The Best Places to Visit in Banff National Park | Alberta, Canada

 

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

Brian and I spent a week exploring the Canadian Rockies this past summer, and I was in heaven as there is no shortage of beautiful scenery in Banff National Park. Before flying up to Alberta, Canada, we spent a fair amount of time researching the best places to visit, and what the ideal times were for taking great photographs and avoiding the crowds. Here are what we consider to be the best places to visit in Banff.

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Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier | Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

On Friday morning, we awoke early for our final full day in Canada. Before making the long drive back to Calgary in preparation for our flight on Saturday morning, we wanted to make the most of our remaining time in such a beautiful place! After a quick snack at our hotel, we packed up our little Volkswagen, and hit the road headed for Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier. From Jasper, the drive is about 40 minutes, much of which is on a windy mountain road. Lined with trees and mountain views, the drive is also a beautiful one!

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Exploring Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

After completing a full day of driving along the Icefields Parkway, (read: part one and part two) it felt amazing to drop our bags off at the hotel, shower, and head into town for dinner. While the city of Banff was crowded with tourists roaming its streets, Jasper had a more relaxed vibe. Walking through the quaint town streets, we eventually decided on pizza at Famoso Neapolitan Pizza. Between all the walking and driving that day, pizza and beer was a well deserved meal! The next morning, we set out to explore Jasper National Park.

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Lake Louise & Hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail | Banff, Canada

After our visit to Moraine Lake, we made the short drive over to Lake Louise and were promptly greeted with an overwhelming traffic jam. Cars arriving in the parking lot were quickly directed to the exit, and we followed suit. If you have the patience to wait, some parking spots could be found alongside the two lane road, albeit at the expense of blocking traffic. Instead, we opted to come back on Tuesday morning, with an earlier start. As with Moraine Lake, it’s best to aim to be in the lot prior to 9:00 a.m., so you can get there before the tour buses arrive. Once you park, it’s a very short walk to Lake Louise, and its popular photo spot. Unless you are there before sunrise, expect to encounter crowds looking for the perfect selfie.

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Moraine Lake | Banff, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

As we planned out our Canadian adventure, Julie and I each had a long list of “must visit” locations. Many of these destinations were shared, and that was especially true of Moraine Lake. If you spend any time on Instagram (including ours) these days, there’s a good chance you’ve seen photos of Moraine Lake pop up, and the images are always stunning. Spending just a few minutes there, it’s not hard to see why this place is an absolute gem!

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An Afternoon in Kananaskis | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

As mentioned in our last post, while visiting Banff, we opted to stay outside the park in Kananaksis Country. We spent most of our first day in Calgary, but after checking into our hotel, we decided there was enough sunlight left to explore our home for the next three nights. Kananaskis, and the area it encompasses, is named after the river which runs through it. If we had more time, this is definitely somewhere we would loved to have explored further. There are supposed to be some great hikes in this area, though several of the places we stopped at were closed and warned of bears in the area. For that reason, and because it was later in the day, we only made a couple of brief stops to check out the scenery.

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