Scenic Drives Near Lake Louise & Banff
Banff National Park offer is well known for a host of world famous scenic drives allowing visitors to take a long, slow cruise through a breathtaking winter wonderland enjoying stunning mountain views. Below are a few unforgettable road trips that you can experience year round. (Be sure to plan ahead and check out road conditions before starting your trip, it can snow even in August!).
Bow Valley Parkway
The original Trans Canada Highway and the birthplace of the great Canadian Road Trip in the early 20th century, the parkway parallels the modern, four lane highway. It is a classic, and freshly paved, winding mountain road full of bear, moose, elk, and wolves. Unlike the Trans Canada, where travelling quickly is the priority, this 60 km per hour scenic drive offers the opportunity to slow down and immerse yourself in nature.
Vermilion Lakes Road
Again, just adjacent the Trans Canada, and boasting one of the most famous views of Mount Rundle, this road follows along a wet marshland, which is often glassy early in the morning or late in the evening. You can easily catch a glimpse of elk, coyotes or the occasional wolf. The road starts near Mt. Norquay Exit, which, for the pullout part way up, may be worth it’s own paragraph.
Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive
This scenic drive is typically done as a loop but a section is normally closed mid-November to mid-April. Not to worry, however, by heading east/right at the winter barricade you can still capture the best of the scenery. Just prior to the junction is Cascade Ponds and shortly after, Johnston, then two Jack Lake; the latter famous for its winter ice skating. Continuing along, Big Horn sheep sightings are nearly guaranteed before approaching the 2nd longest glacial lake in the mountain parks, Lake Minnewanka.
Tunnel Mountain Drive
This drive begins just in from the Lake Minnewanaka exit off the main highway and offers incredible views of the hoodoos, Mt Rundle’s less famous but imposing eastern face, the mighty Bow River and the Banff Springs Golf Course. The view of the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, aptly nick-named the “Castle in the Rockies,” from Surprise Corner is a phenomenal and a great finish before dining in town.
Widely lauded as in the top ten of the world’s most scenic drives, the Icefields Parkway winds northward from Lake Louise amidst stunning glacial lakes, and ice capped peaks. If you’re here for a wild glaciated, mountain landscape with a viewpoint around every corner, this can’t be missed. In the winter, be sure to check road conditions as avalanche danger can be high following a winter storm.
If you want to enjoy the best scenic winter drives and enjoy a truly authentic Rockies experience, then be sure to visit Baker Creek Mountain Resort. Book a visit this winter and relax by the fire, enjoy a drink and curl up in one of our cozy and intimate log cabins and suites. Book your visit now.