Every year, thousands of tourists travel to Banff to take in the stunning natural beauty this national park has to offer. The quaint town, nestled in mountains and surrounded by an abundance of beautiful lakes, hikes, and wildlife, will instantly take your breath away!
If you haven’t yet visited this infamous Canadian national park, here are four reasons why you should add it to your bucket list:
Banff is home to many lakes, but there are three you’ve probably already heard of: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Lake Minnewanka.
If you visit Banff, make sure Lake Louise is at the top of your list. This turquoise lake, surrounded by an evergreen forest and towering mountains, looks like something from a painting. Only 30 minutes from Banff, at Lake Louise you can canoe, go on horseback rides, and visit the majestic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Are you interested in hiking? You can make the trek to Lake Agnes Teahouse, where you can enjoy a moderate hike finished with a light lunch.
If Lake Louise left you wanting more, Moraine Lake is only a short drive away. Moraine Lake has plenty of hiking trails, if you’re looking for some outdoor activities.
Lake Minnewanka may not be as famous as Lake Louise, but this lake has a lot to offer as well. Only a 10-minute drive from the Banff townsite, you can hike, have a picnic, and take a boat ride around the lake where you can learn about the history of Banff and take stunning, close-up photos of the mountains.
One of the best ways to truly capture the unique, scenic beauty of Banff is by taking the Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. On the Gondola, you’ll see views of Banff, the mountains, and the rest of the surrounding national park.
The Icefields Parkway is another way to take in the scenic beauty Banff has to offer. Condé Nast Traveller named the Parkway one of the top drives in the world, and for good reason. Along the drive you’ll see waterfalls, towering mountains, amazing rock formations, and icefields. If you travel far enough, you’ll end up in Jasper, where you can take glacier tours and see more stunning views.
Banff is home to a variety of wildlife. While in the park, you may come across deer, elk, moose, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and bears.
Although it’s fairly common to see deer and sheep walking near the roads in and around the townsite, there are certain areas in the park you can visit to optimize your chances of seeing wildlife. The Minnewanka Loop, Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course, and the road to the Sunshine ski area are great places to spot elk, bighorn sheep, deer, and maybe even a grizzly bear!
The Winter Activities
Although beautiful and exciting year-round, Banff can be extra special during the winter. With activities like snow shoeing, dog sledding, ice-skating, ice fishing, and skiing you’ll always be able to find something exciting to do!
If relaxation is the goal of your trip, a dip in the famous hot springs will help your stress melt away. Relaxing in the hot springs and watching the snow fall down around you is magical.
Whether you’re an avid skier, someone who is passionate about hiking and wildlife, or someone who just wants to relax in the mountains, Banff National Park is the place to go. If you haven’t yet, be sure to add this beautiful national park to your travel bucket list. If you end up taking a trip, let us know! We’d love to hear your stories.
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