Banff National Park is a pristine wilderness in the Canadian Rockies that offers awe-inspiring beauty and an incredible array of natural attractions. Spanning over 6,640 square kilometers, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a nature lover’s paradise, brimming with glaciers, turquoise lakes, and soaring mountains as well as abundant wildlife.

From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, Banff has it all. If you’re planning a visit to this breathtaking destination, here are five things to do in Banff for nature lovers.

Johnston Canyon

For those who enjoy hiking and exploring natural wonders, Johnston Canyon is a must-visit attraction in Banff. This beautiful canyon showcases a series of waterfalls, carved-out rock formations, and crystal-clear streams. Follow the well-maintained trail that winds through the canyon, and be prepared to be amazed by the picturesque Lower and Upper Falls. In the winter, the frozen waterfalls create a magical scene, attracting ice climbers and adventurers seeking a unique experience. Johnston Canyon offers a journey through a natural wonderland that will leave you in awe of the power of nature.

Moraine Lake

Another gem in Banff National Park, Moraine Lake captivates with its stunning beauty and vibrant blue hues. Moraine Lake is located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, framed by towering mountains, creating a picture-perfect setting. Take a hike along one of the many trails around the lake to fully appreciate its splendor. The Rockpile Trail offers a short but rewarding hike with panoramic views of the lake and surrounding peaks. Arrive early, as the parking lot fills up quickly, and the lake is most tranquil in the morning light.

Lake Louise

No visit to Banff is complete without a trip to the iconic Lake Louise. Surrounded by majestic peaks and fed by glacial waters, Lake Louise is renowned for its bright turquoise water, making it one of the most photographed lakes in the world. Take a leisurely stroll along its shores and marvel at the beauty all around you. Or, explore the lake by canoe for a truly immersive experience. During the winter months when the lake freezes over, it transforms into a magical ice-skating rink, offering a unique and enchanting experience for visitors.

Columbia Icefield

Prepare to be awed by the colossal Columbia Icefield, one of the largest icefields in North America. Located on the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Park, this frozen wonder stretches over 325 square kilometers and feeds eight major glaciers. Hop on an ice explorer bus or take a guided tour to venture onto the glacier and experience the otherworldly landscape up close. Then, stand on the Athabasca Glacier, witness the sparkling ice formations, and hear the thunderous crack of ice calving. The Columbia Icefield is a testament to the beauty of glaciers and a must-see attraction for any nature enthusiast.

Peyto Lake

Located along the Icefields Parkway, Peyto Lake is a hidden gem that will take your breath away. Known for its radiant blue color as well as its sprawling views, Peyto Lake offers a picture-perfect postcard scene. Take a hike to Bow Summit Lookout, where you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The vibrant colors of the lake are a result of glacial rock flour that settles in the water, creating a stunning visual spectacle.

Banff National Park is a natural playground waiting to be explored. Whether you’re hiking to crystal lakes, gazing at towering peaks, or witnessing the might of glaciers, there are many great things to explore, see and do in Banff. So, pack your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Canada.