5 Things to do in Banff 🇨🇦 

 June 29, 2022

By  Wilson

The Rocky Mountains in Canada did not disappoint. While everything was expensive during high season (June), it was absolutely worth it.

I stayed in Canmore in an Airbnb and rented a car (that’s a must). Banff is a 20 minute drive, Lake Louise is an hour minute drive, and the entrance to Jasper National Park is 2 hours.

I spent two working weeks with two free weekends in June, which meant sunrise was at 5:30am and sunset was at 10pm. I had “brb moving here” moments multiple times throughout the trip (but when do I not have it?)

How I Got There

As usual whenever I travel, I either take a United flight or search for the cheapest flight on kayak.com. I wrote an article about how I stick to flying on United as much as possible to cash out big with my miles.

For this trip, I booked on united.com and paid out of pocket.

How was the Wifi?

It’s perfect. I had no issues here.

There is a patch of zero service between Lake Louise and Columbian Icefields, but that’s deep into the mountains.

Anyways. Let’s get into it.

1. Take the Gondola up to Sulphur Mountain – Banff

There is a bus that takes you from downtown Banff to the bottom of the Gondola station (20 minute ride). I put this one as #1 because it’s right in the town of Banff.

2. Lake Louise

This is a must and arguably the #1 on everybody’s list. It’s the highest city/town in all of Canada at 5,249′ and is only about a 40 minute drive from the town of Banff.

How much was renting a kayak? In June 2022, it was $165CAD to rent a 2-3 person kayak for 30 minutes and $175CAD for 1 hour. Yeah – people are willing to pay for that. I think the prices at Lake Minnewanka were more than half of the prices in Lake Louise.

3. Moraine Lake

Moraine lake is the sister (or brother?) to Lake Louise is Moraine Lake. Similar to Lake Louise, the minerals from the rocks and the glacier water flows into the lake making the water extremely blue and beautiful. There is a parking lot where you can park you car and shuttles that go to Lake Louise and to Moraine Lake. There are also shuttles that go between the two lakes and shuttles that take you back to the parking lot.

4. The Columbian Glaciers

with stops at Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, Waterfowl Lake

This is where we get into Jasper National Park. The Columbian Glaciers are about a 2.5 hour drive from Banff on Icefield Parkway (and btw – the entire ride was INCREDIBLE), so this was a big weekend day trip that started from 10am until 10pm.

5. Parker Ridge Trail

This was a fairly strenuous, beautiful hike that I would recommend. The hiking website says 3 hours but I completed it in 90 minutes. Sorry, was that too much of a humblebrag minus the humble?

This trail is on the Jasper National Park side, so about a 2 hour drive from Banff. The hike in June 2022 included a snow hike and rocky terrains.

If I Had More Time, I Would Have…

Checked out Lake O’Hara. Unfortunately it’s a lottery system, so I would have had to call and reserve a spot to get shuttle tickets from the parking lot to Lake O’Hara. Otherwise, I could have walked 11km one way to reach there myself.

I would have also checked out Jasper – the town. It’s a 3 hour drive from Banff/Canmore. I would have tried staying in Jasper and apparently the restaurants there are very solid.

Honorable Mentions

Lake Minnewanka, Quarry Lake in Canmore, Johnston Canyon, Emerald Lake on the British Columbia side

Closing Remarks

2 weeks is just right for a workcation. 

Similar to Banff, Jasper is not only a town but also a National Park that covers a big chunk of area. There are ~150 Black and Grizzly bears in Banff National Park, and that number is doubled in Jasper National Park. I never needed to bring bear spray, but that’s because I stayed in the touristy areas in Jasper.

Unfortunately I did not see any bears. But some notable wildlife that I saw: moose, goose, rabbits, fox, squirrels, blue jays.

Banff was a once in a lifetime experience and I truly valued my time here in the Canadian Rockies. Any nature fans would be lucky to visit.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Hi, my name is Wilson, founder of WFH Nomad. I was born and raised in the US, and I boast engineering and business degrees from top programs in the US. I work a normal, WFH job for a great company in America. I am extremely passionate about traveling and my job in the Tech industry, and the best part of the WFH Nomad concept is that I can do both at the same time.

I have traveled to over 47 different countries in my lifetime and I look forward to continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Thanks for visiting the website!

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