The world has certain charismatic places that leaves you breathless and makes you believe as if it is a place away from reality. One such destination is Canada, where you would feel amazed at the sheer beauty of its natural vistas and among its places is Banff National Park – Canada’s first and oldest natural park which takes you to view spectacular natural landscapes that are serenely ethereal. Located in Alberta, Banff National Park offers a plethora of breathtakingly beautiful places that leave you feeling energized, adventurous as well as refreshed and rejuvenated amid nature’s finest splendor. Here are few places you ought to explore on a Banff National Park trip.
Immerse in the beauty of Lake Louise. The still clear waters reflecting lush mountains and valleys set on its shores is absolutely spectacular to watch. Feel free to take advantage of the mesmerizing ambiance and experience canoeing or kayaking on the lake surrounded by the pristine beauty of nature. Gear up for a wilderness hiking trip and enjoy the stunning sceneries of forested hills and waterfalls. If you crave for some heart thumping experience, head down to the Kicking Horse River to ride on some wild currents on a white water rafting experience.
This glacier lake in Banff National Park boasts to be the most photographed lake in the world. This picture perfect lake is famous for its vibrant blue-green hues which change its shade throughout the year. Surrounded by lush forested landscapes slowly rising to rugged mountains covered with dusty snow peaks, the scenery is dotted by waterfalls and valleys which reflect on the mirror glazed turquoise lake surface. Once you reach here, taking a moment to absorb the remarkable beauty of this destination before venturing further is totally worth it. Canoe on the lake and hike around the mountain trails to feel the crisp clean air and to soak up the entrancing sights. The Rockpile Trail, The Twenty Dollar View, Lakeshore trail are few of the must do attractions where you can encounter nature and wildlife at its finest.
Your visit to the Canadian Rockies is not complete until you have witnessed the wondrous world of Columbia Icefields. The sheer beauty of icy blue landscapes takes you into a surreal realm of rugged ice fields and glaciers. One of the ways you can experience this stunning landscape is a scenic drive on the Icefield Parkway that passes through Banff and Jasper National Parks offering jaw dropping sceneries throughout the journey. Taking a tour of the Athabasca Glacier has to be on your ‘what to do in Banff’ checklist and should be experienced at least once in your lifetime. Tweak your scenic experience into a thrilling adventure with a Glacier Skywalk where you step onto glass-floored skywalk and find yourself gazing into the astounding glacier valleys beneath the floor.
Nature entices you at every step while you are at Lake Minnewanka – a large glacier lake that offers you stunning nature escapes and activities such as canoeing, hiking, boat cruises, scuba diving and snowshoeing. Everything about this place is pristine, the sweeping mountains starkly contrast with the blue skies and the lake is simply mind blowing. The lake and its surrounding are popular spot for summer outdoor picnic and provide scope for activities like fishing, boating, and biking. One of the only lakes in Banff National Park to have permission to operate power boats, visitors can have a pleasant time on boat cruises on the lake to revel in stunning wilderness vistas. Another great way to explore Lake Minnewanka is on a serene canoeing trip where the silence is distorted only by the swishing of water against your canoe and mellow sounds of nature. During winters, Lake Minnewanka is a perfect spot for skiing and to view the Northern Lights.
An amazing way to enjoy a completely new perspective of Banff National Park, Banff Gondola offers you mesmerizing bird’s eye views of the Canadian Rockies. A popular scenic Banff attraction, in just 8 minutes, this exhilarating experience of Banff gondola ascending to the summit of Sulphur Mountains leaves a lasting impression on your life. Treat yourself to a mountain top dining experience and spend your time marveling at the astounding 360-degree panoramas all around you from the rooftop observation deck.
Keen on trying some skiing in the Canadian Mountains, Mount Norquay is just the place for you to experience not just skiing but also other winter activities. You can take a chairlift ride to the peaks and view Banff Town and Bow Valley from a different perspective. Experience a guided hike Via Ferrata – a 2.5 hour assisted climb through rugged mountains, suspension bridges and climb ladders making it an easy adventure for beginners too. After an exciting time in the mountains, unwind among gorgeous mountain views at 7000 feet above and tantalize your taste buds with some delectable cuisines.
Banff Hot Springs
The elements of Banff National Park are extraordinaire – at one moment you can experience glaciers and later on, you are surrounded by warm pools of natural thermal springs. Experience this remarkable contrast at Banff Upper Hot Springs where you can have a relaxing soak in the hot mineral springs that will leave you feeling rejuvenated. The scenery feels phenomenal as you sit in hot water pools encircled by the misty ambiance and watch the majestic snow covered peaks surrounding you.
Cave & Basin National Historic Site
The birthplace of Banff National Park, it was the discovery of Cave and Basin National Historic Site and its conservation that led to the beginning of Canada’s national parks. Today, the site is open to visitors to experience its remarkable hot spring basins. There are two walking trails that take you on an expedition of the underground caves, thermal mineral water pools, and historic architecture.
The stillness of the woods slowly contorts into sounds of rushing waters as you walk through the winding nature trails to reach the Johnston Canyon. The sight of deeply eroded rocks which are carved by nature to make way for the waters to flow below, the steep tunnels, rugged canyon walls lined with snow, waterfalls and the deep blue pools of water are a definite not- to- be - missed attraction on your Banff National Park trip.
Banff National Park feels like a dream from which you wish you never had to wake up to face reality. You would truly hope that time would just stop at this pristine landscape and you would not have to return back to the real world filled with hustling cities and crowded places. Banff National Park is an all year around destination - each season brings out a different version of nature’s beauty and offers various range of Banff activities. Even if the winters feel harsher and most of the sights feel frozen in time, still it is a marvellous sight to experience in addition to many winter activities you can indulge in. Spring, summer, and fall are obviously the best time to visit when nature is alive and brimming with gorgeous nature sceneries. Banff National Park is perfect for all travel genres - maybe you are visiting to relax amid absolute calmness or want to catch up on some adrenaline rushing activities or simply want to spend some time alone as a wanderer or quality time with your spouse or family in spectacular nature settings, undoubtedly you can have the most memorable time of your life here. If you are not the adventurous type, there is Downtown Banff where you can shop, explore, dine and have fun reconnecting with nature. So get your Canada Visa requirements sorted, and get ready to answer the calling of one of the world’s most awe-inspiring mountain destinations - Canada’s Banff National Park.