mountains with scattered sunlight behind a beautiful lake in Banff National Park

17 Gorgeous Photography Spots In Banff To Blow Your Mind

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If you are wondering where to find the best photography spots in Banff, look no further as we have you covered!

Hello fellow travelers and shutterbugs!

A couple of years ago, we had the chance to spend an exhilarating week in the breathtaking Banff National Park in the fall.

As frequent visitors of national parks worldwide, we’ve honed our knack for finding those picture-perfect spots that marry nature’s grandeur with photographic magic.

Banff left us completely spellbound.

It’s truly a photographer’s paradise between its glacier-fed lakes of emerald green and sapphire blue to its towering peaks and abundant wildlife.

We understand how overwhelming it can be to find the best spots to capture, especially in such a vast and varied landscape.

This is why we’ve decided to share our Banff National Park photography guide. Trust us; we’ve put in the legwork so you can spend less time searching and more time capturing the jaw-dropping beauty Banff offers.

Stay tuned as we unveil Banff’s hidden gems and iconic vistas you won’t want to miss on your photographic journey.

17 Gorgeous Photography Spots in Banff

As Banff is beautiful, there are certainly way more than 17 spots where amazing photographs can be taken. You can find something gorgeous around practically every turn.

But these are our favorite Banff photography spots that we recommend you see.

Best Photo Spots In Banff Close To Town

Our list begins in Downtown Banff and spreads from there.

1. Downtown Banff

Downtown Banff is one of the most popular photography spots in the area. With its charming streets and colorful buildings surrounded by the Canadian Rockies, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular spot for photographers.

downtown banff with a bit of snow along the edges of the street and on the the mountain backdrops.

When exploring downtown Banff, take some time to walk around and explore all of the different alleyways and side streets. You never know what you might find hidden from view.

In addition to photography, downtown Banff also has a lot to offer in terms of shopping and dining. So if you want to take a break from sightseeing or have a meal out, this is the perfect place to stop for a couple of hours.

Plan on taking the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain for amazing views. You can get an incredible bird’s eye view of the townsite, river, and surrounding mountains.

➑️ Check Pricing and Book the Banff Gondola Ride

And it is a great place to stay while you visit the sites in the area.


2. Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course

The golf course at Fairmont Banff Springs is one of the world’s most scenic and challenging courses. The course is located in the heart of Banff National Park and offers incredible views while playing a round.

elk, including a bull, lie on the golf course of the fairmont banff springs

While we love to golf, this isn’t why we suggest you visit the golf course.

We know it is a surprising and strange option for our list of photography spots in Banff. But the golf course is actually one of the BEST places to find and photograph elk in the park.

We visited in September when it was cooler, so no one was golfing on the course at the time. But there were plenty of elk enjoying the nice watered lawn and lounging around.

πŸ“Ž Tip: Following along Golf Course Rd will take you down to a one-way loop through a wooded area. Here is where you should keep an extra sharp eye for wildlife. We saw squirrels, birds, and even bull elk sparring to try to win a lone female.

Distance from downtown Banff: 1.4 miles (2.2 km)

3. Vermilion Lakes

Vermilion Lakes is a popular photography destination in Banff National Park. The three lakes are located just minutes from the town of Banff and offer stunning views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, including Mount Rundle.

Vermilion lakes was one of our favorite photography spots in banff, here it is with snow falling

Many photographers come to Vermilion Lakes to capture the beauty of the landscape and the wildlife that inhabits the area.

This lake is the perfect place to try your hand if you are a birder. In addition to various ducks and dowitchers, we saw a bald eagle on a treetop.

We loved that there was a wooden dock at each lake leading out into the water for a bit of a different perspective.

Sunset is an excellent time to visit.

Distance from downtown Banff: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)

4. Cascade Ponds

Cascade Ponds is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. The ponds are located only a short drive from downtown and have spectacular views. Plus, they tend to have fewer crowds than other parts of the park.

cascade ponds not only has a beautiful backdrop but is said to be popular for moose spotting


The cascade area is a series of small ponds formed by melting glaciers, making the water feel frigid.

There are hiking trails around the ponds that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

In our opinion, one of the best features is the wooden bridges found here. Consider taking photos of the bridges themselves or standing atop for a different view looking down into the crystal clear water.

See if you can spot Cascade Mountain off in the distance. At sunrise or sunset, look for wildlife, including moose. We were told it was an excellent place to find them, though we never saw one here ourselves.

Distance from downtown Banff: 3.0 miles (4.9 km)

5. Banff Viewpoint (Mount Norquay Lookout)

The Banff Viewpoint is located on Norquay Mountain and is a great place to see the town of Banff and the surrounding area.

the view of downtown banff from above with the moon over the mountains is one of the perfect photography spots in banff

From this viewpoint, you can see the town of Banff nestled in the valley below. The Rocky Mountains loom large in the distance, and several glaciers are also visible.

To get here, you will take Mt. Norquay Road up the switchbacks. After a few minutes, you will see the retaining wall that signifies this area. Pull off the main roadway into the small parking area. There is an ample open space directly in front of the retaining wall where people had laid out blankets and kids were playing.

On less busy days, bighorn sheep are known to graze in the area.

We found this was the perfect place to enjoy the sunset and get some incredible views of the town from afar.

Distance from downtown Banff: 4.0 miles (6.4 km)

6. Two Jack Lake

Two Jack Lake is a glacial lake that is one of the smaller lakes in Banff National Park.

It is a popular spot for paddleboarding, canoeing, and hiking in summer. And during early winter, the ice can be thick enough to go ice skating.

With amazing views of Mount Rundle behind this lake, this is a perfect spot for photography in Banff. Stand at its shoreline and shoot the mountain backdrop or see what you can find along the hiking trails in the area.

Distance from downtown Banff: 7.1 miles (11.4 km)

7. Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka was one of our favorite photography spots in Banff. We had terrific light both times we visited, leaving us with mouths agape at its beauty.

sunlight dapples across the mountain tops behind lake minnewanka

Like our previous suggestion, Lake Minnewanka is also a glacial lake. But instead of being one of the smallest, it is the second longest lake.

Minnewanka means “water of the spirits” in Nakoda.

The lake is well known for its scenic beauty and being a popular recreation destination. There are several campgrounds and picnic areas located around the lake. It is a popular spot for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

This is one of the few lakes you can also take a guided boat cruise tour on the water during summer.

Lake Minnewanka is also home to several wildlife species, including bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and moose.

The lake is top-rated, and the parking can fill up fast during the summer months, particularly from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

Lucky for you, the best time to photograph Minnewanka Lake is sunrise and sunset, so you should be able to avoid much of the crowd visiting for recreation during the day.

And if you want to stay for a boat tour, the lake has an awesome one-hour cruise you can enjoy.

➑️ Check Pricing and Book the Lake Minnewanka Cruise

Distance from downtown Banff: 8.8 miles (14.1 km)

Banff Photo Spots In The Bow Valley Pkwy Area

Bow Valley Pkwy is one of the most popular drives in the park. Not only is it spectacular for wildlife but it has some of the best photo spots in Banff.

8. Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon is a popular hiking destination and photography spot in Banff National Park. Accessible all year round, this canyon has plenty to see.

the cliffs of johnston canyon are coated in moss and growth

The trail follows along Johnston Creek, which flows through a series of waterfalls and pools. The hike to the first waterfall (known as Lower Falls) is relatively easy and takes approximately 30 minutes.

The trail then continues upstream to the Upper Falls, which is a more strenuous hike that takes approximately 1-2 hours.

Besides hiking to the falls, Johnston Canyon is also perfect for wildlife watching. The canyon is home to many different species of birds and is one of the only known spots in Alberta Province that has Black Swift breeding sites.

In the spring and summer, the trail fills with wildflowers. And in the winter, you can watch people ice climb up the falls.

The canyon does get extremely busy so expect to wait your turn to take photographs at the popular spots along the hike.

Distance from downtown Banff: 19.9 miles (32.1 km)

9. Bow Valley Parkway & Castle Mountain

The Bow Valley Parkway is a scenic drive that runs through Banff National Park. The drive is approximately 31 miles (50 km) one way and travels between Banff and Lake Louise as a scenic alternative to main Hwy 1.

There are TONS of beautiful things to see along this scenic highway.

bow valley parkway is covered in lush evergreens with castle mountain see behind

There are lookout spots like Storm Mountain Lookout and Castle Lookout, as well as Morant’s Curve, which we have coming up next at #10.

It is a highlight for many tourists as this enjoyable scenic drive will leave your head on a swivel as you take in one breathtaking view after another. It has snow-covered mountain peaks, forests, waterfalls, and more.

And if you are interested in wildlife photography, this might be the best opportunity to see some of the larger mammals. Elk and deer are frequently seen in the area.

But it is also a great place to find bears grazing along the roadways.

During the winter, some parts of bow river parkway can be closed due to bad weather conditions.

Distance from downtown Banff: 20.5 miles (33.0 km) for the approximate middle point

10. Morant’s Curve

Morant’s Curve, located along the Bow Valley Parkway, is a distinct curve in the railroad etched into a dramatic scene. Not far from Lake Louise, this is an iconic photo that many photographers wish to capture when they visit Banff.

a train runs along morant's curve which is a beautiful spot for photography in banff.  The train tracks run along the river and have a backdrop of mountains

The location is named after Nicholas Morant, who was a photographer for the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was used regularly in promotional material and soon became famous.

Heading out early to catch this spot in the morning light is ideal. If you are lucky, you might even catch a train moving along the curve, though they are not on a set schedule.

The curve is not marked along the road, so you will have to look closely for the opening in the trees to see the tracks, about 5 minutes after getting on the Bow Valley Parkway in Lake Louise.

But you can find it marked in google maps (and ours below!) as long as you have service.

Distance from downtown Banff: 37.9 miles (61.0 km)

Best Places To Take Pictures In Banff Around The Hamlet of Lake Louise

Lake Louise is part of Banff National Park but is its own hamlet. The best way to get between Banff townsite and Lake Louise is to drive the scenic Icefields Parkway.

There are places to stay in Lake Louise, and it would be a great central location for the following top photography spots in Banff.

11. Top of Lake Louise Gondola

Banff and Lake Louise both have gondolas you can ride and enjoy the scenic views. We briefly mentioned the Banff one above.

Now let’s discuss what you can expect from the Lake Louise Gondola.

riding the gondola to the top of saddleback mountain is a one of the awesome photography spots in banff, you can see lake louise surrounded by mountains

The Lake Louise Gondola is a ski resort lift that takes passengers to the top of Saddleback Mountain. The ride is fairly short but spectacular.

You have your choice of open lift seats or riding in the cars. We highly recommend riding in the lift seats to see the stunning views as you head up the mountain and back down.

The top of the mountain offers stunning views of Lake Louise and the surrounding mountains.

It also is the start of multiple hiking trails. The trails at the top are some of the best places to see grizzlies in all of Banff National Park , so bring your bear spray if you plan on hiking.

The ski resort area is home to 1/3 of Banff’s female bears. Unfortunately, we didn’t have our bear spray, so we only hiked for about 20 minutes at the top, not leaving the main busy trail.

But what we saw was gorgeous; we will be more prepared next time so we can hike further.

Distance from downtown Banff: 41.3 miles (66.5 km)

12. Lake Louise

Lake Louise is a glacial lake that is by far one of the most popular photography spots in Banff. The turquoise lake water with Mount Victoria as a backdrop is incredibly scenic, and millions of tourists flock to see it each year.

the shoreline of lake louise with the stunning background of mountains

This is undoubtedly one of the places that was hyped to us before our visit, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It is awe-inspiring when you walk out of the hotel and see that walkway leading directly to the lakeshore with the mountains behind.

During the summer, you can rent a canoe and paddle around the lake, looking at its unique color. The color comes from the rock flour from the glacier that melts into the lake.

Hiking is also very popular, and there are several options to choose from in the vicinity.

While you can visit year-round, the lake has the prettiest hues in July and August. By early November, the lake freezes over.

Lake Louise will always be busy with crowds, regardless of the time of year. Try visiting at sunrise if you want to hopefully encounter fewer people, plus we know you won’t regret the incredible lighting at that time.

Distance from downtown Banff: 42.4 miles (68.3 km)

13. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a 5-star hotel in Banff National Park. The hotel is situated on the shores of Lake Louise and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

the fairmont chateau lake louise sits on the edge of the lake next to tall evergreens

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise features a number of different amenities, including a heated pool, a spa, and a fitness center. The hotel also has multiple options for dining, including a buffet restaurant and a casual cafΓ©.

There is a hefty price for staying here at the hotel, so we opted to only make it part of our daytime visit.

But even if you don’t stay overnight, you can make reservations to partake in the afternoon tea service if you wish.

The hotel is an iconic part of Lake Louise and is just as famous as the lake itself.

πŸ“Ž Tip: The views looking out onto Lake Louise are spectacular. If you follow the Lake Louise Lakeshore trail to the far side of the lake and look back, there are spectacular views of the hotel along the water’s edge that shouldn’t be missed.

Distance from downtown Banff: 42.4 miles (68.3 km)

14. Lake Agnes

The only way to get to Lake Agnes is by hiking. But that doesn’t mean you will have any solitude as this is one of the most popular hikes in the Lake Louise area.

The trail begins at Lake Louise and is open year-round. But we recommend visiting Lake Agnes between May and October because you will have the opportunity to also visit the tea house situated at the end of the hike.

The trail provides incredible views of Lake Louise from above.

You will also pass waterfalls and Mirror Lake before ending at Lake Agnes. With so much to see along the trail, it is no wonder it is on our list of gorgeous photography spots in Banff National Park.

The hike is considered moderate and may not be for everyone. But those that can do it will be rewarded with Lake Agnes and the tea house.

With its reflections and backdrop, Lake Agnes is fantastic for some photography. Hitting up Lake Agnes in the early morning will be the calmest for the water reflections.

Distance from downtown Banff: 42.7 miles (68.7 km)

15. Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks and is another top-rated lake.

moraine lake, one of the glacial lakes can be seen with the mountains behind and is a popular photography spots in banff

Several different activities can be enjoyed at Moraine Lake, including hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The lake is also a popular spot for photography, as it offers some of the most stunning views in Banff National Park.

The most popular hike here at Moraine Lake is the Rockpile Trail, a short trail that provides a view from the top of the rock pile and is one of the most photographed places in Canada, not just within the park.

Like so many of the other famous lakes on our list, this one has gorgeous mountain views and glacial waters, so it is no wonder it is inundated with tourists and locals alike.

Come at sunrise or sunset for the best photographic opportunities.

If you want to take a guided tour, this one covers two of the best photo spots in Banff for one great price!

➑️ Book the Banff Tour with Lake Louise & Moraine Lake

Distance from downtown Banff: 48.8 miles (78.6 km)

16. Bow Lake

Bow Lake is located on the Icefields Parkways outside Lake Louise. We missed this one because we only had one day in the Lake Louise area and picked the most popular attractions, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

But that doesn’t mean this lake isn’t worth the visit because it isn’t as famous as others in the area. It turns out this is a favorite among local photographers.

a rocky mountain peak stands as the background to bow lake, with the refection in the calm early morning water

The sheer walls of Crowfoot Mountain, glacier views, and beautiful lake make this a perfect stop for sunset.

And the footbridges that lead out to the water are a nice foreground subject to lead the eye out to the dramatic background.

Like many of the other lakes, Bow Lake is great for hiking. One spectacular hike we are adding to our list is to Bow Glacier Falls to see the waterfall on our next visit.

Distance from downtown Banff: 62.8 miles (101 km)

17. Peyto Lake

Like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, Lake Peyto has a distinctive blue-green color that comes from rock flour coming down the glacier and into the lake.

peyto lake as seen from above at one of the famous viewpoints

That brilliant lake color and the stunning views of the surrounding mountains make it the final location on our photography spots in Banff that will blow your mind.

Peyto lake is the third most visited lake after Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, so expect it to be crowded, especially during summer.

Hiking is the go-to activity during the summer months and skiing in the winter.

A couple of viewpoints are just spectacular, including one that is very popular as part of the Banff Instagram spots not to miss.

Just past the first viewpoint, there is an opportunity to stand on the rocks closer to the edge, allowing for the perfect shot of you above Peyto Lake and the mountains as you take in the surroundings.

If you want to head even further, a second viewpoint is often less crowded as the first one catches everyone’s attention.

πŸ“Ž Tip: While sunset can be lovely, sunrise is the best time to visit this lake.

Distance from downtown Banff: 67.1 miles (108 km)

Map of Banff Photo Spots

We have made this map to showcase all the beautiful places we recommend you visit if you want the best Banff photography spots.

These spots will blow your mind, and we hope you can visit most of them on your next visit to this national park.

If you are using your mobile phone, you can open our map by clicking the right upper box, and it will open directly into your google maps to help you navigate around.


Best Sunrise In Banff


Among the natural treasures of Banff National Park, Two Jack Lake is often celebrated as one of the most striking spots to greet the dawn.

As sunrise approaches, the calm waters become a mirror for the first light hitting Mount Rundle. The warm glow reflects on the water’s surface, creating an unforgettable scene that feels straight out of a fairy tale.

It’s a popular spot, so you might want to arrive early to find the perfect composition for your sunrise photos.

If you’re up for some adventure, Moraine Lake is another location that delivers an exceptional sunrise spectacle.

Located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, a bit of a drive from Banff, the experience is worth every minute.

As the sun begins to crest the horizon, the first rays of light gradually illuminate the majestic peaks. The warm glow spreading over the mountains and bouncing off the lake’s famous turquoise water is awe-inspiring.

Closer to the town of Banff, Lake Minnewanka offers a slightly different yet equally mesmerizing sunrise experience.

This large glacial lake is cradled by rugged mountains and vast forests, creating an idyllic setting for the dawn’s arrival.

As morning breaks, the vibrant hues of the sunrise paint the sky, casting a captivating reflection on the calm lake surface. The tranquility of the moment, paired with the stunning natural scenery, makes Lake Minnewanka a fantastic choice for a sunrise viewing spot.

moraine lake at sunrise with the tops of the mountain range behind the turquoise lake getting the first light of the day
Moraine Lake at sunrise

Best Sunset In Banff

Vermilion Lakes, located just west of Banff, is an enchanting place to experience the sunset.

This chain of stunning lakes offers a perfect reflection of Mount Rundle, and the display of colors as the sun goes down is breathtaking.

The views here are exquisite, with the warm hues of the setting sun lighting up the sky and casting an ethereal glow over the tranquil water. With the iconic silhouette of Mount Rundle as a backdrop, Vermilion Lakes offers one of the quintessential sunset scenes in Banff National Park.

Further down the Bow Valley Parkway, Castle Mountain is another superb spot for sunset photography.

The mountain’s imposing figure against the setting sun is a sight to behold. As the light fades, it paints the unique rock formation with warm, golden tones. The play of light and shadow adds depth to the scene, making the mountain seem even more dramatic.

From this vantage point, you can also capture the Bow River in the foreground, creating a lovely contrast with the rugged mountain backdrop.

Our last prime sunset spot is the iconic Lake Louise. While it’s well-known for its turquoise waters and striking views during the day, the sunset at Lake Louise offers a unique and stunning display of colors.

The Victoria Glacier and surrounding peaks serve as an impressive backdrop as the setting sun casts varying pink, purple, and gold hues across the sky. The fading light brings a peaceful serenity to the area, making it an ideal spot to end the day.

πŸ“Ž Tip: Stick around after the sun goes down, as twilight can offer equally beautiful photo opportunities.

vermilion lakes at sunset with blues and pinks streaking across the sky above the mountain backdrop and the lake in the foreground
Vermilion Lakes at sunset

Banff Photography Guide Tips

Now that you know where to go, let’s talk about some tips to make your photography the best possible while in the park.

Shoot At Sunrise Or Sunset

This tip is obvious to anyone who has been photographing for any length of time. But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that many of us are not early birds and must make the effort to get up for sunrise.

We do it because we want the best photographs of a place we visit.

Sunrise and sunset lighting will be soft and beautiful, creating better photos than the harsh mid-day sun.

After looking at the sunset times specifically, please always arrive earlier than you think you need to. We have had too many occasions where we arrived when we felt it would be fine, only to find out that the sun had already disappeared behind the high mountain range.

Bring A Variety Of Lens With You

We will go into more detail in a moment about the types of lenses we think you should bring to the best photography spots in Banff National Park.

But we want to point out that you never know what beautiful scenes you might encounter or what lens might work best.

We always carry a backpack with at least two different lenses inside to vary our shots as we hike and see unique places.

You may find that you have walked 2 hours up to Lake Agnes only to need that wide-angle lens you opted to leave in the car.

Be Prepared For Changing Weather

Mountain weather can change quickly, so when you head out for a hike with all your photography equipment, be prepared.

Bring a rain cover for your camera bag. It is an easy way to protect your gear in the event that a rainstorm blows in.

How do you keep the camera dry when it is out of the bag? How do you protect it if the wind picks up and starts blowing some debris?

Just spend some time before leaving for your trip or before going out for the day thinking about what you need to protect your gear if the weather changes mid-day.

and elk in the snow at the golf course looks on as several bulls try to win out the lone female

What Camera Gear Do You Need For Photography In Banff

Wondering what you should bring with you to photograph the landscapes of Banff? While the ultimate choice is yours, this is what we suggest to make the most of your trip.

Camera

Camera phones have certainly changed over the last few years, and there is much you can do with one.

That said, we ALWAYS recommend bringing a “real camera” with you if you take a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

Make sure it is something you feel comfortable carrying and using in the field.

We feel very comfortable with our Canon DSLR. But a mirrorless or point-and-shoot with a decent zoom will also work.

Lenses – Wide Angle And A Zoom Lens

At the very minimum, we think having a wide-angle lens and a medium zoom lens (like the Canon 24-70mm) will suffice for more than 90% of the photography spots in Banff that are here on our list.

As we are mainly talking about capturing landscapes, either of these will do for your needs.

But if you are interested in wildlife and want to spend time trying to capture animals like bears, moose, and squirrels, you will also need to bring a long telephoto lens.

We have the Canon 100-400mm for wildlife and are always happy with the results.

sun sets over the treeline at one of the photography spots in banff

Tripod

As we have already discussed, sunrise and sunset are the BEST times to capture these locations with incredible light. But you will need a tripod to do so.

We have a small travel tripod that doesn’t weigh much. We clip it to the outside of our camera bag for instances like this; that way we always have it if we need it.

Extra Memory Cards and Batteries

We cannot stress enough how important bringing extra batteries and cards in your camera bag is to have a good day vs. a terrible one.

It is easy in a place like Banff, where everywhere you turn is another gorgeous spot to photograph, to quickly run out of space on a memory card or run down your battery.

Carrying spares takes up very little space and can be the difference between getting the shot and not.

Filters

We have filters and never use them. It is a skill here at Traveling In Focus that we hope to learn over the next couple of years, but we haven’t taken the time to do so yet. Not because we don’t think they are helpful but because we are just set in our ways.

In particular, there are two filters we think might be useful.

First, an ND filter can be helpful in mountainous terrain like Banff.

The foreground (and lake) can still be in shadow as the sky lights up behind the mountains. Using a filter, you can cut back on some of that bright light to help capture the entire scene so the gorgeous lake in front isn’t too dark.

The other filter we think would be great in this situation is a Polarizing filter, which will help reduce glare on the water’s surface and bring out all the true colors of the lake.

bow valley parkway has tons of photography spots in banff to pull off and take awesome shots like this one of the tree reflections in the river

Where To Stay In Banff

We know you will need someplace to lay your head at night after you spend the day going to all the best places to take pictures in Banff. We recommend the following.

Luxury πŸ’΅ πŸ’΅ πŸ’΅ – Fairmont Banff Springs

  • Known as the “Castle in the Rockies,” it offers a unique experience in a grand, historic building with luxurious accommodations and spectacular views
  • Provides a world-class spa, a renowned golf course, and a variety of gourmet dining options
  • Its elevated position offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, Bow River, and beautiful Banff National Park

➑️ Check Prices & Availability at Fairmont Banff Springs


Mid-Range πŸ’΅ πŸ’΅ – Tunnel Mountain Resort

  • From rustic chalets to modern condos and suites, this resort caters to different preferences and group sizes
  • Offers a range of facilities, including an indoor pool, sauna, steam room, and playground for children
  • Provides a free shuttle service for guests to explore downtown Banff easily and conveniently

➑️ Check Prices & Availability at Tunnel Mountain Resort


Budget πŸ’΅ – Blackstone Mountain Lodge

  • Offers fully equipped 1, 2, and 3-bedroom suites, some with stunning mountain views
  • Provides an outdoor heated pool and two hot tubs, allowing guests to unwind amidst stunning scenery
  • Located in Canmore, a quieter base for exploring the Rockies, yet still close to the amenities and attractions of Banff National Park

➑️ Check Prices & Availability at Blackstone Mountain Lodge


bright yellow trees dot the foreground  as a mountain covered in fog looms overhead

FAQs For Photographing In Banff

What Is The Most Photographed Place In Banff?

The most photographed place in Banff is arguably Lake Louise with its turquoise waters, Victoria Glacier backdrop, and the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This spot is popular due to its unique, stunning beauty, and it captures the quintessential Banff image. Moraine Lake is another highly photographed location with its famous Valley of the Ten Peaks.

Where Can I Photograph Wildlife In Banff?

In Banff, wildlife is often photographed along the Bow Valley Parkway, known for elk, deer, and occasional wolves or bears. Bighorn sheep and deer frequent Lake Minnewanka Loop. Icefields Parkway offers potential bear sightings in early summer, while Vermilion Lakes Road is ideal for bird-watching and occasional moose sightings.

Do You Need A Permit To Photograph In Banff?

For personal use photography, no permit is required in Banff National Park. However, if you’re planning commercial photography or videography, including shoots for weddings, engagements, or commercial productions, you must apply for a permit from Parks Canada.

Can I See The Northern Lights In Banff?

It is possible to see the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, in Banff. However, sightings are not guaranteed and depend on factors like solar activity, sky clarity, and light pollution. Winter months provide the longest periods of darkness and thus the best opportunities. Lake Minnewanka, Castle Junction, and Peyto Lake are good viewing spots.

Which Is More Beautiful, Banff Or Jasper?

Both Banff and Jasper offer breathtaking beauty with towering mountains, turquoise lakes, and abundant wildlife. Banff is more famous, often leading to larger crowds, while Jasper offers a quieter, more untouched feel. Personal preference will dictate which is “more beautiful,” but both parks provide unparalleled natural beauty and are worth visiting.

We recommend downloading the Aurora Forecast & Alerts app during your stay in the area. It is easy to understand and will tell you when the probability is high of seeing the Northern Lights.

We had one spectacular night during our visit at the end of September while in Jasper. It was a high-activity night, and for about 10 minutes, it lit up the sky in incredible ways.

jasper national park northern lights above a lake
Northern Lights in Jasper National Park

To Finish – Gorgeous Photography Spots In Banff To Blow Your Mind

Banff National Park is truly a paradise for photographers.

Its mesmerizing landscapes, vibrant wildlife, and iconic landmarks create a myriad of opportunities to capture the magic of the natural world.

We’ve shared our top picks for the best photography spots in Banff, from serene lakes and majestic mountains to dynamic townscapes.

Now, it’s your turn to embark on your photographic journey in this breathtaking landscape. And remember that each click of the shutter creates not only a stunning photograph but also an everlasting memory of your time in Banff.

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