If you are planning a visit to Banff National Park, you will likely stay in either the towns of Lake Louise or Banff. Both are beautiful little mountain towns situated in the Canadian Rockies. Banff is about 1 1/2 hours west of Calgary. Lake Louise is roughly 2 hours by car. The easiest way to get to Banff National Park is to fly into Calgary, rent a car and drive. The highways in Canada are well maintained, with fences to prevent wildlife from gaining access to the roadway. Even in winter, the roads are well plowed and accessible.
You will find a lot more lodging options in Banff than in Lake Louise, but both towns have great family-friendly hotels. We’ve stayed in both towns, and have our recommendations below. Your plans during your vacation to the national park will likely determine in which town you want to stay.
Both towns are actually located inside Banff National Park, so you will pay an entrance fee to drive into the park. However, once inside the park most outdoor activities are free to visit. Of course, if you plan to ski or take the gondola up the mountain at the Lake Louise ski resort you will pay an additional cost.
We have visited Banff National Park in both fall and winter. It is very family friendly, however, if you are not a fan of the cold, I’d recommend visiting sometime between the months of June and September.
If your planning a visit to this beautiful part of the world, here are our reviews and recommendations.