Over 5 years ago, I came across a beautiful photo of a turquoise lake on Pinterest. I knew I had to visit this magical place one day, this place called BANFF

We flew into Calgary and drove an hour and 30 minutes into BANFF! We only had 3 full days here and it still was not enough to check mark everything on our list but we squeezed in as much as we could!

What you need to know:

  • You must pay to get into the city of Banff ($20 per day)and must display the pass on your dash. If not, you’re at risk of getting a ticket.
  • Best time to visit: June- August
  • Rent a car! Don’t really need an SUV but 4WD is needed if you’ll be there when it snows
  • Sunset is at 10 PM 🙌
  • To really enjoy Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, get there before 7:30 AM to get parking! Lake Moraine is 15 minutes from Lake Louise but if you get there too late, you would have to pay a shuttle to get you there and back ($25 CAD)
  • This trip could be pretty pricey if you want to do the tours/main attractions but I listed the prices below and if it’s worth it in my opinion.
  • Wildlife: some people advise you to not carry around food and to have a bear bell or spray

Lakes to Visit

The view of the lakes in Banff are breathtaking! The lakes are glacier fed and gives off a turquoise color due to the reflection off of the rock flour accumulated in the lake.

Lake Louise

We went to Lake Louise early in the morning (7 AM) when the sun was not as bright but when 9 AM came around, the water became a brighter turquoise.

Rent a canoe (~$119 CAD for 1 HR)

Go on a hike to Lake Agnes Teahouse (1.5 hour steep incline hike)

You’ll encounter steep hills and beautiful boulders like this:

When you reach Mirror lake, you’re almost there(15-20 mins)

And then you reach Lake Agnes!

Go celebrate with some tea and food at the teahouse . The workers hike the ingredients up daily

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is 15 minutes from Lake Louise. It has the view of the 10 peaks. To get the best view the spontaneous way, walk on the wood and climb up the boulders! Or you can take the stairs up and get a spectacular view as well.

Other beautiful lakes we did not have time to visit:

  • Peyto Lake
  • Bow Lake
  • Lake Minnewanka
  • Emerald Lake
  • Lake O’Hara
  • Berg Lake

Must do attractions/tours

Glacier Tour:

(~$80 CAD )includes glacier sky walk and tour of Athabaska glaciers

Athabaska Glaciers:

Ride this monster!

Drink the glacier water:

Glacier Sky walk:

BANFF Gondola to Sulfur Mountains (~$65 CAD)

Keep walking and climb those steps for a beautiful view!

Johnston Canyon(free):

Don’t forget when you go towards the upper falls there’s a trail to a secret cave! I was so amazed how beautiful everything was… 😭 we totally missed it!


Park Distillery Restaurant

Ramen Arashi

Cows ice cream:

Not a great photo but there’s so many wonderful flavors! Highly recommend!

Other restaurants that were recommended but we did not try:

  • Block kitchen
  • Fairmount hotel restaurants
  • The Bison Restaurant
  • Saltlik Banff
  • The Maple Leaf


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