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Tips (and Lessons) For Hiking in Banff National Park

As I type this post it has now been 3 months since we completed our trip to Banff, Alberta, Canada. When I sat down at my computer this evening I was reminded of the absolute beauty of Banff on my desktop.


A few years ago my Dad went up to Banff and brought me back a simple gray jacket. Banff? Where's Banff? As images began to appear on my phone I was just in absolute awe. Over the years, Banff has become a MUST VISIT place on our travel bucket list (see here) and we are humbled to be able to say we have stood in such a beautiful place.




If you saw two posts ago, you know we experienced bad weather on our trip to Banff. That said, even with cloudy skies and light drizzle, Banff still managed to capture our hearts and leave us mesmerized by its unreal beauty.



In collecting photos for this post, I was trying to think of the story to tell. I could give tips on hiking, I could share stories about the types of people you meet on a narrow path to the glaciers or maybe I could just let the photos speak for themselves. No matter how I choose to present this travel story, one thing is for sure, at some point during this post you will long to be in Banff.


Tips for Hiking Banff:



  1. Be ready for all types of weather. 
  2. Unfortunately for us, we were there on a rainy and overcast day. We strongly recommend you prepare by bringing jackets, comfortable clothes, and shoes! 
Bring your camera...but put your camera away for a few moments.
There's no other way to put it: Banff is incredible! I have stood in some beautiful places in my life, Banff is the first. Have your camera ready. Looking back on these photos truly made me stop and say "Wow." 
      1. That said, put your camera away after you take your photo. Take a moment (or 10) to stand in awe and breathe in the fresh air. You are standing in an incredible location.

Don't let all the beauty be caught on your camera. 



Tips for Hiking Banff (Continued):


  1. Be prepared (and forgiving) of bad hikers. Within a few miles of the glaciers, we came across a group of individuals, one of whom was incredibly loud and inappropriate. They were doing yoga poses on rocks and this individual was yelling (and echoing) to her yoga friends sexy directions on how to pose. 
    • Unfortunately, we later ran into their group again and this same individual was yelling (and echoing) about how disgusting the porter potties were and went off the trail to pee...in beautiful Banff. It was around this point we decided to wait for the porter potties on the way back, not because of the individual, but because we had to get away from them. 
  2. BEAR DETERRENTS! - We never used our bear spray, but it is a requirement that hikers carry it in the National Parks. Check with your hotel. Ours loaned us a free can (with the condition if we use it - we buy it. $35 to (hopefully) deter a bear)               

Tips for Hiking Banff (Continued):


  1. NARROW PATHS - There are a few parts along the trails where the path is rather narrow, with steep drops, and slippery rocks. This mainly happens the closer you get to the glaciers. Take it slow, enjoy the hike, and don't lose your balance. It's easy in a place like Banff to be distracted by all that is around you, but please don't get injured on your trip!














Tips for Hiking Banff (Continued):


  1. Foooooood! - Normally when we hike we bring a few protein bars. For this hike, however, we foolishly didn't bring enough protein bars. Fortunately, up towards the glaciers, there is a Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House.  If you stop here there are a few rules: cash only, you cannot use your cell phone (they are committed to reducing their carbon footprint), and try a peanut butter and jelly. Okay, that last one is my rule.   
    • What is really cool about this tea house is that all of the food is prepared without electricity. It's in an old cabin and the staff live up in the area. It's well worth a stop!    
    • Also, check for, off seasons, I believe they are closed for the season now (November)?      












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