How To Spend Three Days in Banff
Banff is Disneyland for outdoor lovers. While I love to travel, very few places have left me with a true vacation withdrawal (Banff and Switzerland recently). Ever since I returned home from Banff, I have been viewing my photos as well as viewing other’s photos through Instagram. It’s such a magical place and I can’t wait to return.
While we definitely should have stayed at least five days, I did feel like I got to see what I wanted in three days. Here are some tips and tricks for making the most out of your time in a short stay & your plan is to hike.
Get Outside Early
I knew going to Banff in the heart of tourist season (July) would be busy, but it is completely manageable if you get up early. We stayed in the town of Banff and were out the door no later than 6:30-6:45 AM on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, we “slept in” and were out the door by 7:30 AM. It took 1 hour to get to Moraine Lake and 45 minutes to get to Lake Louise, so be sure to know how long it takes you to get to specific destinations from where you are staying. The shuttle buses start at 8:00 AM, therefore to avoid having to use the shuttle, we wanted to make sure we arrived early enough to snag a parking spot. We were successful all three days.
The other beauty of getting out early is you don’t have to deal with the crowds. We noticed the crowds most on Saturday and Sunday when we were coming back down from our hike. However, the morning time we felt we had the trail to ourselves mostly.
3 Days – 3 Hikes
Friday: It took about 45 minutes to get from Moraine Lake to Peyto Lake, but the drive is beautiful.
- Leave Banff by 6:30 AM
- Moraine Lake morning view (7:30 AM)
- Eiffel Lake Hike
- At an intersection on the way back down, we connected on the Larch Valley trail (perhaps 15 minutes on the trail to the first meadow to get a view)
- Moraine Lake (lunch view)
- Peyto Lake Lookout (2:45 PM)
- Bow Lake Lookout
- Back to Banff by 5 PM