Banff National Park, located in Alberta, Canada is a beautiful area flush with turquoise glacial lakes, Rocky Mountain peaks, breathtaking vistas, and easy access to outdoor adventures! We made this our summer 2019 outdoor/hiking trip and could not have been happier with our choice! Banff National Park with kids is easy to do and makes for a fulfilling trip for everyone!
The Town of Banff
Banff is about one hour and ten minutes away from Calgary Airport. The quaint, but lively town is surrounded in all directions by snowcapped rugged mountains, and the streets are full of boutique shops, chateau styled hotels, delicious restaurants, and touristy stores selling name plates and t-shirts. We decided to stay in the nearby town of Canmore so we could have more space. The townhouse we stayed in had two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a community pool which we used often!
Due to the time change everyone was up by 4:30am, which worked in our favor since we wanted to get to Moraine Lake early! We left Canmore around 5:15 and drove the next hour gazing at the beautiful views of the mountains. At 6:20 there were already quite a few people there, which made sense since the parking lot closes at 8:00. There is a trail to the left of the parking lot called the Rockpile Trail, which is about half mile long and has you climbing up stairs and rocks to get to the top. Here, you can get a nice view of the outstanding blue color of the lake, which is caused by the silt-like rock flour from the continuously melting glaciers surrounding it. It was absolutely stunning to see and I have never seen anything like it before. J loved climbing the rocks to get to the top and was astounded to see the color of the water. She really appreciates the scenery around her and this was no exception.
We walked back down to lake level and strolled along the path and the water. The kids enjoyed throwing rocks into the cold water and touching it to see just how cold it really was. They thought it was hilarious that that there was still snow on the sides of the lake… in June!
We actually decided to come back the next day for a quick photo op. I had thought that we were just a tad early the day before and we didn’t quite catch all of the sun’s rays on the teal glistening water. Jon quickly climbed to the top and took some quick pictures, while the girls and I stayed by the lake and played.
We left Moraine Lake and drove to Lake Louise. It was about 8:15 and you could feel the parking lot getting packed. We ate at the local hotel cafe and then walked around the lake, which looked like it was sparkling! The colors were spectacular and the mountains surrounding the lake reflected off of the water. It was just beautiful. We came back the next day to do a pretty great hike, but more on that later!
Lake Louise Gondola
Afterward, we went to the Lake Louise gondola. The gondola took us up to almost 7,000 feet elevation and provided us with beautiful views of Lake Louise, Victoria Glacier, and the expansive mountains. The kids enjoyed the ride up and we were able to hang out at the top for a little bit enjoying the fresh air and scenery.
We headed back to our townhouse at around 11am, and after some nap and rest time we spent about two hours in the pool. We ate at a great restaurant in Canmore called Blake, which left us feeling happy and full. There is more to come during our five days at Banff National Park with kids so stay tuned!