Trip to Banff, Alberta. Everything you need to know.

Visiting Banff ?? I got some tips for you!

Road to Banff, Alberta

One of my biggest passions is wildlife photography.Those moments, when I feel excitement of seeing something really special, and fear that I won’t be able to capture it  are the best ones. This is the main reason why I have decided to dedicate my birthday trip to my biggest passion, in one of the best places on earth.

Here is my trip to Banff, Alberta. Everything you need to know.

On May 15th we headed to one of the greatest national parks in Canada – Banff National Park. Banff is located 100 km’s from Calgary Alberta.

After a quick lunch and some amazing coffee in Calgary, we headed to the Banff, surrounded by astonishing views of the rocky mountains.

Where to stay in Banff ?

In Banff we have stayed in Rocky Mountain Resort . It is located 2 minute drive and 20 minute walk from the Downtown  Banff. It is very nice, quiet hotel, with very polite service and nice amenities. Also, since it is not in the city centre, it has much higher chances to spot some wildlife.

Rocky Mountain Resort, Where to stay in Banff?

One afternoon we have noticed people gathering right next to our hotel, they all were watching a black bear sleeping on the tree.

Bear sleeping close to Rocky Mountain Resort, Where to stay in Banff?

What time is the best time for spotting wild animals in Banff ?

We drove a lot through Banff. By the end of the trip it was over 1200 km. What we have noticed is that the best time to spot wild animals is either very early in the morning, or around 9 p.m in the evening.

For example while driving around 5 a.m in the morning in the area of Lake Minnewanka we have spotted black bear sitting next to the road and eating green grass.

 

Black bear near Lake Minnewanka, Banff Alberta

Also in the same area, but closer to 9 p.m. in the evening, we have spotted wandering grizzly bear.

Wandering Grizzly Bear, Banff Alberta

Where to spot wild animals in Banff ?

As I have pointed out previously – Lake Minnewanka has a very reach wild life. Also, a place, that I found has a high chance to spot wild animals, is  Banff Springs Golf Course . If you drive there, it has a tiny road that goes into the woods. Banff Springs Golf Course  is a  favourite gathering place of Elks.

IMG_6504

However, if you are as lucky as I am, you might also spot a coyote. (I wish he wasn’t that quick, so I could take a better picture.)

Coyote in Banff Spring Gold Coarse

Also, one of my favourite places to spot a wildlife in Banff is Mt Norquay Road. It is a scenic road up the hill with multiple astonishing view points. In one of them I was able to spot numerous Bighorns.

Bighorns Mt Norquay Road, Canadian Wildlife: Banff, Alberta

Finally, almost any guide book in Banff will tell you that to spot  wildlife, you need to drive through Bow Valley Parkway . This parkway opens its doors to visitors at 8 a.m. and connects Banff with Lake Louise.

Bow Valley Parkway, Banff Alberta

Bow Valley Parkway is filled with wildlife. There I was able to spot numerous Elks.

Elk, Bow Valley Parkway, Canadian Wildlife: Banff, Alberta

Some of them  were walking by the road, and I was able to take a very close pictures.

Elk, Bow Valley Parkway, Banff Alberta

Where can I see beautiful landscapes in Banff ?

One of the most scenic landscapes that you can find in Banff is Lake Louise. It is located about 30 minute drive from Downtown Banff. I would recommend to get there as early as you can. If you get there around 5:30 a.m, there are almost no people, and views are jaw dropping. Unfortunately, when we were there, it was a bit cloudy, but nevertheless, It was amazingly beautiful!

Lake Louise, Canadian Wildlife: Banff, Alberta

Also, if you drive along Lake Minnewanka, you will most certainly find unforgettable views.

Lake Minnewanka, Canadian Wildlife: Banff, Alberta

Where to eat in Banff?

If you are like me, after all this amazing experiencea, you will most certainly get hungry, and will be looking where to have a tasty meal. I found couple of places that serve descent food. One of them is Seoul Country Kitchen . Wait there can be a bit long, but their Beef Short Rib soup was one of the best I have ever had.

Continuing exploring asian cuisine in Banff, we have also visited Silver Dragon Chinese Restaurant. We have ordered Wonton Soup, which was delicious, Beef with broccoli, which I would not recommend, and Lemon Chicken which was also delicious! Overall, it was quick, nice service and quite delicious.

Finally, if you are looking for the perfect lunch and you are ready to do a little driving, I highly recommend Rocky Mountain Bagel Co in Canmore. They make fresh Bagels every day, they also make their own cream cheese. Bagels are superb!

Rocky Mountain Bagel Co, Classic Bagel with Smoked Salmon

If you have any questions – let me know in the comments below.

If you don’t – stay tuned, I will be adding some wildlife photos I have taken during our trip

See ya!

Anatoly

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Curious Dreamer, Experimentator addicted to fine Wine and Endurance Sports

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