Let’s face it. You’ve seen Banff National Park all over the internet, and you’re dying to see those turquoise lakes and shimmering mountains for yourself!
We don’t blame you – that’s exactly why we came to see Banff in the first place too! There are so many opportunities here for budding photographers and amateurs alike to snap gorgeous pictures.
With amazing photo spots in Banff that look great on a phone AND a DSLR camera, you can’t go wrong when visiting this Canadian Rockies park.
In this post, we’re sharing some of our favorite spots for amazing pictures in Banff!
The Top Instagram-Worthy Photo Spots In Banff National Park
Before We Begin: What Is The Best Time To Visit Banff?
While all times of year provide unique and beautiful things to see and do in Banff, many people visit between June and early September.
Because the Canadian Rockies are located in a high elevation, the winters can be long and snow can stay for a while, making winter travel doable, just a lot more challenging.
Therefore, we recommend visiting Banff National Park in the summer months for access to most locations!
These months will provide you with access to nearly all Banff attractions and the driest weather conditions. The summer also give you the opportunity to photograph longer in the day (the sun doesn’t set until nearly 10:00 pm in the summer!) and the ability to take day hikes and backcountry trips with ease.
Banff in the winter provides an entirely different experience in the Canadian Rockies. If you are looking for a more quiet vacation to Banff, and access to snow-covered locations, we’ve got you covered. Click here to discover all the possibilities of winter activities in Banff.
1. EEOR (East End Of Rundle)
An epic hike means that epic views will follow, right? In this case, it’s a resounding YES!
The East End of Rundle is a challenging hike with lots of elevation gain in a relatively short amount of time. That being said, as you climb higher and higher, you will experience a panoramic view of the Bow Valley, Ha Ling Peak, and man-made reservoirs below.
The hike is well-marked with blue trail markers and changes scenery and landscape often.
We hiked this trail during sunset (make sure to bring headlamps if you choose to do this too!) and were ecstatic when the sun rays lit up the surrounding mountains.
If you’re looking for opportunities for wide landscape shots, amazing sunrises/sunsets, or just want a challenging hike, the EEOR trail is a must!
How To Get Here: Drive for just 10 minutes south of the town of Canmore, Alberta on Highway 742 to reach a man-made reservoir called Whitemans Pond. Park at the Goat Creek Parking lot and look for the rock pile that spells EEOR to enter.
Fun Fact: You can also access the Ha Ling Peak Trailhead from the same parking lot.
Read More: Our Guide To Hiking The East End of Rundle
2. Moraine Lake
This picturesque lake is an essential stop on any trip to Banff. Located just a short drive away from the ever-famous Lake Louise (more to say about this place next!), Moraine Lake is an accessible and beautiful photo spot in Banff National Park.
Arrive early before the sun rises and climb the Rock Pile Trail to grab a spot to capture the first light on the mountains. During this time, the Valley of the Ten Peaks shine a brilliant pink/orange and cast a magical reflection on the water.
Moraine Lake is beautiful at any perspective, but if you want a more unique approach, try taking a hike nearby, renting a canoe, or coming in the off-season to see the leaves changing colors, or even to see it frozen!
How To Get Here: Take the Lake Louise Exit off of Highway 1. Drive towards the lake for 3 kilometers (about 1.5 miles) and look for signs to turn left for Moraine Lake. Follow the road for 11 kilometers (a little under 7 miles) to reach the parking lot.
3. Lake Louise
Lake Louise is among the most popular photo spots in Banff National Park.
Visitors come to see the glacial blues and greens of the water and maybe even take a boat ride on the lake! Its accessibility and beauty attract nearly 15,000 people A DAY during the busy season.
Lake Louise pictures are a popular park souvenir and can be seen on the backs of postcards, mugs, and so much more.
If you are looking to visit Lake Louise, we suggest coming before 8:00 am or after 7:00 pm to avoid most of the daily crowd. The parking lot fills up quick!
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider viewing it from a higher elevation on your way to the Lake Agnes Tea House.
How To Get Here: Take the Lake Louise Exit from Highway 1 in Banff National Park. Follow signs straight ahead to the main and overflow parking lots.
4. Johnston Canyon + Cave
Johnston Canyon is an easy 5 km hike that brings visitors to see majestic waterfalls and numerous catwalks above the raging river.
The first 1.1 kilometers will bring you to the Lower Falls and 1.5 kilometers further will bring you to Upper Falls. This trail is one of the most popular hikes in Banff, and for good reason!
On a hot summer day, this trail is tucked away in the canyon, which makes it a cool, family-friendly activity in the park.
If you wish to visit the Johnston Canyon Cave the entrance is located off-trail between the Lower Falls and Upper Falls. The path is large (from the volume of traffic to and from the cave) but unmarked so keep your eye out for a path to your right that leads down to the water.
From here, you’ll arrive inside a large tunnel, with a view of a smaller waterfall and a huge picturesque rock that is ever-popular on Instagram!
How To Get Here: Drive on Highway 1A (The Bow Valley Parkway) 30 minutes north of Banff. Park across the street at Johnston Canyon Campground and take the tunnel under the highway to reach the trailhead.
5. Bow Lake
Bow Lake is one of many beautiful stops along the Icefields Parkway. This is one of the largest lakes in Banff National Park, and is completely fed by glacial runoff.
If you’re heading north to Jasper National Park, this is a great stop to take for a lunch break or even a short stroll along their many shoreline trails. On a calm morning, you are able to capture the reflection of Crowfoot Mountain behind the lake.
You can also take pictures of the beautiful Num-Ti-Jah Lodge, the wooden bridge that overlooks the lake, and the beautiful wildflowers that surround the lake in the summertime.
How To Get Here: Drive 40 minutes north of Lake Louise on Highway 93 (Icefields Parkway). Look for signs to Bow Lake on the left.
6. Peyto Lake
Just next to Bow Lake is the magical, glacial blue Peyto Lake.
This is an incredible stop to capture the famous lake colors as well as enjoy the hiking trails around the area. The stunning turquoise color of the lake can be credited to the rock flour that flows into the lake and shines a brilliant blue in the sunlight.
On a clear day (which is NOT pictured below) you can get a spectacular view of Cauldron Peak and Peyto Peak which, combined with the lake, are among the most popular photo spots in Banff National Park.
One of the most popular places to take a photo is right off the boardwalks on the boulders that line the edge of the hill.
Note: This place is commonly known for unpredictable weather, so always come with a backup plan. Read our post about our travel photography tricks to see how we deal with unexpected weather!
How To Get Here: Just a 5-minute drive north from Bow Lake is Peyto Lake on Highway 93/Icefields Parkway. Take a quick drive up to Bow Summit to park at either trailhead for views of the lake.
7. Vermillion Lakes
Vermillion Lakes is also among the most popular photo spots in Banff National Park for several reasons.
First, the convenience of the lake means it’s accessible to many people – just a few minutes drive outside of the town of Banff.
The lake also provides amazing reflections of the nearby Mount Rundle, making it a popular place for photos during sunrise with the glassy smooth waters. It’s also an incredible place for water sports, including taking a canoe out for a relaxing afternoon.
Looking to rent a kayak or canoe to enjoy the lake? Check out the Banff Canoe Club in town to pick up a rental by the hour. A short paddle through the connecting creek will give you access to the clear blue lake and stunning views of Mount Rundle.
How To Get Here: Located just off of Highway 1 in the Banff Town Exit, take Vermillion Lakes Road and park at the parking lot overlooking the lakes.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT BANFF PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS
There are so many amazing photo spots in Banff National Park, and for good reason too.
The Canadian Rockies provide some of the most unique and beautiful landscape in North America.
Berty and I are excited to return time and time again to add to this list and share more incredible locations with you in the future!
In the meantime, explore our google map below with specific location details on where to find some beautiful spots for your next photography tour in Banff!
Map of Photography Spots In Banff National Park
What are some of your favorite photo spots in Banff National Park? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
READ MORE CANADA POSTS
Want more ideas for photo spots in Banff National Park? Follow our Canada board on Pinterest for more inspiration!
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