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 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.
No doubt, Banff National Park is a nature-lover’s dream. Or a photographer’s dream. Or an exercise-junkie’s dream. Or just anybody who semi-likes beautiful places dream.
There is so much to do, and look at too. The winding roads, the majestic creatures that inhabit the area, and those mountains.
Omg. Now I want to go back again.
Here are 7 reasons why you need to visit Banff National Park:
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 shitty weather when I went there, this place was still breathtaking. 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 tourist 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
5. The Elk (!!!)
Okay, okay. 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 I was in Banff, she suggested checking out the Banff Springs Golf Course. So, early the next day, we headed out to the golf course to see if we could catch a glimpse of some elk. And my god, did we ever.
After driving a few minutes through the course, we weren’t seeing any elk and my disappointment was quickly rising. Buuuut, we 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. We spent a good couple hours driving around the course admiring the elk and listening to the bulls bugling.
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, it has raving reviews. After going on the parkway myself, I’m honestly not surprised. Even though it was cloudy as shit 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.
So there you have it, my 7 reasons why you need to visit Banff National Park!
Have you ever been to this beautiful national park in Canada? What else you would you recommend to visitors? Let me know in the comments!
Pin 7 Reasons Why You NEED to Visit Banff National Park ↓