There’s Banff, like the town of Banff. And then there’s the entire Banff National Park, which encompasses the town of Banff, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and on, and on. The natural beauty extends for hundreds of miles through the highest peaks and lowest valleys in the Canadian Rockies.
Just outside Banff Town, for example, is the Vermilion Lakes Scenic Drive. The drive winds along the lake, with spectacular views of Mt. Rundle. We took the drive right through the middle of golden hour, so conditions were perfect to snap a few unforgettable photos.
You can also visit Johnston Canyon, about 45 minutes or so from Banff. After hiking the canyon and viewing the two sets of waterfalls, you can continue on the path to the famous ink pots at the end. Or, you’ll venture around to find the not-so-secret “Secret Cave”, where many Johnston Canyon photos are shot. It was closed when we came through. The limestone and stunning glacial stream that winds through Johnston Canyon is worth the workout.
Or you can take the scenic drive past Lake Minnewanka, Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lake, and more. Johnson Lake, in particular, caught our attention as the place to get away from all the tourists in town. There’s ample parking wherever you go on this scenic drive, so don’t be too concerned about arriving early.
Of course, there’s lots more to Banff National Park. Even beyond what I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks. The beauty to this National Park is endless and is worth ten times the price of the rental car you’ll need to explore. Should Banff National Park not be enough to satisfy your thirst, there’s Yoho, Glacier, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, and Jasper National Parks all effectively surrounding Banff National Park.
Each are worthy of their own lengthy visit. And each houses a lifetime of exploration.
You can view the entire Banff National Park gallery right here.