We recently had the pleasure of visiting Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. Holy cow! I’ve done a fair bit of traveling and few places strike me the way this one did. The natural beauty is just something that can’t be adequately described or captured in pictures. Still, I tried. Here’s a slideshow of some of our favorites as well as our favorite three things about the trip.
- Lake Louise! This is the most beautiful glacial lake I’ve ever seen – a perfect turquoise surrounded by snowy peaks. It’s about an hour drive into the national park and has several hiking trails. We took the Agnes Tea House trail which is about 5 miles round trip (I think, now I’m trying to convert back from km!). At the top of the trail is the Agnes Tea House, which is a tiny little restaurant (if you can call it that) with small bites & lots of teas. My first question for our waitress was “how do you get to work?” They hike up, and then usually stay overnight in a cabin if they work again the next day, and they carry up all the supplies. Amazing!
- Icefields Parkway. This is a highway that runs from Lake Louise up to Jasper, which is about 3 hrs away. We only drove about 45 minutes into it but it really takes you up into the tops of the mountains. There was lots more snow, and BEARS! We were told by a nice local gal named Liane (who became kind of our own personal tour guide) that we would most definitely see bears on the drive up, and we did. We took it to Bow Lake which was another stunning glacial lake very much in the middle of nowhere (but that does have a lodge and small cafe) where we ate buffalo chili.
- Quaint mountain towns. We stayed in Canmore which is at the foothills of the Northern Rockies. It was a very small town with cute shops, lots of good restaurants, and views all around. We also visited Banff which was definitely a more stunning setting, as its about 30 minutes up into the mountains and literally surrounded by peaks. Both were fun and interesting but we preferred Canmore which had less of a touristy feel.
It’s definitely a trip we’d recommend and have new ideas on places to stay now that we’ve spent so much timing driving around the area. I love to talk about vacations so if you want to know more, call me anytime!