We decided to visit Banff for Jesse’s 28th birthday.  We were looking for a destination that was not too far to travel to and doable within a 4 day weekend. The original plan was to spend 3 full days here but after me missing my flight and then the later flight being so much more expensive on our last day, we ended up only having two full days in Banff instead of four.

Trip Break Down: 


Jeep Wrangler (3 Day Rental) :  $33 per person

Airbnb : $166 per person

Flights: $300 per person

Food and Misc: $200

Total: Approximately $600 per person. Note that food costs will vary per person and could be considerably less that what is shown above.


Your options for lodging are to:

  • Stay inside the National Park at Chateau Fairmont, Website: here
  • Stay outside the park at a nearby city in an Airbnb.
  •  Stay in Calgary (1.5 hour drive from Banff National Park.
  • Camping in the National Park.

We arrived late Thursday evening and checked into the Airbnb in Canmore which is approximately an hour drive away from Lake Louise and about 15 minutes away from the entrance of Banff National Park.  The other option was to stay at the Chateau Fairmont, which was far more expensive. We rested so that we could get up in the morning and head out to Lake Louise and spend some time there.  Luckily we called before to make a reservation at the Fairview Restaurant at Chateau Fairmont where we enjoyed his birthday dinner overlooking a frozen Lake Louise.  I would highly recommend that you make a reservation at the prior to your trip because if the restaurant gets busy they will stop seating walk ins and only seat hotel guests. We got really lucky as we had called 30 minutes before we arrived at the hotel and by the time we got there they were only  seating hotel guests. One of the waitresses had informed us that during the busy season (June-August) they will not allow non-hotel guests to sit in the patio area overlooking the lake because it gets so packed.

I would recommend that people visit a a little later in May than we did because the ice will have just started melting which puts most hiking areas in risk of avalanche and the ice over the lake is not hard enough to walk on.  If we have visited 3 weeks later, we might have seen the blue water that Banff is famous for.  None the less, we still made the best of our warm winter wonderland adventure.  Even in the transition of winter to spring, Banff national park has beautiful scenery and activities to offer.  The benefit of traveling around this time, is that there were less tourists which allowed for me to get better photos with no one in the backdrop. After walking around the lake we headed to Fields, Yoho National Park where the famous natural made stone bridge is, this is a quick stop for us on the way to Johnston Canyon for a quick 1.5 mile hike to see a very beautiful waterfall.

Of all the beautiful scenery we came across in Banff, my favorite was still just driving down the open road being surrounded by the mountains and greenery of the national park.  The national park is a mecca for road trips.  If we had more time, I would have taken 4 hour trip to Jasper. Since we only had 2 days, we will have to wait until next time to visit Jasper Park.

We rented a Jeep Wrangler which I have to say, is such a dope off roading car.  We were able to take it up a moutain path that was not paved and it handled very nicely.  W

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