I have no idea why it’s taking me so long to write about Banff, it was hands down my favourite part of Alberta!
The way I did my trip to Alberta was I flew into Edmonton and stayed in Saint Albert with a friend. We then took one day trip to Jasper then drove back to Saint Albert, then the next day took a day trip to Banff, then back to Saint Albert. I’ll just have you know the days were about 15 hours long and there is still so much we could have seen. So let me give you a suggestion before we start!
I would love to see Banff again, so what I suggest one does (and what I will do next time) is fly into Calgary and rent a car. You can either do drives from Calgary into the two National Parks, but if you want to really take it all in, I would get a hotel room (or a rental with Airbnb or similar). You can fully enjoy the town you are staying in, and do trips from there, which would significantly cut down commute time and give you a lot more time to explore! That said, I fully appreciate my friend and her mom driving me around to all of these destinations so I could see them at all. Seriously, super nice.
What you should know about Banff is, it is more touristy than Jasper. There are a lot more vehicles and people. Because of this, you see significantly less wildlife here than you do in Jasper. Banff though, seems to have more mountains. When you first drive into Jasper, you see some mountains off in the distance until you get farther in, but in Banff you are greeted by large and vast mountains all around. The town of Banff is really cute and cozy even with all the tourists. It would be a really wonderful ski town. If you only had time to visit one of the parks in Alberta, I would personally highly suggest starting with Banff.