Banff covers 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) and contains over 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) of trails.
The Bow River, whose source is the Bow Glacier, carved out the valley between Banff and Lake Louise. The river continues on to the city of Calgary, Alberta and continues on to become part of the South Saskatchewan River.
Banff took its name from the train station, which is believed to be named after the town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Prior to local government reorganisation, the Scottish Banff was in the former county of Banffshire.