If you’re looking to take some stunning photos of jagged mountains and turquoise alpine lakes, Banff is the perfect place for you. A bucketlist destination in Canada, there are seemingly endless epic mountain views throughout the park and the nearby areas. Having lived in the area several times, and visted many others, I understand that the sheer amount of epic photo ops in Banff can be overwhelming. To help you navigate things, I pulled together this list of the best photo spots in Banff!
Definitely the most popular photo spot in Banff, but for a reason. I think Moraine Lake is the most beautiful lake in the world, and I have seen a lot of pretty lakes 🙂 The crowds here can get a bit intense, and the parking lot is very small, so I’d suggest heading early in the morning, or late afternoon after everyone leaves.
Equally classic, Lake Louise is one of the crown jewels of Banff and a great spot for photos. As you can see, you can get totally different types of photos depending on the weather, or even season. But honestly, Lake Louise is beautiful at any time of year, and with a large parking area right near it, it’s very easy to just drive up, pop out and check it out. There are some great hikes nearby too, either around the base of the lake, or up into the mountains. And if you’re not up for an adventure, tea at the Fairmont is always a fun experience too!
If you’re looking for a spot that is substantially more off the beaten path, this Canmore swing with views of the three sisters is a great photo spot. It is located in a residential neighborhood, so please be respectful if you visit. You can find it’s location here.
With epic views looking down the Icefields Parkway Valley, Peyto Lake is an incredibly picturesque turquoise lake that looks a lot like the shape of a fox. The overlook is a classic photo spot in Banff, and is easily accessible as it’s just a 15 minute walk from the parking lot.
East End of Rundle
An epic spot for photos in Canmore (the town just next to Banff), East End of Rundle is a great hike with some killer views of Ha Ling Peak. While I think some of the best views can be found about halfway through the hike, it is about a 3 hour round trip hike and if you go all the way to the peak you will be feeling the burn 🙂
Bow River Bridge
An underrated spot with a great view of the three sisters, the Bow River Bridge is a beautiful photo spot. You might even get lucky and see some elk along the shore like we did here! There’s a lovely little trail that goes along the river too if you have time.
Three Sisters Viewpoint on Policeman’s Creek
This little spot is a place I had seen photos of for years, but took me a while to find. Tucked away and off the beaten path along Policeman’s Creek, this sweet photo spot has awesome views of the Three Sisters. You can find this photo spot here.
Aptly named, Emerald lake is a beautiful, vibrant lake located in Yoho National Park, just outside of Banff. It features a quaint lodge on an island in the middle of the lake, that’s gorgeous in any season, although I’ve yet to visit here in Winter!
One of my personal favorite photo spots in Banff, you really can’t go wrong with Lake Minnewanka! It’s one of the larger lakes you can drive up to in Banff, with towering mountains across the other side, resulting in a stunning backdrop for any photos taken here.
Two Jack Lake
Located right next to Minnewanka, Two Jack is another beautiful Banff Lake to stop at on your photo tour. They have some lovely picnic areas too, and cozy Muskoka chairs, so it’s a nice little spot to rest and hang out!
This might be one of the most classic sights in Banff, and unlike everything else on this list, it’s actually in the town and not the mountains! Banff Ave is the main street that runs through town, and perfectly frames an epic view of Cascade Mountain, that towers over the town.
Definitely more of a splurge, taking a helicopter ride through the Rocky Mountains will certainly provide you with some epic photos of Banff. We didn’t even have great weather on the day we went, and the views were still unreal. Schedule it for a sunny day if possible, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Rundle Forebay Reservoir
Ok I wouldn’t say that this is a hidden gem because it’s pretty easy to find if you’re driving around, but it is certainly off the beaten path and much more of a local spot that doesn’t attract tourist crowds. Since you’ll likely have the place to yourself, it’s one of my favorite spots to hang and take in the gorgeous blue waters and towering sight of Ha Ling.
This is another bucketlist experience in Banff that obviously makes for a great photo spot. It is a bit more of a splurge at around $350, but dogledding is a super fun, unique Canadian experience and worth it for so much more than the photos. That being said, it will take you through a beautiful frozen valley with classic scenic Banff views, and not to mention the dogs are pretty photogenic themselves!
A sprawling creekbed featuring views of the towering Castle Mountain, this photo spot in Banff is an easy one to get to. I personally enjoy biking the scenic 1A Bow Valley Parkway out here, but you can also easily just drive up by car too.
Ice Fields Parkway
Honestly one of my favorite places to snap photos in Banff is just driving around the park! While there are tons of roads you can find incredibly scenic views along, the Icefields Parkway is the absolute best. You can drive along it for as little or long as you like, and if you do choose to do the whole drive, in about three hours later you’ll arrive in Jasper.
Ok so technically this spot is in Jasper, but I thought I’d include it in case you decide to make the trek up the Icefields Parkway 🙂 Maligne Canyon is an absolutely stunning spot in Jasper where you can see this epic canyon carved by thousands of years of water running through it. If you do decide to walk out on the ledge for a photo please please please be careful!!!
Well, have you packed your bags for your Banff yet?? There are seriously so many amazing photo spots in Banff, you really can’t go wrong in these beautiful mountains 🙂 Let us know where you go in the comments!