They said that Banff was quieter because of the pandemic. Fewer international tourists. We don’t often visit Banff in July or August, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it seemed uncomfortably busy all things considered.
With a couple of (pre) pre-teens always on our tails, we’ve had to compromise on the locations of our hikes this year. However, we’ve had good success with some family-friendly hikes that are still new to us.
Usually when I’m in Banff I skip over the Minnewanka area of the park. It feels pretty touristy, too close to the townsite, and without a lot of reward.
One year I left Edmonton at about 3:00 AM on my way to the Okanagan. I pulled into Canmore for gas just before 7:00 AM. When I got out, the air smelled amazing. Absolutely unreal. I called Joanna to tell her about it. I drove on west, and decided to check out the lakes north of the Banff Townsite. Maybe it’s because it was early morning on a beautiful day, but everything was calm, and just starting to wake up. Easily the best stop I made on that trip.