Banff National Park
Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the world and consequently one of the most visited places in Canada. There is a lot of information available online on Banff Canada but if you are looking for a quick glimpse into the good, the bad and the ugly of Banff Canada, then click on the tabs below:
1.Experience The Natural Beauty Of Banff
The rock flour from the glaciers gives the lakes in Banff their amazing color. It not only makes for wonderful memories but also amazing photos which you can show off to your friends on social media. Here are three most photographed lakes of Banff:
Lake Louise Picture Credit:(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Michael Muraz
Lake Moraine(CC BY-NC 2.0) by lsten
Peyto Lake (CC BY 2.0) by therealchrispaul
2. Walk on the Glacier Skywalk and Columbia Icefields
Walk on 400 year old ice of the Athabasca Glacier and enjoy a cool ride on the Ice Explorer. Be careful while walking on the glacier, it can be very slippery. You can combine the Ice Walk with The Glacier Skywalk. The Glacier Skywalk is a relatively new attraction which opened in 2014 and it is a must do for anyone who visits Banff or Jasper National Park.
3. View Banff From The Top of Sulphur Mountain
Take a ride on the Banff Gondola or hike up to the top of Sulphur Mountain to get a bird’s-eye view of the town of Banff and experience sweeping views of the surrounding Rockies.
Banff Gondola(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by gorbould
4. Soak In The Banff Hot Springs
What is better than soaking in a hot tub while looking at amazing scenery? The Banff Hot Springs is just that, the warm water melts away all your aches and pains. The backdrop of the amazing Rockies is just the icing on the cake.
Banff Upper Hot Springs(CC BY-SA 2.0) by Bods
5. Hike to Canada’s Oldest Tea House on Lake Agnes
If you have more time to spend in Lake Louise, consider taking a hike to Canada’s oldest tea house and Lake Agnes. It’s a 3.8 km hike from Lake Louise. I have written a more detailed blog post about this hike here : A hike to Lake Agnes Tea House
6. Stay At The Banff Springs Hotel
Banff Springs Hotel or Fairmont Banff is the epitome of luxury and is one of the best hotels in Banff National Park. This historic hotel is located in a beautiful setting as shown in the picture below:
Picture Credit: (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Canadian Pacific
7. Bike The Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail From Canmore to Banff National Park
This cycling path connects the town of Banff to Canmore. This paved cycling path is 26.8km long and can be covered in 2-3 hrs round trip. Enjoy the view of the Rockies and stop at one of the picturesque picnic spots for lunch. If you are lucky, you may also spot some wildlife on the way.
If you run out of energy after completing a one way trip, you can load your cycle on the Roam Transit bus on the way back.
The Downside Of Visiting Banff
Banff National Park is is a very popular area and receives around 4 million tourists every year. Therefore, all the problems related to overcrowding are present. The hotels are very expensive specially during the months of April to mid-September and parking near the lakes and other tourist attractions is a nightmare around mid-day during peak tourist season.
There are some ways you can get around the tourist problem:
- Plan your visit during the off-peak months from September to November.
- Book your accommodation as early as possible for best rate or book accommodation in the nearby town of Canmore. Canmore is less touristy and cheaper and just 24 min by car to Banff. There is also a regional bus service every hour from Canmore to Banff. Check this website for more details: Roam Transit
- Plan your visit to the lakes early in the morning or evening. Avoid mid-day visits from 10 am to 2.00 pm.
- Don’t buy tickets for the Banff Gondola or the Glacier Skywalk in advance. These attractions should be viewed on a clear sunny day or you waste your money.
- Pack a sandwich, some drinks and a picnic blanket with you when visiting any of the attractions. The cafes in these places are generally crowded and will have no seating space. It will be one less line you would have to wait in.