Best Time to Visit Banff, Canada: Weather by Season and Month

The best time to visit Banff is between June and August and between December and March. The late spring and summer months from June to August offer the year’s most ideal weather conditions, with average temperatures in the mid-twenties and plenty of sunny days. December to March are cold but are the driest months on average. Along with summer, winter is the peak season for tourists, thanks to outdoor activities like skiing and snowboarding.

Weather conditions in spring and autumn fall somewhere between the winter and summer extremes. Daytime temperatures in these seasons can range between mild and warm to cold and chilly. As these shoulder seasons fall outside the tourism high season, you can often find smaller crowds and better deals on flights and accommodations.

Itching to bask in the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies? Plan the perfect trip with this complete Banff weather guide for travellers, including what to expect by season and by month!

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Overview of weather in Banff

Like most travel destinations in Canada, Banff experiences a true four-season climate. The mountain town falls between subarctic climate zone and humid continental climate. Temperatures in Banff range greatly throughout the year, bottoming out during the chilly winter months and hitting their highs in the height of the summer high tourism season.

Banff Upper Hot Springs

In spite of Canada’s reputation for dreadfully cold winters, Banff is a year-round travel destination. The summer months are a fantastic time to go hiking in Banff National Park, home to some of the finest hiking trails in Canada. Likewise, travellers visiting in winter will get to take on some of Canada’s best ski slopes.

The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn can, however, be a bit of a mixed bag in terms of weather. Spring sweeps from pleasantly warm days to chilly. Visiting in the fall is similar, with the added bonus of the stunning autumn colours and some of Banff’s most interesting festivals. The bonus of both of these seasons, however, is the lower concentrations of tourists—and lower accommodation prices.

Banff weather by season


When is winter in Banff?

Winter in Banff falls between December and March.

What to expect in winter

As you’d expect, winter brings about a shift to cooler temperatures and snowfall. The winter months of December to March are the peak period for skiing in Banff and Lake Louise. Winter is the best time of year to visit Banff if winter sports are high on your agenda—whether it’s ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing, or snowboarding.


On average, December and January are the coldest months in Banff. Average daytime temperatures in these winter months fluctuate between -9°C and -11°C, with lows approaching -16°C during January’s coldest days.

For most sightseeing, winter is not a great season to go to Banff. Many of the top tourist attractions in Banff, including the Columbia Icefields and Moraine Lake, are inaccessible during winter due to icy conditions and avalanche risk.

Winter festivals & events

  • Ice Magic Festival
  • Snow Days Festival
  • Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup


When is spring in Banff?

Spring in Banff falls between April and June.

What to expect in spring

The weather in Banff is a little hit-and-miss during the spring months. While April relieves us from the coldest temperatures, the precipitation also starts to ramp up. During spring, mild sunny days can also turn into chilly, snowy ones at the drop of a hat.

Bighorn Sheep in Spring

Spring also starts to see the hiking trails waking up from their winter slumber, including the route to Moraine Lake, which is generally cleared between mid- to late May. Generally, you’ll be able to access most of the lakes by mid-June.

Thanks to its location high up in the Canadian Rockies, the skiing season can still roll on into late May.

Spring festivals & events

  • Children’s Festival
  • Banff Marathon
  • Banff Relay Race
  • Yoga Festival


When is summer in Banff?

Summer in Banff falls between July and August.

What to expect in summer

With spring disappearing in the rearview mirror, summer in Banff sees another surge in temperatures. Daytime average highs climb as high as 24°C in the months of July and August.


The summer is high tourism season and sees the town at its most crowded. Summer is the ideal time of year to tackle some of the best hiking trails in Banff.

Summer is also the only season where you’ll be able to dazzle at the stunning glacial mountain lakes of Banff National Park (including Peyto Lake, Moraine Lake, and Lake Louise) in their full technicolour glory, as July to September are the only months they aren’t covered in ice!

If you decide to visit in summer and want to stay at one of the most popular Banff hotels (especially in the centre of town), you’ll need to book your accommodations well ahead of time.

Summer festivals & events

  • Canada Day
  • Doors Open Banff
  • Banff Summer Arts Festival


When is autumn in Banff?

Autumn in Banff falls between September and November.

What to expect in autumn

The fall shoulder season is a mixed bag of weather in Banff. The transition from August into September sees the average temperature slide downward. Into October, it can get downright chilly in the area. Blizzards in late autumn aren’t unusual.

Autumn at Waterfowl Lakes

One of the big bonuses to travelling to Banff in fall is to catch the lovely autumn colours at their most radiant. The fall foliage season in Banff can sometimes be cut short, however, due to the howling winds and swift snowstorms of October.

The edge of autumn in late November marks the official start of the long ski season as snow starts to accumulate in the higher-altitude areas.

Fall festivals & events

  • Banff Craft Beer Festival
  • Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival
  • Taste for Adventure
  • Banff Springs Food and Wine Festival
  • Banff Christmas Market

Weather by month


Banff lives up to Canada’s cold winter stereotype in January. Average temperatures are at their lowest in January, with average lows dropping down to a bone-chilling -16°C and average daytime highs sitting at just -6°C.

In spite of the colder temperatures, visiting in January isn’t all bad news. January is one of the driest months in Banff. And even with the shorter winter days, there’s plenty of sunshine to go around.


January also approaches the apex of the ski season in Banff and the Canadian Rockies. Ski resorts like Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise Ski Resort are at their peak both in terms of skiing & snowboarding conditions and liveliness.

Layering up with a warm fleece jacket and an insulated ski jacket is a good idea to deal with the chilly mountain air.

  • Average Temperature: -11°C / 12°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: -6°C / 21°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: -16°C / 3°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 20mm / 1 day


Unlike other places in Canada, Banff gets a tad milder into the month of February. (Only a tad.) Average temperatures in Banff in February still hover around a not-so-balmy -2°C with average lows dipping to -14°C.

Cross-Country Skiing

Like January, February is one of the best times of the year to visit Banff for winter sports. Not only are the snow conditions great, the days of February bring plenty of sunshine and blue skies.

February is also among the busiest months. Expect high-season prices and limited availability at the top-rated resorts & hotels.

  • Average Temperature: -8°C / 18°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: -2°C / 28°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: -14°C / 7°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 22mm / 0 days


In March, average high temperatures start to rise, peeking above the freezing mark for the first time in three months. Even with the milder days, Banff’s ski season is still in full force in March, with plenty of pleasant, calm sunny days to enhance the experience.

Banff Springs Hotel Winter

March nights are still quite chilly. If you’re trying to figure out your Banff packing list, be sure to pack warm outerwear, including comfortable base layers, a mid-layer (like a fleece jacket), and an insulated jacket as an outer layer.

  • Average Temperature: -4°C / 25°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 3°C / 37°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: -10°C / 14°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 20mm / 1 day


Although April marks the first official month of spring, temperatures can still range between pleasantly mild and chilly—sometimes even within the same day!

As the ski season extends into May, April is still a great time to hit the slopes for some spring skiing or snowboarding without the winter crowds.

Spring Near Lake Louise

If you’re considering off-piste runs, keep in mind that the warming temperatures of April also carry an avalanche risk. Monitor conditions and follow the advice of local experts before heading out.

Despite all the positive temperature increases, snowstorms aren’t unheard of in Banff in April. Be sure to pack accordingly for cold weather and snowy conditions.

  • Average Temperature: 5°C / 41°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 11°C / 52°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: -2°C / 28°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 20mm / 2 days


One of the best months to go to Banff to avoid crowds, May finally sees all its average temperatures climb above freezing. Highs creep into the mid-teens. Fused with long sunny days, it makes for a comfortable visit.

Although the mercury’s rising, most of the most popular hiking trails still aren’t quite ready for visitors. There’s often still snow & ice on many of them, including the popular Sulphur Mountain Trail. (Take the Banff Gondola up if you want to check out the scenery from atop.)

Cave & Basin National Historic Site

The glacier-fed lakes are also still covered in ice, leaving their brilliant aquamarine colours hidden. To catch them at their finest, you’ll need to wait just a little bit longer.

Surprisingly, ski resorts, including Lake Louise and Sunshine Village, still operate into the month’s end.

  • Average Temperature: 9°C / 48°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 16°C / 61°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: 2°C / 36°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 50mm / 3 days


For most travellers, the late-spring month of June is among the best times to visit Banff National Park. Although the ski season has finally bid its farewell, hiking season starts ramping up in the warmer days of June.

While many of the hiking trails are still wet from the spring meltdown, the daytime highs inch up to 21°C by mid-June. The long sunny days make for some incredible hiking weather, especially into late June.

Johnston Canyon

If visiting the glacial lakes is high on your bucket list, you’ll be pleased to know that the warmer weather of June finally rids the lakes of their icy cloak. The road to Moraine Lake re-opens in June. You’ll also finally be able to, once again, catch the shimming hues of Lake Louise in their full glory.

The only major drawback to visiting in June is the crowds. With the re-opening of the hiking trails and melting of the lakes, the tourist populations start to swell along with accommodation prices. Book well ahead of time to secure your spot.

On average, June is the wettest month of the year in Banff, with an average of 4 rain days and 60mm of precipitation. Be sure to pack a reliable rain jacket to prepare for possible flash mountainside downpours.

  • Average Temperature: 13°C / 55°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 21°C / 70°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: 5°C / 41°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 60mm / 4 days


If we’re going to pick just one month as the best time to visit Banff, it’s July. As the first full month of summer, July is awash with activity as long sunny days smile down from blue skies.

Nearly everything that Banff is famous for (besides skiing, of course!) spikes in July: wildlife-watching, hiking, mountain biking, and camping.

Moraine Lake

Average daytime temperatures climb up to a glorious 24°C, making it a fantastic time of year to enjoy all the outdoors of the Canadian Rockies.

Nights are still a tad chilly in July, with temperatures often dipping into the single digits. If you can layer up and brave the cold, though, July is a wonderful month for star-gazing in Banff National Park, thanks to the clear skies. (The dark sky preserve in nearby Jasper National Park is even more spectacular!) 

The only caveat about visiting Banff in July is that it’s among the busiest months of the year in terms of tourists. Accommodation prices tend to be much higher than normal, and availability is lower. Unless you book well ahead, scoring a room at one of the most popular places to stay in the centre of town can be a challenge. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!)

  • Average Temperature: 16°C / 61°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 24°C / 75°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: 7°C / 45°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 40mm / 4 days


Alongside July, August is an ideal month to go to Banff, thanks to its warm weather and clear sunny skies.

For hiking, there’s hardly a better time of year. By August, most of the snow has melted (yes, it takes that long!) on most of Banff’s hiking & biking trails. Sightseeing opportunities are ripe as well. The mountainsides and forests are among their greenest and lushest in August.

Peyto Lake

The wide-open outdoor activities, however, also draw larger-than-normal crowds. August is the apex of the summer high tourism season. Like July, this can present challenges for finding space around the town of Banff and elsewhere in the national park.

Even with the beautiful days, averaging 16°C with average highs up to 24°C, evenings can be chilly. Be sure to pack a warm fleece jacket or a softshell jacket and some toasty base layers if you want to extend your day into some evening star-gazing.

  • Average Temperature: 16°C / 61°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 24°C / 75°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: 7°C / 45°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 50mm / 4 days


With the summer high season pushing into the background, September starts to see the mercury dipping from its blissful summer highs. The average temperature falls to just 11°C, with nighttime lows inching closer to freezing at just 3°C.

As the official start of fall in Banff, September also marks the beginning of the fall foliage viewing season. In September, the area begins to erupt into a flurry of autumn colours. It’s one of the best places in Canada to see fall colours!

The highlight is Alberta’s distinctive larch trees. They’re one of the only conifers to change colour and lose their needles in the fall. For its beautiful scenery, September is a great month to travel to Banff.

Sulphur Mountain

The absence of summer crowds, the fall colours, and relatively mild temperatures also mean that September is a great time of the year to go hiking. The conditions along the top hiking trails are still excellent moving into this first month of fall.

Weather in Banff in September, however, is highly variable. Warm sunny days can follow cool, rainy ones—and vice versa. Be sure to pack both warm clothing and waterproof outerwear to prepare for all scenarios.

  • Average Temperature: 11°C / 52°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 18°C / 64°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: 3°C / 37°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 40mm / 2 days


Fall is in full swing in Banff in October. The weather is still mostly pleasant and sunny, albeit with cooler temperatures, especially into mid-October. The average daytime temperature in October falls a few more degrees, sitting at a chillier -6°C. Average nighttime lows dip below freezing for the first time since April.

Lake Louise Autumn

Hiking is still good in Banff National Park throughout most of the month. As things cool off from mid-October towards the end of the month, however, snow is a possibility, especially in higher-altitude places like Mount Norquay and Sulphur Mountain. Flash October blizzards aren’t unheard of. Be sure to keep abreast of the conditions before embarking on a hike.

Enjoy the last flashes of autumn: Winter is coming…

  • Average Temperature: 6°C / 43°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 12°C / 54°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: -1°C / 30°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 20mm / 2 days


Although most would still consider it an autumn month, November marks a sea change in the weather in Banff. For the first time in 7 months, the average daytime temperature descends below freezing to a chilly -3°C.

Moraine Lake Autumn

With the cool temperatures, so too comes the snow. November marks the start of Banff’s long ski season, one of the longest in all of North America. The three top ski resorts—Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay—open their doors to skiers and snowboarders towards the end of the month.

One of the most compelling reasons to visit Banff in November is to take advantage of the smaller crowds. While the glacial lakes will likely be frozen over by November, other hiking trails will be blissfully empty. Accommodations also tend to fetch lower prices at this time of the year, meaning you can get more luxurious digs for much less than normal.

  • Average Temperature: -3°C / 27°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: 3°C / 37°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: -8°C / 18°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 20mm / 1 day


You know Canada’s stereotype for cold winters? Well, here ya go…

December marks the “official” start of winter in Banff. And with the change in season, you can expect a definite dip in temperatures. December is one of the coldest months of the year in Banff. Average daytime temperatures sink to just -9°C, with lows dropping to a chilly -14°C.

Sunshine Village

Along with the frigid weather and shorter days, December is often a foggy and cloudy month. There’s only an average of two hours of sunshine per day in Banff in December.

Despite not being a high point for weather, December is a great month to go skiing & snowboarding. The ski resorts are in full swing in December with the added bonus of smaller crowds than the peak ski season from Christmas and New Year to the end of winter. December is also a great time to go ice skating on one of the area’s pristine glacier lakes.

  • Average Temperature: -9°C / 16°F
  • Avg. High Temperature: -4°C / 25°F
  • Avg. Low Temperature: -14°C / 7°F
  • Avg. Rainfall: 20mm / 0 days

Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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