Blanket Views: Banff’s Picnic Perfection with the 5 Best Scenic Spots to Visit

Sampurna LahaJanhavi Ramesh Kowligi
Sampurna Laha Janhavi Ramesh Kowligi Travel
15 Min Read

Finding a few picnic spots in Banff is not unusual. In fact, in the presence of the renowned Banff National Park, you’ll witness the most lavish surroundings with ethereal views and wonderful picnic experiences.

You’ll discover great picnic spots in Banff, packed with picnic tables, great food, and a paved walking trail. All picnic areas have something unique to offer.

From the scenic views of Bow River to the Spray Valley Provincial Park, you’ll witness the perfect picnic experience here in Banff.

So, pack your picnic lunch and be ready with a few picnic tables to get started with your favorite picnic site in Banff. Even though a lot of picnic spots in Banff do not have fire pits, it would be a safe option to carry one camp stove around during your hiking trail.

1. Picnic Paradise: Discover the Best Outdoor Retreats in Banff

1.1. Lake Minnewanka Picnic Area

This fascinating lake area takes the first spot on our list of best picnic spots in Banff, and for a good reason. This stunning glacial lake is filled with prominent hiking trails and a gorgeous lake view from the picnic site with excellent facilities.

One of the reasons why Lake Minnewanka is so popular is that you can experience a glamorous and adventurous boat cruise at the lake on summer days.

If not a boat cruise, you can bring your paddleboards or kayaks to start your personal lake tour and enjoy the magnificent beauty of the lake surrounded by tall, snow-capped mountains.

Along with over 35 picnic tables, this place is spacious and has room for many family picnickers during the summer. But you may be cautious about the parking lot since it gets full pretty fast during the busy days of Summer. It is always best to arrive early to get your spot booked.

Banff Lake Minnewanka Boat Cruises Rentals
Image from Banff & Lake Louise

It has clean toilets, fireplaces, and rings on the picnic site. You may also find Kitchen shelters in the picnic area. The town of Banff could be enjoyed massively if you visit this lovely place with one picnic table on a happy summer day with your family or friends.

When it comes to the hiking trail in Lake Minnewanka, there are a few you could visit, like the Stewert Canyon Hike and the Alymer Lookout Hike, which you can see if you have extra time at hand since it is a bit far, but filled with gorgeous scenes. So, do not miss out on these glorious hiking trails if you’re already at Lake Minnewanka.

The Banff Townsite and its Lake Minnewanka are among the ideal picnic spots in Banff that you can visit in Canada. You may not find fire pits, but plenty of facilities to picnic in Banff and its picnic spots. This picnic area is certainly among the best.

1.2. Muleshoe Picnic Area

Situated along the Bow Valley Parkway, this top-notch site is among the best picnic spots in Banff due to its large area and a good range of facilities like flush toilets, picnic tables, and other incredible options to look forward to.

Mulshoe Picnic is one of the few picnic spots in Banff where you can get a great view of the CPR train passing by. Sitting back at the picnic tables and enjoying the relaxing and calming view with your family and friends is a wonderful opportunity.

Kids love watching the train pass by along with the elegant view of Mulshoe Lake, so it is a great place for lovely and quality family time.

During the day trip, you’ll have fun playing with the kids and enjoying a great time sitting at the red Banff chairs strewn at the picnic site. Mulshoe is well-known for having the largest parking lot among all the picnic areas in Banff. So, stopping by this scenic picnic spot is a great advantage, even during packed days.

The exposure to vehicles has been stopped since 2022. One can just cycle up to the Bow Valley Parkway and enjoy the picnic site whenever. There are also plenty of shade spots at Mulshoe. They are pretty convenient to use if the sunny days get hotter.

Bow Lake Picnic Area, Banff National Park, July 21 2020

A project was started in 2022 by Parks Canada. The eastern part of Johnston Canyon to Bow Valley Parkway will prohibit vehicles, especially during winter and spring. Mulshoe is one of the greatest picnic spots in Banff during the summertime.

Even the Johnston Canyon is also a great picnic spot to visit while you’re at Mulshoe. It has five picnic tables along with flush toilets of the same.

Along with an exciting Johnston hiking trail, you can go to the lower falls of Johnston Canyon. It would be a perfect adventure. You can also take a rest day at the Banff Hotel. It is just near the Banff National Park.

It has over ten picnic tables and flush toilets. So, it is among the most convenient picnic areas in Banff, near the Banff National Park. The picnic area has scenic views of the Bow River, Lake Louise, and Mulshoe Lake along the trains passing by.

You can also spot a ‘hole in the cake’ by looking up to the mountains surrounding Mulshoe. So, don’t forget to visit this breathtaking picnic area in Banff. It is one of the most anticipated picnic spots in Banff.

1.3. Banff Recreation Grounds

Being one of the most popular picnic spots in Banff, the Banff Recreation Grounds certainly deserves a significant mention here in this list.

Located across the Bow River in Central Park, this picnic area is close to many required destinations like a Museum, ice cream shops, and even restaurants.

This is if you’re looking for the perfect picnic area to satisfy your boredom. Especially if you have kids or a young one with you, the Banff Recreation grounds will keep them engaged all the time.

It is one of the few picnic spots in Banff with fire pits and large picnic tables. You have a large playground for bike riding, tennis courts, and basketball. This picnic area is undoubtedly an all-rounder among the other picnic spots in Banff.

This picnic area is ideally set up for a fun family experience. If you’re not into playground games and want to enjoy solitary time in peaceful isolation, head straight to the wooden chairs near the mountains and Lake Louise. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy a fantastic time alone while enjoying the elegant beauty of the picnic area.

picnic spots in Banff
Image from Banff Recreation Grounds

The picnic area also has a large parking lot, which is entirely free. You’ll save a lot if you visit this fantastic picnic spot, with fun and exciting games to play with your friends and family.

It is a superb location to spend some quality time with your family. Your kids may engage themselves in fun playground games. They have also introduced a brand new skating zone, a skatepark. It is the best you can find in the Canadian Rockies. There are also small stoves in this picnic area where you can try barbequing.

You may also have access to the hiking trails that go up to the Bow Valley Parkway while bringing you back to Banff. In short, the Banff Recreation Grounds of Banff National Park is an ideal picnic spot for everyone.

It does not matter if you love games or enjoy moments alone. This picnic area has every option you’re looking for. You can now be assured why this fabulous picnic area is regarded as one of the best picnic spots in Banff.

1.4. Johnson Lake

Regarded as the sister of Quarry Lake of Canmore, this ethereal Johnson Lake is another one of the epic picnic spots in Banff. The list of things that you can do at Johnson Lake is unlimited. It has fun-featured facilities and an excellent location spot.

It is situated at the loop of Lake Minnewanka. It is a beautiful picnic area for spending quality family time with your kids and parents.

Plenty of picnic tables are located near the site’s lake and a sandy beach. So, you can watch your kids play by the waters. They can play with the sand toys when you can go on with your picnicking time.

Johnson Lake is a great hike spot as well. You can witness a rope swing and benches spread and swings while going up the hiking trail. Even though there are no fire pits, other facilities like fire rings and pit toilets exist.

picnic spots in Banff
Image from Banff & Lake Louise

The best part about the Johnson Lake picnic spot is the Lake. You can have a wonderful time enjoying the magnificent view of greenery-packed nature and mountains.

So, hit the waters with a paddleboard, kayak, or a simple boat. Remember that this picnic area does not provide rentals. So, bringing your own and planning your schedule is best.

The place has biking racks and a washing station. You can lock your bikes before you enter the picnic spot. Your kids can have a fun time playing with water and other stuff at the washing station. With so many significant aspects, it is no wonder this place is one of the best picnic spots in Banff.

You can view the Cascade Mountains’ magnificent beauty and Rundle Mountain for the hiking trail. Stopping by this gorgeous Johnson Lake is a fascinating experience, primarily because of its popularity and anticipation from the Banff dwellers. So, check out this lovely heaven of nature when visiting Banff.

1.5. Baker Creek

Last but not least, Baker Creek is another one of the best picnic spots in Banff. It has a perfect setting for a beautiful picnic time experience on a calm summer day in the Banff area. This place epitomizes calmness and relaxation near Lake Louise and the Baker Creek Resort.

Baker Creek region is a treasure trove amongst the other picnic spots in the Banff area. It may not be that renowned or popular for being a picnic spot.

But it does have great things to offer. It is among the few picnic spots in Banff where you’ll find the vision of wildlife. Isn’t that exciting?

Baker Creek, Banff, Alberta, Canada

It is for those who love adventures, greenery, and wildlife. Baker Creek has to be your go-to picnic spot in Banff. There is also a meadow region situated just next to Baker Creek. These places are ideal for witnessing wildlife amidst the Banff National Park or Bow Valley Parkway.

You can see different and unique birds along the way to Baker Creek. If you’re lucky, you may spot a Kingly Bull Elk while going to the forest.

Either way, it is a lovely and unique picnic spot in Banff. It is endearing. This place may not be everyone’s favorite, but if you adore wildlife and adventure while picnicking, you’ve found your match!

This place is filled with a lot of shades as well. So you’ll be well-protected if the weather gets too hot or rainy. Baker Creek is not like any ordinary picnic spot. But something extraordinary and peculiar. So, if you’re up for the adrenaline rush, don’t forget to visit one of the unique picnic spots in Banff.


The picnic spots mentioned above are indeed some of the best in Banff, but there are still a lot of other great picnic spots worth visiting. A few are The Cascade Ponds, The Two Jack Picnic Area, and the Sundance Canyon.

These three spots are lovely places in Banff if you’re up for a beautiful picnicking tour near the Banff National Park. You may also find a national historic site because picnic sites are stuffed there. Good luck picnicking in Banff!

Last Updated on by Narayani Bhardwaj

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