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Disappear into an enthralling, awe-inspiring wilderness in the town of Banff. The resort is located in the National Park of the same name, hidden beneath the Rocky Mountains on the banks of the Bow River. Before you disappear into the mountains, stop by the National Historic Site in the town, which hosts a museum devoted to the natural history of the area. Banff also has a fascinating museum dedicated to the First Nations communities in the region.

Stay in Banff for shops, restaurants and accommodation, before renting a car and driving out into the spectacular, sprawling national park. Use Orbitz to help you find the best rental car deal.

Banff and beyond: Explore the national park

Banff is the only major township in Banff National Park, so use it as your base for exploring the wilderness region. We’ve picked three destinations you can reach in your rental car.

Lake Louise

The other major tourist destination in Banff National Park is the town of Lake Louise. In winter, the neighboring ski resort buzzes with activity as people tackle slopes of all difficulty levels. In summer, it’s a hiker’s dream, with trails that lead to the spectacular Plain of Six Glaciers. The lake itself is a treat, offering total serenity and panoramic vistas as you paddle a canoe on its still waters.

Journey time: Around 45 minutes

Distance: Approximately 35 miles

Peyto Lake

Bring your camera for shots of this dazzling, turquoise lake that sits beneath sharp rocky ridges. The drive here, along Bow Pass, is one of the best in the region. Park your rental car and hike along the edges of the lake, following trails up to a lookout point. Banff National Park is home to eagles, bears, elk and more, so bring binoculars and watch the untouched landscapes for signs of life.

Journey time: Around 1 hour 30 minutes

Distance: Approximately 80 miles

Icefields Parkway

This stretch of road crosses from Banff National Park into its northern neighbor, Jasper National Park. Here, the road is the attraction, one of the most breathtaking places to drive in all of Canada. If you have a rental car, this drive will stick with you forever. It’s not particularly convenient, which means that there are mercifully few other cars. Take your time to wind along these roads, stopping to take photos of the mountain peaks, glaciers and wildlife on the edges of the road.

Journey time: Around two hours

Distance: Approximately 105 miles