Banff is the perfect place from which to explore Canada's Rocky Mountains. Surrounded by the pristine wilderness of the Banff National Park and central to many of the regions best attractions, Banff is popular throughout the year. The town's native population of 10,000 is supplemented by around 4 million visitors each year.
Skiers are spoilt for choice with several ski resorts nearby. Try the slopes at Mt Norguay, Lake Louise Ski Resort or Sunshine Village. Mt Norguay is the favorite of the locals, it has the least crowds and the most advanced slopes. Both Lake Louise and Sunshine Village have huge numbers of ski runs to choose from, from advanced to beginner. The easiest way to get there is to catch one of the shuttle buses which pick up from all the hotels in town.
In summer, the landscape around Banff transforms from a winter wonderland to a green wilderness, ripe for a whole variety of outdoor pursuits. There are hundreds of trails to explore, from easy strolls alongside streams to strenuous hikes which circumnavigate spectacular lakes. Mountain biking is another great way to explore and there are bike-rentals in the town which can also provide maps of the best trails in the area. Rent a kayak and get out on one of the incredible vivid blue lakes in the area for a different perspective.
Get out on the town after a day of skiing or cycling. Being a vacation destination, a party atmosphere pervades the town all year round. There are some excellent nightclubs and bars in the center of town. Don't miss the Dancing Sasquatch, a local institution which is open until late.
Banff is around an hour and a half from Calgary by car, or four hours south of Jasper.