We have long dreamed of seeing the Rocky Mountains and glacier waters. Banff National Park is the type of place you see in pictures but can't believe exists. Once you see it in person, the beauty is beyond anything you can ever imagine.
Banff National Park is enormous you can spend weeks exploring the area and only see a fraction.
Here was our itinerary (for inspiration):
Because we were coming from the Kootenays we decided to spend our first night camping in Yoho National Park. We set our eyes on our first turquoise water at Emerald Lake. And, did we ever get lucky, a rainbow popped up! Its reflection on the water was mind-blowing.
Unfortunately rainbows usually mean rain. When the storm got worse we decided to eat out instead of by our tent. What an amazing idea. The food at the Truffle Pigs bistro was heavenly. Have the nachos and thank us later.
The local bar tender suggested we hike to Consolation Lake, which is what we did the following morning. It was breathtaking and best of all we had it to ourselves. You need to watch out for bear warnings on hiking trails. On that particular day, we had to be at least four people to hike on that trail. We waited for another couple and asked if we could join them. A great way to stay safe and meet new people.
Next we headed to Moraine Lake where we rented some canoes. Canoeing on any glacier waters while you're there is a must.
We popped by to see Lake Louise but unfortunately couldn't see very much of it because of the weather. We weren't too disappointed to leave early. There were a lot of tourists.
We got lucky and found a little log cabin at the Johnston Canyon Resort. Totally accidentally after we hiked to see the Upper and Lower Falls there and ended up helping some people carry down a dog that had slipped and hurt a leg.
The cabin was wonderful, secluded and none touristy. We ended up using our portable gas stove to make some soup while sitting on the cabin's front stoop and had it with one of our best bottles of wine from the Okanagan Valley. We had tried to find another yummy restaurant to enjoy but they close early. On the up side we spotted a black bear on the way!
The next day we went into the town of Banff for breakfast which was lovely but quite touristy. We were also there in mid-July (high season). We very much recommend booking accommodations in advance.