Beautiful Areas for Photography in Banff That are Easy to Access

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When you think of Banff, you likely think of incredible landscapes, soaring mountains, gorgeous lakes, and raging rivers. It’s a photographer’s dreamland, to be sure…

And better still, there are plenty of gorgeous photo opportunities in and around Banff that are incredibly easy to access, with spots for you to set up shop just a short walk from the nearest parking lot or a quick jaunt down an easy-to-walk trail.

Here are a few of our favorite easy-to-access spots to photograph in Banff.

Vermillion Lakes

This collection of lakes at the base of Mount Rundle is a prime spot for sunrise and sunset photography, and is just 1.5 miles from the center of Banff. In the mornings and late evenings, the skies light up with bright colors, and with the calm wind, you can capture reflections of Mount Rundle in the lake’s waters.

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Better still, it’s a short hike on level terrain to get to the best spots to grab those breathtaking reflection shots. In fact, there’s a scenic road that loops around the lakes, which offers incredible scenery and opportunities to view wildlife. There are also numerous docks and benches around the lakes where you can take a moment to enjoy the unmatched beauty of the area.

Mount Norquay

For a bit of a different perspective on the Banff area, you can’t miss out on Mount Norquay. Accessed via a winding mountain road, the Mount Norquay viewing area is a grassy meadow vista that offers a bird’s eye view of the town of Banff and the mountains that surround it, including Mount Rundle. The Bow Valley, Sulphur Mountain, and the Vermillion Lakes are also in full view.

This viewpoint also provides the opportunity to see alpenglow in the sky in the morning and evenings, as well as wildlife, which tends to be more active in the mornings and evenings as well. There is virtually no hiking or trekking involved in getting to the Mount Norquay viewpoint, either. Just drive up the mountain road until the last switchback, and the breathtaking views mentioned above will be yours!

Bow River and Bow Falls

Easily accessed via an established trail, the Bow River and Bow Falls are a must-see when in Banff. In fact, you can walk from downtown Banff right to the falls in a matter of minutes, and with a scant elevation gain between the two, it’s an easy walk at that.

The falls aren’t like a typical waterfall in that they are very wide and very short. That doesn’t change the fact that they are a breathtaking site, and a prime subject for practicing long exposure photography. You can also train your camera on the valley that’s been eroded by the river over millennia and look back down along the river for sweeping views as it meanders its way through the valley. Like the other spots on our list, visiting the Bow River and Bow Falls is best reserved for mornings or evenings when you can capture spectacular sunrises and sunsets above the riverscape. No matter which of these locations you choose to visit, you’ll be in for a treat!