Banff National Park in 2.5 Days

Let me start out by saying, 2.5 days is not enough time! I’ll call it a “crash course”. I was sooo sad to leave, I could have easily spent 7 days in the park and I never stay 7 days in one place other than home. I travel a lot but I’m always on limited time so I get to be good at the “crash course” traveling.

Banff National Park is 1.5 hour drive from Calgary. The drive is super easy, so just rent a car at the airport and head straight there.

Lodging: We stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Next time I go, I am DEFINITELY looking into getting a cabin on a river or a lake. The Fairmont was very nice, the service was fantastic and it’s super stunning but the next time I go I just want a more secluded authentic feel to it.

Here is a pic of the Fairmont….img_1494-1
Keep in mind- you have to have a car. Just from the town of Banff to Lake Louise is about a 40 minute drive.

While driving from Banff to Lake Louise, I recommend taking the “back road” which is the 1A. It’s prettier.

Things to Do: This is all for the nature lovers people! Keep that in mind! If stunning views, turquoise blue lakes, hiking, and adventure don’t excite you… Don’t go. Back to things to do:

Hiking: the Johnston Canyon Trail is stunning. There’s a short trail that’s good for all age groups and it’s beautiful but if you are more frisky go through the whole thing. Either way, you won’t regret it. We did the short trail because we were with my 70 year old mother in law, but as you can see from the pics below… Still worth it! Next time I’m going all the way.IMG_1005.JPG

Another must do is Lake Moraine. Lake Moraine is one of those places that you think are photo shopped when you see it online, but FOR REAL… It seriously looks like this! Since my M.I.L. was over any hiking, so we decided to canoe. Now, dig deep, it’s $75 for an hour! But an hour is all you need and again…. Worth it. You have to get in the canoe. And not only get in the canoe, you have to paddle to the opposite side of the lake!not only does the sun change the color of the water every minute or so,and it’s SO breathtaking, there is a waterfall on the other side!

After we survived the canoeing adventure, Kristin and I left M.I.L. on a log by the lake 

so we could climb the fun huge rock pile, or whatever geologist would call it. Pic inserted for those who know what this is called 

View from “pile of rocks” is uhhhmAZING.

God Bless Canada! Seriously! In the US, we would have never been allowed to climb such a thing. It would have been roped off with warning signs all over instilling fear in us so we don’t have the guts to be adventurous. This is my little Canadian friend I met on the climb down. Cute huh?

Another thing to see is Peyto Lake. 

Peyto Lake is a short walk,from the parking lot to the lookout. Get there early, it’s a popular site!

On the way to Peyto we stopped at Herbert Lake. 

For the love of Lakes! They are all so unique and beautiful I just can’t stop.

Now… For those who have been to Yellowstone. You might be disappointed in the wildlife, or lack there of. There are warning signs of bears and wolves and signs of moose and elk, but in the 2.5 days of nonstop sightseeing, we once saw 18 cars pulled over with people out of their cars and big huge cameras with tripods- this means… An animal sighting. It was a super cute bear. Kudos to Kristin for getting the bear pic hanging out of the car window. That’s the only wild animal we saw. Other than the little chipmunk.

We also went horseback riding. Instead of the Lake Agnes Tea House Hike, we rode horses up there. It’s a beautiful ride, and it’s the one thing my M.I.L really wanted to do.

Horseback was fun, but next time I’m hiking! People looked at us as if we were aliens, they even took pictures of us and talked about us to each other as if we couldn’t hear them just because we were sitting on horses. It was rather odd. But other than that, it was a great ride!

Lake Agnes Tea House- STUNNING. And the views…STUNNING. And the sweet lady that served us, love her. All of it was a great experience 

After the horseback ride we treated ourselves to a fancy dinner at the Post Hotel. It was a PERFECT ending to our day! That hotel is so freaking cute and the food was to die for. I had the halibut, Kristin had the Caribou and Holly had the veal. All of us pretty much licked our plates. If I could have gone in the kitchen and hugged the chef I totally would have. Ps. It was recommended to us by a friend, Julie Brown. Thank you Julie!

After our meal, we walked out back to enjoy the scenery of the Post Hotel.

Our flight out the next day was in the afternoon so I had plenty of time to go take pics behind the hotel of Lake Louise. Here are a few unfiltered shots from different angles.

On our way out of the park, we took the 1A hoping to see wildlife to no avail but we did find the most delicious breakfast spot… Baker Creek Bistro. Lovely little spot, food is divine, great music playing overhead.

We had a little more time to kill so we drove through the town of Banff and admired the Banff Springs Hotel


So thats it! 2.5 days in the BEAUTIFUL Banff National Park. I highly recommend going, but if you can stay longer, please do! There is so much to see and so little time in our fast paced world we live in. Until next time…