Where to Find the Most Beautiful Views in Banff
On the Rocky Mountaineer Train
Rocky Mountaineer | ©Sébastien Launay/Flickr
For a scenic train ride from British Columbia, Alberta or Washington state, the Rocky Mountaineer offers a luxurious and picturesque ride throughout all of western Canada and takes you directly to Banff.
Along the Bow River
Canoeing bow river | ©Laila Goubran/Flickr
Not far from town, the stroll along the Bow River to Bow Falls is an easy one. To test your skills a bit more, you can continue on your way to the magnificent Fairmont Banff Springs where you can treat yourself to panoramic mountain views, a walk around the grounds or even a few nights’ stay. From here, you can take a bus to the Banff Hot Springs, where you’ll bask in sweeping views of Mount Rundle from the comfort of the outdoor hot pool.
From the Banff Gondola
The Banff Gondola | ©Banff Lake Louise/Flickr
If you’re looking for a more relaxing way to take in the Banff sites, then the Banff Gondola is the perfect solution for you. This ride takes you nearly 7,500 feet (2,281 m.) above sea level to an observation point atop Sulphur Mountain with views of the township of Banff as well as six different mountain ranges.
Minnewanka Lake | ©naserke/Flickr
Parks Canada decided to place red Adirondack chairs throughout the country’s national parks and national historic sites as a way to encourage people to “seek out the Red Chairs to enjoy these special places and to share their experience through social media and other communication channels”. Banff National Park has two sets of these red chairs, one of which is at the glacial Lake Minnewanka.
Location and Light | ©Sathish J/Flickr
Mount Rundle breathtakingly reflects itself on the ripples of the lake, offers a dramatic landscape during any time of day, at any point in the year. Upon seeing the Vermilion Lake’s paramount beauty, all of your life’s stresses will seemingly float away.
Moraine Lake | ©Mike Boehmer/Flickr
One of Banff’s most famous and most photographed lakes, Moraine Lake is fed entirely by glaciers and turns a spectacular shade of blue because of the silt-like rock flour regularly being carried into the lake from these glaciers. These particles become suspended in the water and refract wavelengths of blue and green light.
Peyto Lake | ©Benjamin van Waart/Flickr
Like Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake is also a breathtaking shade of blue due to the fact that it is glacier-fed. The color is hard to believe and the beauty can barely be given justice to in photos; Banff just impresses more and more with each passing view.
Lake Louise dawn | ©Steve Grant/Flickr
In the winter, Lake Louise boasts one of North America’s largest ski resorts, where visitors can choose between skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, dog sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Additionally, the lake tends to completely freeze over during the winter months, offering a fun, unique and stunningly beautiful ice skating experience! Once the ice melts, the lake becomes a haven for kayakers and hikers, earning it the name the “Hiking Capital of Canada”.
Johnston Canyon | ©Garen M./Flickr
One of the most popular attractions in all of Banff National Park, Johnston Canyon offers hiking trails to powerful waterfalls that, believe it or not, freeze over in the wintertime. Equally as impressive throughout the rest of the year, the Upper and Lower Falls of Johnston Canyon are must-sees when visiting Banff.