Banff is one of Canada’s gems that provides year-round amazing views and photography locations of bright blue lakes, the Rocky Mountains, and lush green forests. 🌲

This Alberta resort town is world-renowned for Banff National Park. Crowds flock here to spend a few days reconnecting with nature and experiencing the ultimate outdoor adventures. Close by are other favourite towns like Canmore, which is only 22 minutes away, and Jasper, which is only 3.5 hours away. If a Western Canadian road trip is in the cards 🚗, check out our Ultimate Road Trip Across Canada for more can’t-miss pit stops. 

Read on to discover the best places to take pictures in Banff, Alberta, according to our local Flytographers. 📸

Photo: Robin in Lake Louise for Flytograper. Jonathan and their partner celebrate their engagement with a couple photoshoot in Banff.

1. Lake Louise

Lake Louise is famous for its stunning turquoise water surrounded by impressive mountains ⛰ and trees. There’s a good chance you’ve seen photos of this must-visit attraction on Instagram since no one can resist sharing pics of it when they visit. Take a canoe 🛶 across the lake during the summertime, or hit the ski hills ⛷in the winter. There’s an abundance of things to do that are beloved by both tourists and locals alike.

If you want gorgeous views when you wake up to those bright blue waters, explore all the Airbnb lodge and cabin options nearby the lake, or splurge at the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. With winter just around the corner, ❄️  it’s the ultimate cozy getaway for a family vacation or a memorable trip with your partner. Imagine spending the day skiing, snowboarding, or wandering the snowy trails, and then curling up by the fire with hot cocoa. ☕️ 

Only 25 minutes away from Lake Louise is the awe-inspiring Castle Mountains and Mount Rundle, another collection of hiking trails and magnificent settings in Banff National Park.

Photo: Robin in Lake Louise for Flytograper. Shay Merritt captures memories in Lake Louise with her family on a trip to Banff.

2. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is an impressive 4-star hotel with the best views of Lake Louise, the snow-capped mountains, 🏔 and Victoria Glacier. Enjoy the hotel amenities like afternoon tea at the restaurant or a relaxing massage at the spa before adventuring on the hiking trails and into town to support the local shops. 🛍

Whether you’re in the hotel or outside with the breathtaking views of Lake Louise around you, there’s no shortage of photography locations. 📸 You won’t be able to resist capturing the winter wonderland or summer beauty you’ll experience.

Photo: Flytographer in Lake Louise. Emily and their family capture memories in Lake Louise with a family photoshoot.

3. Lake Minnewanka

The glacial Lake Minnewanka is only a short distance outside Banff that offers a scenic drive any time of day or year.

Lake Minnewanka is a popular sightseeing destination, so make sure to hurry over in the morning to secure parking before the lot fills up. There are plenty of picnic tables to enjoy your lunch at, hiking trails to follow, and even seasonal boating options. ⛵️

Pose at the end of the wooden dock with the crystal lake 🌊 and mountains behind you or along the tree-lined hiking and biking paths in the lush green forests. Pro tip: come for sunrise or sunset. You will leave Lake Minnewanka with a camera roll full of pics with pretty backdrops. 

Photo: Robin in Banff for Flytograper. Cameron and their partner celebrate their engagement with a couple photoshoot.

4. Bow Lake & Falls

Bow Lake is another turquoise lake surrounded by mountains and nature. It’s definitely worth visiting the Bow Glacial Waterfalls at this lake because it’s the largest waterfall on the Icefields Parkway and is a remarkable sight. 💕

Follow one of the various hiking trails that weave through the Canadian Rockies and along the Bow River until you feel the cool mist of the upper falls on your face. Along the way, don’t forget to snap some selfies 🤳🏾 and group pics with the gorgeous mountains behind you. 

The hike 🥾 to Bow Falls starts at the bottom of Bow Lake and is a relatively easy hike. It’s estimated to be a 3-hour hike roundtrip, so consider bringing a picnic to enjoy once you reach the upper falls!

Photo: Flytographer in Banff. Ellen and their family celebrate their trip to Banff with a family photoshoot.

5. Fairmont Banff Springs

A trip to Fairmont Banff Springs is like stepping into a fairy tale with its castle-like 🏰 building and magical mountain setting. It’s the ideal winter or summertime escape, especially since it’s only a 5-minute drive from the vibrant town of Banff.

While you’re at the Banff Springs Hotel, head over to the famous Banff Gondola to get the best views of the town and mountains. Along with mesmerizing views, there’s many fun activities to check out here at the Banff Gondola. From the gondola ride to fine dining, you’ll have experiences upon experiences to capture on this mountaintop. ⛰

The Fairmont Banff Springs is also nearby several prominent Banff lakes and attractions, such as Vermilion Lakes, Lake Louise, and Tunnel Mountains that are definite additions to your Banff itinerary. ✅

Photo: Flytographer in Banff. Heidi and their family celebrate their trip to Banff with a family photoshoot.

6. Canmore Engine Bridge

The Canmore Engine Bridge is an old rusting railway bridge 🌉that pedestrians can walk along to experience a panoramic view of mountains and turquoise waves of the Bow River. These classic Canadian views and the unique architecture of the red bridge make it a fantastic location to take some beautiful photos. Pose the whole family or friend group, or you and your partner, for pictures with this enchanting scenery behind you.

It’s no wonder it’s a beloved spot for engagement and wedding photos 👰🏽‍♀️and a go-to for local Flytographers.

After taking in the beauty of Canmore Engine Bridge, venture over to the Three Sisters, which is a hiking loop for dense forests and fascinating peaks. The entire trek is 80 km, looping around the North, Middle, and South volcanoes, 🌋 offering a drastic visual shift from the grey, snowcapped mountains to the red volcanic rocks. 

Photo: Flytographer in Banff. Amy and their partner celebrate their trip to Banff with a couple photoshoot.

7. Emerald Lake

The name Emerald Lake says it all. These emerald waters are enclosed by vibrant green forests 🌲 and adorable cabins, creating a romantic 💗 and magical place ✨  in Yoho National Park. Emerald Lake is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and while it’s a bit of a stretch from the town of Banff (about an hour’s drive away), it’s definitely worth the trip.

Whether you need to disconnect from life or a stunning place to stay while driving through the Banff area, the Emerald Lake Lodge allows you to absorb the full beauty of this favoured lake. You will spend the summers in a kayak on the lake, and the winters huddled up inside the wooden lodge. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

This lake and lodge are common places for destination weddings and engagement 💍 sessions, although they make the perfect setting for family and friend photoshoots too!

Photo: Robin in Banff for Flytograper. Daniel and their partner celebrate their engagement with a surprise proposal photoshoot at Emerald Lake.

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8. Two Jack Lake

Two Jack Lake is a 3.2 km hiking loop full of picturesque sights 📸 the town is so well known for. The trails are primarily used for walking and hiking, not biking, so feel free to bring the whole family for this scenic adventure! 👨‍👨‍👦‍👦

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, follow the trails all the way to Stewart Canyon and Stewart Canyon Bridge. This is only 4.2 km from the start of the Two Jack Lake trail, so it’s an easy add-on to your Two Jack Lake visit. It also overlooks one of the other areas we already talked about, Lake Minnewanka, as well as the Cascade Mountains. 🌊

Photo: Robin in Banff for Flytograper. Katie and their partner celebrate their pre-wedding trip to Banff with a couple photoshoot.

9. Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is only 14 km from its sister turquoise lake, Lake Louise, and is about an hour outside Banff’s town centre. Along with a gorgeous lakeside photoshoot location and scenery of mountains and trees, there are plenty of hiking trails to enjoy while you’re here.

The main trail is family-friendly and stretches around the lake, amounting to about a 2.8 km hike that begins at the canoe 🛶  deck and carries into the thick forest. 🌲 The entire walk is relatively flat, so don’t worry about scaling mountainsides just for those incredible views. 🤩

Photo: Flytographer in Banff. Kamille and their family celebrate their trip to Banff with a family photoshoot at Moraine Lake.

10. Sulphur Mountain

Sulphur Mountain is home to two sulphurous hot springs that are the ideal way to unwind after yet another fantastic Alberta hike. 😌 

The hot springs are on the mountain’s lower slopes, but you can ride a gondola 🚠  up the mountain to the very top. Not only are you experiencing the staple mountain 🌁 and forest landscape, but the storybook-like town of Banff as well, which will be spread out below you. 

Photo: Flytographer in Banff. Luis and their partner celebrate their engagement at Sulphur Mountain with a surprise proposal photoshoot.

Capturing memories in Banff

Have we convinced you to visit Banff yet with all these gorgeous locations nestled in the Rocky Mountains and Canadian forests? 

Book a Flytographer to help you capture all these memories and breathtaking sights, so you can focus on your trip and the breathtaking scenery. 📸