When I was in junior high, my family took a family trip to Banff National park. Ever since that trip, I concluded that Banff was the most beautiful place on earth.
After our Alaska adventure this summer, we made a pitstop in Canada to visit family before coming home. We had one day to sightsee and I already knew I wanted to spend it in Banff.
It had been over 20 years since I visited Banff National Park. Since my trip to Banff, I’ve visited other places. Glacier National Park reminded me of the beauty of Banff. Would I feel differently about the place now that I’ve been to other equally beautiful places. Definitely not.
Banff and the surrounding areas are still exquisite. Even with the crowds, it is was an enjoyable visit. The day started out raining and we were worried we’d be stuck with thunderstorms the entire day.
We drove to Banff from Calgary. I wanted to leave our hotel at 6:30, but we ended up leaving closer to 7:30 am. Since it was raining, the crowds at the park were still thin when we arrived closer to 9am.
We drove straight to the gondola that takes visitors up Sulphur Mountain. This little ride was nostalgic for me. I have a vivid memory of going up Sulphur Mountain as a child. It wasn’t an ideal day for the gondola ride because of the cloud cover.
This is the only day we’d be here and I felt the experience would still be fun for the kids. On the plus side, there was no wait and we got special early bird pricing. Despite the clouds, the ride up was beautiful. The visitor center was fascinating and we took the walk on the boardwalk up to the weather tower.
It was chilly on the mountain but we really enjoyed it. On a clear day, the views are expansive and amazing, but it’s not too shabby on the cloudy day either.
Afterwards, we warmed up with hot chocolate in the visitor center.
It was still drizzling, so we decided to take a scenic drive on Tunnel Mountain Road and pull up to the Hoodoos Lookout. We spent just a few minutes at the lookout, snapped a few photos and got back into the car and drove to Lake Louise.
By the time we got to Lake Louise, the sky had cleared up and the crowds had built up. Despite the crowds, Lake Louise was magnificent.
We decided to make the hike up to Lake Agnes Tea House. The trail up to the tea house is a little over 3km. The trail is smooth but its steep. It was nothing for the kids, but it took us for awhile. They ended waiting for us at the top.
Once we got to the top, it was worth it. The tea house was crowded, but we found some tables. Luckily, we knew ahead of time that it was cash only and had brought money with us. It was chilly on the top and we enjoyed a hot pot of tea and sandwiches.
After lunch, we took some pictures around the lake and walked back down the trail. We then drove back to Banff. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the town and ate dinner at pizza place before heading back to Calgary.
I would love to go back to Banff and spend more time there as well as Jasper. It’s on my bucket list.