails. It has breathtaking views of Kamloops and the Thompson Valley and several beaches and picnic areas. Head out at sunset or sunrise for a particularly beautiful view.  

If you like wine, the Thompson Valley area is where you will find four boutique wineries. You definitely need to check at least one of them out before you leave Kamloops! I mean what can beat spending an afternoon at a winery sipping on great wine with a breathtaking view? A couple of my favorites are Monte Creek Winery and Sagewood Winery.

Where to stay in Kamloops:

As I mentioned, it’s a great idea to spend a few nights in Kamloops if you have time. There are plenty of hotels to choose from here.

Personally, I love the Prestige Kamloops Hotel only a couple of minutes from town which is complete with a waterslide and brand new restaurants or if you’re on a budget, the Rodeway Inn & Suites which includes a continental breakfast.

For a more luxurious option, try the South Thompson Inn and Conference Centre. It’s located on 55 acres of green space surrounded by mountains and the South Thompson River. The rooms have great views, there’s a 24 hour hot-tub overlooking the river and nearby hiking trails.  

8. Side trip to Kelowna and Vernon

Daniel at EATology, Vernon, BC
This food in Vernon was amazing!
two women at a winery in Kelowna, BC
Wine tasting in Kelowna!

From Kamloops, you can go on a bit of a detour if you want to explore the Okanagan Valley. The Okanagan is known for beautiful lakes, warm weather, delicious fruit, and most importantly, wine! The quaint city of Vernon is about 1 hour and 20 minutes south of Kamloops, and Kelowna is another 45 minutes south. You might need a few days to explore this area, as there is so much to do between Vernon and Kelowna!

Vernon

Vernon is the ideal vacation spot, especially during the summer as it’s surrounded by 3 lakes! It isn’t as touristy as Kamloops or Kelowna, so you can find some hidden gems. Get to know the city by exploring all of the amazing restaurants and cute cafes in Vernon. For such a small town, there’s a lot to choose from!

Take advantage of those three lakes and rent a privately captained pontoon boat! This is great if you’re traveling with a group of friends, as you can book a pontoon boat for 6 hours for $1,770 CAD and split it between 11 people. We try and get out on the water whenever we can, it is one of the best ways to spend a summer day! You can check the details and book this experience here.

You’ll find out quickly that the Okanagan Valley is famous for its wine, beer, and spirits, so I loved this farm-to-distillery tour at Okanagan Spirits. Usually, we are wine-o’s, but we found it so interesting to learn about the spirit distilling process, literally from framing until it’s in your glass. We spent about 45 minutes learning from the experts and sampling spirits, well worth the $25 CAD price tag!

There are even more things to do in Vernon, so spend some time enjoying this little town!

Kelowna

There is no shortage of amazing views, activities, fresh produce, and beaches in Kelowna. However, my favorite part about this region is all of the wineries in Kelowna! There is no shortage of wine tours you can take, but I recommend this sightseeing wine tour. You’ll be able to learn all about the area, and sip on delicious wine!

You can choose between East Kelowna or West Kelowna and see different sights, as well as wineries! You can’t choose wrong, but some of my favorites are The Hatch and Ciao Bella Winery – they are both so unique. This tour includes transportation and your tasting fees, so you can simply enjoy the vino! To see the best of Kelowna’s wine region, book this tour in advance for $179 CAD.

Okay, it sounds a bit crazy, but you can actually fly above Okanagan Lake! On a water-propelled Flyboard, you will take in the views while experiencing the thrill that comes with being around 1.5-3.7 meters (5-12 feet) in the air and zipping around at high speeds.

While it seems intimidating it is actually extremely easy for beginners and it usually doesn’t take more than 10 minutes for most people to catch on! Flyboarding costs $127 CAD and is one of the most popular and highly-rated things to do in Kelowna during the summertime!

There is even more to do in Kelowna, so be sure to spend enough time in this city to soak it all in!

Where to Stay in Vernon and Kelowna

The Prestige Vernon Lodge is your most luxurious hotel in Vernon. It features a pool, hot tub, and glass-enclosed atrium. They have so many rooms but there are usually only a few left so you know it’s good! The best part is that it’s priced well under $200 CAD which I find to be an extremely great value. Don’t miss out on this place, book it in advance on Booking.com.

If you’re in Kelowna, I’ve personally stayed at the Dilworth Inn. This place is a great medium-budget option that’s a little out of the city center but very close to the farmers market and other great amenities. They also have an indoor pool, spa, and sauna! Some of the queen rooms even have kitchenettes and cost $175 CAD a night so you can save more money and eat in your room. Check your schedule and book your room on Booking.com!

9. Salmon Arm

Relaxing at Canoe Beach, Salmon Arm, BC
On a hot summer’s day, Canoe Beach is the place to go!

I lived in Salmon Arm for a few years and fell in love with this small city. There is so much to do in Salmon Arm, especially if you love the outdoors! Explore stunning natural attractions, or spend a relaxing day at the lake, Salmon Arm has something for everyone.

Aside from the outdoor activities, there is also plenty of amazing food (lots of fresh produce!) and even delicious wine. On the off chance I haven’t quite sold you yet, check out some of the top things to do in Salmon Arm:

  • Walk the largest wooden Wharf in North America – I bet you didn’t think going to Salmon Arm meant visiting a record-setting wharf! As the longest wooden wharf in North America, it’s got a pretty interesting history. You can enjoy walking on the wharf year-round, taking in the scenery of Shuswap Lake. If you’re around during the summer, you’ve got to go and enjoy some live music and meals from food trucks! It’s got a fun, community feel to it, so make sure to get in on the action.
  • Go hiking – This region has some pretty stellar hikes if you’re ready to get outside and get active. One of my favorites is Mt. Ida, which is a large 1,564-meter (5,131 feet) mountain south of Salmon Arm. There are a few routes to take up the mountain, but if you are up for a challenge, try the Mount Ida Loop. It’s a 33-kilometer loop (20.5 miles) with 1,598 meters (5,242 feet) of elevation gain – quite the trek, but so worth it. If you are looking for a more low-key hike, try out Raven Trail or Shuswap North Rail Trail, both of which are fairly easy, and go around Shuswap Lake.
  • Visit the most Northern winery in BC – Larch Hills – You absolutely cannot visit this region of BC without trying out some local wines. Larch Hills offers some of the most delicious wines, and you can try them out during a free cellar-door tasting. Once you’ve learned a little about the wine, how it’s made, and what your favorite is, you can go to the tasting room, enjoy a glass, and take in the stunning views from their property.

Where to stay in Salmon Arm

This may be a good place to break up your trip a little bit. Not to mention I’m sure you’ve only skimmed the top of the incredible list of things to do here and are yearning for more time to explore.

The Hilltop Inn is a popular hotel choice as it offers larger rooms that can fit small families. This hotel also has a pool, free parking, and breakfast included.

If you’re traveling with your significant other or are after a luxury stay The Inn at the Ninth Hole Bed & Breakfast is the way to go. The rooms here are beautiful and surprisingly affordable. Of course, this place includes an exceptional breakfast and is in a beautiful area outside Salmon Arm.

Related Read: Looking to do some hiking in Canada? Banff has incredible hikes, ranging from easy to hard – check out our complete guide to hiking in Banff!

10. Sicamous

A house boat on the Shuswap Lake in Sicamous, BC

This little town is the houseboat capital of Canada with people coming from all over to the beautiful lakes in the area. You’ll conveniently drive right through it on your road trip from Whistler to Banff. Houseboating on Shuswap Lake is a unique way to spend a few nights out on the water enjoying this area.  

Houseboating season goes from June until October. While there will be lots of houseboats, especially in July and August, this is a big lake with 1,000 kilometers (over 600 miles) of shoreline, so there’s lots of room.  

If you’re here in the winter, the community borders four mountain ranges and has been voted as having the best snowmobiling in western Canada. There are also some nice local trails for snowshoeing.  

Stop by for fresh milk, ice cream, and cheese from D Dutchmen Dairy where everything is produced on-site. It’s a small family-owned farm in Sicamous that focuses on high-quality ingredients. The milk is sold in glass containers to keep it cold for longer and you can even buy egg nog here at Christmas!

They also have 62 different flavors of ice cream which has been called BC’s Best Ice Cream – making this a must-visit if you have kids (or adults!) who love a treat.

11. The Enchanted Forest

A house in the The Enchanted Forest near Revelstoke, BC
There’s so much more to explore in The Enchanted Forest! Photo credit: The Enchanted Forest

Right on the Trans Canada Highway about halfway between Sicamous and Revelstoke is The Enchanted Forest. This is a fun stop, especially for kids, where you can climb the tallest treehouse in BC, paddle a rowboat in real beaver ponds or take a nature walk through the forest.  

There are cute little figurines from fairy tales and nursery rhymes throughout the property along with a castle and very regal-looking 800-year-old cedar trees. Admission is $14 CAD and includes a variety of activities on the property. 

For more fun, the Skytrek Adventure Park is located right next door. It has zip lines, a treetop obstacle course, climbing walls, and jungle gyms for the little ones. Both of these parks are open seasonally from May until October.

12. Revelstoke

Snowshoeing at the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club in winter
The Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club has good trails with epic views!

Continue along the highway a little further and you’ll arrive in one of my personal favorite little towns – Revelstoke! Revelstoke, or “Revy” as the locals call it, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Canada. It has everything you could want – mountains, lakes, glaciers, vast forests, and friendly people!

It’s all about the outdoors here. For my nature lovers out there, Revelstoke is a paradise waiting to be explored. From hiking trails to beautiful scenery, it can be a little overwhelming when deciding what to do. Here are some of the best things to do in Revelstoke:

  • Take the gondola up at Revelstoke Mountain Resort – It’s easily one of the best views in Revelstoke with the bonus of not having to walk up! Don’t get me wrong, I love hiking but sometimes you just want to take it easy. There are two gondolas at the resort. The first takes you to the top of the mountain coaster. This second gondola is a good 10-minute ride, and at the top, you have breathtaking panoramic views of the valley!
  • Hit the slopes in winter – Revelstoke, BC is famous for the number of awesome things to do in the winter. It’s not hard to see that this small mountain town is a winter paradise! Revelstoke is famous for huge yearly snowfalls and steep mountainous terrain that could challenge even the most skilled. But, if you’re like me and are more suited to green or blue runs then they have that too!
  • Go cross-country skiing – If you haven’t yet learned how to downhill ski or aren’t great at it you can still enjoy cross-country skiing which is much easier and still gives you the chance to explore some snow-covered trails. You can rent skis from Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club and there’s also access to groomed trails (perfect for beginners). They have lots of information on which winter trails are accessible and the last time they were groomed, all of which can be found on their website.

Where to stay in Revelstoke

Stoke Hotel is a very good budget option that includes breakfast. It’s located right in town and has really good reviews!

Another option is Coast Hillcrest Hotel is a highly rated hotel that offers guests a comfortable stay at a reasonable price. They have an onsite fitness center, sauna, hot tub, as well as a restaurant. The location is central and the large selection of room types means there is something suitable for everyone including families.

For more ideas on where to stay you can check out our blog on the best places to stay in Revelstoke.

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.

13. Mount Revelstoke National Park

Eva Lake in Mt Revelstoke National Park
Eva Lake in Mt Revelstoke National Park

Just on the outskirts of Revelstoke, you’ll find is Mount Revelstoke National Park. It’s a unique national park in the fact that you can actually drive right into the park and even to the summit of Mt Revelstoke on the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. This makes it accessible to almost anyone!

Once at the summit car parking lot, you can then venture out and hike one of the many stunning trails, have lunch by one of the lakes, or even take a short walk to see all of the beautiful flowers and viewpoints.

Some of the best hikes at the summit are Eva Lake trail, a 12 kilometer (7.5 miles) round trip through beautiful landscapes great for spotting bears, or Heather Lake, a short 10-minute hike around a stunning lake with breathtaking reflections.

Other amazing hikes in the park (but not at the summit) include the Giant Cedars Boardwalk and the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk. Both trails are along the highway towards Golden just outside of Revelstoke town.

Regardless of the trails you hike or viewpoints you enjoy, a day in Mt Revelstoke National Park is a must!

Note: Mount Revelstoke National Park and the next few national parks mentioned in this blog require a parks pass. To visit them, you’ll need to purchase a Parks Canada Pass.

14. Canyon Hot Springs

The Canyon hot Springs near Revelstoke, BC
The Canyon Hot Springs isn’t a top-rated hot spring but I still enjoyed them!

Soaking in the hot springs with mountain views is so relaxing and the perfect way to take a break from your Whistler to Banff road trip. The Canyon Hot Springs Resort is only about 20 minutes from Revelstoke. The mineral waters here were supposedly discovered more than 100 years ago by railway workers.  

The water is piped right from the spring to a hot mineral soaking pool and a swimming pool. You can spend a couple of nights here at the resort and rent a cabin to get free admission to the hot springs. You can camp here too, but hot springs admission isn’t included. Or if you just want to take a dip, a single swim is $16.50 CAD. 

15. Glacier National Park and Rogers Pass

Driving through Glacier National Park
Driving through Glacier National Park!

As you make your way towards Banff from Whistler, you’ll actually drive right through the middle of Glacier National Park. This stretch of road is beautiful and along the way, you can spot plenty of wildlife (please, drive carefully!).

Make sure to stop at the Rogers Pass National Historic Site inside the park. Here, you can hike along the now-abandoned railway line that first connected Canada from coast to coast. The visitor center here is great and has lots of info about the history of the area.  

On the drive, you’ll go through the Rogers Pass which I think is one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in British Columbia – if not the entire country!

There are also some nice spots for short hikes in the area including the Hemlock Grove Boardwalk, which is good for the whole family as it’s a series of boardwalks through the forest. If you want to see a waterfall on a relatively easy trail that isn’t too busy, visit Bear Creek Falls. It’s only about a 15-20 minute hike with a really impressive waterfall at the end.

16. Golden

Bailey walking across the Golden Suspension Bridge
All smiles on the suspension bridge!

Golden, British Columbia is a small town of just around 4,000 people in the Canadian Rockies. But what it lacks by way of population, it absolutely makes up for in terms of things to do! This small town is surrounded by a bunch of national parks and mountain ranges, so there are endless outdoor activities to enjoy.

The town of Golden also has some amazing restaurants, shops, bars, and cultural attractions to offer as well. Whether you prefer a chill stop on your road trip from Whistler to Banff, or something high-energy, you will love Golden. 

I’ve been lucky enough to visit Golden many times both in the summer and winter months allowing me to create an epic list of things to do in Golden, but here are some highlights:

  • Walk the Golden Skybridge – Why not start off with Golden’s newest attraction? The Golden Skybridge is Canada’s highest suspension bridge and it only just opened in the summer of 2021! At 130 meters (426 feet) above the canyon, you’ll experience such a thrill walking over it and taking in all the amazing views of the Columbia Valley.  If walking along a suspension bridge is not enough for you, there is also a zipline experience, ropes course, and a canyon swing that fits two so you can share the incredible experience – book admission tickets here!
  • Go whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse – The best way to experience the river is to go whitewater rafting! Whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River is such an adrenaline rush. With grade 3-4 rapids, it’s one of the best rivers in Canada to go rafting. There are a number of tour groups that you can join, such as this full-day tour. For $204 CAD, you will get a 5-hour experience out on the river. All equipment is included, along with a buffet lunch! You will also have an expert guide leading the way and keeping you safe.
  • Explore downtown Golden – You’ll be pretty busy with all the different outdoor recreation activities around Golden, but don’t forget the town itself! Downtown Golden is a quaint, historic-looking town with a bunch of things to do! A good place to start your exploration is 9th Avenue, which has a lot of shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore. You can learn more about the city at the Visitor Centre or Golden Museum.
  • Visit the Wolf Centre – Wolves are only one of the many magnificent creatures that may be found in the Canadian Rockies. While you probably don’t want to run into any in the wild, the Northern Lights Wolf Centre in Golden is an excellent location to learn about wolves and even see them.

Where to stay in Golden:

So now that you know about all of the amazing things to do in Golden, you’re going to need somewhere to stay a few nights. There’s just so much to explore in the area you might as well book a great hotel and enjoy a few days in one of Canada’s most underrated mountain towns.

Best Western Mountainview Inn is a great choice if you’re looking for something in town. This hotel is clean and comfortable and has everything you could want including an indoor pool and an included breakfast. The reviews are great and the price is modest.

For a more private stay that is only half a mile from town and a rate that won’t break the bank look into Glenogle Mountain Lodge and Spa. Not only does it have exceptional views of the mountains, a hot tub, and a billiard table but it is also quiet – except for the stream that flows past the property.

If you aren’t quite ready to leave Golden just yet, check out the best places to stay in Golden.

Related Read: If you’re road tripping all through British Columbia, be sure to add some stops from Vancouver to Whistler – this is one of my favorite drives!

17. Wapta Falls

Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park
Mountain backdrop? Yes please!

Only 30 minutes from Golden is one of the nicest waterfalls I’ve ever seen. Wapta Falls is gorgeous and the hike to get there isn’t too bad at all. It’s a short hike of about 2 kilometer (1.2 miles) and it’s easy enough for kids.  

You’ll find the start of the trail at the Wapta Falls turnoff right off the Trans Canada Highway and within Yoho National Park. Bring your lunch or a snack to really take some time and enjoy the view of this magnificent waterfall. It’s worth it!

18. Field and Yoho National Park

A person canoes on Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, Canada
Emerald Lake in Yoho!
Canoes and the Emerald Lake Lodge at Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, Canada

Yoho National Park with the community of Field in the center is an amazing place to explore – be prepared to spend at least a few hours here if not a whole day! The park is known for its towering waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, and the huge variety of activities that can be done in all seasons. Plus, there are shops, restaurants and more to see in Field.  

A must-see is the stunning Emerald Lake with its vivid waters that are true to its name. You can easily walk around the entire lake in about an hour or snowshoe around it in the winter. It’s a great way to see wildflowers including wild orchids that grow around here as well as bald eagles, moose, and loons. You can also canoe or kayak on the lake with its calm and clear waters. Spoil yourself and stay a night at the Emerald Lake Lodge on the edge of the lake.

Another impressive sight around Field and Yoho National Park is the Natural Bridge – an ancient rock formation over the Kicking Horse River. It’s easy to get to by car as it’s only 3 kilometer (1.9 miles) from Field along Emerald Lake Road. You can also take a guided hike to fossil beds in the area where there are fossils from 500 million years ago!

19. Lake Louise

Bailey stands on the shore in Lake Louise during early spring
It’s still cold in early spring
The Lake Louise Boathouse
The Lake Louise Boathouse

I have been to Lake Louise numerous times throughout my years of living close to the Rockies. Each time ticking off all the best things to do in Lake Louise. From hikes to restaurants and all of the epic Lake Louise activities, I’ve pretty much done it all! Here are a few of my favorites to check out during your visit:

  • Relax at the Lake Louise foreshore – When it comes to enjoying Lake Louise, one of the easiest and most common ways is to enjoy the views from the Lake Louise foreshore. Within minutes of arriving, you can have a coffee in hand and stare out at mountain peaks, glaciers, and the bluest lake you’ll ever see. Many of the best hikes around Lake Lousie take off from here and this is where you’ll find the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel!
  • Hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House – My favorite hike in Lake Louise is the Lake Agnes Tea House trail. Starting right from the foreshore, the trail has you hiking high above Lake Louise where you can peer down and see parts of the lake from above. Lake Agnes Tea House Trail is a 7.3-kilometer (4.5 miles) return track that climbs 400 meters (1,312 feet) in elevation. If you aren’t a confident hiker, take this guided hike with a local who will show you the way – literally!
  • Rent a canoe and explore Lake Louise – When I think of iconic Canadian activities a few come to mind. However, one of the most relaxing and breathtaking is paddling an alpine lake in a Canadian Canoe. You can do this throughout Canada, but there aren’t many places as beautiful as Lake Louise to enjoy this activity. Canoes can be rented right from the lakefront at the boathouse on the lake.
  • Go ice skating on Lake Louise – Lake Louise is the color of the sky in summer and that color has made the lake famous. But in the winter, the cold temperatures completely freeze the lake over and it now becomes an ice-skating dream! This is one of the best things to do in Lake Louise in the winter, and it’s completely free if you bring your own skates!

Do keep in mind that parking at Lake Louise is a bit of a nightmare. If this is one of your stops on your road trip from Whistler to Banff, be sure to hit Lake Louise early (around 7 am) or late (around 5 or 6 pm) if you want to get a parking spot. Not to worry, we wrote an entire guide to parking at Lake Louise so you know what to do!

Note: From May until mid-October, you’ll be required to pay $36.75 CAD per vehicle per day to park at Lake Louise Lakefront (2024 updated price). The paid parking is in effect from 3 am until 7 pm daily. 

Where to Stay in Lake Louise:

If you decide you want to stay in Lake Louise, the Hi Lake Louise Alpine Center is the best budget option in Lake Louise Village. The location is right in town, they have a shared kitchen, basic but comfortable rooms, and friendly staff. I’ve stayed here often and like booking with either Hostelworld.com or Booking.com to grab a room.

For those with a bigger budget, you can’t look past the Fairmont Château Lake Louise. The hotel sits on the shoreline of Lake Louise with epic views in the most stunning of locations. I’ve added spending a night or two here to my personal bucket list!

20. Moraine Lake

Daniel proposing to me at Lake Moraine.
Daniel proposed to me at Moraine Lake on the Rock Pile!

We might be biased (as this is where we got engaged) but we think Moraine Lake is one of the most beautiful places to visit near Banff, and an absolute must-stop on your road trip from Whistler to Banff.

The lake itself is the brightest turquoise color possible and the surrounding 10 Peaks mountains are nothing short of amazing. Daniel chose this place to get engaged because of how beautiful it is!

Unfortunately, because of its beauty, Moraine Lake is one of the most visited places between Whistler and Banff. Plus, getting to Moraine Lake can be a challenge since the access road and parking lot closed permanently to all personal vehicle traffic (except those with disability parking permits) as of 2023.

You’ll need to check into parking alternatives at Moraine Lake including public transit, shuttles, and tours. Most people visit by taking a Moraine Lake shuttle either from Banff town itself or from Lake Louise.

The Parks Canada shuttles also only run during select hours so if you want to go early in the morning, you’ll need to be on the first shuttle around 6:30 am. You can also hop on this new shuttle to Moraine Lake that has departures as early as 4 am (and throughout the day for those who like to sleep in!). To me, the sight of Moraine Lake in those early morning hours is one of the most beautiful things to see in Banff.

You can also visit Moraine Lake at sunrise by going on this early bird tour. This is the only way to get there for sunrise, and honestly, at that early hour, it’s nice to have the convenience of a tour. Plus, you’ll have a local guide to show you the best spots to view sunrise so your first time will be epic no matter what! This tour lasts 7 hours, so it does extend quite past sunrise, making the $287 CAD totally worth it!

The alternative to taking a shuttle is going on an organized tour (that doesn’t leave before the crack of dawn!). This way you get dropped off and picked up as well as shown around to the most beautiful spots with an experienced guide! This tour also includes a stop at Lake Louise, so if you don’t want to deal with parking on your road trip, this is a convenient way to see both. You can reserve your spot on this tour with free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour starts for $113 CAD.

The issue here is that these tours depart from Banff or Calgary so you would have to do it before or after your road trip.

Important info: Moraine Lake is open from the end of May to mid-October and closes for the winter due to avalanche risk. This means it’s only one of the best things to do if you’re driving this route in the summer.

21. Morant’s Curve

It has a whole new look in the winter!

This is an excellent viewpoint 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 (about 5-7 minutes) along the Bow Valley Parkway after you leave Lake Louise. Keep an eye out for the signs indicating the viewpoint and park across the highway in the small parking lot.  

The best photos are when a train is traveling around the bend and framed perfectly in the shot. Your best chance to catch a train is during a weekday – trains typically pass by at least once an hour. The curve is named after a photographer (Nicholas Morant) who worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway and this was one of his favorite places to capture.  

22. Johnston Canyon

Water rushes through Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park
Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park

The hike through Johnston Canyon is an easy walk with huge rewards. 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 great place in the winter! The waterfalls freeze over and create layers of giant icicles, which are incredible to see. The ice on the Lower and Upper Waterfalls here also takes on a blue color that is quite beautiful.  

For all the info you need to know, we put together this complete guide on visiting Johnston Canyon in all seasons!

Johnston Canyon is open all year and it’s free to get to – including free parking in one of two parking lots. It is one of the more popular hikes in Banff National Park and is great for families as the path is wide and not too steep. The hike is about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) to get all the way to the Upper Falls.

Hot Tip: If you’re visiting in the winter, you really need ice cleats or spikes. If you don’t have them, then consider joining a guided ice walk tour that will safely lead you on the ice and supply all of the safety gear you’ll need. Plus, Johnston Canyon is goregous – easily one of the best tours in Banff in the winter!

The drawback to Johnston Canyon is that it may become quite crowded. It’s so popular that the large parking lot frequently fills up, forcing you to use the public bus!

Note: There will be some closures to vehicle traffic on sections of the Bow Valley Parkway this year (2024). From March 1-June 30 and then again from Sept 1-Sept 30 vehicles will NOT be able to drive the 17 km/11 mi stretch of road from the TransCanada-Highway junction to Johnston Canyon, it will be restricted to cyclists’ use only. This is the eastern part of the road that is affected if you’re traveling to Johnston Canyon from Banff. You will still be able to access Johnston Canyon and the Bow Valley Parkway via the intersection near Castle Mountain Chalets.

Related Read: Trying to save some money on your road trip? Check out our guide to the best free things to do in Banff – you don’t have to blow the budget to have a great vacay!

23. Banff

Banff Ave, Banff
Banff Ave!

You made it! Banff is easily one of the best places to visit in Alberta, attracting thousands of visitors each year. And it’s no wonder why – it’s absolutely beautiful and there are tons of things to do in Banff in winter, spring, summer, or fall.

The downtown area is very quaint and there are many awesome options for places to eat, drink, and shop. With the mountains as the backdrop to Banff Ave, it’s a beautiful place to base yourself in Banff National Park.

Many visitors base themselves here for a ski holiday due to the fact that you have great access to Sunshine and Norquay ski resorts – both are within a 15-minute drive of town.

Plus, when you’re done on the slopes, you can enjoy all that Banff has to offer including some Apres Ski drinks at a couple of the breweries in Banff.

For the best beer, head to Banff Brewing Co. For a delicious meal with crafted cocktails, head to Parks Distillery. Did you know that you can also join this food tour that explores the many different rooms inside the historic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel? Food and drink pairings are included from 4 of the property’s high-end restaurants for $206 CAD. What a unique activity for foodies – this experience fills up quickly so be sure to book it in advance here.

Banff is more than just a ski town though, and regardless of the season you visit, Banff town is an amazing place with plenty to do. Some of the best things to do in Banff include:

  • Relax in the Banff Upper Hot Springs – Just a short 5-minute drive up Sulphur Mountain you’ll find the Banff Upper Hot Springs, a public hot spring with incredible mountain views! These Alberta hot springs are easy to get to and very affordable. At only $17.50 CAD per adult and $56.75 for a family, even those on a tight budget can enjoy one of the best Banff attractions. It’s even a great activity to do in Banff when it’s raining.
  • Ride the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain – The Banff Gondola is possibly the singular most popular thing to do in Banff – and for good reason! From the top of the Banff Gondola, the views of the mountains and Banff town are out of this world. The first time I rode the gondola was during my first Christmas in Banff and I loved it! At the top of the gondola, you’ll find a restaurant and cafe, a gift shop, lots of information on the area and wildlife, as well as my personal favorite, the boardwalk!
  • Check out the Bow Falls Lookout – The Bow River is a stunning river that runs through the heart of Banff. Turquoise in color, it is nothing short of picture-perfect. A short 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mi) scenic walk from Banff town (or drive) you’ll come to the Bow Falls viewpoint on the river’s edge. Here, not only will you see the river, but also the Bow River Waterfall!
  • Cave and Basin National Historic Site – Another great place to visit in Banff is Cave and Basin Historic Site. Here you can see some historic hot springs that are home to a rare species of snail. The museum is the main attraction in my eyes and it is very interactive and fun, especially for kids. You’ll find lots of information about Banff and the surrounding area.

And if you don’t want to stop the road trip, keep going! Our road trip itinerary from Whistler to Calgary has a few extra stops, so blast the tunes and keep exploring.

Where to Stay in Banff

The pool area at the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Photo Credit: Banff Rocky Mountain Resort

This is one of the most important parts of your trip and in Banff, the selection can be overwhelming and expensive. Below are some great hotels we recommend, but if you’d like more info check out our best hotels in downtown Banff blog as well as our guide to the best areas to stay in Banff National Park. Both articles include options for everyone’s budget and travel style!

Samesun Banff Hostel – Budget $

Samesun Banff Hostel is a great budget hostel with dorm rooms. Perfect for those on a tight budget. Expect to pay around $55 CAD for a bed in a mixed dorm room. It’s located right in the middle of town and just a short walk to bars and hotels. A free breakfast is also included every morning and there is fast wifi! You can book this room on Booking.com and Hostelworld.

High Country Inn – Budget $

While the High Country Inn is still a budget range where you can get a private queen hotel room for as low as $139 CAD there is also the option for upgrades like a king room with a jet tub or a one-bedroom suite with a balcony. A fridge and tea and coffee maker are part of each room. The property offers an indoor pool, a cedar sauna, and a hot tub for your enjoyment.

You can book the High County Inn on Booking.com.

Banff Inn – Mid-range $$

The Banff Inn is in the perfect price and luxury range. It’s still affordable but also comes with lots of luxuries, the first being the location and the mountains right behind the hotel.

The rooms are spacious, clean, and modern. Expect to pay around $350 CAD or more during peak season. There is an on-site restaurant that serves things like pizza and burgers and a bar and lounge where you can wind down with a glass of wine in the evenings.

You can book the Banff Inn on Booking.com.

Banff Rocky Mountian Resort – Mid-range $$

Pushing up into the mid-range budget, Banff Rocky Mountain Resort is sure to please. It is located just 2 miles from town so you are close by for convenience but not right in all the noise. All the rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated, each has either a kitchenette or a full kitchen. The price for summer per night will be a minimum of at least $429 CAD.

This beautiful property has an indoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor hot tub, gym, tennis courts, and more! You can dine right at the Alpha Bistro which is located in the main building.

You can book the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort on Booking.com.

Fairmont Banff Springs – Luxury $$$

The Fairmont Banff Springs is easily the most luxurious hotel in Banff. If you’re saving by doing free things in Banff so you can splurge a little more on your accommodation, this is the spot to do it!

It’s not cheap but the place is simply incredible (pictured above)! The mountain views and stunning grounds are just the beginning. The rooms are very comfortable some of them offering mountain views. The price per night begins at an average of $1,200 CAD but it varies on the season and type of room.

If you like to eat and shop there are 11 different restaurants and 14 shops to explore. Then go bowling, pamper yourself in the spa, relax in the hot tub, or go for a swim in the pool. Expect the staff to go above and beyond to make you feel like royalty. If you’re visiting Banff on a honeymoon, then this should be the hotel you choose!

You can book the Fairmont Banff Springs on Booking.com.

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. In the peaks of winter and summer, Banff often books out months in advance.

For this reason, I highly suggest booking a place ASAP! Using Booking.com 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 British Columbia

A rural road with Mt Currie in the background
Road trips are the best way to explore Canada!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province, and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

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

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 using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel at the edge of Lake Louise in Banff
Thanks for reading!

Driving from Whistler to Banff is one of the most epic road trips you can do in Canada! You are going to get to experience some of Canada’s best gems. While the drive is beautiful in itself, I suggest taking your time at each stop mentioned so you can really experience the beauty that British Columbia and Alberta have to offer!

I hope this blog post has you feeling excited and prepared as you embark on your drive from Whistler to Banff. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out! And be sure to check out some of our other Canada posts:

15 Stops on the Icefields Parkway You Can Visit in 1 DAY – Icefields Parkway Itinerary

4 BEST Horseback Riding Tours in Banff + Pros and Cons of Each Tour

16 Things to KNOW Before Visiting the Sea to Sky Gondola

Nadine Tapia

Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Thank you for this great information. How many days would you spend in each area. I have had Whistler and Banff on my bucket list for years but really want to pace this trip out well. Thank you!!

Destinationless Travel

Wednesday 29th of November 2023

Hey Nadine,

I would spend 3 nights in Whistler and 4 nights in Banff but you could do two in Banff and two in Lake Louise.

The stops in between is up to you but those major destinations should get the most time.

Thanks Daniel

Claire Humberstone

Saturday 5th of August 2023

Thank you for sharing your itinerary. One question, we are planning to go in July 2024, if we do hikes, do we still need bear spray? A bit apprehensive about bumping into a bear!!

destinationlesstravel

Saturday 5th of August 2023

Hey Claire!

Yes you certainly will need bear spray. Running into bears is rare especially if you make lots of noise while hiking. However, during the spring summer and fall months, you need to carry bear spray. You can buy it at Canadian Tire for around $50 and you need ID.

Thanks Daniel