BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Established in 1885, the oldest national park of Canada – BANFF NATIONAL PARK is in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. Banff National Park covers an area of 6,641 square kilometers that includes many glaciers and ice fields, alpine landscapes, dense forests, and mountainous terrains.
Banff National Park is the most visited tourist destination of Alberta and one of the most visited national parks of North America that attracts almost 3 million tourists annually and it contributes a generous amount of an estimated (Canadian) $6 billion in the economy.
The park itself is surrounded by other parks as Yoho National Park to the west, Jasper National Park at the north, and Kootenay National Park at the south. The townsite of Banff is the main commercial center of the Banff National Park; Lake Louise is also a favorite destination of tourists that is located in the national park.
Some key events are – Snowdays Festival and ice magic festival (January), Banff Children’s Festival (May), Banff yoga festival, Banff marathon and Performance in the Park (June), Canada Day (July), Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival (Oct – Nov), Taste for Adventure (Oct – Nov), Banff Craft Beer Festival and Banff Christmas Market (November).
Located within the Banff National Park, Alberta, Banff is one of the most popular destinations of Canada; it is a resort town with Mount Rundle, Cascade Mountain, and Mount Norquay located adjacent to it, the town is a destination for activities like hiking, biking, skiing and scrambling within the area.
The Banff Gondola is also an attraction for tourists that are available to ascend people to Sulphur Mountain.
Located six minutes north of the town is Lake Minnewanka that offers a variety of activities like fishing, hiking mountain biking, a lake cruise, and motorboats on rent, people can enjoy the small food concession that is available at the marina.
The tunnel mountain (also known as sleeping buffalo mountain), located within the town, has a summit that one can scale and win in less than an hour. The Banff Center for Arts and Creativity that hosts events and dance, opera, theatre, and outdoor concerts also is located on the side of the tunnel mountain.
Lake Louise, a hamlet, located in Alberta’s Rockies, at 3 kilometers northeast of the lake that shares its name, sits at an elevation of 5,200 ft/1,600 m is the highest community of Canada. Lake Louise Ski Resort is a major ski resort within Banff National Park.
A 230-kilometer long road that connects Lake Louise o Jasper Park, other scenic lakes near the park is BOW LAKE and PEYTO LAKE.
A pass is required for stopping in the Banff National Park, if you are not stopping or staying and traveling straight through the park, then you don’t need a pass, permit checks are usually common during the summer months at Lake Louise and icefields parkway.
With rocky mountain peaks, glacial lakes, a picture-perfect town, and a village with scenic drives the Banff National Park is a place that will take your breath away. The park also offers various varieties of activities that will give you an adrenaline rush instantly, like biking, skiing, camping, hiking, and the marvelous mountain scenery will give you a lot of memories.
Some fun facts about the Banff National Park –
There are over 1,000 miles of hiking trails in the Banff National Park.
The mountains in the park are 45 to 120 million years old (whoa!!).
The Banff National Park, in 1984 was declared a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE.
Mount Forbes is the highest mountain in Banff at 11,850 ft
Lake Minnewanka is a Man-made lake (I am surprised too).
The most photographed lake in the world is LAKE LOUISE.
Moraine and Peyton, both lakes are glacially-fed lakes (that’s why they are so blue).
The busiest hike of the Canadian Rockies is JOHNSTON CANYON
WHEN TO VISIT
It basically depends on what activities you actually want to do there, if you are a skier, you will choose winter as it is the season of snow, if you are a nature lover, you will choose the warm weather, Banff is a year-round destination for tourists as the temperature fluctuates throughout the year dramatically and makes it more interesting, no matter what weather or months you choose as the sun is strong at these altitudes so, do not forget your hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (this is a must) to protect yourself from UV exposure.
DECEMBER TO MARCH
The months of snow and the peak and best period for skiing are from December to March, however quick changes and variations in temperature on different mountains should be noted, and be prepared for it in advance as no one want to fall sick during a trip. As it is the peak season of tourism, booking a hotel in advance will help you a lot, and be aware of the closed spots/destinations in the park because of the avalanche risk.
APRIL TO MAY
If you are a wildlife lover, late spring and summer months are good for you, as you can spot a bear there easily in this weather.
JUNE TO AUGUST
The most crowded month as the park’s lakes look magnificent in the warmest weather, at any time of the year, you will find the lakes frozen
SEPTEMBER TO NOVEMBER
September is the height of the fall season but the beginning of October can turn the weather treacherously cold and then blizzards will take away the beautiful fallen leaves.
“Even a bad day in the mountains is still better than a great day in the office”CANADIAN PROVERB
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