DSC_0861

“The mountains are calling and I must go!”


Things to do in Banff Canada

A woman enjoying the views at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park

Banff Canada is an unreal destination located in the Rocky Mountains on the western side of the country.

It is the ideal place for the person who loves nature, scenic views, adventure, peace and quiet. With serene aqua blue lakes, sky-high mountains and vast forests of evergreen trees, you can definitely say that you are in God’s country in the Canadian Rocky Mountains (aka Banff National Park).

A woman doing yoga at Lake Louise in Banff National Park

Around Labor Day in 2017, my family and I did our annual vacation in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Western Alberta and Eastern British Columbia.

It was seriously a dream come true visiting this part of North America because I had been admiring it on Instagram a few years prior to actually going to the Canadian Rockies.

Beautiful evergreen trees at Banff National Park

During our time exploring the jewels of Canada, we stayed in Canmore, Alberta and made our way into Banff National Park where we participated in some epic adventures.

We also got to see the iconic Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. In addition, we also visited Peyto Lake, which is right off of Icefields Parkway and also did a day trip to Yoho National Park in British Columbia. (Click here to read my blog post on Yoho National Park.)

Three siblings enjoying Banff Canada

In this blog post, discover all the best things to do in Banff Canada (Canmore and Banff National Park, including Lake Louise).

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Adventuring through the Canadian Rocky Mountains

Getting to and Around Banff Canada:

Traveling to and from the Canadian Rockies could be quite costly, especially if you are venturing from outside of Canada and the Rocky Mountain regions.

I highly recommend using Skyscanner and try planning your trip way ahead of time. We found great deals and flew from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Calgary, Alberta with a layover in Toronto, Ontario.

The beautiful blue Lake Louise in Canada

Since everything you want to see in the Canadian Rockies is spread out, I highly recommend renting a car like we did.

Where to Stay in Banff:

If you plan on traveling to this region in Canada, I highly recommend staying in the town of Canmore since most accommodations in Banff are quite expensive.

Just like in Banff, Canmore also offers a great downtown area with wonderful restaurants, shops, bars and cafés. There is also a lot of nature-filled adventures to partake in this area as well.

Paradise Resort Club in Canmore, Alberta

During our family vacation, we stayed at Paradise Resort Club. It offered beautiful suite-style chalets, a stone fireplace and amazing views of the Rocky Mountains.

At night, we fell asleep to a warm fire and woke up to a gorgeous breeze. I enjoyed sitting on our patio deck and admiring the views. I could never get sick of that.

Throughout Canmore, there are a variety of hotels ranging from all budgets (but mainly mid to high budget). There are also a variety of Airbnb and Vrbo options as well as hostels!

Where to Eat in Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise:

A woman in downtown Canmore, Alberta

Crazy Weed (Canmore): Crazy Weed is a mountain view wine bar that not only offers a relaxing atmosphere, but also a fancy experience with locally sourced crafted foods.

Since the Rocky Mountains are truly landlocked, you can assume that the foodie staple here is anything “meat” related. Since I do not eat beef, I stuck to other Western Canadian specialities like salmon and Asian food.

I enjoyed a Korean dish called Bibimbap, which consisted of brown rice, carrots, zucchini, spinach, bean sprouts, kimchi, shitake mushrooms, onion, cilantro, kochujan, seseame, tofu tempura and organic egg yoke. It was delicious, but spicy! I washed it down with a refreshing Canadian wine.

A delicious Korean dish in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

The Wood (Canmore): A great patio restaurant with spectacular mountain views in Canmore is The Wood! This great eatery offers delicious food, 30 different wines from local wineries and the best selection of Rocky Mountain craft beers.

For dinner, I got a healthy chicken stir-fry and it was great!

The Summit Café (Canmore): Our last morning in Canmore was spent eating our last Canadian breakfast in the beautiful mountains. The Summit Café is a charming breakfast spot with some of the best coffee I’ve had! It was seriously the perfect place to wake up to.

Breakfast in Banff Canada

Melissa’s Missteak (Banff): Before starting our adventures one day, we decided to grab breakfast in downtown Banff at a warm and welcoming log cabin restaurant called Melissa’s Missteak.

There is a lot of history behind this restaurant, which was awesome to learn about as we sat down to eat. Melissa’s is located next to Banff’s Homestead Inn. The original hotel was built as a temperance house between 1913 and 1919 and it was later sold to a local businessman who made it into a hotel and restaurant.

For breakfast, I enjoyed a delicious Swiss apple pancake made with fresh apples topped with cinnamon, sugar and fresh lemon.

A delicious salmon dinner in Banff Canada

The Maple Leaf (Banff): One of the best places to enjoy a Western Canadian meal in Banff is at The Maple Leaf.

Located within a comforting log cabin with great views, The Maple Leaf offers fresh meats and seafood with a selection of great cocktails to enjoy. During this dinner, I enjoyed the best salmon meal I ever had.

A pasta dish in downtown Banff Canada

Pacini (Banff): If you are looking for a great Italian dinner in Banff, I highly recommend Pacini – an award-winning restaurant dedicated to quality and unique cuisine.

I enjoyed penne pasta with prosciutto, arugula and cherry tomatoes in a white wine sauce. 

Bill Peyto’s Cafe (Lake Louise): After spending time at Moraine Lake, we decided to grab lunch at Bill Peyto’s Café, located in a hostel.

This great place was right in the woods and I enjoyed a delicious grilled chicken sandwich with a beer.

The Fairmont Chateau hotel on Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau (Lake Louise): The Fairmont Chateau in the beautiful town of Lake Louise is a top-of-the-line hotel that offers wonderful dining options.

Depending on your occasion and what you want to eat, there is an Italian restaurant, brasserie, lounge, deli and tearoom.

Things to Do in Banff Canada:

Breathtaking Moraine Lake in Banff National Park

Grassi Lakes:

Grassi Lakes offers the perfect hiking trails for those who aren’t looking for anything too extreme. Since we had been traveling all day, we decided to explore Grassi Lakes when we first arrived.

A woman enjoying the views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains

The day we were at Grassi Lakes ended up being very smoky from the wild fires in British Columbia, so the scenery was faint, but when you got close to the lake, it was still the beautiful clear color I saw from the photographs prior to visiting.

As we continued our small hike, we found more nature and a beautiful stream that seemed to be much clearer. I was amazed at where I was!

Canmore’s Nordic Centre Provincial Park:

Canmore’s Nordic Centre Provincial Park is situated in the Canadian Rockies along the Bow Valley and Trans-Canadian Highway (which we mostly traveled on when visiting the different parks and lakes).

This great park was originally constructed for the 1988 Winter Olympics that were held in Calgary. The cross-country skiing and biathlon events were held there.

A woman at Nordic Centre Provincial Park in Canmore

As a skier in the winter months, it was exciting to walk around the park and look at all of the different trails.

We even got amazing views of beautiful Kananaskis County, where Canmore is located in. It was also cool to see all of the different flags featured around the park for the countries that participated in the Olympic Games that year.

Downtown Canmore:

The downtown area in Canmore offers wonderful services, shops, restaurants, bars and cafés. It is also the center for the town’s arts and culture community with several different art galleries, live music venues and local theater performances.

Just like most mountainous small towns and cities, Canmore offers a hipster community.

Horseback Riding at Warner Stables:

Our first adventure activity during our time in Banff National Park was horseback riding at Warner Stables, located 10 minutes from the downtown area.

When we arrived at Warner Stables, we all were given horses based on our size. Mine ended up being a beautiful brown horse called Browning. He was super friendly and calm!

A woman horseback riding in Banff, Alberta

When we were all ready to go, we went out on the trail in a single filed line and headed straight into the aspen-filled woods of Banff.

During our ride, we got to see the tallest mountains in Banff, the beautiful crystal blue glacier waters of the Bow River Valley, stunning wilderness and beautiful birds.

We ended our horse adventure riding through the meadows before we reached the stable where we got our picture taken for memories.

Banff Gondola:

One of the best things to do in Banff Canada is riding the Banff Gondola.

After getting a brief education about Banff’s mountain peaks from our horseback riding guide, we couldn’t wait to go to one of the lookouts and check out the epic views.

The breathtaking Canadian Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park

About five minutes from Warner Stables is Banff Gondola that helps you see a whole new side of the National Park’s famous Sulfur Mountain.

When you arrive at the Gondola, you hop right on and enjoy the views as you make your way 15 minutes up the mountain.

You could also hike up to the top, but since we were limited on time, we didn’t want to spend a whole day or more doing the hike. (Plus my family members aren’t the biggest hikers out there.)

A happy woman in Banff National Park

Once you reach the top of the mountain, there are 360-degree views of six incredible mountain ranges.

One of the great things about the observation deck is that they have a boardwalk that you can walk around and explore different areas and sides of the mountain. The one side features the main area of Banff National Park and the other area is the steep valley that separates Alberta from British Columbia. There is even a nice restaurant and coffee shop at the top of the mountain in case you are hungry or want to enjoy a fresh brew as you stroll.

Canoe Along the Bow River:

The Banff Canoe Club, located right down the street from Downtown Banff, offers canoes and kayaks for rental. They even offer voyager tours for groups or families who wish to be guided down the river instead of manually doing it.

People canoeing in Banff National Park, Canada

I will admit that when my brothers and I first got into our canoe, we did not get off to a great first start.

Since none of us had ever done this before, our canoe turned around and started going in the wrong direction towards a waterfall. Thankfully, we managed to turn around and head in the right direction.

People canoeing on the Bow River in Banff Canada

We explored a gentle leg of the Bow River where we rowed along the glistening aqua blue waters and took in the gorgeous views of the evergreen and aspen trees along with the outstanding Canadian Rockies.

The reason why the river has such a beautiful color is because melting glaciers nearby contribute high water flows during late summer. It contains sulfur from the surrounding mountains and glaciers, making it safe drinking water. All of the water I drank in the Canadian Rockies was refreshing and probably the cleanest I’ve had in my life!

A woman enjoying the views on the Bow River

If you want to experience a full day of canoeing when you visit Banff Canada, there is an option to follow the Forty Mile Creek into the Vermillion Lakes.

Whether you choose to stay on the shorter route or the longer one, both of them offer stunning views and great opportunities to catch some wildlife.

Downtown Banff Canada:

Sir Castle Mountain views in downtown Banff

The city of Banff is lively and lined with top-class restaurants, bars and shops along with art galleries and museums (just like in Canmore, except bigger).

No matter where you are in the downtown area, there are strikingly beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains in all directions. The main street in Banff (called Banff Avenue) has a gorgeous view of Banff’s iconic mountain called Sir Castle Mountain. It adds a beautiful touch to the city.

Moraine Lake:

Since Moraine Lake is the most iconic lake in Banff, I highly recommend making your way there EARLY!

We got there at a decent time (around 7am) and the parking lot was already starting to fill up and traffic was getting heavy. Thankfully, luck was on our side as we found a spot right in front of the entrance to the lake area. We were so happy!

When we walked into the park, the Instagram photos I had been admiring came to life in front of me!

A woman doing yoga at Moraine Lake in Banff

Unfortunately, the morning was a little overcast, so the lake wasn’t as crystal blue as it usually is, but it was still serene and beautiful!

Even though there seemed to be a lot of tourists based off of the traffic coming into the parking lot, the actual lake area made it seem like we were the only people there.

The area surrounding the lake is huge and there are so many different spots to take breathtaking photos.

You could also rent a canoe, kayak, hike the mountains and more.

Lake Louise:

I highly recommend seeing both Moraine Lake and Lake Louise back to back because they are in the same area.

Just like Moraine Lake, Lake Louise is also super crowded. We had no luck finding parking, so we had to park at a lot on the Trans Canadian Highway and get shuttled to Lake Louise. It wasn’t a problem though!

A woman enjoying the beauty at Lake Louise in Banff Canada

When we got off the shuttle and made our way around the lake area, it was like we had entered into the gates of heaven.

The glistening crystal clear water of Lake Louise and the chiseled mountains that hoist Victoria Glacier in the background, make it Canada’s “Diamond in the Wilderness” and the “Hiking Capital of Canada”.

A Native American chief at Lake Louise

On one side is the unreal scenery of Lake Louise and the other side stands the gorgeous five-star Fairmont Chateau of Lake Louise. The beautiful hotel hosts weddings, allows for people to get a luxury experience in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and tourists can even get dinner, grab a drink or shop.

Just like at Moraine Lake, you could also rent canoes, kayaks and hike the mountains at Lake Louise.

Glacial views of Lake Louise in Alberta Canada

Our walk around Lake Louise was otherworldly. No matter where you are around the lake, you are getting outstanding views.

We even saw a Native American chief by the waterfront (pictured above). It was so beautiful and cool!


Siblings having fun on a family vacation in Banff Canada

Overall, my family trip to the Banff Canada was one of the best trips I’ve experienced. It is absolutely stunning and there is so much adventure.

If you decide to go to the Canadian Rockies during the wintertime, you can enjoy the area’s ski resorts and maybe even catch the Aurora Borealis (northern lights)!

I have seen photos of each lake during the wintertime and they all look just as serene as it does during the warmer months.

A woman admiring the views in Banff

I hope you all enjoyed my blog post on Banff Canada. If you have any questions about my trip or Canada in general, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

Make sure to pin this post if you find it useful!

Adventuring through Banff Canada

Basic Facts of Canada:

Currency: Canadian Dollar, Capital: Ottawa, Time Zone: Mountain Daylight Time

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22 Comments

  1. Cristina on April 2, 2020 at 4:10 am

    I visited Canada many years ago, and I loved the landscapes and its greenery! I would love to go back and visit places like this one 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on April 2, 2020 at 11:49 am

      Yes, you totally have to go back! I hope to see more of the country at some point. 🙂

  2. Maria on April 5, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Wow these landscapes are stunning!! I’m a nature lover so Banff would definitely be a place for me. The blue of the lake is amazing!

    • Taylor Deer on April 5, 2020 at 11:20 pm

      You totally have to go at some point! It is absolutely amazing!!!

  3. World of Lina on April 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Banff looks absolutely breathtaking! I’d love to hike and explore its beautiful scenery 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on April 7, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world! You would love it. 🙂

  4. Kelly on May 16, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    One of my favorite places on earth. Thanks for the recommendation to stay in Canmore. I never thought of that.

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      It is absolutely breathtaking there and yes, it’s so much more affordable and still very beautiful! 🙂

  5. Shay on May 16, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Great pictures! The canoeing looks so fun. Have you ever been to Moraine Lake? I thought it was near Banff.

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      Thank you Shay! Yes, I did go to Moraine Lake and loved it. I talk about Moraine Lake and Lake Louise in this blog post 🙂

  6. Karen on May 16, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    I was in Banff in November so it was great to see it again. I also loved the Grassi Lakes. Your photos show the blue so well.

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      That is amazing Karen! I would love to go back there at some point. Maybe I will go in the winter next time 🙂

  7. Alexandra B on May 16, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    OMG sign me up for the Fairmont Chateau!! That place looks magical. One of my best friends lives in Banff so I think once this is all over, I may just go pay her a visit 🙂 Keeping your tips in mind <3

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      Yas!!! You totally have to go to Banff! It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I really want to get back there at some point. I went a few years ago when I was blogging for fun and didn’t take photography as seriously. 🙂

  8. Emma on May 16, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    I’m so lucky to have been here a number of times as I live in western Canada and honestly I never tire of it. Your post makes me want to do another trip. What a beautiful part of the world. And people wonder why I moved to Canada! I haven’t been to Canmore yet and still need to get to Moraine Lake. I’m always either too early in the season, too late, or have too tight a schedule for other things

    • Taylor Deer on May 17, 2020 at 11:11 am

      That is amazing you live in Western Canada. I honestly would love to live in Canada. It’s so beautiful and Canadians are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met! Also, I totally want to get back to the Canadian Rockies. 🙂

  9. Kriszti on May 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Banff is so incredibly beautiful, I loved all your photos in this post! It’s so high on my bucket list, hope I will be able to visit soon 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on May 17, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      It is one of my favorite places! You totally have to go when you have a chance. Banff is amazing! 🙂

  10. Sarah Barthet on May 18, 2020 at 6:23 am

    WOW Taylor, Banff looks so stunning – as are your pictures!! I’d love to stay at the Fairmont Chateau one day – it looks like something out of a fairytale!

    • Taylor Deer on May 18, 2020 at 11:47 am

      Thank you Sarah and yes, I hope to stay there too next time I go. 🙂

  11. Francesca on May 18, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    I have been wanting to go to Banff for a while now! It looks so gorgeous! I would love to take a Kayak out on Lake Louise.

    • Taylor Deer on May 19, 2020 at 9:01 pm

      You totally have to go! It is so amazing. 🙂 Kayaking on any of the lakes there is such a dream.

Leave a Comment





DSC_0861

“The mountains are calling and I must go!”


Things to do in Banff Canada

A woman enjoying the views at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park

Banff Canada is an unreal destination located in the Rocky Mountains on the western side of the country.

It is the ideal place for the person who loves nature, scenic views, adventure, peace and quiet. With serene aqua blue lakes, sky-high mountains and vast forests of evergreen trees, you can definitely say that you are in God’s country in the Canadian Rocky Mountains (aka Banff National Park).

A woman doing yoga at Lake Louise in Banff National Park

Around Labor Day in 2017, my family and I did our annual vacation in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Western Alberta and Eastern British Columbia.

It was seriously a dream come true visiting this part of North America because I had been admiring it on Instagram a few years prior to actually going to the Canadian Rockies.

Beautiful evergreen trees at Banff National Park

During our time exploring the jewels of Canada, we stayed in Canmore, Alberta and made our way into Banff National Park where we participated in some epic adventures.

We also got to see the iconic Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. In addition, we also visited Peyto Lake, which is right off of Icefields Parkway and also did a day trip to Yoho National Park in British Columbia. (Click here to read my blog post on Yoho National Park.)

Three siblings enjoying Banff Canada

In this blog post, discover all the best things to do in Banff Canada (Canmore and Banff National Park, including Lake Louise).

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Adventuring through the Canadian Rocky Mountains

Getting to and Around Banff Canada:

Traveling to and from the Canadian Rockies could be quite costly, especially if you are venturing from outside of Canada and the Rocky Mountain regions.

I highly recommend using Skyscanner and try planning your trip way ahead of time. We found great deals and flew from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Calgary, Alberta with a layover in Toronto, Ontario.

The beautiful blue Lake Louise in Canada

Since everything you want to see in the Canadian Rockies is spread out, I highly recommend renting a car like we did.

Where to Stay in Banff:

If you plan on traveling to this region in Canada, I highly recommend staying in the town of Canmore since most accommodations in Banff are quite expensive.

Just like in Banff, Canmore also offers a great downtown area with wonderful restaurants, shops, bars and cafés. There is also a lot of nature-filled adventures to partake in this area as well.

Paradise Resort Club in Canmore, Alberta

During our family vacation, we stayed at Paradise Resort Club. It offered beautiful suite-style chalets, a stone fireplace and amazing views of the Rocky Mountains.

At night, we fell asleep to a warm fire and woke up to a gorgeous breeze. I enjoyed sitting on our patio deck and admiring the views. I could never get sick of that.

Throughout Canmore, there are a variety of hotels ranging from all budgets (but mainly mid to high budget). There are also a variety of Airbnb and Vrbo options as well as hostels!

Where to Eat in Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise:

A woman in downtown Canmore, Alberta

Crazy Weed (Canmore): Crazy Weed is a mountain view wine bar that not only offers a relaxing atmosphere, but also a fancy experience with locally sourced crafted foods.

Since the Rocky Mountains are truly landlocked, you can assume that the foodie staple here is anything “meat” related. Since I do not eat beef, I stuck to other Western Canadian specialities like salmon and Asian food.

I enjoyed a Korean dish called Bibimbap, which consisted of brown rice, carrots, zucchini, spinach, bean sprouts, kimchi, shitake mushrooms, onion, cilantro, kochujan, seseame, tofu tempura and organic egg yoke. It was delicious, but spicy! I washed it down with a refreshing Canadian wine.

A delicious Korean dish in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

The Wood (Canmore): A great patio restaurant with spectacular mountain views in Canmore is The Wood! This great eatery offers delicious food, 30 different wines from local wineries and the best selection of Rocky Mountain craft beers.

For dinner, I got a healthy chicken stir-fry and it was great!

The Summit Café (Canmore): Our last morning in Canmore was spent eating our last Canadian breakfast in the beautiful mountains. The Summit Café is a charming breakfast spot with some of the best coffee I’ve had! It was seriously the perfect place to wake up to.

Breakfast in Banff Canada

Melissa’s Missteak (Banff): Before starting our adventures one day, we decided to grab breakfast in downtown Banff at a warm and welcoming log cabin restaurant called Melissa’s Missteak.

There is a lot of history behind this restaurant, which was awesome to learn about as we sat down to eat. Melissa’s is located next to Banff’s Homestead Inn. The original hotel was built as a temperance house between 1913 and 1919 and it was later sold to a local businessman who made it into a hotel and restaurant.

For breakfast, I enjoyed a delicious Swiss apple pancake made with fresh apples topped with cinnamon, sugar and fresh lemon.

A delicious salmon dinner in Banff Canada

The Maple Leaf (Banff): One of the best places to enjoy a Western Canadian meal in Banff is at The Maple Leaf.

Located within a comforting log cabin with great views, The Maple Leaf offers fresh meats and seafood with a selection of great cocktails to enjoy. During this dinner, I enjoyed the best salmon meal I ever had.

A pasta dish in downtown Banff Canada

Pacini (Banff): If you are looking for a great Italian dinner in Banff, I highly recommend Pacini – an award-winning restaurant dedicated to quality and unique cuisine.

I enjoyed penne pasta with prosciutto, arugula and cherry tomatoes in a white wine sauce. 

Bill Peyto’s Cafe (Lake Louise): After spending time at Moraine Lake, we decided to grab lunch at Bill Peyto’s Café, located in a hostel.

This great place was right in the woods and I enjoyed a delicious grilled chicken sandwich with a beer.

The Fairmont Chateau hotel on Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau (Lake Louise): The Fairmont Chateau in the beautiful town of Lake Louise is a top-of-the-line hotel that offers wonderful dining options.

Depending on your occasion and what you want to eat, there is an Italian restaurant, brasserie, lounge, deli and tearoom.

Things to Do in Banff Canada:

Breathtaking Moraine Lake in Banff National Park

Grassi Lakes:

Grassi Lakes offers the perfect hiking trails for those who aren’t looking for anything too extreme. Since we had been traveling all day, we decided to explore Grassi Lakes when we first arrived.

A woman enjoying the views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains

The day we were at Grassi Lakes ended up being very smoky from the wild fires in British Columbia, so the scenery was faint, but when you got close to the lake, it was still the beautiful clear color I saw from the photographs prior to visiting.

As we continued our small hike, we found more nature and a beautiful stream that seemed to be much clearer. I was amazed at where I was!

Canmore’s Nordic Centre Provincial Park:

Canmore’s Nordic Centre Provincial Park is situated in the Canadian Rockies along the Bow Valley and Trans-Canadian Highway (which we mostly traveled on when visiting the different parks and lakes).

This great park was originally constructed for the 1988 Winter Olympics that were held in Calgary. The cross-country skiing and biathlon events were held there.

A woman at Nordic Centre Provincial Park in Canmore

As a skier in the winter months, it was exciting to walk around the park and look at all of the different trails.

We even got amazing views of beautiful Kananaskis County, where Canmore is located in. It was also cool to see all of the different flags featured around the park for the countries that participated in the Olympic Games that year.

Downtown Canmore:

The downtown area in Canmore offers wonderful services, shops, restaurants, bars and cafés. It is also the center for the town’s arts and culture community with several different art galleries, live music venues and local theater performances.

Just like most mountainous small towns and cities, Canmore offers a hipster community.

Horseback Riding at Warner Stables:

Our first adventure activity during our time in Banff National Park was horseback riding at Warner Stables, located 10 minutes from the downtown area.

When we arrived at Warner Stables, we all were given horses based on our size. Mine ended up being a beautiful brown horse called Browning. He was super friendly and calm!

A woman horseback riding in Banff, Alberta

When we were all ready to go, we went out on the trail in a single filed line and headed straight into the aspen-filled woods of Banff.

During our ride, we got to see the tallest mountains in Banff, the beautiful crystal blue glacier waters of the Bow River Valley, stunning wilderness and beautiful birds.

We ended our horse adventure riding through the meadows before we reached the stable where we got our picture taken for memories.

Banff Gondola:

One of the best things to do in Banff Canada is riding the Banff Gondola.

After getting a brief education about Banff’s mountain peaks from our horseback riding guide, we couldn’t wait to go to one of the lookouts and check out the epic views.

The breathtaking Canadian Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park

About five minutes from Warner Stables is Banff Gondola that helps you see a whole new side of the National Park’s famous Sulfur Mountain.

When you arrive at the Gondola, you hop right on and enjoy the views as you make your way 15 minutes up the mountain.

You could also hike up to the top, but since we were limited on time, we didn’t want to spend a whole day or more doing the hike. (Plus my family members aren’t the biggest hikers out there.)

A happy woman in Banff National Park

Once you reach the top of the mountain, there are 360-degree views of six incredible mountain ranges.

One of the great things about the observation deck is that they have a boardwalk that you can walk around and explore different areas and sides of the mountain. The one side features the main area of Banff National Park and the other area is the steep valley that separates Alberta from British Columbia. There is even a nice restaurant and coffee shop at the top of the mountain in case you are hungry or want to enjoy a fresh brew as you stroll.

Canoe Along the Bow River:

The Banff Canoe Club, located right down the street from Downtown Banff, offers canoes and kayaks for rental. They even offer voyager tours for groups or families who wish to be guided down the river instead of manually doing it.

People canoeing in Banff National Park, Canada

I will admit that when my brothers and I first got into our canoe, we did not get off to a great first start.

Since none of us had ever done this before, our canoe turned around and started going in the wrong direction towards a waterfall. Thankfully, we managed to turn around and head in the right direction.

People canoeing on the Bow River in Banff Canada

We explored a gentle leg of the Bow River where we rowed along the glistening aqua blue waters and took in the gorgeous views of the evergreen and aspen trees along with the outstanding Canadian Rockies.

The reason why the river has such a beautiful color is because melting glaciers nearby contribute high water flows during late summer. It contains sulfur from the surrounding mountains and glaciers, making it safe drinking water. All of the water I drank in the Canadian Rockies was refreshing and probably the cleanest I’ve had in my life!

A woman enjoying the views on the Bow River

If you want to experience a full day of canoeing when you visit Banff Canada, there is an option to follow the Forty Mile Creek into the Vermillion Lakes.

Whether you choose to stay on the shorter route or the longer one, both of them offer stunning views and great opportunities to catch some wildlife.

Downtown Banff Canada:

Sir Castle Mountain views in downtown Banff

The city of Banff is lively and lined with top-class restaurants, bars and shops along with art galleries and museums (just like in Canmore, except bigger).

No matter where you are in the downtown area, there are strikingly beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains in all directions. The main street in Banff (called Banff Avenue) has a gorgeous view of Banff’s iconic mountain called Sir Castle Mountain. It adds a beautiful touch to the city.

Moraine Lake:

Since Moraine Lake is the most iconic lake in Banff, I highly recommend making your way there EARLY!

We got there at a decent time (around 7am) and the parking lot was already starting to fill up and traffic was getting heavy. Thankfully, luck was on our side as we found a spot right in front of the entrance to the lake area. We were so happy!

When we walked into the park, the Instagram photos I had been admiring came to life in front of me!

A woman doing yoga at Moraine Lake in Banff

Unfortunately, the morning was a little overcast, so the lake wasn’t as crystal blue as it usually is, but it was still serene and beautiful!

Even though there seemed to be a lot of tourists based off of the traffic coming into the parking lot, the actual lake area made it seem like we were the only people there.

The area surrounding the lake is huge and there are so many different spots to take breathtaking photos.

You could also rent a canoe, kayak, hike the mountains and more.

Lake Louise:

I highly recommend seeing both Moraine Lake and Lake Louise back to back because they are in the same area.

Just like Moraine Lake, Lake Louise is also super crowded. We had no luck finding parking, so we had to park at a lot on the Trans Canadian Highway and get shuttled to Lake Louise. It wasn’t a problem though!

A woman enjoying the beauty at Lake Louise in Banff Canada

When we got off the shuttle and made our way around the lake area, it was like we had entered into the gates of heaven.

The glistening crystal clear water of Lake Louise and the chiseled mountains that hoist Victoria Glacier in the background, make it Canada’s “Diamond in the Wilderness” and the “Hiking Capital of Canada”.

A Native American chief at Lake Louise

On one side is the unreal scenery of Lake Louise and the other side stands the gorgeous five-star Fairmont Chateau of Lake Louise. The beautiful hotel hosts weddings, allows for people to get a luxury experience in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and tourists can even get dinner, grab a drink or shop.

Just like at Moraine Lake, you could also rent canoes, kayaks and hike the mountains at Lake Louise.

Glacial views of Lake Louise in Alberta Canada

Our walk around Lake Louise was otherworldly. No matter where you are around the lake, you are getting outstanding views.

We even saw a Native American chief by the waterfront (pictured above). It was so beautiful and cool!


Siblings having fun on a family vacation in Banff Canada

Overall, my family trip to the Banff Canada was one of the best trips I’ve experienced. It is absolutely stunning and there is so much adventure.

If you decide to go to the Canadian Rockies during the wintertime, you can enjoy the area’s ski resorts and maybe even catch the Aurora Borealis (northern lights)!

I have seen photos of each lake during the wintertime and they all look just as serene as it does during the warmer months.

A woman admiring the views in Banff

I hope you all enjoyed my blog post on Banff Canada. If you have any questions about my trip or Canada in general, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

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Adventuring through Banff Canada

Basic Facts of Canada:

Currency: Canadian Dollar, Capital: Ottawa, Time Zone: Mountain Daylight Time

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22 Comments

  1. Cristina on April 2, 2020 at 4:10 am

    I visited Canada many years ago, and I loved the landscapes and its greenery! I would love to go back and visit places like this one 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on April 2, 2020 at 11:49 am

      Yes, you totally have to go back! I hope to see more of the country at some point. 🙂

  2. Maria on April 5, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Wow these landscapes are stunning!! I’m a nature lover so Banff would definitely be a place for me. The blue of the lake is amazing!

    • Taylor Deer on April 5, 2020 at 11:20 pm

      You totally have to go at some point! It is absolutely amazing!!!

  3. World of Lina on April 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Banff looks absolutely breathtaking! I’d love to hike and explore its beautiful scenery 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on April 7, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world! You would love it. 🙂

  4. Kelly on May 16, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    One of my favorite places on earth. Thanks for the recommendation to stay in Canmore. I never thought of that.

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      It is absolutely breathtaking there and yes, it’s so much more affordable and still very beautiful! 🙂

  5. Shay on May 16, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Great pictures! The canoeing looks so fun. Have you ever been to Moraine Lake? I thought it was near Banff.

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      Thank you Shay! Yes, I did go to Moraine Lake and loved it. I talk about Moraine Lake and Lake Louise in this blog post 🙂

  6. Karen on May 16, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    I was in Banff in November so it was great to see it again. I also loved the Grassi Lakes. Your photos show the blue so well.

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      That is amazing Karen! I would love to go back there at some point. Maybe I will go in the winter next time 🙂

  7. Alexandra B on May 16, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    OMG sign me up for the Fairmont Chateau!! That place looks magical. One of my best friends lives in Banff so I think once this is all over, I may just go pay her a visit 🙂 Keeping your tips in mind <3

    • Taylor Deer on May 16, 2020 at 10:09 pm

      Yas!!! You totally have to go to Banff! It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I really want to get back there at some point. I went a few years ago when I was blogging for fun and didn’t take photography as seriously. 🙂

  8. Emma on May 16, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    I’m so lucky to have been here a number of times as I live in western Canada and honestly I never tire of it. Your post makes me want to do another trip. What a beautiful part of the world. And people wonder why I moved to Canada! I haven’t been to Canmore yet and still need to get to Moraine Lake. I’m always either too early in the season, too late, or have too tight a schedule for other things

    • Taylor Deer on May 17, 2020 at 11:11 am

      That is amazing you live in Western Canada. I honestly would love to live in Canada. It’s so beautiful and Canadians are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met! Also, I totally want to get back to the Canadian Rockies. 🙂

  9. Kriszti on May 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Banff is so incredibly beautiful, I loved all your photos in this post! It’s so high on my bucket list, hope I will be able to visit soon 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on May 17, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      It is one of my favorite places! You totally have to go when you have a chance. Banff is amazing! 🙂

  10. Sarah Barthet on May 18, 2020 at 6:23 am

    WOW Taylor, Banff looks so stunning – as are your pictures!! I’d love to stay at the Fairmont Chateau one day – it looks like something out of a fairytale!

    • Taylor Deer on May 18, 2020 at 11:47 am

      Thank you Sarah and yes, I hope to stay there too next time I go. 🙂

  11. Francesca on May 18, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    I have been wanting to go to Banff for a while now! It looks so gorgeous! I would love to take a Kayak out on Lake Louise.

    • Taylor Deer on May 19, 2020 at 9:01 pm

      You totally have to go! It is so amazing. 🙂 Kayaking on any of the lakes there is such a dream.

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