"Banff National Park" Banff National Park by JanPeter74
Banff National Park Travel Guide: 815 reviews and 1,590 photos
Banff National Park is located in Alberta and is the most famous, and most visited of the Canadian Rocky Mountain parks. It forms a unity with Jasper National Park that lies north of Banff NP and the smaller parks Yoho and Kootenay that both lie to the west in British Columbia. This area is filled with mountains, glaciers, forests, lakes and everything else that you can think of when thinking of Canada.
The park lies just a few hours drive west of Calgary and has two major townsites: Banff townsite and Lake Louise, which lies some 50 kilometres north of Banff townsite. North of Lake Louise starts the Icefields Parkway, one of the most, if not THE most scenic, roads in the world. This route leads into adjacent Jasper NP all the way to Jasper townsite.
The most popular drive (take a couple of days for this) is to enter Banff NP in the south, pass Banff, Lake Louise, and take the Icefields Parkway into Jasper. Once you have reached Jasper townsite, you take the road to the west and drive west out of the park into British Columbia (passing Mount Robson Provincial Park, which is also one of the highlights of a trip to Canada. See for tips my British Columbia page).
Of course this trip can also be done the other way around. In that case, the views on the Icefields Parkway are perhaps even more spectacular.
Check my tips for all the highlights that can be found in this park. Click here for a map of Banff NP. This is the same map you receive when entering the park. Nice to know: You pay an entrance fee for the entire area (all four parks) at once. They just ask you how many days you plan to stay in the area and give you a ticket for this period.
Number 1 spot in this park: Moraine Lake.
Between Banff townsite and Lake Louise you can either take the highway or the older "Bow Valley Parkway". Along this Bow... more travel advice
The most famous glacier of the Canadian Rockies. Very touristy but nevertheless great. The Athabasca Glacier lies just... more travel advice
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