We all need time out from our busy lives. This means unplugging to the extent that it’s feasible and connecting with nature, alone or with a partner, friend, family member or group. Without time out, stress accumulates and we burn out.
Unplug in Banff, Alberta
If you’re craving a sweet escape from the madness of modern life, you may enjoy reading about my sojourn in Banff, Alberta.
My temporary stay in Banff was all about re-charging my batteries and it did leave me feeling serene and refreshed. Chalk it up to the pure mountain air if you like, but there is real magic in this place. It’s a tonic for mind, body and spirit.
Banff, Alberta is a fine choice for those who want to enjoy the beauty of majestic mountain ranges, pure alpine streams and lush wilderness. However, you don’t need to take my word for it – four million tourists explore the area every year!
Basic Banff, Alberta Facts
Situated within the natural splendour of Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, this jewel of a mountain town features high elevations, from fourteen hundred to sixteen hundred feet, as well as hot springs and terrain which lends itself to a dizzying array of outdoor activities, from gentle hikes to extreme sports (and anything in between).
To help you discover the beauty of Banff, I’ve written down my own experiences. I camped in the area for five days, which gave me enough time to appreciate the town’s myriad charms…
Camp by Night, Sight-see by Day…
I traveled to Banff at twilight, by SUV, in mid-August, 2015. Once I arrived in the town, I planned to hit some of the area’s key attractions, including Moraine Lake and the Cascade Gardens. I was accompanied by a buddy from high school, so we were basically two older guys on the road, with one air mattress each, rucksacks full of supplies, rain gear and sturdy hiking boots.
We were psyched up for our adventure and we started things off by setting up our campsite. The area features thirteen campsites, so we had plenty of choices. We used research before our trip in order to select a good one – this isn’t a promo article, so I won’t name names. However, our camp ground was a mere eight kilometres from downtown Banff, so it suited our purposes perfectly. As well, it was just a beautiful place and it had the amenities that we needed.
Love Banff? Check out: The Best Winter Activities in Alberta
Banff Alberta: The Perfect Place to Get Away from it All
Our plan was to camp at night, pack our gear into the SUV by day and then take part in plenty of hiking and sightseeing. We didn’t structure things too much, because we were there to get away from structure. We had a couple of places we wanted to see and we left the rest of the itinerary wide open.
Want to hike in Banff? Read 8 things that can make or break your hiking adventure
As we explored, we’d reminisce about the good old days, sample some local cuisine and maybe enjoy a beer or two. This sojourn turned out to be the perfect way to forget about our busy workdays and family responsibilities. This is why I recommend Banff so highly. Its beauty is virtually incomparable. As well, it has an unspoiled quality that is very appealing. You’ll feel different while you’re there, in a good way…
Things We Saw and Did in Banff
We both love hiking at the moderate level and we wanted to do it around a glacially-fed lake. This is why we drove out to Moraine Lake, which is found in Banff National Park, within the Valley of the Ten Peaks. This beautiful waterway is the purest turquoise imaginable. It’s so stunning it’s almost surreal!
We checked out the walking trails around the lake and decided to do the Rockpile Trail. This would give us a perfect view of the lake (yes, we got out our smart phones to take pictures – so much for unplugging!).
Another highlight of our trip was the Cascade Gardens, which is a convenient hop, skip and jump from Banff’s Main Street. The gardens are a great place to sit down for a bit, chill out and look at everything around you. It’s serene there, with well-maintained blooms and leaves and there are plenty of gazebos and bridges to check out.
In terms of our camping experience, we loved sunset, when we’d finish setting up camp and then reflect about what we’d done that day, as well as our lives in general.
Nature’s wild spirit lives and breathes in Banff, Alberta. While the area does have stunning hotels and resorts, I think the best way to connect with Banff’s untamed spirit is to contemplate it from a campground.
For more on Banff Alberta check out Canoe Banff Lake Louise
A good night’s sleep on an air mattress, after an evening spent roasting marshmallows and talking, will make you feel reborn. So, you definitely don’t need to spend a fortune or get too fancy in order to unwind in this town. It’s probably easier to unwind at camp, where you’re sealed off from commerce and everything that you’re trying to get away from.
This is a place to see. I doubt anyone regrets visiting this Alberta town, so please try to explore it in the future. It’s such a great place to escape.