Hi there, Adventurers!
Everyone knows that kayaking can put you in some pretty spectacular places. Whether it’s being surrounded by mountains, exploring islands, or navigating a river, paddling gives you the chance to see some stunning scenery.
We wanted to take a chance today to talk about what we think is one of the breathtakingly beautiful places in the world: Banff National Park. Located in Alberta, Canada, Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park. The park covers over 2,564 square miles and includes lakes, rivers, mountains, glaciers, ice fields, and forests.
Banff is unique in that it is in a subarctic climate and includes three distinct ecoregions: montane, subalpine, and alpine. Each of the ecoregion has its own unique climate. From ice fields to lush forests, the park is an adventurer’s dream.
Now, to the paddling. Banff is an incredibly great park for paddling. There are a few places in the park that we really want to highlight because they are gorgeous and worth a mention, but first, let’s deal with the logistics.
Banff National Park has waterways for every-skill of paddlers. From flat and easy lakes to whitewater, every type of paddler can find adventure. Kayaks are allowed on all of the lakes, rivers, and streams so you don’t have to worry about being scolded by a ranger. Use caution on the bigger lakes as wind and currents can cause choppy conditions. Take cold water precautions! The waterways in Banff rarely get above a temperature of 50 degrees so you should wear a wetsuit and some waterproof gear. Tell family and friends about your trip and your travel plans so they can come searching for you if something bad should happen.
Alright. Now for the fun part. We have 4 key areas that we think everyone should paddle to in Banff National Park.
1. Lake Minnewanka: This is the main lake in the park. It is large and expansive and offers stunning views of the surrounding forests and mountains. Not for the feint of heart, Lake Minnewanka often has strong winds and currents that challenge even the most experienced paddler. This is a great place for the adventurous to start out their Banff exploration and get a feel for the beauty of the park.
2. Lake Louise: Smaller than Lake Minnewanka, Lake Louise is actually touted as the most iconic lake in Banff. After the thick ice on its surface melts in May, paddlers take to this lake and paddle across it. From the lake, paddlers can look up and see the breathtaking views of the glacier as they paddle on the turquoise water. If you are looking for views and want to spot a glacier, Lake Louise is the spot.
3. Herbert Lake: Located in the icefields, Herbert Lake is quiet and secluded. The lake is surrounded by mountains and lush forests. If you look around while paddling, you can see the icefields and glaciers. Paddling across the lake is actually the perfect way to get to the icefields. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to take your Justin Case Kayak, doesn’t it?
4. Moraine Lake: Last on our list does not make this lake any less impressive. You can only get to this lake in the summertime, so make sure to check that the roadway up to the lake is open before committing to visit this particular lake. Moraine Lake is glacier fed and is situated in between Valley of the Ten Peaks. The still and virtually silent lake gives paddlers the chance to admire the beautiful scenery at a leisurely pace.
Overall, Banff Park is pretty much the explorer’s dream location. With tons of trails, vistas, mountains, lakes, and more, there is something to occupy every part of your day. If you are planning a trip, don’t forget your Justin Case Kayak! You never know when you may stumble upon a hidden place to paddle.