Having A Hard Time Finding A Vacation Destination That Your Teenager Will Love? Try Visiting Banff In The Canadian Rockies For A Stellar Mix Of Snow, Water, Mountains, And Family Fun!
Guest Post by Lauren Nowack.
Lauren Nowack is a trekbible writer and story maker from Pine Valley, California. She and her husband work in the recreation department at a camp. In their free time, they enjoy mountain biking, building out their Sprinter van, and adventuring with their new puppy, Shadow.
Banff National Park and its namesake town are incredibly accessible destinations for those wishing to seek out a thrill of any kind. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains in the province of Alberta, Canada, Banff has mountains, rivers, valleys, rocks, and everything in between. Each unique part of the park will keep you and your teenager in adventure mode for as long as you want.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #1
Canoe or Kayak the Bow River. The Bow River was born from snowmelt from the peaks of the Canadian Rockies and winds itself through Banff as it flows south. Just a short stroll from downtown Banff, you will find a dock with rentable boats to take you on your voyage. You can choose to chart your own course by simply renting your own boat to explore the surrounding area. If you would appreciate someone to show you the ins and outs of the river, you can hire an experienced local guide.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #2
Ride the Trails and Road to Maximize your Scenic Views. Taking the two-wheel route will give you all that is needed in your Canadian adventure: scenic views, hard work, and speed. Whether you choose to chase the river downstream or bike up a mountain pass, you can have a choose-your-own adventure here. The best time for cycling is May through October to keep the temperatures up. However, always be prepared with your toolkit and rain gear for whatever weather chooses to roll through. To start you out, I would recommend the Blue Loop to introduce you to the single track riding in Banff.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #3
Snowshoe through the Mountains. What better way to adventure backcountry than with snowshoes? With ample guide and route options, you and your teens can choose anywhere from a half-day to multi-day excursion.. Depending on your experience and dedication level, you can choose between multiple trip options. These include climbing to the Continental divide, crossing a few frozen lakes, or bagging some mountain peaks.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #4
Banff Upper Hot Springs. After a long day of hiking, skiing, or mountain biking, your adventurous teen will want the perfect way to wind down and relax. The Upper Hot Springs is a superb place to do just that. The Hot Springs are open seven days a week and well into the evening making it easy to stop in after a long day. If you need more down time in between days of high intensity, I recommend going in the mornings when it is less crowded. A natural hot spring feeds the pool and provides a unique and invigorating mixture of minerals to soothe your family’s sore muscles.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #5
Ice Climbing up Frozen Waterfalls. What adrenaline junkie doesn’t want to try their hand at using an ice ax to climb up a frozen waterfall? You can test your skills by using crampons, ice screws, building anchors, and even leading a climb if you are willing to push your limits. I recommend getting an experienced guide for this excursion. This is a unique way to explore Banff’s creeks and canyon while trying your hand at something new.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #6
Climb Some of Banff’s most Majestic Walls for Dazzling Sights. Banff has more than just fresh powder and raging rivers to offer. Being in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff has numerous cliffs and crags to rock climb. Hire a guide to bring you along on a multi-pitch trek in Bow Valley or the Ghost River area. Whether you are looking for traditional top roping or pushing your limits with sport climbing, your teens will be safe as you explore. Banff boasts some of the best limestone formations that give you the most accessible and remote areas of Alberta to enjoy.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #7
Ski the Big Three Slopes. As fresh powder can fall any month of the year in Banff, the skiing is sure to please. The big three resorts to go to are Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay, and the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Between these three mountains, you will have access to 8,000+ acres, 26 chair lifts, and 30+ feet of snow that falls annually. For first timers who simply want to take in the majestic mountains, Banff is an excellent choice. But, if you are ready to drop some black diamond moguls, you will find no shortage of challenges and fun here. If skiing the resorts isn’t your style, there is ample backcountry skiing between and around the surrounding mountains as well.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #8
Summit Mount Athabasca through a Multi-day Trek. Why separate skiing, hiking, and ice climbing when you can do all three while summiting one peak? Summiting the 11,453-foot peak over a three-day trek can be a challenge, even for the most daring person. Climbing this mountain requires having skills such as crevice rescuing, rappelling, and traveling across glaciers. For this reason, I recommend hiring a local guide to help you to the top. Summiting Mount Athabasca promises an audacious adventure and challenge for all.
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #9
Rafting the Chinook River. There are many different rafting routes to choose from in Banff. The two best rivers for a solid thrill are Horseshoe Canyon and the Kicking Horse River. Ranging from class one to four, these rides promise to get you soaking wet during a day on the river. On Horseshoe Canyon, you also have the option of cliff jumping during a lull in the rapids. Your trip can also include a BBQ lunch and professional photos of you tearing down the rapids to remember your bold vacation choices!
ADVENTURES FOR A TEENAGER IN BANFF #10
Live Vicariously Through the World’s Most Bold. Banff is home to the International Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Held every fall, this is the pinnacle presentation of stellar outdoor films. If you need inspiration of where to head next or want to experience breathtaking views and stories, this is the place to be. Winners of the festival have told many stories of struggle. These include poverty in the Tibet mountains, the death of a friend and climbing partner, and a artic ice free diver. This film festival is held at Banff’s Center for Arts and Creativity. It is sure to ignite the spark within you and your family to live lives of adventure and passion.
We know that choosing a place with enough to do for an adventuresome family can be difficult. That is why I recommend Banff to fulfil your exploration desires. Whether you hike, climb, bike, or ski, there are options for all kinds of adventure. The majestic mountains and raging rivers await you and your teens to give you the experience of a lifetime.
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