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:

The Good

1. Amazing! Out Of This World Natural Beauty

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:
Sometimes there’s just not enough words. by Michael Muraz, on Flickr
Lake Louise Picture Credit:(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Michael Muraz
Sunrise at Moraine Lake by lsten, on Flickr
Lake Moraine(CC BY-NC 2.0) by lsten
Peyto Lake by therealchrispaul, on Flickr
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 of 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 HDR by gorbould, on FlickrBanff Gondola(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by gorbould

4. Soaking 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 by Bods, on FlickrBanff 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. 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. Check out this historic hotel here: Banff Springs Hotel
Nestled amongst the woods: The Banff Spr by Canadian Pacific, on FlickrPicture Credit: (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Canadian Pacific

7. Bike The Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail From Canmore to Banff National Park

Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail or Banff Legacy Trail in Banff National Park
Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail or Banff Legacy Trail in 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.

*Travel Tip

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 Bad

Touristy

Banff National Park 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.

*Travel Tip:

There are some ways you can get around the tourist problem:

  1. Plan your visit during the off-peak months from September to November.
  2. Book your accommodation as early as possible for best rate or book accommodation in the nearby town of Canmore. Check here for Canmore hotels . 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
  3. Don’t delay booking your hotel just because your plans are not yet finalised. Instead, look for hotels with Free Cancellation option in booking.com . That way, you lock in great prices but will not be charged anything for when your plans change.
  4. Plan your visit to the lakes early in the morning or evening. Avoid mid-day visits from 10 am to 2.00 pm.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

The Ugly

There is nothing Ugly about Banff National Park. That’s just not possible in my opinion. What do you think. Let me know in comments if you find anything and I will update the article.

Disclaimer: Some of the links given in this site are affiliate links. That means I get a small commission when you book or buy something using that link. This will not cost you extra or more than the normal rate, it just helps me keep this blog going. Thank you for your support

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