Banff national park

Banff National Park

At kilometer 108 of the Icefields Parkway, we leave Jasper National Park and enter Banff National Park. With Marion’s dad and his girlfriend visiting us from Switzerland, we drive through this impressive mountainous landscape towards our next destination, Canmore. On the agenda for the next few days: Banff National Park and the iconic Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

Icefields Parkway

The boundary between Jasper and Banff National Parks is marked by the Sunwapta Pass at kilometer 108 of the Icefields Parkway scenic road. We drive the remaining 125 kilometers of this scenic drive to the towns of Banff and Canmore. Along the way, we make a few stops to admire valleys, lakes and glaciers.

At Peyto Lake we stretch our legs by taking a walk to the observation platform offering a panoramic view of this imposing lake. We discover a landscape somewhat different than during our visit in spring 2019. Indeed, in this early September, the lake is completely thawed, and the surrounding mountains are free of snow.

Our highlights

Icefields Parkway

Mountain scenery

Bow Lake

Peyto Lake

Saskatchewan River Crossing

Sunwapta Pass

The Big Bend


The small town Banff, like Lake Louise, is one of the most popular places to stay within the national park. In 2019, we spend a few days there and treat ourselves with a magical night at the famous Chateau Fairmont. The latter was built in 1888 to promote tourism along the Canadian Pacific Railway connecting the east and west of the country.

We show Monique und Michel around the village of Banff. A perfect opportunity to take the Banff Gondola to admire the village and its surroundings from another perspective. After gaining nearly 700 meters of altitude on Sulphur Mountain, we visit an small exhibition in the top station and enjoy the panoramic view. As it is not uncommon at this time of the year, we distinguish for the first time a quite smoky landscape due to a forest fire raging not far from Jasper for the last few days.

In 2019, we go for a hike at Johnston Canyon not far from Banff. The trail leads us through beautiful rock formations to the lower and upper waterfalls. After a few kilometers of climbing through the forest, we finally reach the mineral water springs. These small pools are called Ink Pots because of their different colors ranging from blue to green.

Our highlights

Good Earth Coffeehouse

Château Fairmont

Banff Gondola

Johnston Canyon & Ink Pots


During this second stay in Banff National Park, we stay just outside the park in the village of Canmore. In early September, Banff is teeming with tourists, so we particularly appreciate the tranquility of Canmore. On beautiful summer evenings, we walk to the lively village center on a very pleasant wooden made walkways along Policeman Creek.

From Canmore, we take advantage of the proximity to the Kananaskis Country. This beautiful area has many provincial parks, including Bow Valley, Spray Valley and Peter Lougheed. We admire the immaculate landscapes and take a walk along the shores of Lower Kananaskis Lake.

Our highlights

Village of Canmore

Kananaskis Country

Policeman Creek Walkway

Harvest Café

The Bankhead Restaurant

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co

Thai House Restaurant

Airbnb at Falcon Crest Lodge

Mountain Lily Bed & Breakfast

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is probably the most famous and most visited lake in Banff National Park. It is particularly known for its turquoise color resulting from sediments of rock carried in the water as the surrounding glaciers melt. Whether it is for a visit to Chateau Fairmont, a stroll along the lakefront or a hike in the valley, this place is a must-see.

So it is no surprise we went to Lake Louise several times. A first time in 2019 for a hike to the Little Beehive viewpoint, passing by Lake Agnes and its Teahouse. In 2022, we walk along the lake with Monique and Michel and went again a few days later to complete the famous Plain of Six Glaciers hike. It took us deep into the valley at the foot of the glaciers. Along the way, we enjoyed stopping at the lovely mountain hut bearing the same name, Plain of Six Glacier Teahouse.

Our highlights

Lake Louise

Little Beehive

Lake Agnes Teahouse

Plain of Six Glaciers

Pain of Six Glaciers Teahouse

Post Hotel & Spa

Hi Lake Louise Alpine Centre

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake, named after the moraines surrounding it, is located in the Ten Peaks Valley. When we first saw it in awe at sunset in the spring of 2019, it was still mostly frozen and surrounded by snow. Now, in the late summer of 2022, we are especially enjoying the shades of color in the water as the sun peeks through the clouds.

There is no lack of hiking opportunities. We head back to Moraine Lake for a short and pretty hike to Consolation Lakes. That day, the smoke from the Chetamon wildfire in Jasper National Park is still in the air and the pictures are quite surprising. Due to lack of time, we unfortunately do not have the opportunity to hike the Eiffel Lake and Sentinel Pass trails. But as the saying goes: “good things come in threes”, and we take a rain check.

Our highlights

Moraine Lake

Rockpiles Viewpoint

Consolation Lakes

Encounter with pikas

Yoho National Park

During our trip in 2019, we also went to Yoho National Park for a day. Neighboring Banff National Park, it is only an hour’s drive away from Banff by car. Known for its emerald green color, Emerald Lake is one of the main points of interest in this park. A nice and peaceful five kilometers circular hike around the lake allows us to enjoy this beautiful landscape.

Our highlights

Emerald Lake

Emerald green color

Hike around the lake

Our most beautiful hikes in detail