When my husband and his friend went to a Mariner’s game and got 50% Alaska Airlines tickets I had no idea where to choose to go. We had to book that same day and so someone said “why not Banff“? And we all said LET’S DO IT! Before looking in to it.
Fast forward to a week before our trip, I started getting nervous because October is the off season and a lot of attractions and activities had closed. I was pretty stressed about this when in reality I had nothing to worry about. We ended up having a blast in Banff and being completely blown away by it’s beauty. Since it was the off season there weren’t huge crowds, our Airbnb was dirt cheap, and restaurants didn’t have any waits. So if you’re considering visiting Banff and can only go in the off season have no fear, it’s still completely worth it. Here are a few of my favorite activities we did while there:
1. Marble Canyon – Marble Canyon is a hike/walk that takes you over and around a narrow canyon with a beautiful crystal clear river running through it. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I couldn’t find a ton of information online but I am so happy we took the time to see this. It’s an easy walk since there is a boardwalk that takes you the whole way. There are some minimal stairs but nothing bad at all. The canyon was gorgeous and the water took my breath away. There was even a gorgeous waterfall at the end. If you’re headed to Banff make this a top priority.
2. Scenic Drive – Icefields Parkway, or the road in between Banff and Jasper, is not short of stunning. Take a drive even if only for an hour or two and stop at all the gorgeous lookouts. Of Course Lake Louise is a must as it’s on this route, Peyto Lake is an amazing stop over, and one of our favorites was Waterfowl Lake if the wind is calm the reflection of the mountains around it is unbelievable.
3. Banff Gondola – We did the Banff Gondola the first day we arrived in Canada. We did it around 5pm and even got an “evening discount”. It made the gondola a lot cheaper which we appreciated. At the top of the gondola is a huge center where you can learn all about the area and take in amazing views. There’s also a walkway that lets you get even more beautiful views of the surrounding area.
4. Banff Upper Springs – I’m a big hot springs fan. Anytime I have the opportunity to sit in some hot water I’m all over it. This is a pretty standard hot springs and to be honest there’s nothing too special about it. However it feels amazing to sit in while being surrounded by the cool crisp air of Banff. Make sure you rent the original hot springs outfits. They’re super cheap and a fun experience, especially for men.
5. Grassi Lake Hike – This hike is just outside of Banff. It’s a short(2.5 mile RT) hike that if you take the difficult way up(I highly recommend) you will hike next to a waterfall. At the top you come to two stunningly green/blue clear lakes at the base of a gorgeous mountain. This is a very family friendly hike that you can do in less than two hours.