Canada

Four Days in Banff

I booked a last minute trip to Banff at the end of August. It had been on my list for a while, so I was so happy to finally go.  I also missed hiking solo ever since going to patagonia in 2016.I firmly believe doing something outdoorsy is the best way to spend a solo trip.

I only went for a half week, and I feel like I was able to get a lot out of it, although If i had a few more days, there were other hikes I would have loved to add.  I rented a car to get around which made it a lot easier.

Day 1 – Johnston Canyon Falls & Ink Pots Trail

I wanted to start with something a little more low key, since it was my first day. TBH this hike was the worst. There were so many people and small children. The hike was so easy, some people were wearing flip flops. When I reached the end, I was not very satisfied so I continued towards a slightly more difficult trail called, the Ink Pots. This was a really nice trail, and much quieter. It lead to a beautiful open valley, with two bubbling pools. I felt like I was in a commercial for a water bottle or something.

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Day 2 – Lake Louise: Lake Agnes & Beehive Trail

I left my hostel in Banff early to drive and get here by 8am, because the parking lot is known to fill very early.  It was already full by 10am and the lake was swarmed.  I got coffee in the hotel and stayed warm until the sun came out enough to start my hike. Lake Agnes trail was pretty cool, and leads to the Lake Agnes Tea House. I wanted to stop and get tea and food at the house just for the novelty of it, but it was already crowded with a line, and many screaming children.  I continued up the Beehive trail, which was pretty challenging. It is well worth it though, because you get an amazing view at the top!

Renting a canoe at Lake Louise looked fun, but was pretty expensive, like $50 an hour.

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Day 3 – Moraine Lake: Larch Valley & Eiffel Lake Trail

I had to leave even earlier to make it to Moraine Lake than I did Lake Louise. Moraine is more popular than Louise, further away, and has a smaller parking lot. I arrived by 7am and got one of the last parking spots. By 7:30am no more cars were allowed in.

When I started my hike, there was a ranger at the trailhead warning people that a bear had been sighted on the trail that  morning and they do not know where it went.  This is why you carry bear spray.

Both trails were relatively easy and quick.

Renting a canoe on Moraine was even more expensive at $100 per hour.

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Day 4 – Sunshine Meadows

Sunshine Meadows, normally a ski resort, opens for hiking in the summer. I was exhausted from the past few days so I paid to take the gondola up, lol. It was worth the money.

I think I died and went to paradise.  Sunshine meadows is the location for my dream house.  Blue water, big mountains, pink flowers. I don’t know if I’ve ever been somewhere so lovely.

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15 replies »

  1. A great description of your journey, Em. I, too, have visited this part of our country…..beautiful and visited by many more folks than when I was there in the 60s. I saw bear, Elk, and mountain goats.
    Please always let someone know where you are hiking each day……a safe and sensible approach,
    Grammy with love…..

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  2. I just got back from Banff a few weeks ago, seeing all of your pictures in the summer months makes me want to go back as soon as all that snow melts! If you can, I would still highly recommend going in winter, it’s spectacular and surreal seeing all those mountains and trees covered in snow and ice skating on Lake Louise is unlike anything else!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your photos are amazing, really showing the beautiful blues of the waters. I love solo hiking, it just gives me a chance to clear my head and work out things without the clutter. Banff is gorgeous and after reading about your hiking experience and seeing the photos I’m definitely adding it to my list of must-see places.

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  4. Oh Banff !! It’s one of the prettiest places I’ve travelled to in my life and although it was 4 years ago, I’ll never forget the amazing experiences we had. We visited quite a few lakes such as the ones mentioned above and also a few more and drove through the mountains and stayed in cosy huts in Banff National Park. Your pictures have brought back great memories !

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  5. Wow! This place looks so magical and paradise-like! Woodsy areas are my favourite ones for hiking, especially if there are lakes around it! I loved your pictures, you really made me want to go to this amazing site!

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  6. I would love to visit Banff in spring and the flowers make me want to do that even more. USD 50 for the canoe is expensive..but I would do it as I know I wouldnt get there soon again. Canada is such a Nature lover’s paradise…loved your pics!

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  7. Your pictures are amazing! By the way, I never heard about Banff, but it seems a hidden gem of Canada, where you can experience the great outdoors, the pristine mountains, the wild nature, and experience a trip to the most remote and fascinating places on the planet to experience extraordinary adventures together with athletes, adventurers, and explorers.

    Liked by 1 person

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