Where To Stay In Banff
Where To Stay In Banff
After traveling to the Banff area numerous times, here are my suggestions on where to stay.

Where To Stay In Banff

In almost all situations, I highly recommend staying somewhere in downtown Banff. The price of hotels costs more than Canmore, but you will be in the heart of the action. Downtown Banff is a great home base for day hikes and visiting the surrounding sites. There are tons of wonderful restaurants, shops, and activities in town. For the most part, everything is walkable, and the surrounding mountains make downtown such a lovely place to stay. If your main goal is to avoid crowds of people, you might want to consider a different town for lodging.


Lake Louise
The most important thing to note about the town of Lake Louise is that it is extremely small. It’s essentially a strip mall filled with the visitor center, a couple of food establishments, a small grocery store, and a few shops. There are a handful of accommodation options in town, but this area is not the place to stay if you want things to do in the evening without having to drive somewhere. If you intend to spend a large amount of time at Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and the surrounding hikes to those lakes, it is a great place to base yourself for ease of access. This is also the area the shuttles depart from to drop you off at both lakes.

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One other option is to stay at the Fairmont Château Lake Louise. I have not stayed there personally, but you receive special access for parking, and the views are incredible. If convenience is worth the cost to you, Fairmont Lake Louise provides a much more luxurious stay than anywhere else in the Lake Louise area.


Moraine Lake
We had the pleasure of staying at Moraine Lake Lodge in August of 2023, which is the only property in that area. If you want a high-end experience that is more secluded than most of the other stays in Banff National Park, then this is your hotel. I would recommend staying here if you want to spend time exploring the trails around the Moraine Lake area, or if you simply want a phenomenal place to relax. Please keep in mind the nightly rate is quite expensive. The access road to the hotel is very long, so it’s not the best place to stay if you are wanting to explore downtown Banff, or travel to other attractions outside the immediate area. Moraine Lake Lodge is about one hour from downtown Banff.


Canmore is a much smaller town than Banff, but it’s larger than the town of Lake Louise. You might find some less expensive accommodations available here, but I would only recommend staying in Canmore if your goal is to hike in Kananaskis Country. It takes about 20 minutes to get to downtown Banff from Canmore, so if you are primarily wanting to explore areas within Banff National Park, I think it makes more sense to stay closer to those sites.

British Columbia
There are a number of sites people like to visit when they come to Banff that are actually in Yoho National Park in British Columbia. When we visited this area many years ago, we stayed in a very small town called Field. This was a great base for our adventures to Lake O’Hara, Emerald Lake, and Takakkaw Falls. These attractions are roughly an hour away from Banff, so you could easily take a day trip there if you prefer not to stay overnight in BC.

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