After posting my Banff National Park series to Instagram, I learned immediately…It’s a bucket list destination for SO many of my followers! I wasn’t surprised at all- It’s a photography lover’s dream!
There are SO many photo ops for content creators that I thought a Banff National Park Instagram guide would come in handy! Keep scrolling for a list + photos of all the best Instagram spots, as well as some vital tips you’ll want to know before you go!
You can also press PLAY below to get a sneak peak 🙂
Top Instagram-Worthy Spots in Banff National Park
On a Canoe!
This is actually my most-liked photo on Instagram and definitely my most memorable experience visiting Banff National Park. You can rent canoes at both Lake Louise (pictured above) or Moraine Lake, but given the hefty price, you’ll probably want to just choose one!
Canoes can be rented as singles or doubles, so if you’re renting a double, make sure to have your photographer sit in the back right from the beginning! I did pull off switching to the back seat for a different angle, but nearly tipped us over in the process 🤣
Moraine Lake at Sunrise
OK, I think this was actually tied for my favorite Banff National Park memory!! I seriously could not believe my eyes at this moment. To see this color combo of vibrant blues, pastel pinks and deep greens was INSANE! What’s crazy is that it was even more beautiful in person!
To get to this lookout, take the marked path from the parking lot and follow it up all the way to the top! Make sure to check sunrise times before you go as it changes given the time of year.
P.S. YES, that is the real color of these glacier lakes!! I think I even turned down the saturation a bit when editing!
At the Base of Moraine Lake
This location may sound obvious, but shockingly many people only photograph Moraine Lake from its popular lookout point (photographed in the last location!). In fact, we were the only people when we walked down the left side of the lookout hill (when facing the lake). This was a HUGE surprise because there were probably 100+ people at the top of the hill!
What I loved about this location is that you could see the most incredible reflection of the mountains and clouds on the lake. In order to photograph with the same conditions, you’ll need to go on a day with zero wind and during sunrise for the light. The combo of the two created the most perfect glassy appearance!
On the Lake Logs!
This is another silly-sounding, kinda vague location title 🤣 But if you research photos from Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, you’ll notice a lot of similar photos on these logs!
All around the lakes’ edge, these wooden logs jut out into the lake, and you can actually walk onto them for photos. Take caution though- some are more wobbly than others!
Peyto Lake Lookout
Peyto Lake was on my Banff National Park bucket list, but I unfortunately didn’t make it. If you have the time to stray from the popular Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, definitely go to Peyto Lookout! It can be reached via car or hike.
Lake Louise Lookout
Lake Louise has a paved walkway that lines about half of the lake’s circumference, meaning there’s a TON of different angles and photo ops along the way!
Mel’s shot above was taken near the Fairmont Lake Louise, which lies at the entrance of the lake, but you can walk even further along the path for different angles!
Banff National Park Photography Tips
- Research where sun rises and sets before you set off to capture both. Depending on the time of the year, the sun will rise and set on different lakes.
- To photograph the lakes’ colors at their most vibrant, you’ll want to aim for late morning or late afternoon. For some reason, the angle of the sun at this time created the craziest eye-popping colors! Warning: If you shoot at noon, the sun may be so harsh that it dumbs down the color.
- At sunrise and sunset, you may need to raise your ISO to bring more light into the frame. I say this because I unfortunately didn’t do this, and half of my photos came out blurry!
- Bring protective gear for your camera! To get to some of the locations, expect some steep traversing down rocky mountains or walking on slippery rocks.
- If you plan to shoot at sunrise, you’ll need to arrange your own transportation. The Banff National Park shuttles don’t run until after the sun rises!
- If you plan to canoe, prepare to shell out the big bucks!! To canoe at Lake Louise, you do so through the Fairmont Chateau and they charge $115/hour (for non-hotel guests!).
- Even though my photos don’t look like it, the crowds are INSANELY large during peak travel seasons. It is possible to take photos without people in them, but it may require some patience or trekking.
- Make sure to wear colors that pop with the crazy colors of the lakes! My personal favorites to wear were red and white.