Why vacation in Banff NP?
In the Rocky Mountains bordering British Columbia Banff and Jasper are Canada’s most spectacular national parks and Alberta’s primary tourist destinations. Note that Banff is much easier to get to and around than Jasper, so it’s inevitably busier.
The Banff must-dos – if time is very short – are taking at least a walk on the shore paths of Moraine Lake and Lake Louise.
If you like hiking and have more time then do a more serious hike such as the stunning Plain of Six Glaciers Trail from Chateau Lake Louise to the base of Victoria Glacier. Alternatively get onto the water, these lakes are among the most magical kayak/canoe locations on the planet.
15 miles from Banff town on the way to Lake Louise (Lake Louise is the name of both the lake and the lovely small resort town nearby) stop off at Johnston Canyon, summer or winter, for a ‘fairytale’ walk on elevated paths through this narrow chasm, with tunnels, colourful rocks, bubbling streams and waterfalls.
Alberta is the most westerly province in Canada after British Columbia and shares the Canadian Rockies with British Columbia. It’s a rich province due to oil and ranching but still enjoys hosting tourists who come primarily from the USA, with UK visitors at number two.
One obvious incentive for American tourists to travel here is of course the proximity making an easy driving vacation (especially from the northern parts of Montana, Idaho and Washington states), but also the province leans towards English language in contrast to more easterly provinces where locals may prefer to speak French (the third largest group of international visitors to Canada are French).
However, the biggest attraction is unquestionably the staggeringly beautiful rivers, lakes and Rocky Mountains of Alberta’s National Parks, particularly Banff and Jasper.