Banff National Park in Alberta Canada needs no introduction. For most of you, you’re already aware of the Park’s beauty and have seen photos of stunning turquoise in locations such as Moraine Lake, Lake Minnewanka, and Peyto Lake shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. What you might not be aware of are all of the other great things to do while in the area. I’ve also included Yoho National Park at the end because you have to visit Emerald Lake while you’re in the area.
Oh oh, I should have ironed that umbrella before taking the photo. LOL
Once I checked into my hotel, the Rimrock Resort Hotel, I freshened up and headed up to the Banff Gondola. The views are spectacular from the top of the mountain, but give yourself enough time to have lunch or dinner at the Sky Bistro, with a view! They usually have something special to check out, too—right now it’s the Sunset Festival with entertainment while watching the setting sun from the observation deck.
A short drive from the town of Banff is Lake Minnewanka. You can book lake cruises with knowledgeable and entertaining hosts and the shuttle will take you to the lake where you can join a cruise, or you can drive yourself if you have a vehicle. Either way, you will probably see some wildlife along the way!
Bow River Float
For something different to do, go on a float down the Bow River! You’ll have an experienced guide who will expertly take you down the river.
One of the most photographed lakes, Moraine Lake, is an hour’s drive from Banff and near Lake Louise. This glacier-fed lake is nestled in the Valley of The Ten Peaks. The road into Moraine Lake is monitored and will close at capacity then reopen as visitors leave. It’s quite a narrow and winding road and is also closed during the winter months from mid-October until the snow clears. Before visiting, check online to make sure the road to Moraine Lake is open.
Lake Louise is just over an hour’s drive from Banff. The photos below are from my visit last October, with a little bit of snowfall to make everything clean and pretty!
Just a bit of a drive outside of Banff National Park, is Field, BC in Yoho National Park, and Emerald Lake. Stunning water and the gorgeous Emerald Lake Resort…high on my bucket list of places to stay! Here are a few photos from my fall and summer visits. Once off the highway on the road to Emerald Lake, make sure to stop at the Natural Bridge for another spectacular view!
So much more
There is so much more to do and see in Banff that I did not get to. For one, next visit I’d like to spend time at the Banff Hot Springs and soak in the magical water. Banff also has a number of restaurants, museums and hikes through beautiful wilderness. I would recommend extending your time in Banff instead of cramming it all into a few days as I did.
I also recommend getting up just before sunrise on at least one day to take sunrise photos over the lakes or to go wildlife stalking. The animals tend to go in search of food just after sunrise, just like us! There are no drive-throughs in Banff so beat the rush if you want to pick up breakfast to go and eat during your drive and Timmy’s coffee. 🙂
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