Established in 1885 as Canada’s first national park – and the third in the world – Banff National Park is one of the most jaw-droppingly stunning places in the world; a place whose beauty is genuinely humbling. Named after the historic county of Banffshire, Scotland, the birthplace of two of the original directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Banff is 2,564 square miles (6,641 square km.) of natural wonders, exotic wildlife, 996 species of trees, grasses and flowers, and endless outdoor activities with breathtaking views around every corner. These are the best “corners” to visit for life changing views of Banff.

On the Rocky Mountaineer TrainRocky 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 RiverBow River, Banff

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 GondolaBanff 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.

Lake MinnewankaLake Minnewanka, Banff

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.

Vermilion LakesVermilion Lakes, Banff

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 LakeMoraine Lake, Banff

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 LakePeyto Lake, Banff

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 LouiseLake Louise, Banff

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 CanyonJohnston Canyon, Banff

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.

59 Replies to “Where to Find the Most Beautiful Views in Banff

  1. Hi Erin, I saw you suggested apples or cookies for dipping items. Have you ever tried other items with it, maybe even chips?? Like a sweet and savory combination. The dip sounds delicious! I hope you”re having a great weekend!

  2. Banff is one of those places you could spend a lifetime and still not see everything, there is just so much to see and do! What I love most about Banff is that nowhere ever looks the same twice, every day of every season of every year looks completely different from the last, so nothing ever gets boring or old. You could visit the same mountain or same lake every day for a year and still notice something different each time.

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  7. Banff and Jasper are amazingly lovely and amongst my favorite places to visit. Say that Banff is how most of the people imagine the Rockies to be. Snow-capped mountains dashing rivers and emerald lakes, and pine forests that go on for all time. Although maybe now not as astounding as Banff, Jasper appeals greater to me because it seems a piece wilder. It’s additionally not as busy as Banff.

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