And it was indeed the best day of my life to have explored this heaven. Banff and Jasper’s national park is indeed my favorite and the most beautiful national park I have ever seen. I was supposed to meet my sisters on weekend in Toronto and that’s when I decided to visit Alberta first and fly to Toronto from there.
I booked an Airbnb in Calgary with Tea & Viktor. Everything in this trip became my absolute favorite. Airbnb was beautiful and artsy, portraying art by 33 different artists. The house is open for the showcase on Saturday and Sunday and definitely, the most recommended Airbnb ever. I left from Seattle on Wednesday evening and landed in Calgary around 11:54 PM picked my rental up and drove to my Airbnb.
Day 1: Alberta
I only had a day in Alberta to check out Banff and Jasper so I left early morning around 7:00 am. Drive to Banff was around 1.5 hours from where I was staying so that was pretty convenient. You can also stay in Canmore which is right before Banff.
The drive ❤ to Banff
First stop in Banff was Jupiter hotel and bistro for some breakfast. I would definitely recommend this place. Amazing food and a beautiful view of the Rockies. It’s about 20 mins drive after you enter Banff.
Second stop – Lake Louise and moraine lake.
Some facts first: I would suggest getting here as early as you can in the morning probably by 8 or 9. The parking here gets packed so you are left with going around looking for parking. There is no alternate parking near moraine lake. However, Lake Louise has two parking lots which were all full. My next option was to park at the visitor center and take the shuttle. Unfortunately parking a the visitor center was full too and I couldn’t make it to the lakes. If you get here early you would have some luck.
Third stop – Lake Peyto and Bow Lake
I then decided to see peyto lake. On your way to peyto lake you will came across pristine turquoise blue water of bow lake. You can walk down and take a dip in the lake as well. From here you see gorgeous water and magnificent mountains covered with snow. Peyto Lake is around 10 mins away from here. Its a 10 min hike to the lookout point after you park near peyto lake. But the view is worth it. It’s usually crowded so you can hike a little further to the summit.
Fourth stop – Icefield Parkway
I would recommend fueling up to full before entering Banff because there is no gas station in the national park for about 150km. The crossing Resort hotel is right next to the gas station where you can grab some lunch before you get back on road.
The drive to icefield parkway is scenic and the view of mountains from this lookout point is just magical.
Fifth stop – Columbia icefield discovery center
I booked the Athabasca glacier adventure tour. This tour costs around $88 per person. I was pretty excited to go in the monster truck on the glacier. It was by far the most amazing experience. The monster truck takes you on the glacier through the steepest road in the world. Although it’s not that cold while you are on the glacier, I would recommend wearing boots so you can actually enjoy walking on it. The next stop was Glacier Skywalk which is included with your tour. The tour was around 80 mins long. After the tour was 4 hrs drive back to my Airbnb. This just left me wanting for more of Banff and Jasper. I definitely need to go back for a week to explore every bit of it.
This just left me wanting for more of Banff and Jasper. I definitely need to go back for a week to explore every bit of it.
The other attractions that I would like to cover next time would be:
- Lake minnewanka
- Lake Louise and moraine
- Maligne Lake
- Athabasca Falls
- Miette hot springs
- Herbert Lake
- Mistaya Canyon in Jasper
- Panther Falls
I would definitely recommend staying in Alberta for at least a weekend or a week to truly enjoy the national park.