One of the most scenic national parks in Canada, Banff National Park is a little slice of heaven. With towering mountains, vibrant wildlife, breathtaking sites, fantastic hiking, and an adorable little village, there’s something for everyone here. Check out my 7 reasons why you should visit Banff National Park this year!
If you’ve never heard of Banff National Park, well, I’m here to tell you that it should definitely be on your list of places to go.
It is unbelievably stunning. Seriously.
There is no where else in the world like this infamous Canadian national park.
Located in Alberta, Canada, Banff National Park is near other beautiful national parks like Jasper National Park and Yoho National Park, but I must say – Banff stole my heart while I was there.
I even visited Jasper, which is just a short drive north of Banff, and I must say, it didn’t really outshine Banff National Park (granted it’s pretty damn hard… I mean, WHOA, just look at those pictures below! Incredible.)
No doubt, Banff National Park is a nature-lover’s dream. Or a photographer’s dream. Or an exercise-junkie’s dream. Or just a place for anyone who likes beautiful places.
There is so much to do, and look at, too. The winding roads, the majestic creatures that inhabit the area, and those mountains.
Ah man, now I want to go back. Actually, I need go back!
Anywho, on with the main reason you’re here, right? Check out my list of the top reasons you should travel to Banff National Park in 2019.
Table of Contents
7 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO VISIT BANFF NATIONAL PARK THIS YEAR:
1. Moraine Lake
This was absolutely, positively, 100% my favorite part of my trip. Moraine Lake seems to be less popular than the famous nearby lake of Lake Louise, but I think it’s Lake Moraine is waaay prettier. And it’s usually less crowded (at the right times).
Even though it was pretty poopy weather when I went there, this place was still breathtaking. If you travel to Banff National Park, Moraine Lake needs to be at the top of your to-do list. I mean, just look at those mountains — and that blue water!
I arrived at Moraine Lake early-ish in the morning, around like 8:30 am, and it wasn’t too crowded. Buses of tourists started to arrive pretty quickly after I got there though. I would recommend getting here as early as possible. I’ve heard the sunrise here (on a nice day) is pretty phenomenal.
Psst, wondering where to stay in Banff National Park? Check it out…
2. Petyo Lake
Ah, Peyto Lake. *cue the longing sigh*
This place is almost as awesome as Moraine Lake. I mean, just look at that color and it’s shaped like a wolf! Do you see it? So cool! If you are in the area, I would definitely hit up this lake, as it’s one of the better Banff attractions.
Peyto Lake is located north of Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, about a 20 minute drive, heading towards Jasper National Park. Keep a close eye on the road or you might miss the left turn to go to the parking lot, as the sign is kind of small.
Pssst, while these are awesome reasons to visit Banff, if you’re already convinced, check out my other post on the best underrated things to do in Banff!
3. The Wildlife
The wildlife in and around Banff National Park is amazing. Just look at that lil’ gal!
I was so lucky to see her, as she was my first animal sighting of the day. Just as my friend and I were driving up the windy road towards Moraine Lake, I spotted her on the side of the road!
I got so excited and was pretty much bouncing out of my seat from happiness. Even though I’m from an area in the United States where moose sightings aren’t unusual, I had never seen one before in real life, so I was pretty freakin’ excited.
Also, if you’re totes into wildlife like me, check out this post on where to spot wondrous wildlife in Banff!
4. Lake Louise
Lake Louise is probably the most popular and most well known lake in Banff National Park. And it’s not hard to see why – it’s absolutely mesmerizing. The teal blue water, the picturesque viewing station, and then there’s the adorable cabin on the left side of the lake (not shown here).
There’s really nothing not to like about this place! And I can’t even imagine what it looks like without the low floating clouds hindering the view of the beautiful mountains. Definitely something to look at and admire when you visit Banff National Park!
Curious to see what I never leave home without? Read this post on the 10 Odd Essentials I’ll Never Travel Without!
5. The Elk (!!!)
I know I already put wildlife in a section above but the elk deserve a reason of their own. Seriously, I spent like two hours looking and admiring these wonderful, fantastic beasts.
After mentioning to a local that I wanted to see elk sometime while on my Banff National Park vacation, she suggested checking out the Banff Springs Golf Course. So, early the next day, I headed out to the golf course to see if I could catch a glimpse of some elk…
And my god, did I ever.
After driving a few minutes through the course, I wasn’t spotting any elk and my disappointment was quickly rising. Buuuut, I turned the corner and BOOM!
There were literally like 100 elk standing on the course greens. It was ah-mazing. They weren’t even afraid! One female elk got so close me I could like see the puff of her breath in the cold. I spent a good couple hours driving around the course admiring the elk and listening to the bulls bugling. It was pretty frickin’ magical to say the least.
6. The Icefields Parkway
The Icefields Parkway is a long, winding highway that connects Banff National Park to Jasper National Park and if you Google it, the road has raving reviews.
After going on the parkway myself, I’m honestly not surprised. Even though it was super cloudy and a good 80% of the surrounding mountains were hiding, it was still a pretty cool drive. If it’s not cloudy, apparently the drive is filled with cascading waterfalls, towering mountains, and dramatic rock formations.
If you go far enough, you’ll go into Jasper and come across a large building on the right that has tours going to a nearby glacier. Although, you can go for free to another viewing area on the left of the road and stand where the glacier used to be.
Not as cool as actually walking on the glacier but the viewing area has little podiums set up where you can read some interesting information about it (which I found fascinating cause I’m a nerd).
7. Fairmont Banff Springs
No, that isn’t Hogwarts. Yes, that is the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel (castle, maybe?).
Located near the adorable village of Banff, this majestic hotel is filled with beauty and wonder. You can even go inside the hotel and walk around, viewing the various rooms and reading about the hotel history — like how Marilyn Monroe frequently escaped here to evade the eyes of the media.
If you have any questions about the place, don’t hesitate to go up to the front desk and ask one of the many friendly workers for a map and/or some information. A very kind and helpful lady gave me a map and some cool facts about the hotel — like how it’s rumored the custom cast bronze doors leading to the Alhambra ballrooms are insured for 2 million dollars.
Interested in being a wizard or a princess for a night? Why not stay in the Fairmont Banff Springs! Check out the hotel rates here.
So there you have it, my 7 reasons why you definitely should visit Banff National Park this year!
Have you ever been to this beautiful national park in Canada? What best of Banff activities and things to do would you recommend to visitors? Let me know in the comments!
Ready to discover the underrated state of Minnesota in the US? Check this out: Destinations Along Minnesota’s North Shore
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