What a whirlwind of a trip! Booked this trip just over a week before we went! Nick had a last min work trip to Red Deer, just north of Calgary and we decided to make a little trip out of it and flew out the weekend before. We only had two full days in Banff and we made the most of it! We have been to Banff one other time before about 5 years ago in the middle of winter so everything was FORZEN. So it was nice to see all the lakes thawed. That trip was also when/where we got engaged, so coming back here was just so special. If you are interested in traveling through Banff + Jasper in the winter here is the link to that blogpost. That trip we were here for a whole week so we were able to fit in a lot more in and it is still one of my very favorite trips to date!
Our Day one Itinerary
- Woke up for sunrise at Lake Louise. Parking lot fills up so quick, so we got there over an hour before. We drove into Banff the day before, but that was just a long travel day.
- Hiked the Big Beehive Trail. This is such a beautiful hike. Along the way up you will get to see both Mirror Lake as well Lake Agnes. Lake Agnes is where the Tea House is located. We choose to pack lots of snacks and didn’t want to wait it the terribly long line so we skipped it. NOTE: there are also bathrooms here as well and it seemed like 90% of everyone this was the farthest they hiked. Most people did not continue on to the Big Beehive. The hardest part of the trail getting up to the Beehive was just the 9 switchbacks leading up. Even with stopping for photos many times it only took us about 3.5 hours total!
- Got lunch at Bill Peyto’s Cafe. We ate here countless times last time we were here, so we had to make a stop at least once this trip! They have great fish and chips and Elk Burgers!
- Drove past Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka. If I were to come back in the summer I would for sure make a point to paddle board Two Jack Lake!
- Drove up to Peyto Lake for sunset. This was where we got engaged and it was so fun to snap some pics in the same spot! The viewpoint it just a 10 min walk from the parking lot.
- Both Nights we stayed at Castle Mountain Chalets. Such a beautiful stay and in a great location between the Lake Louise area and the town of Banff. Only downfall is that it is right next to some railroad tracks and multiple times a night the train was so loud it sounded like it was coming straight for our room!
- Slept in a bit since the day before we were up WAY to early for sunrise.
- Hiked Johnston Canyon up to upper falls. Parking lot fills up quick, but we got there around 10:00am and there was still a bit of parking. If we weren’t as tired I would have loved to hike farther to the Paint Pots! Maybe next time! The trail is heavily traveled, but also very well maintained. Seems like a great trail for families.
- Since it was now mid day we didn’t even attempt with parking at Lake Louise and instead parked at Lake Louise Ski resort and then took the bus up to Moraine Lake. NOTE: plan ahead and book these bus tickets at least a week before your trip if not more!
- Enjoyed site seeing at Moraine Lake. During the winter this lake is closed so this was a completely new spot for us! Once here you MUST walk up the short trail of stairs to the Rockpiles. This is a much better view of the lake since the angle makes the water look that crazy blue color!
- Next we headed into Banff and walked and shopped the main street.
- Pizza and Bowling at High Rollers Bowing and Beer Hall. Such a fun hand out space with Great food! They also have a room with pool tables as well!
- Lastly we drove to Red Deer that night so Nick could be at the job site the next morning.
I said whirlwind right? UGH! Such a fun trip and WOW was the timing absolutely perfect with the fall colors! Feeling so lucky we got to make the most of an otherwise boring work trip!