Alberta Canada is beautiful! The area offers a perfect road trip opportunity of snow covered mountain peaks, pine fresh air, distant glaciers, brilliant turquoise lakes, alpine meadows and a charming resort town. Banff National Park is in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. It is the oldest of Canada’s National Parks and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. This is Grizzly Bear country. Get excited if you are driving and traffic suddenly stops; look for grizzlies along the side of the road.
The Town of Banff, Banff National Park
Banff is a small resort town within Banff National Park. 3 million people visit this charming town yearly and it is a great base when visiting the area. Shop for souvenirs along Banff Avenue. Take a bike ride to Minnewanka Lake or hike up Tunnel Mountain. Take a gondola up Sulphur Mountain for impressive views. Soak in Banff Upper Hot Springs or take a walk along the Bow Falls Trail and relax by the river. Have Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Banff Springs and explore the Castle in the Rockies.
Johnston Canyon Trail, Banff National Park
Johnston Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Banff National Park. The trail leads through a pine forest to a series of catwalks attached to a narrow deep rock canyon. As you follow the catwalk Johnston Creek’s crystal clear turquoise water rushes beneath you, it is breathtaking. The best view of the lower falls is from the bridge. Cross the bridge, duck under a tunnel and find yourself on a small metal platform directly in front of the falls. You will be amazed by the power of the falls, and you will get wet!
There are three popular hikes at Johnston Canyon Trail. The lower falls trail is a simple 30-minute walk. Continue on to the upper falls for a moderate hike with incline. The falls can be viewed from the base or above. The third hike takes you to the inkpots; seven jewel colored, cold mineral springs and a meadow. Be sure to wear hiking shoes and layers, the area is shaded and can be cool. There are no services in the area, bring water and snacks. Arrive early, the area is popular and the parking lot is small. Be prepared to get wet! Do not veer off the path. If you slip and fall into the creek you will be swept away.
Moraine Lake, Banff National Park
Moraine Lake sits in the Valley of Ten Peaks and is surrounded by pine trees and snowcapped mountains. The lake is fed by glacier water and is bluest after the glacier begins to melt in June and July. This is a great spot to relax and spend an afternoon canoeing on the lake. Be sure to take the Rockpile Trail for gorgeous views. There are many well marked hiking trails in this area. Observe the signs and bring bear spray!
Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Lake Louise is an icon of the Canadian Rockies. The beautiful Fairmont Chateau sits at the foot of majestic snow-covered mountains and Victoria Glacier is in the distance feeding the turquoise lake. Explore the upscale Fairmont Chateau and canoe on the lake. Take the 4.5-mile hike to Lake Agnes Tea House for tea above a waterfall or hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House for tea with a view. The Lake Louise Station Restaurant is a great place for lunch while watching the trains go by.
Have more time in the area? Plan your visit during the Calgary Stampede or drive along Icefields Parkway to Jasper to view the Columbia Icefield and Glacier Skywalk.
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