One disappointing aspect of our time in the mountains was the length of time that it took for the mountains to shrug off the night's mantle of fog and mist. Most mornings were overcast and a little bit dreary. When we are out in a natural setting, I like to get an early start. The better to see the animals and avoid the crowds. But most days that was just not productive in Banff. The exception was Sunday, July 6, 2003. A glorious morning in all aspects and we had a great time exploring the shores of the Vermilion Lakes.
Vermilion Lakes are a somewhat boggy spot just on the western edge of the town of Banff. This is a great spot for artists of all sorts - photographers and painters.
The best time to catch the light is in the late afternoon or evening - depending on the season. As it gets closer to sunset, the light and shadows play on the surface of the water and on the rocky mountain to catch an unforgettable scene.
Springtime is especially lovely when the mountains come alive with the soft fresh greens of new leaves.
Close to the Banff townsite. Just head out of town on Lynx Street and take a left before you hit the Trans-Canada Highway. The area is lovely in the mornings and you will not have to fight the tourbus crowd. Many joggers like to run along the lakes, but they are tolerable. A good place to look for waterfowl. Because this area is marshy there are mosquitos.
The Vermilion Lakes are 3 small lakes in a wetland area that are situated west of the Banff townsite. You can stroll around this wetland area in the summer time. Fenland Trail is also accessible from this area.
This 4.5 km (2.8 mi) drive branches off Mt. Norquay just before the Banff/Norquay overpass and takes you along the three Vermilion Lakes. This drive provides an opportunity to see a variety of flora and fauna common to marshland areas and is popular for bird watchers, nature enthusiasts, photographers and cyclists.
Violating the fundamental rule against taking photos into sunlight. But if you have a polarizer and a good eye, you can get some fabulous shots. I think a scene like this just shouts "early morning".