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Best Times to Visit Banff

The best times to visit Banff are June to August and December to March. Nature lovers will want to get to the park when the weather is warm and welcoming (and while the hotel rates in town are at a reasonable level). The skiers, however, will want to vacation in the height of winter. Depending on what you want to do, Banff can be seen as an almost year-round destination (although fall can be a bit of a gamble). Temperatures fluctuate dramatically throughout the year; average winter temperatures range from the single digits to the low 30s. During the summer, average temperatures range from 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. No matter when you choose to visit, plan to wear sunglasses, a hat and plenty of sunscreen to protect against UV exposure: The sun at these alpine altitudes is strong.

Weather in Banff switch to Celsius/mm

Average Temperature (°F)

Average Precipitation (in)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

December-March

Although snow falls every month, December to March is the peak period for skiing. Day temperatures will rarely surpass 32 degrees Fahrenheit until mid-March and will dive toward zero at night. Note that temperatures change quickly and vary radically on different mountains. You'll want to secure a hotel early to visit at this time, and avoid the holidays if you're on a budget. If you're hoping to see top sites, such as Moraine Lake and the Columbia Icefield, this is not the time to come as roads leading to these attractions are closed due to avalanche risk.

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April-May

During these shoulder months, Banff will experience everything from blizzards to warm weather. Although springtime highs can reach the mid-50s, traveling to Banff in April or May is asking for a surprise. However, if you've come to Banff to spot wildlife, especially bears, late spring and summer is your best bet (you'll have the most luck in the early morning or later evening). The Columbia Icefield starts welcoming visitors in mid-April. The road to Moraine Lake usually opens in mid- to late May. Meanwhile, ski season begins to wind down in late May.

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June-August

These are the most crowded months, with the warmest weather (average highs sit in the low 70s). But the warm weather isn't the only reason to visit in the summer: the area's mountain lakes are at their most brilliant (especially in July, August and September). If you venture here any other time of year – even June – the lakes will likely be frozen. Booking a hotel during these months will give you access to the best hiking and biking in the Canadian Rockies.

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September-November

While September here is the height of fall, October can turn treacherously cold in a hurry. October blizzards are not uncommon and will wipe away the beautiful fall leaves. But if you're willing to put up with the cold, you'll be rewarded with a busy event calendar. Late November marks the start of ski season.

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