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The 2023 Ultimate Guide to Adventure Tours in Banff and Canmore, Alberta
Banff and Canmore are two of the most beautiful destinations in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, offering a sense of adventure and natural beauty that is hard to match. From the rugged mountain peaks to the crystal-clear lakes and rivers, there is no shortage of activities to get your heart pumping and your adrenaline flowing. In this guide, we will highlight the best adventure tours in Banff and Canmore, including Whitewater Rafting, Heli Tours, Horseback Trail Rides, and ATVing.
Whitewater Rafting is one of the most popular water adventures in Banff and Canmore, and for a good reason. The rivers in the area offer a range of rapids, from gentle Class I to heart-pumping Class IV.
Canadian Rockies Rafting offers an array of tours to satisfy all levels of adventure; from the thrill-seeker to the first timer. With big hits and an optional cliff jump, the Horseshoe Canyon delivers the action that any thrill seeker is searching for. The Kananaskis Whitewater Tour provides the perfect balance of fun and excitement with the rolling, playful whitewater – good for all ages and abilities levels.
Wild Water Adventures takes it up a notch on the world-famous Kicking Horse River. Located just outside Golden, BC, just west of Banff, the Kicking Horse River, offers some of the most challenging rapids in the area. They have crafted a variety of tours to cater to all adventure levels, beginner to advanced, there is something for everyone to get out on the river.
For those looking for a slower and more relaxed pace, float tours offered through Canadian Rockies Rafting and Canmore Raft Tours, give guests exactly that. Gently flow down the Bow River as you take in the stunning 360-degree views of some of the tallest peaks in the front range of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Being on the water provides a unique perspective and vantage point of the surroundings that you can’t quite match from land.
If you’re looking for a bird’s eye view of Banff and Canmore, a Heli Tour is the way to go. Alpine Helicopters have a variety of tours that take you high above the mountains, offering stunning panoramic views of the area. To make your flight over the glaciers and peaks of the Canadian Rockies that much more epic, there is also the option to add on a glacier landing or hiking tour.
Horseback Trail Riding
Boundary Ranch, situated in Kananaskis Country, only a short drive from Banff and Canmore, have been saddling up riders for well over 30+ years. Horseback riding is a classic way to explore the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains, and there are plenty of tours to choose from. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there’s a tour for you.
Toby Creek Adventures, based out of Panorama, BC., is your closest operator from Banff and Canmore for a more adrenaline-fueled land adventure, an ATV tour. These tours take you off-road, allowing you to explore the rugged terrain in a thrilling way. Visit remnants of a 1900s Silver Mining Town or venture out to a hidden waterfall, an experience only accessible via ATV.
Canmore Cave Tours take you underground to explore the caverns of Rat’s Nest Cave under Grotto Mountain. One of the longest caves in Canada, it’s home to ancient pictographs and 7000-year-old bones. The cave has no lights, handrails, or walkways, which only adds to the adventure, as you explore the cave in its natural state, just like the original explorers did. It’s a different side the Canadian Rocky Mountains that will definitely be an experience to remember.
Bow Valley Canyon Tours provide adrenaline-pumping adventures that immerse you right into waterfalls as you rappel, jump, and slide your way down the canyon walls. If you’ve never experienced canyoning before, the Heart Creek Canyon Tour is the perfect way to ease you into the sport. Seasoned canyoner? No problem, Castle Canyon delivers five challenging rappels, a 12-foot jump and numerous pools to swim through. It’s the Rocky Mountains, up close and personal, an unforgettable experience to do while visiting.
The Pursuit Collective includes several different experiences, including the Banff Gondola, Lake Minnewanka Cruise, Columbia Icefields Adventure and Skywalk, and the Golden Skybridge. Each of these attractions offers a different perspective on the beauty of Banff National Park and the surrounding area.
The Banff Gondola is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Banff. The gondola takes visitors to the top of Sulphur Mountain, where they can enjoy stunning views of the town and surrounding mountains. At the top, visitors can also explore the boardwalk, visit the gift shop, and grab a bite to eat at the restaurant.
A fantastic way to experience the beauty of Lake Minnewanka is to set sail on a 1-hour scenic tour of the lake, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and wildlife and learn about the history of the lake itself.
For the more adventurous, the Columbia Icefields Adventure offers a chance to explore the Athabasca Glacier. Visitors can ride on a massive ice explorer vehicle and walk on the glacier itself, learning about the history and geology of the area along the way.
Just down the road, The Skywalk, is a unique attraction that offers a thrilling experience for visitors. The Skywalk is a glass-bottomed walkway that extends out from a cliff, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
The newest attraction to the collective, is the Golden Skybridge. With two suspension bridges, a mountain coaster, canyon swing, zip line, high ropes course, a climbing wall, axe throwing, café and gift shop, there is something for everyone here. Not to mention, the breath-taking views of Golden, British Columbia.
The Anger Management Collective is the axe throwing place in Canmore, Alberta. Built to spec for competitions on world stage, you have the chance to come and hone your skills to take the podium or just relax for some fun with friends and family. There is also a pool table, arcade games and gaming console on site, so the fun never stops. Open from late afternoon to midnight, it’s an awesome way to cap off a day of adventuring.
Hassle Free Shuttles
Hop on Banff is a hop-on-hop-off bus service take you to Banff, Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise Gondola and Chairlift, Lake Louise Village, Lake Louise, and Moraine Lake without the hassle of parking or traffic. With a purchase of a Day Pass, spend as much, or as little, time as you like at each location. Though this isn’t a guided experience, the bus hosts are always happy to share their knowledge and experiences with you about each area. Hop on and make the most out of your adventure.
Banff and Canmore offer a sense of adventure and natural beauty that is hard to match. Whether you are looking for a heart-pumping Whitewater Rafting adventure, a breath-taking Heli Tour, a classic Horseback Trail Ride, or a thrilling ATV tour, there is something for everyone.
For more information about any of the details above or to book into one of the exciting adventures please give us a call at 403-678-6535.