Travel Log: Banff, Alberta, Canada

Hello and happy hump day!  I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Banff, Alberta, Canada with my boyfriend over fourth of July weekend.  It was such a wonderful getaway!  We wanted to pick somewhere that we could go hiking, horseback riding, and just enjoy being outdoors.  Getting to Banff from Seattle was easy: we took a short flight from Seattle to Calgary, and then drove about one and a half hours into Banff.  Above is my favorite photo from our horseback ride around Lake Louise - that is the Fairmont Lake Louise in the background.  Check out more photos below from our trip!

 Gorgeous view driving through town.  The size and vibe reminds of Whistler, Vancouver BC and also somewhat of Galtur, Austria.

 Breakfast poutine at the Banff Brewing Company - our first stop for lunch after getting into town on Thursday!

 We chose The Bison in downtown Banff for dinner Thursday evening.  This was my mouthwatering bison shortrib skillet - the shortribs were slow cooked for three days!  I definitely recommend this restaurant and this dish.
 
We knew we wanted go on a hike Friday, and after some research we chose the seven mile roundtrip hike from Moraine Lake up the Larch Valley trail out to Eiffel Lake.  The first 2.4 km/1.5 miles is a series of switchbacks up through the woods on the Larch Valley trail.  Then the trail splits and most people branch right out to Sentinel Pass, but we veered left on a lesser followed Eiffel Lake Trail that continues through the meadows on the north side of the Valley of the Ten Peaks and ends at Eiffel Lake.  The views were absolutely breathtaking!

Trail stats:
  • Distance: 5.6 km one way (3.5 miles)
  • Time: 2-3 hrs one way
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
  • Elevation gain: 315 m (1030′)
  • Maximum elevation: 2225 m (7230′)
A viewpoint on the way out to Moraine Lake - everywhere you look are spectacular views!

Moraine Lake

 Valley of the Ten Peaks

 Crossing snowfields along the way, no big deal.

 Eiffel Lake

 Valley of the Ten Peaks

 Larch Valley Trail

Celebrating with a drink back at Moraine Lake after our hike!

 His & hers!

 We drove up to Lake Louise on Saturday and took a leisurely ride around the lake on trusty steeds Richard and Carter of Brewster Stables.  =)  It randomly rained/hailed for the first ten or so minutes of our ride, but luckily the sun came back out and it was gorgeous again.

 Gorgeous view of the Fairmont Lake Louise from the opposite end of the lake during our ride.  It looks like a fairy tale castle.

 Our brush with wildlife!  This guy was just hanging out on the side of the road as we drove to the Fairmont Banff Springs for lunch on Sunday!

 The amazing view from the patio of the Fairmont Banff Springs

Thermal Springs at the Cave & Basin National Historic Site, one of the last spots we visited before leaving town on Sunday.  It's small, but only costs a couple of dollars per person to enter and there is some interesting history about Banff and how the discovery of a thermal springs made the town famous.

I hope you enjoyed these photos from our recent Banff getaway!  It was such a wonderful and relaxing weekend out of the city.  I hope that this inspires you to get outdoors and visit somewhere new this summer!  Thanks so much for reading!  =)

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