Canadian Rockies (Banff) Viewpoints and Photography Spots

The Canadian Rockies are as picturesque as a place can get. Check out some of the best photography spots and viewpoints in Banff, Yoho and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies.

The Canadian Rockies is one of my favorite places to travel to and take photos at. Banff in particular never ceases to impress me with its natural beauty and amazing viewpoints. Banff really is a photographer’s paradise, offering an array of awe-inspiring landscapes that will leave you in awe.

From towering snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear turquoise lakes to dramatic waterfalls and beautiful hiking trails, Banff and the Canadian Rockies present a myriad of opportunities for anyone that wants to take nice photos, whether you are a photographer, Instagrammer or just want to capture some beautiful memories.

Within Banff National Park, you’ll find an abundance of picturesque spots and viewpoints to capture the essence of this remarkable landscape. From the vibrant blues of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake to the dramatic peaks of Mount Rundle and the stunning Icefields Parkway, you will find plenty of incredible photo spots.

Beyond Banff National Park, the Canadian Rockies extend their grandeur, providing countless opportunities to explore and capture the raw beauty of this untamed wilderness.

From the picturesque Jasper National Park to the towering peaks of Yoho National Park and to the off-the beaten path gems of Canmore, the Canadian Rockies offer an array of Instagram worthy photography spots and viewpoints.

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Where is Banff and the Canadian Rockies?

Banff and the Canadian Rockies are located in the province of Alberta, Canada.

Banff National Park, one of the main highlights of the Canadian Rockies, is situated in the Rocky Mountains about 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Calgary, Alberta’s largest city.

The park is part of the larger Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage site, which also includes Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park, Kootenay National Park and the towns of Jasper and Canmore.

The Canadian Rockies stretch across several provinces, including Alberta and British Columbia, and are known for their breathtaking mountain landscapes, glacial lakes, and abundant wildlife.

What’s the Best Way to Explore Banff and the Canadian Rockies?

There are several ways you can explore Banff and the Canadian Rockies.

Renting a car and driving around Banff to serach for the best photography spots is the most convenient and flexible way. You (for the most part) will not be limited by bus schedules since the lakes and viewpoints are open 24 hours a day, except places that need tickets and gondola of course.

We rented a car from Discover Cars when we visited Banff and was able to find pretty good deals. But if you are visiting in the summer you should book early before prices go up.

If you don’t have a car, don’t worry, you can still get around Banff and explore the Canadian Rockies to get good photos.

There are a couple of different bus services that connect Banff to the famous lakes and attractions in the Canadian Rockies, such as taking Roam Public Transit, Parks Canada Shuttles, Fairview Limousine, Moraine Lake Bus Company and Mountain Park Transportation shuttles to get around Banff and Lake Louise.

If you are in Jasper without a car, you will need to hire taxi companies such as Caribou Cabs or SunDog Tours to drive you around to places you need to go.

There is no public transportation in Yoho National Park, so you will need a car to get around.

What is the Best Time to Visit Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Park?

The summer months of mid June to August are the peak tourist season in the Canadian Rockies.

The weather is generally pleasant, with average daytime temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F) in the valleys. This is the ideal time for hiking, wildlife viewing, camping, and enjoying the vibrant turquoise waters of the lakes. However, popular attractions are very crowded and accommodations may be in high demand.

Early fall months from September to October are also great time to visit Banff and the Canadian Rockies. The weather will be cooler and there will be less people visiting compare to the summer months. The foliage time is amazing for photography in Banff as the landscapes are adorned with vibrant colors.

Winter and spring will give you a different vibe in the Canadian Rockies. If you are looking for a winter wonderland atmosphere then winter is beautiful to visit. But keep in mind all the lakes are frozen and many roads are closed in the winter and early spring.

What Are The Best Picture Spots and Viewpoints in Banff and the Surrounding Areas?

There are so many beautiful picture spots in Banff, Yoho, Jasper and the towns in the Canadian Rockies. I will list some of the best ones that I have been to to see if Banff and the Canadian Rockies are worth visiting.

Best Viewpoints and Picture Spots in Banff

Moraine Lake Rock Pile

Effort level: Low
Time Needed: 45 minutes
How to reach: Via Parks Canada shuttle bus, tours, commercial cars or biking

Lake Moraine at sunset. Moraine Lake photo spot
Moraine Lake summer sunset

If you ask me to rank my No.1 favorite photo spot in Banff then it would be at Moraine Lake. In fact I like it so much that my top 2 best photography spots in Banff all belong to Moraine Lake.

I have been to Moraine Lake numerous times during different times of the day and I have always been awed by its beauty. It truly is a view that I can never get sick of.

But apparently many people agree with me so Moraine Lake became so congested that Parks Canada has to close the road to all personal vehicles starting in 2023. It used to be that you could camp in your car in the parking lot after midnight and be one of the first ones to see sunrise at Moraine Lake and take photos there.

Now during the day crowds and crowds of people can come to Moraine Lake by Parks Canada Shuttle so it would be difficult to get a good photo of yourself at Moraine Lake.

Banff itinerary: Moraine Lake

The best time to take photos at Moraine Lake is either early morning or sunset time so you can avoid the crowd. There are commercial tours that now take you to Moraine Lake for sunrise and you can always bike in and out or Moraine Lake although it is quite long so I wouldn’t recommend biking.

The best photo spot at Moraine Lake is to walk up the Rock Pile and climb down a few rocks until you find a satisfactory vintage point to your photos.

You cannot visit Moraine Lake in the winter as the road to Moraine Lake is closed.

Moraine Lake Canoe

Effort Level: Low
Time Needed: 1 hour

Canoe on Lake Moraine in Banff National Park

Moraine Lake is not only gorgeous from the top but it’s also beautiful from the lake itself.

While you can walk around the side of Moraine Lake, it is best experienced on a canoe.

Banff itinerary Moraine Lake Canoe

You can rent a canoe from Moraine Lake Lodge by the shore for day recreational use. It is not cheap to rent canoe as it costs $130 CAD plus tax per canoe for one hour rental but I do think it is worth it.

Canoeing on the most beautiful lake in Banff towards towering peaks and glaciers is an experience you won’t find anywhere else, besides canoe photos are the best don’t you agree?

The best time to canoe on Moraine Lake is during a clear day. If it rains you will not be able to get the beautiful blue color of the water. Besides it is super dangerous to be on the water during thunderstorms.

Peyto Lake Second Viewpoint

Effort Required: Low
Time Needed: 1 hour
How to reach: Self-drive or tours

Peyto Lake best photo spots in Banff
Photo of Peyto Lake

Another low effort high reward photography spot in Banff is Peyto Lake, along Icefields Parkway.

There is a reason why Peyto Lake is one of the most popular photography spots in Banff and the Canadian Rockies. Its stunning blue water (as a result of glacier flour) make you wonder if the lake is even real.

The vibrant scenery coupled with the ease of access makes Peyto Lake a photographer’s dream.

Morning view of Peyto Lake photo

From Lake Louise, drive on Icefields Parkway until you see the sign for “Bow Summit” on the left hand side. After pulling into the parking lot you will walk on a paved moderately steep (but short) path to the viewing platform for an amazing view of Peyto Lake from above.

Banff and Jasper itinerary peyto lake view

However the real gem is the secret second viewpoint at Peyto Lake, which most people don’t know about. It is another 15 minutes easy walk to the second viewpoint at Peyto Lake.

See my step-by-step guide on how to find the second viewpoint at Peyto Lake.

The best time to visit Peyto Lake is early morning or sunset time to avoid the crowd. The lake is most vibrant during the summer months on a clear day but fall is also a great time to see Peyto Lake due to the color of the larch trees around Peyto Lake.

Lake Louise Viewpoints

Effort Required: Low
Time Needed: 30 minutes
How to reach: Self drive, Roam Transit or Parks Canada Shuttle

Banff Itinerary - Lake louise
Lake Louise in the morning

Nestled in the heart of Banff National Park and surrounded by towering mountains and glaciers, Lake Louise is one of the most famous lake in Banff National Park.

Known as the “Jewel of the Canadian Rockies,” Lake Louise is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting Banff and the Canadian Rockies.

Lake Louise is best visited early morning on a clear day when there is minimal wind, as this is the only time to see the perfect reflection on Lake Louise. Once the sun is high enough and the wind picks up, the reflection disappears.

Early morning is great if you are planning to drive since parking lots at Lake Louise fill up after 8am. If you really cannot make it there that early, you can always take Parks Canada Shuttle to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. You must make reservation ahead of time.

Lake Louise boat house in Banff for your Banff itinerary

Sunset is another great time to visit Lake Louise if you want to avoid the crowd. I have been to Lake Louise pretty much all time of the day and I find early morning and sunset to be the best time for photos.

Morning reflection at Lake Louise photospot
Lake Louise early morning
Lake Louise sunset photo
Sunset at Lake Louise

You can also walk around the lake to take photos of Lake Louise at different angles. The further you walk the less people there will be. I have walked to the other side of Lake Louise before and the view was entirely different with almost nobody around.

the other side of Lake Louise in the summer

To be honest Lake Louise is so picturesque that even if you have to go in the middle of the day you would be able to get nice photos.

Lake Agnes

Effort Required: Moderate
Time Needed: 2 hours
How to reach: Hiking via Lake Louise

Lake Agnes photo
Mirror Lake Lake Agnes and Beehive hike in Banff

Lake Agnes is a pristine alpine lake slightly above Lake Louise and is only accessible via hiking from Lake Louise.

This easy hike goes through forests, Mirror Lake (pictured above on the right), a waterfall before reaching the renowned Lake Agnes Teahouse, where you can enjoy a cup of tea with some food.

Lake Agnes is the most popular hike at Lake Louise because it is short and relatively easy, many people with small kids even hike up to Lake Agnes.

Lake Agnes is also the starting point of two other popular hikes in Banff (more on that below).

The water is very reflective at Lake Agnes and the glacier backdrop makes the lake even more stunning on a clear day.

There is no bad time to visit Lake Agnes as there will always be a crowd.

Big Beehive & Little Beehive Viewpoint

Effort Required: High
Time Needed: 4 hours
How to reach: Hiking via Lake Louise

Big Beehive view from top in Banff National Park in the summer
Big Beehive
view of Lake Louise from Big Beehive
Big Beehive

Big Beehive and Little Beehive are 2 hiking trails at Lake Louise that are known for their panoramic view of Lake Louise from above.

Big Beehive is a 9.6km (6 mile) hike starting at Lake Louise. It passes by the picturesque Lake Agnes before going straight uphill on steep and narrow switchbacks.

Little Beehive is a 9.2km (5.7 mile) that also starts at Lake Louise and climbs sharply uphill at Lake Agnes.

Both Beehive hikes offer stunning view of Lake Louise and the surrounding peaks from a high vantage point and the biggest difference is that Little Beehive is lower and slightly shorter than Big Beehive.

Big Beehive view of Lake Louise photo i Banff

The best time to hike Big Beehive and Little Beehive are during the summer and early fall months on a clear day. If you can, try to do the hike later during the day to avoid the crowd, but these are two very popular hikes at Lake Louise so crowd is expected.

Be sure to bring a wide angle lens with you to capture the entire lake. Hiking shoes are recommended and bring water and cash with you (cash if you plan to purchase drinks or food from the Lake Agnes Tea House).

Check out my detailed guide to hike Lake Agnes and Big Beehive.

Morant’s Curve Viewpoint

Effort Required: Low
Time Needed: 1-2 hours
How to reach: Driving

Morant's Curve winter photo

Morant’s Curve is a renowned photography spot in Banff.

Located along the Canadian Pacific Railway, this iconic curve has gained fame among photographers and train enthusiasts alike for its breathtaking vistas and the opportunity to capture stunning images of trains winding through the majestic Rocky Mountains.

It is a great picture spot in Banff because of its perfect framing of the trains against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.

The best months to capture the moving train at Morant’s Curve are during the winter months when the contrast between the red train and snow is the greatest.

Keep in mind that depending on the train schedule, you may have to wait a long time before a train shows up. So you will need some patience and a little luck when trying to take photos at Morant’s Curve.

Plain of Six Glaciers

Effort Required: High
Time Needed: 6 hours
How to reach: Hiking via Lake Louise

Banff Itinerary Banff hiking plain of six glacier

Another gem at Lake Louise is Plain of Six Glaciers, a fantastic day hike that starts at the back of Lake Louise.

The Plain of Six Glaciers hike takes you high above Lake Louise towards the glaciers that you see from Lake Louise.

3 days in Banff Plain of Six Glacier Hike

The view along the hike is incredible and you get very close to the glaciers at the end of the hike. In addition you can also eat and relax at a teahouse overlooking the glaciers.

The tea house does get packed so the best time to go is as early as possible (like starting no later than 8am).

The Banff Sign

Effort Required: Low
Time Needed: 15 minutes
How to reach: Driving or walking

Banff town sign

The Banff Sign is an iconic photo spot that embodies the essence of the picturesque town of Banff in the Canadian Rockies.

Situated against a backdrop of towering mountains and surrounded by lush greenery, this iconic sign has become a symbol of adventure and natural beauty.

The sign features bold, rustic wooden lettering, displaying the name “Banff” and inviting visitors to capture a lasting memory of their time in this stunning location.

The sign serves as a reminder of the town’s heritage, which dates back to the 19th century when it was first established as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

Families and kids are welcomed to climb up the sign and be creative while having fun capturing this iconic sign.

You can walk to the Banff sign from Banff town or drive to the sign and park at the Fenlands Recreational Center.

Banff Avenue

Effort Required: Low
Time Needed: 15 minutes – 3 hours
How to reach: Walking

Banff town in the summer - best things to do in Banff

Banff Avenue is a bustling and vibrant street that serves as the heart and soul of the town of Banff.

Lined with charming boutiques, cozy cafés, and majestic mountain views, it is not only a popular destination for shopping and dining but also an excellent photo spot that captures the essence of Banff’s unique atmosphere.

Banff Avenue is a popular picture spot in Banff because of its stunning backdrop. Towering mountains, including Mount Rundle, help to frame the street and creating an unique photo opportunity.

The best time to visit Banff Town is in the summer when there are flowers on Banff Avenue, making the photo even more vibrant.

Johnston Canyon

Effort Required: Moderate
Time Needed: 1-2 hours
How to reach: Walking

Johnston Canyon Lower Falls
Lower Falls
Johnston Canyon Upper Falls
Upper Falls

Johnston Canyon is an easy family friendly stroll that features a series of breathtaking waterfalls, lush forests, and dramatic rock formations, all of which provide ample opportunities for stunning compositions.

Johnston Canyon is popular among visitors because of its ease of access. The trails are well maintained and paved, making it easy to explore even for young kids.

Moreover, the changing seasons add a dynamic element to the photography experience at Johnston Canyon.

In the spring and summer months, the vibrant green foliage contrasts beautifully with the crystal-clear turquoise waters cascading down the canyon walls, creating a picturesque scene.

In autumn, the foliage transforms into a vibrant tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows, providing a captivating palette for photographers to capture.

Even in winter, when the canyon is blanketed in snow and ice, the frozen waterfalls create a surreal and ethereal atmosphere, making it a winter wonderland for photographers.

The best time to visit Johnston Canyon is early evening when most of the crowds have left, so you have a better chance of having the entire place to yourself (also so you don’t have to worry about parking).

Johnston Canyon Secret Cave how to find

There used to be a “secret cave” at Johnston Canyon but unfortunately it is no longer legal to go down to the secret cave.

Icefields Parkway Viewpoints

Effort Required: Low
Time Needed: 3-8 hours
How to reach: Driving, Hiking

view points on Icefields Parkway

Icefields Parkway, often referred to as one of the world’s most scenic drives, is a breathtakingly beautiful highway that stretches for approximately 232 kilometers (144 miles) through the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Connecting Jasper National Park and Banff National Park, this iconic roadway offers an unrivaled opportunity for visitors to capture the stunning landscapes.

Parker ridge Icefields Banff National Park Icefields Parkway Drive HIke

Along the drive, you are treated to an array of majestic mountains, glaciers, turquoise lakes, beautiful viewpoints and amazing hikes.

Ideally you can drive the entire Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper to fully experience its beauty and find the best photography spots. But if you can only drive a little bit to Peyto Lake (yes Peyto Lake is part of Icefields Parkway), you can already experience its beauty.

Big Bend Photo Stop on Icefields Parkway Banff National Park

Some of the hikes on Icefields Parkway offer incredible photo opportunities.

Check out my detailed Icefields Parkway Photo Guide to find the best picture spots on Icefields Parkway.

Best Viewpoints and Photo Spots in Canmore

The town of Canmore is a scenic town about 20 minutes from Banff in the Canadian Rockies.

Many visitors to Banff and Lake Louise actually stay in Canmore as there are a lot of restaurants, shops and accommodation options.

Canmore also has a number of beautiful photo spots as well as amazing trails so it attracts visitors who are looking to do something other than Lake Louise or Moraine Lake.

I stayed in Canmore during one of my Banff trips and I thoroughly enjoyed staying there!

Canmore Three Sisters Viewpoint

Effort level: Low
Time Needed: 30 minutes
How to reach: Short Walk

Canmore Three Sisters is a renowned photo spot located near the town of Canmore in Alberta.

This particular picture spot offers breathtaking views of the iconic Three Sisters peaks, a trio of towering mountains with a perfect reflection over a small body of water. It is one of the most photographed mountain ranges in the Canadian Rockies and attracts photographers from all over the world.

The best time to photograph the Canmore Three Sisters is during the early morning or late evening when the soft golden light illuminates the mountains while reflecting perfectly over the small pond.

canmore three sisters sunset reflection

How to reach the Canmore Three Sisters Viewpoint?

Canmore Three Sisters viewpoint is probably one of the most hidden viewpoint to find on this list. If you simply type “Three Sisters Viewpoint” in Google Maps, it won’t really show you a trail to get there.

You have to first go to “Off Leash Dog Area” in Canmore, park your car there, and go into an underpass to cross Bow Valley Trail.

Canmore three Sister Off Leash Dog Area how to get to Canmore Three Sisters Viewpoint

Once you are on the other side, continue walking on the gravel path until you see a path heading into the woods.

Canmore three Sister Off Leash Dog Area how to get to Canmore Three Sisters Viewpoint

Continue walking into the woods until you see a body of water and the Three Sisters Peaks in the background.

Canmore three Sister Off Leash Dog Area how to get to Canmore Three Sisters Viewpoint

Keep in mind that during summer there are a lot of mosquitoes. Once the sun went down all the mosquitoes came out all at once and attacked us! Bring insect repellent when you go!

East End of Rundle

Effort level: High
Time Needed: 3 hours
How to reach: Difficult hike + scramble

East End of Rundle is one of the most rewarding yet difficult hikes in the Canmore area.

The trail is 3 miles out-and-back and requires a bit of scrambling. The trail is not well marked and there are a lot of loose rocks on the trail.

You will definitely hiking shoes and probably hiking poles to go up to the summit although the views along the way are stunning so you don’t necessarily need to go up to the peak.

Since the trail is hard to follow, it’s best to download an Alltrails Map to help you find the trail.

Although challenging, the view of Ha Ling Peak is well worth the effort and makes East End of Rundle one of the best photo spots in Canmore.

HI Canmore Alpine Club of Canada (or Grotto Mountain Trailhead)

Effort level: Low
Time Needed: up to you!
How to get there: Staying over night

Best viewpoints in Banff

HI Canmore Alpine Club of Canada is one of the hostels we stayed at when we visited Banff during one of the summers.

We were looking for accommodation and didn’t realize everything in Banff got booked up so fast! So we actually found this hostel by chance.

It was our first night in Banff and I was amazed by the view from the patio of the hostel.

But it’s ok if you are not staying there. You can actually get the same view from the nearby Grotto Mountain Trailhead. You don’t even really need to hike up too much to get this panoramic view.

Other nice photo spots in Canmore area include Quarry Lake Park and Grassi Lakes.

If you are not tired of lakes yet, you should definitely check these two lakes out.

Grassi Lakes Canmore Photos
Grassi Lakes

Best Picture and Photo Spots in Yoho and Jasper National Park

Yoho National Park and Jasper National Parks are two other national parks in the Canadian Rockies near Banff.

Both are further from Banff so they are less visited in comparison. Both national parks have stunning scenery and hiking trails, making them just as picturesque as Banff but with way less people!

Glacier View Lodge

Effort level: Low
Time Needed: up to you!
How to get there: Driving or staying overnight

Glacier View Lodge is a hotel located along the Icefields Parkway near Columbia Icefield Skywalk.

If you are doing a family vacation and wants easy access to the Skywalk and Icefield adventure then it’s a great place to stay.

The best photo spot of Glacier View Lodge is from the floor to ceiling window in its lobby. You can get a perfect view of the majestic Athabasca Glacier.

Just in case you are wondering, it costs between $250 – $400 a night depending on the season and dates.

Lake O’Hara Viewpoint

Effort level: High
Time Needed: 4 – 8 hours or overnight
How to get there: Hiking

Lake O'Hara Prospect Point hike view in Yoho National Park
Lake O'hara early morning

Lake O’Hara is one of the most pristine lakes in the Canadian Rockies. Located in Yoho National Park, this enchanting lake is surrounded by towering peaks, lush meadows, and vibrant alpine forests.

The most famous photo spot at Lake O’Hara is at this particular viewpoint, which requires a short hike from Lake O’Hara.

Lake O'Hara view point

Access to Lake O’Hara is carefully managed to preserve its tranquility and ecological integrity. Only buses operated by Parks Canada are allowed to drive the 11km service road to Lake O’Hara but this bus ticket is extremely hard to get.

You will need to be lucky enough to win the bus ticket from a lottery and there are only 2 daily buses that go up to Lake O’Hara. Without a bus ticket, you will need to walk 2-3 hours up to Lake O’Hara.

You can also get on a bus if you are staying at the Lake O’Hara Lodge (usually booked up more than 1 year in advance) or. if you are lucky enough to get a camping reservation at Lake O’Hara.

Read my Lake O’Hara guide for more information on how to access Lake O’Hara and hike to this view point.

Emerald Lake

Effort level: Low
Time Needed: 1-2 hours
How to get there: Canoe

Canoe on Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park
Emerald Lake photos yoho national park photo spots and pictures

Located in Yoho National Park, Emerald Lake is renowned for its vibrant turquoise waters and stunning mountain backdrop.

There are several hiking trails at Emerald Lake but good photos at Emerald Lake don’t require too much effort actually! Since the lake itself is so picturesque, you can just spend some time walking around the lake or canoe!

The boathouse opens at 10am so there is no need to get there super early (definitely no 7am arrivals like Lake Louise).

We visited Emerald Lake on a cloudy day and the boat rental people told us if we hear thunder we need to come back to shore immediately since you could get struck by lightning quite easily if you are on open water.

It ended up thunder storming and my friends were screaming at me telling me to row faster. Well at least we made it back to safety clearly (otherwise no photo spots in the Canadian Rockies for you guys).

TLDR: Go on a sunny day, don’t be rowing in the middle of a thunder storm like me.

Sulphur Skyline Trail

Effort level: High
Time Needed: 3-4 hours
How to get there: Hiking

Sulphur Skyline Trail is one of the most popular and possibly most scenic hike in Jasper National Park.

The entire hike is about 5 miles (out and back). You will first a gradual uphill through a dense forest. Once you break the tree line you will be hiking up a slippery and steep rocky path all the way to summit.

At the summit you have a 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding peaks and valleys, making this a great picture spot.

Maligne Lake & Spirit Island

Effort level: Low
Time Needed: 3-4 hours
How to get there: Tour or Kayaking

Maligne Lake, located in Jasper National Park, is known for its scenic views and the iconic Spirit Island that rests at its heart.

Maligne Lake’s crystal-clear turquoise waters, combined with the dramatic backdrop of the towering peaks and 3 glaciers create an idyllic setting for capturing breathtaking photos.

At the heart of Maligne Lake lies Spirit Island, a tiny islet adorned with a solitary cluster of trees.

Many people take a boat tour to visit Maligne Lake and Spirit Island but you can also rent a kayak or canoe and get to Spirit Island yourself. However keep in mind that Spirit Island is 14km (8.7 mile each way) from shore.

Tips to Capturing Beautiful Photos in Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Park

Go Early!

Banff and Jasper are very popular national park to visit in the summer, there is more crowd there than I have seen anywhere else in nature. In general you want to get to the popular lakes as early as possible so you have parking and you can get a few shots in without people.

Banff Gondola top view at sunset in the summer

Bring the Right Gear

Although iphones do take very nice photos, I still think nothing can beat a nice camera with the correct lens.

For portrait shots I always like to use my 35mm prime lens and I love using my versatile 28-75mm zoom lens. For certain locations, you may also need to bring a wide angle lens so you capture the entire scenery.

Wear Something That Pops

Since most of your photos background is going to be either blue, turquoise or green, I suggest you plan your outfits accordingly.

Some influencers bring a whole gown up the mountains with them and while the photos are stunning, it may not be the type of thing you want to do (and that’s ok). Wear something you are comfortable with but make the color pop out.

Be Patient

Even if you go super early or late to a photography spot in Banff, there is probably someone else that’s there before you.

Everyone wants nice photos in Banff so you will just need to be creative with the angles and be a little patient.


Summary of the Best Viewpoints, Picture and Photography Spots in Banff and the Canadian Rockies

Banff and the rest of the Canadian Rockies are one of the most beautiful places you can ever visit.

There are a ton of beautiful picture spots in Banff and the surrounding areas that you simply cannot miss. Some of these spots require a little bit of effort (ok maybe some require a lot of effort) whereas others require very little work.

Just to summarize, here are the most beautiful photography spots in Banff and the Canadian Rockies:

Banff Photo Spots and Viewpoints

  1. Moraine Lake Rock Pile
  2. Moraine Lake Canoe
  3. Peyto Lake Second Viewpoint
  4. Lake Louise Shoreline
  5. Lake Agnes
  6. Big Beehive & Little Beehive Trail
  7. Morant’s Curve
  8. Plain of Six Glaciers Trail
  9. The Banff Sign
  10. Banff Avenue
  11. Johnston Canyon
  12. Icefields Parkway

Canmore Photo Spots and Viewpoints

  1. Canmore Three Sisters Viewpoint
  2. East End of Rundle
  3. HI Canmore Alpine Club of Canada
  4. Quarry Lake Park
  5. Grassi Lakes

Yoho and Jasper Photo Spots and Viewpoints

  • Glacier View Lodge
  • Lake O’Hara Viewpoint
  • Emerald Lake
  • Sulphur Skyline Trail
  • Maligne Lake & Spirit Island

Other Canadian Rockies Planning Guides

Banff itinerary & things to do

If you only want to do a day trip to Banff to see the famous Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, check out my 1 day Banff itinerary.

If you do plan on spending more time in Banff or want to know what there is to do in Banff, be sure to read my guide on the 30 best things to do in Banff as well as my 5 Day Essential Banff Summer Itinerary.

Thinking about hiking around Lake Louise? This Lake Agnes & Big Beehive Hiking Guide is what you need!

Want to explore the secret cave of Johnston Canyon? Check out my guide on how to visit the secret cave at Johnston Canyon.

Athabasca Falls Icefields Parkway Attraction JAsper National Park itinerary

Jasper itinerary & things to do

If you plan to spend half a week in Jasper National Park, check out my 3-4 days Jasper National Park Itinerary.

Driving the Icefields Parkway? My Icefields Parkway Photo Spots Guide shows you the best picture and photography spots along Icefields Parkway from lake Louise to Jasper.

Want to find the best view at Peyto Lake? Don’t miss this step by step guide on how to find the second viewpoint at Peyto Lake.

Yoho National Park Hiking Guide

Thinking about going to Yoho National Park especially Lake O’Hara? Check out my detailed Lake O’Hara hiking guide.

Like this post? Pin this best photography spot in Banff to Pinterest!

Best Photo Spots in Banff and the Canadian Rockies
Canadian Rockies Photo Spots with Practical Tips. Banff viewpoints and picture spots