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Top Attractions in Banff and Jasper National Parks

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Banff and Jasper National Parks' best attractions have one thing in common: They guarantee views of the Canadian wilderness so remarkable you'll run out of adjectives to describe them! From river rafting to hiking on top of a glacier, here's what to do.
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Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada
The three-and-a-half-mile journey from Sentinel Pass to Larch Valley is the kind of hike you'll dream about years after returning home. Intrepid visitors leave from the Moraine Lake Lodge area, at an altitude of 6,190 feet, then climb a series of...
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Moraine Lake, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada
Nestled at the base of the Valley of the 10 Peaks, Moraine Lake boasts turquoise waters that change color throughout the day as sunlight refracts off the minuscule particles of glacier-ground rock suspended within. Though it has a B-list rating...
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Athabasca Glacier, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
The Columbia Icefield is one of the largest masses of ice south of the Arctic Circle, an otherworldly expanse straddling the Continental Divide. You can get on the ice in two ways: Take the Brewster tour company's Ice Explorer snow coach (a...
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Icefields Pkwy, Lake Louise, AB, Canada
This five-kilometer (3.1-mile) hike starts at Bow Lake, directly in front of the legendary, red-roofed Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. The turquoise waters and historic stone-and-log structure make for great photo ops before you even get on the trail. Then, the...
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606 Patricia St, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
Stretching a formidable 27 miles, Jasper's Skyline Trail is a challenge for all but the most seasoned hikers. The journey is worth undertaking—nearly two-thirds of the route is above the tree line, which means you'll enjoy stunning panoramic...
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111 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada
Lake Louise is the most visited spot in the Canadian Rockies, so be prepared to do battle with tourists—but this magnificent landscape is worth the fight. The lake's color shifts from a cloudy turquoise to a crystal-clear emerald green...
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Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
The jewel of Jasper National Forest, Angel Glacier is a remnant of a retreating glacier on Mount Edith Cavell's north face. (The glacier's name is a reference to its white "wings" of ice.) Venture to the bottom and you'll find a small,...
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Bow Valley Pkwy, Improvement District No. 9, AB T1L 1K2, Canada
You can see thousands of years of erosion in this narrow canyon, where Johnston Creek's clear waters cut through the soft limestone that make up the Canadian Rockies. The journey upstream follows a series of turbulent white waters cascading into...
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Maligne Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E, Canada
It takes patience and good fortune to create a unique image in a place considered Canada’s second-most-photographed landscape. The Through the Lens Cruise on Maligne Lake gives amateur and professional shutterbugs such an opportunity. While...
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Banff, AB, Canada
The section of Alberta Provincial Highway 1A that runs parallel to the Trans-Canada Highway between Banff and Lake Louise is known as the Bow Valley Parkway. Developed as a scenic drive by Parks Canada, the road has a series of marked stops along...
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If you buy a souvenir magnet from Banff National Park, there's a 70 percent chance it'll feature an image from the Vermilion Lakes. (Yes, that's a made-up statistic—but you get the point: This spot is beautiful!) Located just under 2.5...
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Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
An overnight stay at Tonquin Valley Adventures' lodge is perhaps the best way to experience the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. (It's a well-earned one, too: The lodge lies almost 20 kilometers, or about 12 miles, from the nearest road!) To...
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611 Patricia Street Kiosk, Box 398, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
Rafting down the Athabasca River is a great way to take in Jasper's tranquil scenery—with the occasional face full of cold water to remind you to keep your eyes wide open! This river's rapids are just Class II in places, offering a float...
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Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada
Tunnel Mountain's trailhead is located right in downtown Banff, so you'll probably be able to set out on this hike directly from your hotel! This relatively easy trek allows you to conquer your first peak in the Canadian Rockies by climbing just...
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Banff, AB, Canada
Built to commemorate Parks Canada’s 125th anniversary, this bike path connects Banff to the neighboring town of Canmore. The trail follows the Rundle Range down the Bow Valley, so scenery appears around each bend. This paved 26.8-kilometer...
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Lake Minnewanka Trail, Bankhead, AB T0L, Canada
Including the travel time to get to the road from the Banff town center, the drive along the Lake Minnewanka Loop takes only about an hour, but the numerous stops and viewpoints along the way make this 24-kilometer (15-mile) side trip worth...
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Originating at Bow Lake, nearly 100 kilometers (62 miles) up the Icefields Parkway from the town of Banff, the Bow River runs down the valley all the way to Calgary. Most journeys into the Canadian Rockies follow the Bow River upstream; it's what...
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111 Bear St, Banff, AB T1L 1A3, Canada
Hopefully the sun will shine brightly during your entire visit to Banff, but if you happen to be in search for activities as a storm passes through, the town has three museums worth checking out. The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is...
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108 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L, Canada
Cruising down Banff Avenue, you eventually stop looking in shop windows as the strip's souvenir stores all begin to blur together. At the far end of town, however, is a locally owned womens-wear boutique that is worth a visit. Cabin 108 carries...