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Justin and Terrell’s top tips to do within 2 kms of the Inn

We are biased of course but we like to think we have the best location in all of Banff. Here’s why:

Nearby activities all within walking distance:
  • Walk to Bow Falls- walk down Muskrat and take the pedestrian bridge across the Bow river. Take a left and follow the path, which takes you up and down a few stairs to the breath taking view. (1.3 kms)
  • Tunnel Mountain Trail head (1.1 kms). If you want to do a quick and yet rewarding hike with spectacular views of the town of Banff and the river valley, we recommend Tunnel Mountain. Want to know why it’s called Tunnel Mountain…ask our friendly staff!
  • Banff Canoe Club (750 m). As the famous Canadian Author Pierre Berton once said “A true Canadian is one who can make love in a canoe without tipping it”. Joke’s aside, rent a paddle board or canoe and paddle along Vermillon Lakes, you will not be disappointed.
  • During the winter: Don’t drive to the ski hills, take the buses to Norqway, Sunshine or Lake Louise. The bus pick up is 150 m away (1.5 blocks to the west of the Inn) in the public parking lot on Caribou Street between Beaver St and Banff Ave.
Restaurants and nearby amenities:
  • Walk to Banff Ave’s restaurant and shopping area-  The Starbucks on the corner of Banff Ave and Caribou is at the heart of the action. We are a short two block walk west along Caribou (250 m)
  • Banff Brewing Co for local beer (400 m)
  • Numerous steakhouses within 500 m to try Alberta’s famous beef
  • If steak isn’t your thing, there many other options for local dinning. Talk to our staff for their local favourites.
  • If you’d like to cook your own meals (we have a guest kitchen and fridge for your convenience), Nester’s Market (Grocery Store) is only 400 m away.

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Summers in Banff are amazing. Banff offers stunning panoramas in a rough but easily accessible mountain scenery. “Being here feels like living in a postcard”. The intensive emerald to dark blue colours of our lakes make Banff one of the premier National Parks worldwide, a Unesco Heritage site as well as a world-reknown mountaineering centre … or simply a great place for lovers of the outdoors.

You can rush and see the “Must Sees” in two days but there is so much more to discover ….

In terms of day planning our area can roughly be divided into three day-long visits: Kananaskis Country Provincial Park, Banff plus Kootenay National Parks and Lake Louise plus Yoho National Park.

Don’t skip Banff as this is a real town with lots of sightseeing to do and an amazing Town Centre with museums, shops, excellent restaurants, cozy places to relax and have a drink or spend an evening in our cinema. Banff is right in the National Park, the logical place to stay for all excursions.

Most of our guests are here to visit our impressive sites in the 3 National Parks. Many of the areas of interest are in easy reach from parking spaces and there is a well maintained trail system as well as washrooms. They can be explored on horseback, canoe, mountain bike or even raft. Wildlife can be seen just outside of Banff (and sometimes in Banff when predators are closing in). A great place to see wildlife is the famous Stanley Thompson golf course, one of the premier golf courses in the world. The scenery is just gorgeous and animals love the minerals they add to the greens. For golf lovers, there are 4 golf courses around Banff.

Not all panoramas are close to the road and some involve a short hike.

A scramble or scrambling means that you need your hands and feet to hold on to the rock or mountain (to avoid a fall). A scramble is a light exciting form of climbing a mountain done without any roping up, a step down from high mountain climbing. The scales of scrambles go from “easy to moderate to difficult”, difficult means that you need some climbing experience to feel safe as it can be “really” airy. Most mountain summits around Banff involve some easy to moderate scrambling.

This is a real mountaineering and climbing community and you might be able to meet some of Canada’s most re-known mountaineers anywhere in town or attend one of the presentations of their latest exciting trips. Don’t forget to attend the Banff International Mountain Film and Book Festival in November to get some insider stories from the world highest peaks or amazing adventure trips from all around the world.

A neat way to discover Banff is by mountain bike as most of the sites to visit in and around Banff are in easy reach.

Banff is also known for conferences and meetings in a fabulous environment. We are located centrally, walking distance from the most popular conference places and City Centre. Our lodge is a century old Banff landmark and all other important historic places are located in our area, as well as our 3 Banff museums and the reknown Banff Centre for the Arts.


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The best places to snowshoe

  • Cascade Mountain: Starting from Mt Norquay ski area from the last ski lift the trail goes to the river and to Cascade Amphitheatre. Here we usually keep our right and make our way to the ridge of Cascade Mountain following it to the highest point which is the third summit.
  • Paradise Valley: After following the cross country trail to Moraine Lake for 3 km the trail enters the forest at the first parking lot. Just keep in mind there is hardly any sun in this valley and can get really cold. Remember this is prime bear country if you shnowshoe end of Season.
  • Paint Pots: a classic in Kootenay National Park, flat and easy but beautiful.
  • Chester Lake: Kananaskis. A great trail leads to this fantastic valley and if you snowshoe out of the tree line the amazing panorama of Burstall Pass will be “stone through away”.
  • Along Bow River: From the golf course the trail goes into the forest and follows Bow river to Canmore, nice, easy, flat.
  • Sulphur Mountain back side: A great one specially on a cold day as there will be sunshine to the top of Sulphur Mountain. The most daring snowshoeers will try to walk down underneath the gondola. Enjoy.
  • Aylmer Lookout: Great views on beautiful Lake Minnewanka. First you walk along the shoreline before the trail heads up to this view point.
  • Healy Pass: This is the trail with the most beautiful panorama as a reward. Takes a full day and 20 km, but it is really popular and there is no need for trailbreaking. Start at the parking lot and walk to the other side of the Gondola to find the trailhead. After one km the trail leaves the ski area and enters the forest.
  • Red Earth Creek: A long trail through the forest on a fire road but rewarding. The lake and Mt Ball rising out of the lake are fantastic.
  • Chickadee Valley: A beautiful valley in Kootenay National Park, reknown for its great backcountry ski slopes (avalanche corridors).
  • Sunshine Village: Take the gondola to Sunshine Village and walk to the plateau for amazing views.
  • Burstall Pass: Kananaskis. Walk into a “postcard”. A great trail but be aware of avalanches.

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The best locations to cross country ski.

  • Spray river loop – Starting behind the Banff Springs Hotel it leads through a beautiful valley on both sides of a stream. 5-11 km
  • Lake Minnewanka road trail – Half of the Minnewanka Loop is closed in Winter and becomes a groomed cross country trail 5-10 km
  • Cascade fire road – Leads on an old fire road into the backcountry behind Cascade Mountain 10-20 km
  • Mt Rundle east side trail – From the trailhead you will traverse the famous Banff golf course before following Bow River through a great forest trail to the Canmore Nordic Centre. 10-20km
  • Mt Norquay loop – This is a more adventurous trail starting at Mt Norquay at the last ski lift you will ski down to the river before taking a sharp turn left on the forty mile creek trail and left again to complete the loop. This trail is not groomed. 10-15km
  • Red Earth Creek  – A fire road leads through a great area to Shadow Lake Lodge and back or ski to Egypt Lake Shelter 28-35km
  • Johnston Canyon – Start from Moose Meadows and make your way to the Inkpots and Mystic Lake 10-30km
  • Sundance Canyon or Healy Creek – From the Cave and Basin this beautiful trail follows Bow River to Sundance Canyon or even further through the woods to Brewster Creek 10-24km
  • Bow River – In the middle of Winter the Bow River is frozen and skiable.
  • Johnson Lake – A small beautiful lake in the Lake Minnewanka area.
  • Lake Minnewanka – A great lake to ski on 5 to 30 km
  • Moraine Lake road – One of the many roads which are groomed and skiable 14 to 28km.
  • 13. Lake O’Hara
  • One of the most rewarding ski trails to a great panorama. 11 to 30 km depending if you continue to ski on Lake O’Hara as well.
  • 14. Lake Louise loop and Paradise Valley
  • A great ski out beautiful views on high mountains which create this valley. 18 to 30 km. The valley can be accessed as well from Moraine Lake road. Look for the trailhead into the woods at km 3
  • 15. Takkakaw Falls and Little Yoho Valley
  • A long day out if you ski to the many frozen waterfalls at the end of this valley. 20 to 38 km. The tracks are groomed to the switchbacks but normally there are tracks to the end of the valley as this is a popular ski out via Stanley Mitchell Hut from the Wapta icefields.
  • 16. Emerald Lake
  • A short and easy ski on and around the lake 4 to 9 km
  • 17. Skoki Lodge
  • A very rewarding but difficult ski out because of the steepness of certain slopes. 2 mountain passes will have to be crossed on the way.

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The best of Banff

We suggest planning enough time in the area to visit Lake Louise, Johnston Canyon including PaintPots, Marble Canyon, the Hoodoos, Lake Minnewanka and to take the Gondola up to Sulphur Mountain. And if you think taking the Gondola is too easy you could try snowshoeing up the west side of Sulphur Mountain along Cosmic Ray Road, and coming back down underneath the Gondola line itself. You can also visit the Cave and Basin or visit Banff’s landmarks and view wildlife in their natural winter habitat on a trademark sightseeing tour. Take time to discover Lake Louise, the Icefields Parkway and of course Kananaskis Country with the most amazing views of this area. At the end of your day, don’t forget to visit the Mineral Hot Springs for a nice, hot soak in the outside 37 degree hot mineral pool.We have hiking and street maps at the lodge and we can give you many recommendations about the different activities available to fully enjoy the National Park. The various Icewalks (Johnston Canyon and Grotto Canyon) are a great way to travel through wildlife habitat, ancient rock art, unusual rock formations, and icefalls. Or how about a leisurely sleigh ride or dog sledding tour through the Bow Valley and Spray Lakes? What about a once-in-a-lifetime ice fishing adventure? Just imagine walking to your heated hut across a solid base of ice covered crystal snow to start off a fishing frenzy to last a lifetime. And for those who prefer to defy the conventional tours, you may always experience the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies in style with a range of Heli-Tours to have you soaring to new heights above the mountain tops of the Goat and Sundance ranges or even to Mt. Assiniboine Glacier known as “The Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies.” Or, if you time it right you may be able to experience a “truly” Canadian adventure by joining a bus bound for a fast paced, action-packed NHL Hockey Game to cheer on the Calgary Flames at the famed Calgary Saddledome.

For those who prefer their adventure a little more hands-on, why not descend into Rat’s Nest Cave on Grotto Mountain with a highly trained, internationally experienced guide who will lead you through twisting passageways on a natural history tour to large chambers, mineral formations, animal bones and fossils. Experience the thrill of snowmobiling through the mountains and forests of the Kicking Horse. Snowshoe to Paradise Valley, Healy Pass or to the Paint Pots to see firsthand some of the clothes, tools and techniques used by Banff’s indigenous people. Join us for some crazy snowshoeing on Cascade Mountain or around Sulphur Mountain or some Ice Climbing on Cascade Mountain, Bourgeau, the Professor Falls, Tokumm Pole, Grotto Falls, Johnston Canyon or the Weeping Wall or simply test your skills at staying alive in the wilderness with an afternoon Winter Survival mini-course at the tranquil Vista Lake.

Yet let’s not forget the three ski areas, tons of snow (average 8 meters) and a November through May ski season. Norquay, Banff’s original ski area, is where locals go when they should be working and is located just north of downtown Banff (33 runs). Sunshine Village, just 15 minutes west of Banff, is straddling the Continental Divide (107 runs). Lake Louise, located 45 minutes west of Banff town site, is Canada’s largest single ski area and has been awarded “best scenery, steeps, terrain park and new off-piste tour” (139 runs). All three areas are easily accessible with shuttle service to and from downtown Banff (1.5 minute walk). For those who prefer to take it to the next level, don’t forget that we can help arrange a once-in-a-lifetime Heli-ski/boarding tour which allows the intermediate and advanced skier/boarder to access wide open alpine slopes, scenic glaciers and gladed forests dusted with annual snowfalls or a ski mountaineering tour on the Wapta Icefields or other exciting ski mountaineering tours.There are more than 60 km of cross country trails around Banff and Canmore, these are some ideas for cross country skiing in this area: The road to Moraine Lake, to Lake O’Hara, The Redearth Trail to Shadow Lake, the road going into Yoho Valley, the Cascade Valley trail in Lake Minnewanka area, the loop around Rundle to Canmore and back. If you want to experience winter on backcountry skies: the Sundance Pass Trail in combination with the Spray River Trail or simply the Spray River Loop, the Elk Summit Lake Trail, the trail from Jonston Canyon back to Banff – Norquay, Paradise Valley or to Skoki Lodge and back.

If you need equipment, we can always get you set-up with a 15% discount on equipment rentals. And for those who leave their snowsuits behind to make room for more souvenirs, don’t worry, we can get you a discount on those as well!

While we know that many of you are coming to Banff to experience a truly “Canadian” winter, we recognize that some of you may be here for more than just the thrill of playing outside in the snow. For those guests, as well as for those days when the weather may not be “cooperating,” one can find an array of activities off the slopes to keep you busy for days on end. Shop at the Cascade Plaza or the historic shops lining the halls of The Fairmont Banff Springs. While you are there you could always try your hand at Canadian 5-pin bowling or perhaps you’d prefer to try a neon blacklight game. Maybe you’d like to take in a movie downtown at the Lux Cinema or visit one of Banff’s many museums and art galleries such as the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, or the Banff Park Museum. Or for the more active, how about a visit to the Banff Centre where you can try out the indoor climbing wall, take an aerobics class, hit the gym, swim laps or go for a soak in the hot tub. If yoga and a massage is more to your liking you can easily find a spot to balance the spirit and indulge in a little rest and relaxation.

In the evenings, you can enjoy the many restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues. At Wild Bill’s Saloon you can even try your hand at calf roping, line dancing or simply enjoy live country music. One of our favorite restaurants is the “Saltlik”, for the best steak in Banff. We and many of our guests agree it is one of the best steakhouses we have ever tried. There are many restaurants offering all kinds of worldly cuisine: we recommend “Giorgio’s” for Italian, the “Balkan” for Greek, or “Coyotes” for healthy southern cuisine. There are many Chinese and Japanese restaurants as well, and even a Sushi Train. And for truly Canadian fare, we recommend the “Maple Leaf” with its beautiful lodge style surrounding and exquisite dining experience or “The Elk and Oarsman” for a lively yet cozy atmosphere.


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Where to go, what to do?

Banff is the jewel of the Canadian Rockies. We suggest planning enough time in the area to visit Lake Louise and the Teahouses, Moraine Lake and Larch Valley (in September this valley is covered in yellow larches surrounded by ten snow-covered mountain peaks), Johnston Canyon (but don’t miss out the magic of the Inkpots as many people do), and the Minnewanka Loop (3 lakes, each more beautiful than the other. If you are lucky Mt Rundle is mirrored in Two Jack Lake).

One of Banff’s main tourist attractions, the Gondola, takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain, or, for the more adventurous, you can hike up one side of Sulphur Mountain and down the other. An amazing but less well known Canyon is Marble Canyon. Here you can learn the history of the Ocre Beds and Paint Pots and, at the Fireweeds, why fire is so important for the Park. You can also visit the Cave and Basin (the site of the founding of the National Park) and walk around the Marshlands and Fenlands to observe wildlife, or visit the Upper Hot Springs for a dip in the mineral pool. The impressive Bow Falls are just behind the Banff Springs Hotel, a National Historic Site you can visit for free . . . unless you decide to treat yourself to a cocktail at the fabulous Rundle Lounge with its million dollar view.

We have hiking and street maps at the lodge and we can give you many recommendations about the different trails and activities to fully enjoy the National Park. The Glacier Trail will take you to impressive lakes, canyons, mountains, waterfalls and the famous Columbia Icefields. Should you be “into” glacier hikes you can visit Stanley Glacier (5km) and why not hike up to Bow Glacier (7km) or Peyto Glacier (10km). One of the very best hikes to see glaciers is going on the “Iceline” in Yoho. If you are a hiker looking for an adventurous, lasting and significant experience in the wild Rocky Mountains, we recommend the guided hikes in the Yoho Valley (Takakkaw Falls) or to Stanley Glacier or the Plain of 6 Glaciers with views of Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier and the infamous Death Trap. Amazing, but longer hikes into the backcountry take you to Healy Pass and the Monarch Remparts, Harvey Pass and, if you continue to the top, Mount Bourgeau. We also like to hike up Cascade Mountain via its grand natural Amphitheatre. For great views and steep slopes we particularly recommend the roundtrip via Cory Pass and Edith Pass. Paradise Valley via Lake Annette is exciting as well (the name tells it all) or ghost hunting via Halfway Hut to Skoki Lodge.

If you rent a car, I would definitely visit Kananaskis Country (where they filmed Brokeback Mountain, and Grizzly Falls and Inception)

via the dirt road please, as this is not your car and this is the second most beautiful road after the Icefields Parkway. Stop at Chester Lake or hike closer to Mt Assiniboine (the Matterhorn of the Rockies) for a great picture opportunity.

If you are lucky you might even be able to visit Lake O’Hara, a valley more beautiful that Lake Louise and Moraine Lake taken together. Unfortunately, you cannot go by car and admittance is limited. You will need a bus ticket. Good luck; they sell like The Rolling Stones concert tickets!

One of the most awesome panoramas with glaciers, meadows, lakes and mountains is from Helen Lake. Speaking of meadows, the Sunshine Meadows are world renown with over 250 different flowers or hike to Helen Lake or Niles Meadows.

Experience a high of adrenaline bagging some of the Park’s famous “scrambles” to exciting Mountain Peaks. We recommend Mt Norquay, Mt Cory, Pilot Mountain, Storm Mountain, Mt Whymper, Mt Niles, Cascade Mountain, Castle Mountain, Mt Temple, Cirque Peak.

There are also canoe trips, horseback riding, quads or white water rafting. What about a morning or evening wildlife safari? Whether you prefer hiking, climbing or mountain biking, in and around Banff there are trails to suit every level of experience.

Banff also has a very active cultural scene, with museums, art galleries, and many cultural events. The “Banff Centre” is world renowned for its exhibitions and performing arts. In the evenings, you can enjoy many restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues. At Wild Bill’s Saloon you can enjoy live country music. There are also many shopping opportunities with quaint shops and cafes. One of our favorite restaurants is the “Saltlik.” We and many of our guests agree it is one of the best steakhouses we have ever tried. There are many restaurants offering all kinds of worldly cuisine: we recommend “Giorgio’s” for Italian, the “Balkan” for Greek, or “Coyotes” for healthy southern cuisine. There are many Chinese and Japanese restaurants as well, and even a Sushi Train. And for truly Canadian fare, we recommend the “Maple Leaf”.

We are booking agents for “Discover Banff Tours”, “Holidays on Horseback”, “Rockies Rafting. We can arrange to book tours with them or other adventure companies.

Check out the “Blue Mountain Lodge Facebook” page for more stories and suggestions, also accessible from our Home Page. Just make your choices and we will take care of the details.


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Mountain biking is a great way to discover Banff’s sites and the scenic trails of the backcountry.

  • The Legacy trail is connecting Banff to Canmore and is one of the most accessible bike routes in this area.
  • Minnewanka loop is a scenic on paved road trail travelling at the foot of Cascade Mountain, passing by Johnson lake and the old mining town of Bankhead.
  • The Spray river trail is an easy backcountry fire road trail which goes as far as Kananaskis Country. Drive downhill to Canmore and either come back along the Bow River or bike back on the Legacy Trail
  • Sundance Canyon is a great place to bike to through beautiful sceneries and a visit to the Canyon.
  • Red Earth Creek fire road is leading to scenic Shadow Lake. If you have some time, leave the bike and do the loop to Egypt lake and back to the bike “parking”.
  • Bike the 1A to hike to Cory Pass or Johnston Canyon or even reach Lake Louise by bike through this wonderful scenery.
  • Bike the Fenland trail and visit the Vermillion Lakes.
  • Visit Bow Falls, the golf course, the Banff Springs Hotel by bike
  • Bike to the Hoodoos around Tunnel Mountain and find your way through the maze of biking trails east of the Hoodoos to return to Banff.
  • Bike the artificial and technical trails of the Nordic Center
  • Bike the best of the best the trail on Lake Minnewanka shoreline.

Ask our staff for more details!


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  • Caldron Lake Beautiful lake above Peyto lake. Start at the viewing platform and continue downhill heading west to the beginning of the lake. Continue toward the creek, cross it at the bridge. From there you will see a trail going up to Caldron Lake. If you continue on the moraine, there will be another beautiful viewpoint on Peyto Glacier.
  • Sentinel Pass-Larch Valley Walk up into gorgeous Larch Valley. Walk through the valley and you will see between Mt Tempel and Pinnacle Mountain Sentinel Pass from which you will have a view on the 10 Peaks and into Paradise Valley. Just walk for another 100 meters on this pass towards Mt Tempel to get the best view ever.
  • Iceline At the hostel find the trailhead going right into the forest and onto the ridge line, an ancient moraine. Some people walk to the highest point to have a great overview of Takkakaw Falls and behind the Wapta and Waputik glaciers as well as the President’s glacier.
  • Skoki Lodge is one of the oldest lodges in the Park. Walk from the Skoki parking lot on this forest road and pass the Lake Louise ski slopes into this great valley. Walk up Boulder Pass for an exciting view onto Ptarmigan Peak and the panorama. Walk around the lake until you will see the trail over Deception Pass. Now it is just a short stroll to walk to Skoki.
  • Healy Pass Its trailhead is behind the Sunshine Ski hill gondola. It goes through quite a bit of forest with enough clearings to make this trail very enjoyable. The walk to the pass is fantastic and if you are at the right time in a sea of wild flowers. The gorgeous views from the pass are definitely worthwhile one of the big panoramas in the park.
  • Lake Bourgeau is just next to Banff and one of the 4 star hikes. It goes over very diverse terrain. Your will have to cross two waterfalls . The last one has no bridge but there are exciting options. Finally at the top of the last waterfall the valley opens as you approach the lake. The best views although are from a point a little higher up to the North of this valley. Walk up to the second lake and go South on the ridge for a grea t panorama.
  • Cory-Edith Pass is a steep but very rewarding hike. It climbs up immediately but you will have views into the Bow valley instantly. At a certain point you will be following a ridge and then walk underneath wild Mt Edith slopes to the pass. The best view is 20 meters South from the pass on the ridge into the hidden valley.
  • Sulpher Mt from the Back Many people experience Sulphur Mountain from the gondola, some walk up underneath the gondola and I cannot blame them if they never walk up a mountain again. The best way is the trail from the back of Sulphur Mountain as you will have views and sun all the way to the top. It is easy to find walk past the Cave and Basin and keep walking until the last turn before the Canyon. This is a trail intersection and select the one going uphill to your left. Keep your right at different other trail intersections to the top.
  • Chester Lake is an easy walk from the big parking lot. Once at the lake enjoy the panorama and should you want to get the best of it, take this trail going from the shoreline left into the woods. It leads to a boulder field and finally above treeline. The best view is from this area.
  • Highline around lake O’Hara this is the best of the best of the best. If you are lucky you have a bus ticket to Lake O’Hara. The trailhead is close to the warden cabin and goes up above treeline circling around the lake.

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Sightseeing day planner What and how much sightseeing can be done in a full day?

Day A : Bow Falls, Banff Springs Hotel, Sulphur Mountain, Hoodoos, Cave and Basin, Marsh Loop, Fenland Trail, Vermilion Lakes. (ev. Walk to Sundance Canyon).

Day B: Ruins and story of the city of Bankhead, Johnston Lake, Two Jack Lake with exciting view on Mt Rundle, Lake Minnewanka, Stewart Canyon, Mt Norquay Lookout, Johnston Canyon (Inkpots), Fireweeds, Marble Canyon, Paint Pots, walk to the toe of Stanley Glacier.

Day C: Canmore, Kananaskis Country loop, Chester Lake and its breathtaking view, Upper Kananaskis Lake, Boundary Ranch, Grotto Canyon.

Day D: Healy Pass (20 km return)or Harvey Pass (20 km return) – two of the best panoramas in the Park.

Day E: Mountain Bike to Shadow Lake, admire Mt Ball’s vertical slopes rising out of the lake, waterfalls, glacier, round-trip possible over Whistling Pass and along Red Earth Creek.

Day F: Beautiful Moraine Lake, Larch Valley, Sentinel Pass – a close-up on the 10 peaks’ panorama and Paradise Valley dominated by 3 of the highest peaks in the Park or hike to amazing Eiffel Lake.

Day G: Lake Louise – Victoria Glacier, visit Plain of 6 Glaciers’ Teahouse and Lake Agnes Teahouse.

Day H: Lake O’Hara, Lake Oesa or Opbin Lake, the best of the best of the best ever …, “The perfect mountain scenery for the perfect mountain movie”.

Day I: Sherbrooke Lake, Niles Meadows – sea of wildflowers in season, Emerald Lake

Day J: Takakkaw Falls and Iceline Trail, exceptional views on the Presidential Range and their glaciers. One of the most beautiful trails in the Park.

Day K: Skoki Lodge – historic lodge, beautiful walk, top views, amazing Ptarmigan Lake.

Day L: Helen Lake – one of the best panoramas ever: glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and meadows – lots and lots of wildflowers in season swirling around you, breathtaking.

Day M: Peyto Lake, the view from the outlook cannot be beaten, walk to Caldron Lake or hike through the canyon to the foot of Peyto Glacier with views on Mt Peyto, Mt Thompson and Mt Baker.

Day N: Flo Lake is one of the “magic” places in the Park. It is located at the beginning of the legendary Rockwall Trail, one of Canada’s most awesome trails, truly a “MUST” see. When I was there last time, yellow larch trees, small glaciers and this amazing mountain face were mirrored in the dark blue lake … an overwhelming experience I tried to capture all in a picture but to no avail. To view the best of the 45 pictures I took please check out our facebook page under Blue Mountain Lodge (September 2012).

Don’t hesitate to ask us for more information about the different options.


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Banff is the jewel of the Canadian Rockies. We suggest planning enough time in the area to visit Lake Louise and the Teahouses, Moraine Lake and Larch Valley (in September this valley is covered in yellow larches surrounded by ten snow-covered mountain peaks), Johnston Canyon (but don’t miss out the magic of the Inkpots as many people do), and the Minnewanka Loop (3 lakes, each more beautiful than the other. If you are lucky Mt Rundle is mirrored in Two Jack Lake). One of Banff’s main tourist attractions, the Gondola, takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain, or, for the more adventurous, you can hike up one side of Sulphur Mountain and down the other. An amazing but less well known Canyon is Marble Canyon. Here you can learn the history of the Ocre Beds and Paint Pots and, at the Fireweeds, why fire is so important for the Park. You can also visit the Cave and Basin (the site of the founding of the National Park) and walk around the Marshlands and Fenlands to observe wildlife, or visit the Upper Hot Springs for a dip in the mineral pool. The impressive Bow Falls are just behind the Banff Springs Hotel, a National Historic Site you can visit for free . . . unless you decide to treat yourself to a cocktail at the fabulous Rundle Lounge with its million dollar view.

We have hiking and street maps at the lodge and we can give you many recommendations about the different trails and activities to fully enjoy the National Park. The Glacier Trail will take you to impressive lakes, canyons, mountains, waterfalls and the famous Columbia Icefields. Should you be “into” glacier hikes you can visit Stanley Glacier (5km) and why not hike up to Bow Glacier (7km) or Peyto Glacier (10km). One of the very best hikes to see glaciers is going on the “Iceline” in Yoho. If you are a hiker looking for an adventurous, lasting and significant experience in the wild Rocky Mountains, we recommend the guided hikes in the Yoho Valley(Takakkaw Falls) or to Stanley Glacieror the Plain of 6 Glaciers with views of Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier and the infamous Death Trap. Amazing, but longer hikes into the backcountry take you to Healy Passand the Monarch Remparts, Harvey Passand, if you continue to the top, Mount Bourgeau. We also like to hike up Cascade Mountain via its grand natural Amphitheatre. For great views and steep slopes we particularly recommend the roundtrip via Cory Pass and Edith Pass. Paradise Valley via Lake Annette is exciting as well (the name tells it all) or ghost hunting via Halfway Hut to Skoki Lodge. If you rent a car, I would definitely visit Kananaskis Country (where they filmed Brokeback Mountain) via the dirt road please, as this is not your car and this is the second most beautiful road after the Icefields Parkway. Stop at Chester Lake or hike closer to Mt Assiniboine (the Matterhorn of the Rockies) for a great picture opportunity. If you are lucky you might even be able to visit Lake O’Hara, a valley more beautiful that Lake Louise and Moraine Lake taken together. Unfortunately, you cannot go by car and admittance is limited. You will need a bus ticket. Good luck; they sell like concert tickets! One of the most awesome panoramas with glaciers, meadows, lakes and mountains is from Helen Lake. Speaking of meadows, the Sunshine Meadows are world renown with over 250 different flowers or hike to Helen Lake or Niles Meadows.

Experience a high of adrenaline bagging some of the Park’s famous “scrambles” to exciting Mountain Peaks. We recommend Mt Norquay, Mt Cory, Pilot Mountain, Storm Mountain, Mt Whymper, Mt Niles, Cascade Mountain, Castle Mountain, Mt Temple, Cirque Peak.

There are also canoe trips, horseback riding, quads or white water rafting. What about a morning or evening wildlife safari? Whether you prefer hiking, climbing or mountain biking, in and around Banff there are trails to suit every level of experience.

Banff also has a very active cultural scene, with museums, art galleries, and many cultural events. The “Banff Centre” is world renowned for its exhibitions and performing arts. In the evenings, you can enjoy many restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues. At Wild Bill’s Saloon you can enjoy live country music. There are also many shopping opportunities with quaint shops and cafes. One of our favorite restaurants is the “Saltlik.” We and many of our guests agree it is one of the best steakhouses we have ever tried. There are many restaurants offering all kinds of worldly cuisine: we recommend “Giorgio’s” for Italian, the“Balkan” for Greek, or “Coyotes” for healthy southern cuisine. There are many Chinese and Japanese restaurants as well, and even a Sushi Train. And for truly Canadian fare, we recommend the “Maple Leaf”, or “The Elk and Oarsman”.

We are booking agents for “Discover Banff Tours” and “Holidays on Horseback”. We can arrange to book tours with them or other adventure companies. Check out the “Blue Mountain Lodge Facebook” page for more stories and suggestions, also accessible from our Home Page. Just make your choices and we will take care of the details.