Canada’s National Parks – Part 2

To visit the oldest National Park in Canada you will need to head to Banff. Here the alpine heights that wander into the region’s mountains are coupled with the masses of dense pine that give Banff that typical True North feel. Cutting through this area is the Canadian Pacific Railway, although this mainly now carries freight trains over its rails a handful of passenger trains still operate, allowing those aboard to take in a whistle-stop tour of the area. Those seeking to have a much fuller and lengthier experience of the region will be pleased to know that there are many other ways to experience the natural beauty of the region. Hikers of course will no doubt want to get stuck into the available trails here, and with organised tours all year round its entirely up to you when you want to take the walk.

With so many peaks to aspire to there are plenty of uphill, thigh burning treks to travel on and yet the area also affords more horizontal walks too. Lake Minnewanka for example begins with several kilometers that don’t have the strain associated with more advanced hikes, meaning that families planning to train up their little ones for a lifetime of pacing upward can use this as an initiation. In fact, all the lakes here make for a less strenuous activity as their circumference provides fairly flat lands to wander as you gaze at their magnificence. Johnson lake for example is a calm and wondrous walk, the view here takes in all the surrounding heights and pines that circle the three kilometer lake, perfect for dipping in and cooling off in summer.

Lake Louise however is Banff’s showstopper, this unbelievable settling of turquoise water is nestled away in the mountains and surrounded entirely by the forest. A popular ski resort and hotel resides here in the perfect spot beside it. The Fairmont Chateau is a huge complex that embodies the perfectly fitting castle for this fairytale destination. Guests will be able to view the wintry lake from the cable cars that ride above or enjoy meals parallel with the pristine waters while they dine. Families will enjoy the views, the conveniences and the activities that will make this holiday destination truly unforgettable.

If it is the panoramic views that are what you are after you will be happy to know that there are many opportunities to breathe in the incredible surround via the system of gondolas. The Banff sightseeing gondola seats four guests at a time and will take you over two thousand metres up the mountains where you can view the vast landscape below from the comfort of an enclosed cabin. The Lake Louise gondola will allow guests at the Chateau to put the area into perspective as they get a raised view of the lake and their hotel, which both suddenly appear dwarfed by the geology of the area. The Norquay sightseeing chairlift however offers an open air ride to those unafraid of the extreme heights, giving riders an unadulterated view of the mountains valleys and tiny buildings below.