Banff Photography Locations | Banff National Park

Banff Photography Locations | Banff National Park

Banff Photography Locations | Words and Photos by Julie Boyd

There is no shortage of beautiful scenery in Banff National Park.

Before flying up to Alberta, Canada, I spent a fair amount of time researching the best photography locations, and what the ideal times were for taking great photographs were, and how to avoid the crowds.

Here are what we consider to be the best Banff photography Locations, along with some tips for you to help you plan your trip.

Vermilion Lakes Banff Photography

Best Time to Visit: Sunset, or the late afternoon.

Located just outside the town of Banff, a series of three lakes lie along a system of marshland in the Bow Valley. Because of its calm waters, Vermilion Lakes is a  great spot to capture reflection images of Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain.  best places to visit in Banff

Johnston Canyon

Best Time to Visit: Early morning (before 8:00 a.m.) or late afternoon (after 4:00 p.m.) to beat the crowds. A cloudy or overcast day is ideal for lighting)

Johnston canyon is perhaps the most popular hike in Banff, and for a good reason. The trail takes visitors along a limestone canyon that has been carved by a cascading creek over the years. The opportunities for seeing beautiful views are endless.

Moraine Lake

Best Time to Visit: Sunrise – 9:00 a.m. Keep in mind that the road to Moraine Lake is only open from June – October.

This glacially fed lake was on the top of my Banff bucket list, and it’s easy to see why. The brilliant blue water abuts the craggy slopes of the Valley of Ten Peaks, creating a beautiful reflection early in the morning. At the sun rises, the water turns turquoise, creating even more opportunities to capture the changing light in this magical place. Brian wrote about our morning at Moraine Lake here.

best places to visit in Banff

Lake Louise

Best Time to Visit: Sunrise – 9:00 a.m.

Another stunning lake with breathtaking mounting reflections in the morning, and unbelievable blue hues brought to life by the sun reflecting off the rock flour on the water in the afternoon. If you are hoping to capture reflection shots, make sure you are here before the canoe rentals open up in the morning, as they disturb the calm waters once people start taking them out. For an areal perspective of the lake, we recommend hiking to the Plain of Six Glaciers, which you can read more about here.

best places to visit in Banff

Peyto Lake

Best Time to Visit: late morning – early afternoon on clear days.

You Photoshopped this picture, right? Nope, the water really is that blue. Mother nature is wonderful, and the turquoise hue of Peyto Lake is just as blue in this image as it is in person. I sat in awe at this vantage point from Bow Summit, and recommend that you do the same to if you are visiting Banff!

best places to visit in Banff

Two-Jack Lake

Best Time to Visit: Sunrise or sunset

A short drive from the town of Banff, Two-Jack Lake is a beautiful location to photograph Mt. Rundle.

Banff National Park is truly one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited. Brian and I wish we could have spent a least another week or two exploring more of the natural beauty and adventures that lie in the Canadian Rockies. I guess we will just have to go back again soon! 🙂

More from the Canadian Rockies:

Hiking to Moraine and Consolation Lakes

Hiking to Lake Agnes and the Big Beehive

Hiking the Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Exploring Jasper National Park

Driving the Icefields Parkway

An Afternoon in Yoho National Park

Shop Our Favorite Gear for this adventure:



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17 thoughts on “Banff Photography Locations | Banff National Park”

    • Thank you! I feel like one week was not nearly enough time for us either. We can’t wait to go back and explore more.

  • bring back memories of my Banff National Park. My friend suggest me go there after that when i visit really feel this is a beautiful place It will be harder than anywhere else.

  • Wow, wow, wow! The photos are breathtaking. You make me want to book the flight in this very second. This part of the world has been on my list for so long and now I want to go even more. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks so much Nicola! It was a dream come true when I finally got to visit. I had a picture of Moraine Lake on my inspiration board for ages, and finally getting to stand in from of it was unreal. I hope you get to go soon!

    • Thank you for the kind words Teresa! I feel like I had a similar experience when I visited Yellowstone as a kid. Luckily, I have had the opportunity to go back and soak it all up as an adult. I hope you get to do the same with Banff in the future!

  • Your photos are absolutely mind blowing!! You are single handedly posting Canadian tourism – I for one am now ready to hop on a plane!

    • Haha! Thanks Maloney! Buy your ticket! You won’t regret it visiting! Also, thank you very much for the compliment about the photos! 🙂

  • My goodness what stunning vistas and camera chops. It did me good to see pictures of Lake Louise which knocked me out on my first visit long ago. I’d love to return to the Canadian Rockies and work on my photography skills!

  • That photo of Moraine Lake is one of the best photos of it I’ve ever seen!!! (Which is no mean feat!) I am really hoping the weather is like this next time I go – last time I couldn’t even see the tops of the peaks! 🙁

    • Thank you so much Clazz! That really means a lot since there are so many incredible photos of Moraine Lake out there. 🙂 I feel your weather woes. I have been in many beautiful locations and had bad lighting, or poor weather, and it completely ruins chances of getting good photos. It is heartbreaking, but that is part of the challenge of landscape photography. I will keep my fingers crosses for you on your next visit!

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