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Best photography Spots Banff National Park. Canada’s well known for its endless expanses of wilderness to explore. Banff National Park, the oldest national park in the country, contains over 6,000 square kilometres of mountainous terrain, glacial lakes, coniferous forests, abundant wildlife, and many more breathtaking sights.

There are no bad times to visit Banff National Park, but summer and winters are the best times to capture some surreal photography moments. While there are many sights to hit when you visit, here is a list of must-see places in Banff National Park if you are looking for picturesque landscapes to add to your portfolio.


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The Gear

For the best photography spots in Barcelona, we recommend the holy trinity.  A wide-angle lens.  14-24mm or something similar.  A 24-70mm or something similar and, of course, a 70-200mm or something similar.

If you do not have these particular lenses, do not worry; something similar will be just fine. It would be best if you also had a tripod.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park

1. Vermillion Lakes

This trio of lakes are located close to the center of Banff National Park. Docks are located at each lake for you to situate yourself on for those sunrise or sunset pictures. Visit this location at least half an hour before sunrise and wait for the oranges, pinks, and yellows to backlight the mountains.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park Vermillion Lakes

2.  Two Jack Lake

Two Jack Lake perfectly offers its viewer a great picture of the Canadian Rockies and frames Mount Rundle nicely whether it is winter or summer. Walk across the frozen lake in the winter or stand along the shore beside the calm waters to find the best shots of the beautiful landscape presented.

3. Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka is great for sunrise or night photography, especially because this is one of the best places to get an opportunity to capture the Northern Lights. You can track any auroral activity through a variety of methods beforehand to increase your chances. There are some chairs to settle into if you’re planning on spending the night searching for signs of the Aurora Borealis as well as interesting vantage points to capture lake pictures in general.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka

4. Morant’s Curve

This area has great photographic opportunities for those who are lucky enough to catch the iconic red trains that travel around this river bend. Many will wait around for hours with no sight of the train while others spot it within minutes. Reference the train schedule for the best time for your visit.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park Morant’s Curve

5. Castle Mountain

One of the most photographed mountains in the entire national park. This popular location can be photographed from many angles. These mountains rise up from the coniferous forests and river, towering over the landscape. These snow-capped peaks draw attention in any picture.

6. Moraine Lake

Lake Moraine is a heavy tourist area which makes complete sense considering the reputation it holds for dense forests with mountainous terrain. Head to this spot early on a weekday to avoid crowds and scout out a few different lookout points that offer great shots of the landscape. Calm days are best if you’re looking to capture reflections of the foliage and mountains in the water.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park Moraine Lake

7. Lake Louise

This lake is a gorgeous spot to be. It is commonly visited by tourists so try to visit at sunrise to avoid too many crowds. Use locations such as Fairview Lookout to get beautiful shots of the lake and the mountains.

8. Surprise Corner

Surprise Corner is a short car ride away from the center of Banff National Park. The snow covered trees and landscape look like a scene right out of a fairytale. Throw in a famous hotel that sits in the middle of this forest and you’ve created a beautifully magical scene.

9. Bow Lake

Visit Bow Lake for stunning landscapes. This lake is located front and center which means you can easily access this spot without extensive hiking. Where it is at makes it a great place to capture sunrise photos. If you are early enough you will find the morning mist sneaking into your pictures and the morning sun’s rays illuminating the mountaintops.  

10. Peyto Lake

This lake is amazing in that it displays a beautiful array of colors depending on the time of day or how the light hits the water. The vibrant turquoise is striking even on a cloudy day. Hike up higher into the mountains for access to a wooden viewing deck that will give you a glimpse of the lake in its entirety.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park Peyto Lake

Best photography Spots Banff National Park

11. Banff Gondola

The Banff Gondola has one of the most expansive and extensive views of the surrounding mountains in Banff National Park. You will be able to capture 360 degree views of the surrounding scenery from the top of Banff Gondola. These shots look especially picturesque when the town is lit up at night.

12. Johnston Canyon + Falls

Johnston Canyon has narrow gorges, waterfalls, and fast rapids that all pour into the canyon. Those that have time for a hike will have plenty of views of the Lower and Upper Falls. Wide-angle lenses will come in handy to help you capture the entirety of the falls.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park johnston Canyon Falls

13. Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake gets its name from the glossy and vibrant greens that are reflected off of the water. The best views are located from the vantage point that faces the lodge. Enjoy shooting from the shore or rent a canoe and head out onto the lake to find interesting views from the water.

14. Icefields Parkway

This drive is en route from Banff National Park to Jasper and includes many stops where you can get out and take pictures of glacial lakes and rocky mountain ranges. Some of the lakes mentioned in this list are along the route, meaning you can hit multiple photo locations in one trip.

15. Spirit Island

Spirit Island is a challenging location to reach, but for those willing to canoe/kayak out on their own, the photo opportunities will not disappoint. This location is 14 kilometers to travel but gives its visitors views of the sunset and sunrise that encapsulate the beauty of the natural world.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park Spirit Island

16. Sulphur Mountain

Sulfur Mountain not only contains many attractions and restaurants to enjoy, it also has one of the best views of the peaks in valleys in the area. The wooden boardwalk located on top of this mountain will provide expansive views in all directions.

17. Lake Agnes

Lake Agnes is another can’t miss mountain range that rises above a clear, blue lake. This spot takes about an hour to an hour and a half of hiking. But, the reflections you can capture of the peaks glistening in the lake are stunning.

18. Abraham Lake Methane Bubbles

This famous location is well known for the pictures of bubbles that are trapped and frozen beneath the surface of the iced over lake. This happens when organisms that live in the lake break down and produce methane. Visit early in the winter before snow covers the lake to catch these bubbles.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park Abraham Lake Methane Bubbles

19. East End of Rundle Hike

This hike will take at least half a day’s time to complete but is well worth the effort. It offers an amazing view of mountain peaks and a overlooking view of the pristine lake at the base of the mountain. Hike halfway up for pictures of “false peaks” that look just as stunning.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park

20. Tunnel Mountain

Tunnel Mountain is a good location to visit for multiple reasons. This mountain will give you a good overlook of the town below. It also offers some spectacular views of Mount Rundle and will give you the opportunity to find some magical photos when the sunlight hits the forest just right and pierces the mist-covered forests.

21. The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters is a row of mountain peaks that stand out against the landscape and skies. The famous reflection pools will offer some of the best compositions in your photos. Visit at sunrise as the light hits the front of the peaks to capture these mountaintops.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park The Three Sisters

22. Takakkaw Waterfall

This is the second tallest waterfall in Canada. There’s a small, flowing river that sits in front of the falls that frames pictures nicely. While the falls offer some amazing views and great opportunities for long exposures, the drive up to the falls also has incredible perspectives of the waterfalls.

Best photography Spots Banff National Park Takakkaw Waterfall

Best photography Spots Banff National Park

If you enjoyed the list, please leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Feel free to stick around and check out our other photography guides. Please remember to check back as we are continually updating our guides.

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