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Banff: the heart of the Rockies

In Banff National Park you will be surrounded by the incredible Canadian wilderness. The park has mountains, rivers, an emerald green lake and stunning views. In summer, hike the alpine meadows covered in wild flowers and explore deep, pristine valleys full of wildlife. In winter, ski through some of the best powder snow in North America.

Since the park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985, Banff has become one of Canada's top destinations for nature fans and outdoor sports enthusiasts. The facilities are outstanding and after an active day outdoors, relax in a comfortable hotel or perhaps visit an art gallery. The park is only a 2-hour drive west of Calgary.

Mountain lake in Banff National Park
Mountain lake in Banff National Park

Calgary

Bow Lake along the Icefields Parkway

Canada’s first national park

Founded in 1885, Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park. To begin with, the park encompassed only a modest 26 square kilometres around various hot springs. Today, the park covers 6,641 square kilometres of protected nature in the very heart of the Rocky Mountains. The town of Lake Louise on the shore of the stunning emerald green lake is one of the biggest attractions. Another popular destination is Sunshine Meadows: alpine meadows covered in such a dense carpet of wild flowers that it looks like a set from an air freshener commercial. The park’s impressive natural beauty extends all the way to the jagged mountain peaks. View the reflections of the mountains in the lakes as you drive along the spectacular Icefields Parkway.

Lake Louise

Photographing frozen waterfalls

Although Banff is known as Canada’s top hiking destination, the park offers a lot more than just walking trails. How about heli-skiing, rafting or mountain climbing? Or try a round of golf or some bird watching if you want a rest from the adrenaline rush. No matter what you do, the spectacular views are complimentary. For the most amazing sights, take a helicopter tour and fly along the flanks of Mount Assiniboine, also known as ‘the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies’. The many glaciers and frozen waterfalls are a photographer’s dream.

A view of Mount Assiniboine