There Are So Many Adventures for Teenagers in Banff That You May Have Just Found the Best Family Holiday Destination. The Canadian Rockies Offers A Stellar Mix of Snow, Water, Mountains, And Family Fun!
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 in Banff will offer a myriad of adventures for your teenager. Which Banff activity do you reckon they will like the most?
TRAVEL TIPS YOU WILL FIND:
- #01 – CANOE OR KAYAK THE BOW RIVER
- #02 – BANFF TRAIL RIDES AND ROADS
- #03 – SNOWSHOE THROUGH THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
- #04 – BANFF UPPER HOT SPRINGS
- #05 – ICE CLIMBING UP BANFF’S FROZEN WATERFALLS
- #06 – CLIMB SOME OF BANFF’S MOST MAJESTIC WALLS
- #07 – SKI THE BIG THREE SLOPES AT BANFF
- #08 – SUMMIT MOUNT ATHABASCA THROUGH A MULTI-DAY TREK
- #09 – RAFTING THE CHINOOK RIVER
- #10 – INTERNATIONAL BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM AND BOOK FESTIVAL
- BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES
- BONUS TIP #2 – WHERE TO STAY IN BANFF
#01 – 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.
#02 – BANFF TRAIL RIDES AND ROADS
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.
#03 – SNOWSHOE THROUGH THE ROCKY 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.
#04 – 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.
#05 – ICE CLIMBING UP BANFF’S FROZEN WATERFALLS
What adrenaline junkie teenager doesn’t want to try their hand at using an ice ax to climb up a frozen waterfall? Of all the things you can do in Banff in the winter, this has got to be the most exhilarating! 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.
#06 – CLIMB SOME OF BANFF’S MOST MAJESTIC WALLS
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.Banff is a stunning backdrop for a family holiday. Perfect for the teenager who can't sit still and has a heart for adventure! Here are some things to do in Banff for the whole family! Click To Tweet
#07 – SKI THE BIG THREE SLOPES AT BANFF
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 timer skiers or snowboarders 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.
#08 – 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 which is perfect for the super adventurous teenager looking to test their endurance.
#09 – RAFTING THE CHINOOK RIVER
There are many different rafting routes to choose from in Banff and is perhaps one of the best family activities to do 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 family trip to this picturesque part of Banff can also include a BBQ lunch and professional photos of you tearing down the rapids to remember your bold vacation choices!
#10 – INTERNATIONAL BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM AND BOOK FESTIVAL
Adventure in Banff doesn’t always translate to being outdoors or involve extreme sport. 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 arctic 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.
If you’re also thinking of doing Jasper National Park, do check out these 22 things you can do for an even more epic Canadian Rockies adventure!
BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES
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10 Ways to Engage Your Disengaged Teenager on Holidays
9 Unusual Things to do in Tokyo With Your Teenager
BONUS TIP #2 – WHERE TO STAY IN BANFF
4 Star Hotel: Moose Hotel and Suites
Located a 1-minute walk from the heart of downtown Banff, the Moose Hotel & Suites features 174 air conditioned guests rooms, with a combination of One and Two Bedroom Suites and Hotel Rooms. Amenities include the Meadow Spa & Pools with 10 treatment rooms and private outdoor hot pool. A bright indoor swimming pool and exercise room on the 4th floor, and 2 spectacular rooftop hot pools with views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Dining is available at Pacini Italian Restaurant, featuring gourmet Italian food with unique and authentic flavours and a warm and friendly ambiance.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
3 star Property: Charltons Banff
Featuring a steam room, an indoor mineral pool and a hot tub, this Banff hotel includes an on-site restaurant and breakfast lounge. Charlton Banff provides rooms and suites with comfortable seating areas and spacious bathrooms with bathrobes. Some suites also feature full kitchens and gas fireplaces. Kitchens are a great option if you’re on a budget, so you’re not forced to eat out all of the time.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
Bed and Breakfast: Buffaloberry Bed & Breakfast
The B & B was beautifully decorated and done for the comfort of the visitor! The owners are friendly and helpful in every way. The location is excellent and is just a stone’s throw from the main street in Banff.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
Lodge Style Accommodation: Buffalo Mountain Lodge
Featuring an outdoor hot tub, this Banff hotel is located on the slopes of Tunnel Mountain, within a 20 minute walk of downtown. Each rustic room offers a wood burning fireplace, balcony and private bathroom. Sleeping Buffalo Restaurant at the Mountain Lodge serves Rocky Mountain cuisine. The hotel also boasts Buffalo Mountain Café, featuring coffee, fresh pastries, muffins, and sandwiches to-go. They have queen rooms with 2 double beds, perfect for a family of 4.
Book Now Pay Later – Check Prices Here
10 Adventurous Things to Do with Your Teenager in Banff is written 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.
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Banff is so gorgeous. I haven’t been to Canada. But the first place I am going to visit is Calgary for Banff and Jasper national parks. They are so gorgeous. Great post.
The Canadian outdoors are so vast and beautiful but Banff should be no everyone’s list:)
You photos are so stunning i feel like packing my bags to visit Banff. The water is crystal clear, the mountains are glowing and so many water sports options! No wonder it is so popular and you guys had fun.
Thank you! Banff is truly beautiful and if ever you get a chance to visit, you have to do it.
what an amazing read. I live very close to Banff and its always a treat to read about what other fellow travellers think about Banff and what they like to do! Your pictures are incredibly beautiful too!
Thanks Mayuri! I’m assuming you do go to Banff sometimes? Do you do any of these activities? Canada in general is such a stunning country.
Oh my goodness, I wish this had been my mum when I was a teenager! We are hoping to head to Banff in the next couple of years and even though our teenage are somewhat a distant memory, I am going to try some of these. Although the ice climbing might be a bit out of our league now. I also wish I had had a blog directed as entertaining teenagers when my kids were this age. Fabulous post
Thank you so much Cath! Good to be outdoors with the kids but yes, you can definitely do all these amazing activities! Errr yeah…. ice climbing is not something I would ever do as I’m so afraid of heights!
Banf has just recently been on my radar after a friend of mine had some amazing pictures of one of their trips. We have younger kids (ages 11, 7, 4) and we can handle the cold. Is there enough to do for the younger crowd too? It looks like such a fun adventure.
Absolutely. If you like the outdoors, there’s plenty of things to do:) Some of the ideas on the list are perhaps a little too adventurous for the 7 and 4 year old but you can do the tamer activities.
Banff look very cold and super fun place to hang around. Love the nature landscape, especially the cold ice, but not sure I can survive the cold. The list has so many things to offer and this is a good guide to use when I go in future.
It does look super cold huh but as long as you have the right clothing it’s not as bad as you think. Besides you’d be so active you’ll stay warm. But Banff is beautiful in the summer too…. you can go then!
Banff has been on my dream list of places to explore for so long. THanks for this guide!! My number one interest now is ice climbing frozen waterfalls !!
You’re welcome! OMG yes……. If you really can try out ice climbing, please do. What an amazing experience that would be!
Climbing up the frozen waterfalls is new to me. Thanks for sharing this! It really looks like something I’d definitely do this year!
Just the idea of climbing up a frozen waterfall is both exhilarating and down right scary! LOL! But it would just a thrill to be able to experience something so unique. Hope you do get to do it soon!
This looks like the adventure of a lifetime for anyone, not just teenagers! I can’t wait to experience Banf myself one day.
Hahah! Yes true! It’s just a great destination if you have older kids who can’t sit still and have too much energy to burn. In saying that however I’m not sure I’m game enough to go ice climbing when my daughter is a teenager! Lol
Wow…really interesting. A long list of adventure activities. Definitely a great place to visit if looking for some adventure. Banf is beautiful.
I know right…… so stunning. I never get sick of seeing images from this beautiful landscape.