The area is otherwise known as Lake Louise Ski Resort in the winter. In my opinion, if you have to decide between the Sulphur Mountain Gondola and Lake Louise Gondola, choose Lake Louise, which gives you more bang for your buck, especially the ride and breakfast deal. You have a choice of enclosed car or ski lift chair. I would recommend the enclosed car if you are afraid of heights.
The price of the gondola ride includes presentations, the most interesting and informative one being on grizzly bears . The highest concentration of grizzlies in Banff National Park is in the Lake Louise area; the reason being the large number of berry bushes that started growing on the cleared land while the ski resort was being built.
We were at the grizzly bear presentation, and as part of it, were taken down to a small stream . When we returned up the path, there was grizzly bear poop on the trail. The sneaky bear had come and gone and had maybe been within 50 feet of us. Our guide also told us of how, on one of the last rides down, she passed over the splayed out sleeping form of a grizzly who decided to crash for the night in plain view on the ski hill. So, definitely, there may be a chance to see a grizzly.
When you are in the Banff area, do take the time to stop off at Canmore, approx 5 minutes from the park gates. Canmore is a charming town of 11,500 -- though growth is expected to skyrocket since the development of the Banff townsite has been curbed sharply recently
The lovely town of Canmore is nestled into the mountains, and has a friendly, small-town atmosphere about it. If you have a car to explore Banff National Park, you might be wise to stay in Canmore, as accommodations here are much cheaper than in Banff.
There isn't a whole lot to do here, just think of it as a place to relax and recover from the summer hoardes in Banff. There is an incredible dining scene in Canmore, and I feel the restaurants are superior to those in Banff. As one local put it, "In Banff they don't have to put too much effort into service or quality as they know the next tourist will come along".
Most of the shopping and restaurants are located on Main Street, with hotels, fast food, and gas located just off the Trans Canada highway. However, take a leisurely stroll down Main Street -- you'll be relaxed and rejuvinated by the friendly locals and relatively small crowds.
Known as one of the most spectacular drives in the world, Highway 93 north starts just past the Lake Louise on the Trans Canada Highway. It winds 230 km to Jasper, and takes you by breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers and lakes. If you are driving to Jasper, give yourself about 3 hours as it can be pretty slow going during the summer due to traffic, wildlife, and stopping to admire the views.
Peyto Lake ( pronounced Pea -toe) is named after a legendary character from Banff's past, Bill Peyto. Like his good friend Jimmy Simpson, Bill Peyto was a guide, woodsman and outfitter, and came to Banff in the 1890's. He is most well-known for capturing a wild lynx and letting it go in a bar, while he sat back, and enjoyed a drink and the action. He did redeem himself later in life as he became a park warden, nabbing poachers and rescuing stranded hikers.
This lake probably rivals Lake Louise in terms of crowds, but not suprisingly, as from the observation deck you get a bird's eye view of the uniquely-shaped, glacial blue lake. Like all the other popular sites in Banff, I recommend getting here early in the morning and around supper time to avoid the crowds.
This side highway , offers some great hikes and also the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the park.
One of the more conventionally lakes as far as color, but still surrounded by majestic peaks and beautiful , this lake site right off the Icefields parkway making a nice photo stop.
A very scenic lake with hiking trails just north of the Lake Louise Area, Definitely worth a stop for the crystal blue waters surrounded by peaks
Take Banff Gondola, then walk for about 20 minutres to the Sulphur Mountain and, at 2281 meters, enjoy the view.
This lake is a few kilometers away from Banff townsite, and it's lke the "second part" of Lake Minnewanka. There are two more pics.
Pyramid Lake Road, 5 km from Jasper, Jasper, Alberta, T0E 1E0, Canada
Good for: Business
Friend's of mine were visiting Alberta so we decided to splurge and share a room at the Fairmont...more
This is a fantastic place to stay if you are on a budget. The rooms are well equip with everything...more