Banff is a resort town located within the Banff National Park in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located along the famous Trans-Canada Hwy, approximately 126km (78 miles) West of Calgary, Alberta. Home of the Canadian Rockies, Banff is famous for it stunning mountainous scenery, hot springs and is a popular destinations for a range of outdoor activities from skiing at the three nearby ski resorts in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Despite been located within Canada’s first National Park, the area is considered pet friendly with dogs permitted on a leash.
Tunnel Mountain Resort
Tunnel Mountain Resort, situated above the Banff Village. It’s pet-friendly & allows dogs of all sizes to join their human family on vacation. They charge a $25 pet cleaning fee, but no additional charges so it’s quite reasonable. The resort has a pool, fitness centre, playground & is made up of fully self-contained condos. The condos include an open fireplace, lounge, full kitchen, bathroom & good size bedroom. Those travelling with their pets can expect to have a large pet bed, food bowl, earth rated waste bags & a complimentary dog toy waiting in their room for them.
Moose Hotel and Suites
Moose Hotel and Suites in downtown Banff, just around the corner from the supermarket. It’s the newest hotel in town and is actually quite unique. One of the oldest houses in town was situated right where they wanted to build the hotel, so in order to preserve it, they relocated it to the centre of the site and built the hotel around it. Now the hotel has a beautiful courtyard with its own bit of history.
The hotel offers everything you could need a restaurant, pool, fitness centre, hot tub and fire pit lounge with mountain views. The accommodation is made up of mini apartments that include a kitchenette, lounge with fireplace, bedroom and a great size bathroom. You guessed it right, Mya made it straight over to the fireplace and got cozy on a dog bed.
They hotel also provides food and water bowls, waste bags and a complimentary dog toy. The hotel charges a $25 per night, per pet cleaning fee and has a cap of two dogs per room, however they are willing to consider special circumstances on an individual basis. We also got asked about toilet locations and the closest location is down an elevator and then onto the main street.
Bumpers Inn is situated just on the outskirts of downtown Banff and is aimed at your more simple and budget price point. That’s not to say I had anything negative to say about it. We had a spacious room, fridge, microwave, TV and comfortable bed. Bumpers itself doesn’t have a pool, but it’s sister property across the road (Inn of Banff) does and whilst staying at Bumpers you can use it’s facilities. The only thing it was missing was a toaster for my vegemite toast, although I didn’t ask, so possibly I could have gotten one.
Bumpers has the same pet policy as Tunnel Mountain Resort and the Moose Hotel and Suites. It charges a $25 per night per pet cleaning fee. It’s right next to the forest and has really easy access for doggy toilet breaks.For me Bumpers got a tick, it catered for what we needed, but was a reasonable price.
Activities and Attractions
Banff Photo Workshops and Tours
Mya and I were lucky enough to be able to join Dani, from Banff Photo Workshops & Tours and experience a beautiful Banff sunrise. Dani’s pup Tuzo also joined us and absolutely loved Mya. Dani gave me some great photography tips and really helped me with getting the light balance and scene composure right in my photographs.
She even had some great night time photography tips, that I’m excited to play around with when we next get a clear sky. If you’re looking for a dog friendly activity whilst in Banff and would like to photograph some of the amazing scenery Banff has to offer, be sure to get in touch with Dani.
Lake Minnewanka and Lake Vermilion
Mya and I also visited Lake Minnewanka and got to see the Northern Lights for the first time. We also visited Lake Vermilion and I managed to take my first-night photos that I was happy with. Both areas are absolutely stunning and we highly recommend checking them out.
Canoeing on Lake Louise
We took the short trip to Lake Louise and Mya and I went canoeing on Lake Louse itself. It was a great experience to be able to head back when the lake wasn’t frozen like it had been when we visited last winter. You can hire canoes from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and go for a paddle or if you’d prefer they also offer pre-booked guided tours. Just be sure that you and your pup are comfortable in the canoe, as the water is pretty cold.
On our visit to the Columbia Icefields and went on a Glacier Ice Explorer tour. Unfortunately, the tour isn’t dog-friendly, so Mya had to stay with a friend for a couple of hours. The tour involves taking a purpose-built Ice Explorer below the glacier and taking a look around.
Afterwards I visited the Skywalk, which is just up the road and offers amazing views of the area and entry can be purchased on the same ticket as the Ice Explorer.
If you’re not interested in the tours, you can still hike halfway up towards the glacier with your dog on a lead, as the same National Park policies apply as when you are in Banff. You will require a moderate level of fitness for this and to ensure you dress appropriately as you will be quite exposed to the weather there.
Banff Mountain Film Festival
The Banff Mountain Film Festival is held in Banff in November each year. It is a series of short films based on various outdoor activities and experience. Every year for the past five years, I’ve attended a Banff Mountain Film Festival screening in Australia. It has inspired me and given me a thirst for adventure. This year being in Canada, I thought I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to check out the film festival. It was such an amazing experience, the atmosphere was fantastic. If your there at this time of year I would highly recommend taking a look.
Whilst visiting Banff, I also checked out the Canmore Caves. Although I loved repealing 5 meters into the cave and wiggling on my belly, to get through cracks that I wouldn’t have thought a human could, I’m pretty sure Mya wouldn’t have, so we opted for her to visit some friends. Overall it was a fantastic experience which I highly recommend.
Another popular attraction in Banff is the Banff Gondola which offers beautiful views of Banff and the Bow River. Despite previously being pet-friendly, the attraction no longer is, so if you’d like to experience it, you may have to arrange some doggy daycare at Veronica’s Dog Grooming in town (we didn’t use then but hear great things).
Johnston Canyon is a must see when visiting Banff. For those who don’t know Johnston Canyon is about a 45-minute drive west of Banff. We made the hike to the upper falls section. We really wanted to make it all the way to the Ink Pots, because of the many recommendations we had received, but unfortunately ran out of time. With taking photos etc we probably spent about 3 hours there, so if you want to make it all the way, factor that in. We also made sure we were using our Yaktrak grips with spikes to grip into the snow. We watched many people slipping without them, so we highly recommend getting a pair. One thing I do want to point out is that some of our photos were taken after we took the trail that the ice climbers use, to get closer to the falls. We checked with Parks Canada that this was ok, but it’s really important that if you do this you have the knowledge and skills to head down there. We watched a couple standing on a cornice next to a waterfall and they were pretty lucky it didn’t give way. We had a great time in Johnston Canyon and highly recommend it.
Whilst your pup is booked in for doggy daycare, you might want to visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site to see the thermal pool and rare snails. You’re no longer able to swim at the Cave and Basin, but if you’d like to relax in some hot thermal waters, try to finish your day at the Upper Banff Hot Springs which are open until 11 pm at night.
If you looking for somewhere to take your pup for a run around there is an off-leash dog park, that is well fenced, centrally located in Banff (Hawk Avenue, Banff). Follow the web link below for more information.
Tourism: Banff Lake Louise Tourism|@Banff_LakeLouise
Stay: Banff Lodging Company | @Banff.Lodging.co
Play: Banff Photo Workshops| @BanffPhotoWorkshops
Columbia Icefields Tours| @PursuitBanffJasper
Banff Mountain Film Festival| @BanffMountainFestival
Canmore Cave Tours| @CanmoreCaveTours
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=off+leash+dog+park&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-au&client=safari#istate=lrl:iv&rlimm=13966015826797108412 (Banff Off-Leash Dog park)