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Banff: The Canadian Rockies

王烨昇 Johnny Wang 2016-11-30 15:59

The first impression when you come here are the majestic Rocky Mountains. If you're arriving from a smoggy Chinese city, this place is a literal breath of fresh air. The sky is a pristine blue and the clouds are white and fluffy, when they drift across, you can see their shadows spill across the mountainside. The pleasant climate makes this place a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, horse riding, or cycling along the endless paths, all the while taking in the sight of the wildlife along the way. If you want to be on the water, there's an array of boating and, fishing activities. If you're feeling adventurous, go on a mountaineering expedition. Walking along the footpath of Sanson's Peak, you will be able to see the native wild animals in their natural habitat, something that's truly unique to this area. Out of the wild, many globally top-ranked golf courses are here for the golfing enthusiast to enjoy.


In the winter when the snow comes, Banff transforms into a world-class skiing and snowboarding destination. In addition, riding a dog sledding, experience big feet shoes on snow, hiking through the valley or admiring the shining ice-fall are all real eye-openers.

If you go to Alberta, then you must make time to visit Banff National Park. This park is located a 90-minute drive west of Calgary. The drive itself is a treat, the road lined with picturesque landscapes, each moment a picture perfect scene. The Banff National Park has the honour of being Canada's oldest national park and was first established in 1885 as Banff Hot Springs Reserve. Nowadays, it has UNESCO World Heritage status, protecting the park from the kind of commercial exploitation that has long been a contentious issue here.


The dreamy Lake Louise, located inside the park, is named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Lake Louise is bordered by Mount Victoria and surrounded by thick forest. Everywhere you look is post-card perfect, no wonder that it earned itself the name "Sapphire on the Rocky Mountain", drawing landscape photographers to its rocky shores in droves, keen to capture the snowy mountains reflected in the lake's placid waters.


While the peaks of the Rocky Mountains don't rank among the highest in the world, the range is nonetheless immense and expansive. The scenery on the mountain and at its foot are vastly different. If you take the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, you will be rewarded with a truly breathtaking view. Banff, sitting between six mountains, is the perfect starting point to exploring the Rocky Mountain's majesty. 

In general, if you travel in Banff, at the end, you will sleep in Banff town. This little village is located in the centre of the park. The buildings here are natural and simple, never imposing themselves on the natural landscape. In the winter, the orange light inside the restaurants in the evening exudes welcoming warmth. You definitely can't miss the delicious food here. Steak, ice-cream… even some wild game often end up on the dinner menu. After dinner, you should go to Banff Upper Hot Springs and soak up the atmosphere. 


The Unforgetful Sites And Activities

Lake Minnewanka

Visiting park's largest lake is an easy 15 minutes' drive away from Banff town. Walking or riding the bicycle along the lake trail, or boating on the lake in the summer are all great ways to spend your time here. If you had packed a picnic lunch, it's hard to imagine a more beautiful place to enjoy a meal.

Lake Louise

You can rent a canoe to row to the end of the alpine lake. You can go to Victoria Glacier, rowing toward the start of the sea or just walking along the lake.


Not so many national parks have internal ski resorts, but Banff National Park has three: Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay, and Lake Louise Ski Resort. Lake Louise Ski Resort has always been one of Canada's best ski resorts, with some of the best ski terrain distributed on four mountain sides and covers an area of 1,700 hectares. 

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