When in Banff….

When in Banff….

As we wrapped up our stay in Glacier, we started our drive up to Banff, Canada. I have been waiting to see Banff for years, I always heard how amazing it was there. I felt a little overwhelmed when we arrive because there are so many things to see there, so where to start first? I knew I wanted to hike the East end of Mount Rundle, because the views over Hiling Peak are breathtaking. There we stood at the base of the trail ready to climb 1.8 miles with 2,965 feet of vertical. As we started up the trail we winded through trees, and then as the trees got thinner the views got better and better. You have amazing views on every side you look at. Half way up the trail my legs really felt the burn but there was no stopping because once you see this beautiful place you know you want to go to the best spot. It is no surprise that Banff is an extremely popular place to go, even busier in the summer months. So we figured that if we either went super early morning or later in the evening we would miss all the traffic, and luckily it worked most the time.

Banff Hiling Peak

(Mount Rundle is dog-friendly)

That same evening, we headed over to Lake Moraine for sunset, and we found a parking spot right away. I’ll admit this place is as beautiful as everyone says it is. Lake Moraine can either be a longer hike or a shorter walk. We just did the .8 mile trail to the rock pile, but I believe there is an overlook if you scramble up or you can make your rounds around the lake. The waters are as blue as can be everywhere you go, I had to pinch myself because it didn’t look like real life. We sat at the rock pile and watched the sun reflect off the peaks, all while swatting mosquitos away from us. Can anyone answer me if mosquitos do anything good for the world besides bite people and make me swell up!?

Banff Lake Moraine

A lot of people always ask me about where to camp when you are adventuring around, and I couldn’t really find an answer before I went to Banff. I booked a campsite at a trailer park because it was the only thing available for the airstream. Then we discovered that you really can find first come first serve sites all over. We stayed in Monarch camp ground in Yoho National park for our last three nights, it gave us much more of an authentic camping feel. Just make sure if you are doing it this way you arrive early to find spots!

We had two more days in Banff and Yoho, so of course, we had to sneak some rock climbing in! We arrive at Lake Louise early and the parking was already crazy, it’s a beautiful place but very crowded with tourists, if you keep walking along the lake (about 2miles) you find some great climbing walls. As the evening approached Peyto lake was the next stop! I had read that there was a .8 hike trail to this lake, but turns out if you come later on the walk is even shorter because of upper parking. The colors of the clouds were amazing and I would definitely suggest this as a great place to catch a sunset!

Our last day in Canada sure came quick! We started the morning at Emerald Lake, not only was it beautiful but far less crowded than the other places, I was so excited to canoe around! This is a great place to enjoy a morning or a lunch picnic! Next stops to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks!

Banff Emerald Lake

Key things to bring/know while hiking in Banff:

Dry meals/snacks/water
Bug spray and lots of it
Bear spray/bell
Comfy shoes to walk all over
Warm and cooler clothes
Arrive early
Pick longer hikes to avoid crowds
Spend lots of time there it takes a lot of time to drive around
Research trail/road closures so you know

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