Visiting Banff with a Dog

Author: Dan Brewer

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Banff National Park is a world-renowned outdoor playground, filled with amazing scenery and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. If you love spending time outdoors, you’ll love visiting Banff with a dog!

Your furry friend will love every minute of your trip to Banff National Park. There are plenty of dog-friendly adventures you can get up to, including a wide variety of pet-friendly hiking trails.

When you are not exploring the great outdoors with your best friend, you’ll find Banff has great pet-friendly amenities, ranging from pet-friendly hotels and restaurants to off-leash dog parks.

Dan Brewer, of the Travel Banff Canada blog, goes hiking with his dog in the Canadian Rockies.

This guide to visiting Banff with a dog contains everything you need to know to have the best time here with your furry friend. Read on to find out about the rules for visiting Banff with a dog, safety tips and much more.

Rules for Visiting Banff with a Dog

The rules for visiting Banff with a dog are pretty straightforward. Keep in mind that the Town of Banff and Banff National Park are separate entities and each have their own laws pertaining to pets.

Basic Rules for Dogs in Banff

When you visit Banff with a dog, you’ll need to follow all the same basic dog rules you likely have back home. Basically, you need to keep your dog on leash at all times, pick up dog poop immediately and do not leave them unattended in a vehicle.

Celine Brewer, owner of, goes hiking in Banff with her two dogs, who are both on-leash.
Celine hiking at Johnston Canyon with her dogs.

Enjoying Hiking in Banff with a Dog

The stunning, raw mountain wilderness is the primary reason why people wish to visit Banff with a dog. Taking your dog for a beautiful hike in Banff is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll do during your visit.

Celine Brewer enjoys a hike with her dog in Banff, Canada.

Note, that on-leash dogs are typically allowed on Banff trails, but there are some trails where they are not allowed. For example, dogs are typically not allowed on most groomed cross-country ski trails and some fat biking trails.


To ensure your dog will be allowed, check the Banff trail conditions report before you bring your dog with you on the trail.

Dogs in Banff – Wildlife Rules

There is one rule for dog owners in Banff which may be new to most people, but it’s extremely important: your dog may not chase or harass wildlife at any time.

Banff National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its incredible amount and diversity of wildlife. Dogs who harass wildlife cause undue stress to these beautiful animals, who may in turn try to defend themselves and injure your dog.

Dog owners visiting Banff need to be aware that an off-leash dog may run ahead, only to return with an angry bear in tow. Take a moment to read this article about a dog owner who was charged when their dog disturbed a black bear on a Banff hiking trail. The article contains some frightening statistics on the outcomes when bears meet dogs. Don’t let this happen to you!

When visiting Banff with a dog, keep them on leash to help prevent animal encounters.
Want this Grizzly bear chasing your dog?

It’s best for everyone if you keep your dog on leash at all times and keep them under control when wildlife is around.

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If your dog is unfamiliar with being around wildlife, take a few seconds to read the Dogs and Wildlife article by the Town of Banff.

Dog-friendly Banff Hotels

Given Banff is a very popular vacation destination for dog owners, it’s not surprising that there are plenty of pet-friendly hotels in Banff National Park. You’ll find a wide variety of places to stay in our list of pet-friendly hotels in Banff.

Banff Off-Leash Dog Parks

Is your dog tired of being cooped up in the hotel room? Take them to one of the Banff off-leash dog parks! There are two off-leash dog parks in Banff – click on the links to see their locations on Google Maps:

A happy on-leash dog enjoys a hike in the Canadian Rockies.

Banff Pet Supply Stores

If you find yourself needing some supplies for your dog while in Banff, check out these local pet supply stores:

Celine Brewer sits near a river with her dogs in Banff National Park, Canada.

Banff with a Dog FAQ

Is Banff Springs Hotel pet-friendly?

Yes, the Banff Springs Hotel is pet-friendly! Despite being one of the most luxurious Banff hotels, you are welcome to bring your furry friends to the Castle in the Rockies.

Is Banff dog-friendly?

Absolutely, Banff is very dog-friendly! Your dog will love all the time you spend outdoors with it enjoying the beauty of this spectacular national park. In town, many Banff restaurants have special dog patios, while several Banff hotels are pet-friendly.

Standing at Aylmer Lookout Banff National Park

Dan Brewer, a life-long Alberta resident, calls Canmore home along with his wife and two kids. He is the co-owner of Travel Banff Canada, where he gets to share his passion for the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Dan, along with his family, love being outdoors doing one of the many activities they enjoy in the mountains: hiking, mountain biking, paddleboarding, skiing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

When he's not in Canmore enjoying one of his favourite local hikes, you can find him hoping on a plane to explore a new country with his family or working on one of their other two travel sites: Family Can Travel and Baby Can Travel.

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