There is something magical about these white peaks, surrounded by teal lakes. Despite seeing numerous snowy mountains, I'm still captivated by the gorgeous textures of the white snow against the dark rock faces. It's cold, but it's so worth it!
Whether you're a seasoned hiker or an average traveler, this place will not disappoint. There are plenty of trails for everyone, ranging for easy strolls along the lake to hardcore multi-day treks. My wife and I did 3 day hikes this trip at Lake Agnes, Bow Summit and Sulphur Mountain.
The Lake Agnes trail is pretty manageable at 3.5hrs for a round trip hike with a 400m elevation gain. The view of Lake Agnes at the end is amazing! I highly recommend it.
The hike up Sulphur mountain is pretty monotonous because it's just switchbacks after switchbacks, not much of changes in terms of views or terrain. Instead, I would recommend taking the cable car up for the fantastic views at the top!
Airbnbs are few are far between around Banff, especially within the park. In the end, I decided to stay at an Airbnb at Dead Man's Flat, which was 15 mins drive from the park entrance as the accommodations inside the park are too pricey. I would suggest to book early, esp. during peak season or avoid summer.
Tip for Lake Morraine: The tiny carpark is often full by 7am on weekdays and 5am on weekends. It gets worse during summer so either be early or be prepared to take the shuttle bus.
Between Banff and Arctic region of Norway, personally I still find the latter to be superior in terms of the views and overall experience.
Here's the blogpost for comparison.
Lake Louise after a fresh coat of snow
Bow Lake Summit
Stars align on a moonless, cloudless night at Lake Minnewanka