If you've never seen the Canadian Rockies, you must put it on your bucket list! Here you will find some of the most beautiful landscape in the world. People come from all over the globe, every season of the year- to explore and enjoy this wilderness paradise.
All the elements of heaven surround Banff National Park in Alberta. I was born just a few hours from here in Medicine Hat. I was raised in Vancouver, and have drove through here many times. This time I was able to stop and look around more. This is by far some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen in my life!
This vast wonderland is Canada's oldest national park, it was established in 1885. The park is located 110 km west of Calgary. Included in the 6600 square km of mountainous terrain are: several glaciers, ice fields, forest, and alpine landscapes. The Ice fields stretch from Lake Louise, and on to Jasper National Park .
There are so many things to do and see in Banff National Park. I didn't even scratch the surface since I was only there for an afternoon . My 86 year old mother joined I and my cousin on the trip, so we had to cut it short for her sake. If your time is limited, these are the 3 spots(they are all located in close proximity of each other) I recommend spending your time at:
Bow Falls and Bow River Trail:
Bow Falls doesn't look like most waterfalls, they are short and wide. This is one of the more popular attractions in Banff. It's amazing to view the valley that was eroded by glaciers and by the river over the years.
There is also a trail you can access by climbing a few flight of stairs. It wraps around the back of the falls. You can also enter it from the town of Banff, along the south side of the river. Hopefully you will wear better shoes than I did. I was in fashionista mode and forgot the tennis shoes...or I should say "runners", all the Canadian lingo is resurfacing!
I thought the weather here might be on the cool side, but it was actually quite warm. I also was surprised to see the snow was completely gone off the mountains. The water here is like glass and the color is such a gorgeous turquoise blue. It reminded me of the beautiful waters of Hawaii.
Banff Springs Hotel:
Nonetheless, the view from up high was breathtaking. On a clear day you can get an unobstructed view of the back of the Banff Springs Hotel and Sulphur Mountain. There is a Gondola Ride you can take up this mountain, and hot springs to enjoy at the base of the hiking trail.
Things to do in Banff:
- Gondola Ride
- Hot Springs -at the base of Sulphur Mountain
Guided Summer Adventures:
- Boat tours
- Scuba diving
- White water rafting
- Carriage rides
- Horseback rides
Summer days are warm, with cool evenings. Banff also enjoys extended daylight hours.
- Ice skating
Banff of course has a much longer winter season than summer. It is a totally amazing place to enjoy every winter sport. Although the temperatures are mostly below freezing, on occasion a warming trend called a "chinook"- helps relieve the cold and brings more snow.
Also available are community classes, arts and culture activities, and events for youth.
The Banff Arts Center for Arts is a place which inspire artists to make their unique contributions to society. This center is a global leader in arts, culture, and creativity.
I hope you enjoyed this short photo journey through Banff. There is so much more to see and hopefully you can make it a destination some day soon. I am planning to go back again and do some hiking and camping... as long as there is a cozy cabin: otherwise it will be glamping at the nearest hotel! Have you ever been to any of the Parks in the Canadian Rockies? If so, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments!
Until Next Time, VALERIE
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