This post is a summary of summer trips to Banff National Park in the years of 2011 and 2015. Canadian Rockies comprises the Canadian side of the North American Rocky Mountains.
And Banff is the first town resort that was incorporated in Canada and is one of the most popular destinations.
Banff is about 1.5 hrs drive from Calgary. Calgary is a major city in the province of Alberta and has international flights arriving from all major destinations.
Where to Stay:
There are lots of options to stay in Banff. You can book a cabin or a luxury hotel room – all in the midst of nature and gorgeous views
Only thing to keep in mind is that Banff gets fully packed during Summer and this period lasts till August (long weekend). Getting accommodation around this time is pricey and difficult. Planning your trip in advance and booking the hotel is a good option to consider. Another option is staying in the nearby hill-town of Canmore (20 minutes from Banff)
As you enter Banff, you will have to pay resort fee at the entrance gate.
Our Banff Itinerary
We started from Calgary by road at about 10:00 am local time. We arrived at the Banff gate by 11:40 am. On the way, what gorgeous views.
On entering Banff, we drove another 15-25 minutes to reach the town site. Downtown Banff is pretty. With enchanting mountain backdrops, there are stores for shopping lovers, cafes for coffee and tea enthusiasts and the list goes on.
One word: Beautiful!
After a stroll in downtown Banff, we decided to go for late lunch at The Stump!
The look of the restaurant was very rustic. It had wild bears around, lifeless of course.
Post a sumptuous lunch, we decided to head to the Sulphur Mountains – Upper Hot Springs. It is said to be the smallest summit in Banff. You can access hot springs, take a view of the Banff town, enjoy a book at the cafeteria and buy souvenirs at the local gift shop.
We ended the day lazying in the springs resort.
The highlight of this day was the Banff Gondola Ride. I have never been on Gondola rides before, so this was the first! I am glad I did it.
The view from up-top is beautiful. Sulphur Mountains at its best. The Gondola Ride was completed in 30-40 minutes, in addition to the time spent at the summit platform.
After the Gondola Ride, we decided to visit the Banff – Cave and Basin National Site. You can actually smell the sulphur from the entrance. However, overbearing the smell was, it was beautiful inside.
Here is an image from the Sulphur Caves
The National Site has an exhibition centre and also offers stunning mountain views.
40 minutes from Banff is the beautiful Lake Louise. Lake Louise is known for its turquoise, glacier-fed lake ringed by high peaks and overlooked by a stately chateau (Hotel Chateau Lake Louise).
To sit by the lakeside is very serene and peaceful. Its a great place to hike around or go for strolls. After spending a few hours in this beautiful location, we drove back to Calgary.