My Top Ten National Parks of North America
The list so far:
4. Banff National Park
Date established: 1885
Annual visitation (2014): 3.6 million
Size: 1,641,027 acres
Location: Alberta, Canada
Number of visits: One
Total days in the park: Three days
Where I stayed: My wife and I really mixed it up here. We camped out one night in the Lake Louise Campgound. It got very cold overnight. We also lived it up in the most extravagant hotels we had ever stayed in. We stayed one night in the Chateau Lake Louise and one in the Fairmont Banff Springs. Both hotels were incredibly nice and extremely expensive. I would recommend checking out the Fairmont Banff Springs even if you don’t stay there. It’s like a castle.
Can’t miss sight: The colorful lakes of the Canadian Rockies blew me away. Moraine Lake was amazing. So were Lake Louise and Peyto Lake. The mountains were jagged and imposing. If I had to choose one specific thing though, I think I’d go with Lake Louise.
My favorite view: This would be the view of Peyto Lake from high above it. The oddly-shaped lake can be seen in its entirety and the color is exceptional.
Wildlife seen: Mountain goats, deer, and a bear from far away.
Favorite hike: I didn’t manage to do too much hiking in the park. So, I would go with the nice and easy, but very scenic hike along the shore of Lake Louise. My wife and I really enjoyed the simple jaunt beside the stunning lake.
Bonus Point: Banff is home to some awesome skiing opportunities. There are a few ski resorts inside the park. During the summer there are a few chairlifts that double as scenic gondola rides. Ashley and I took a ride far above Lake Louise one afternoon. I loved it.
If I Return
I want to spend more time there and definitely do some more hiking. I know there are a ton of great hikes in Banff and I hope to experience a few eventually.
Why You Should Visit
The Canadian Rockies offer amazing mountain scenery. I’d say the landscape is more impressive than the American Rockies to the south.
It is very far from my home in Western New York. It’s also very expensive.