"Not Really Bashing Banff But...." Banff National Park by richiecdisc
Banff National Park Travel Guide: 780 reviews and 1,488 photos
Locals call it God's Country and when you see it, you have a hard time refuting the claim. Indeed, Banff National Park is not only the crown jewel of the Canadian National Park system but certainly one of the prettiest places on this planet. Now, if only Parks Canada would stop trying to turn it into Banff National Disney Park and milking the cash cow dry, it would certainly rank as one of the top National Parks in the world as well. With acreage to make small countries envious, a virtual carpet of dense pristine forest, emerald glacial lakes and a stunning array of craggy peaks, Banff National Park is a tour-de-force of nature able to capture tourist imagination in a single bound. Yes, this is the Superman of National Parks but much like Kryptonite cripples the man of steel, Parks Canada is doing just that to its prize possession. Should that keep you from going? Of course not, but unless you are doing a tour of all the Canadian National Parks and can utilize their pricey Annual Pass, it might be one to see quickly as the parks' pay-per-day scheme encourages. In case Parks Canada has not heard, there are many equally beautiful places on this planet, on the same continent no less, that are charging less.
I have been to Banff National Park three times. The first time in 1994 as part of a USA/Canada National Park tour. In 1998 en route to a summer in Alaska. The most recent trip was in the summer of 2008, showing my wife who is from Germany the wonders of the US National Park system. I obviously could not take her all that way without seeing Banff National Park. While she found it very beautiful, she preferred the scenery and more natural feeling in Glacier National Park, just south of Canada's border in Montana.
This page details almost entirely the most recent trip. To read about my past adventures and see a contrasting view, have a look at my Alberta page. Please don't think I do not love Canada. I do and have done a lot in this wondrous country, but I do not agree with the way the park is administered and feel the it should not only be more affordable but also could be a bit more rustic.
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