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Re: Banff and Jasper National Parks

As a (semi) local I figured I'd chime in here as well. You've picked a great time to visit the Rockies! Banff and Jasper are prime for both landscapes and wildlife and you'll likely be overwhelmed by both.

First and foremost... Play the photographer card, shoot in the good light which just so happens to be both before and after the tourist buses start/stop running in the park. Shoot before 8AM and after 5PM and you'll have many iconic locations all to yourself!

Wildlife - This time of year you'll likely still see a ton of wildlife but it'll be Rut season for the elk and fatten me up any way possible season for bear. Drive the icefields parkway rather than the main highway between Banff and jasper and you'll find some amazing shots, if someone is pulled over on the side of the road chances are they've spotted something.

YOHO National Park:
As commented previously Lake Ohara in BC is stunning, however let it be known, the parks bus that goes up to the lake is sold out for the rest of the season, its a 12KM slog from the parking lot to the alpine plateau where the lake is located. At the very least a stop at Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake in Ohara is worth the day trip from Banff/Jasper.

Moraine Lake - Overshot but stunning, the classic view is from the Moraine (Rock pile) about a 500M hike from the parking lot. Some more unique compositions can be had from the waters edge, the log jam, the canoe dock etc. It's easy to get suckered into standing at the top and shooting the same image forever. In my option moraine is best at sunrise, you'll get a nice mirror calm lake and a gorgeous alpine glow on the mountains. The hike up into the valley of ten peaks from here is worth doing if you're not shooting the flat light throughout the day! You'll catch a great milky way here to assuming you hit the right time of month!

Johnston Canyon - A very cool hike along suspended boardwalks on the side of a canyon, some great potential for waterfalls as long as you can deal with the crowds and wait for your chance. Wouldn't miss it, worth shooting on a grey day or while killing time outside of the golden hours.

Two Jack Lake - Overlooking Mt Runddle two jack lake can make some interesting compositions and also works for shooting astrophotography. The water may be low at this point changing your foreground options around a ton.

In mid September you'll be Just in time for Larch Season as some of the previous posters have commented. I love shooting the larch in Kananaskis (highwood pass area) as its much quieter than in/around Banff. That said, if the larches are in you NEED to take the time and hike the Larch Valley Trail. It's about 12KM round trip and you'll need 5-7 hours. there are just tons of larch trees and in prime season the trail nearly glows yellow. At the top of the trail (Sentinel Pass) you'll find a gorgeous meadow with all kinds of great compositions. If its rained recently look for the tarns (small ponds) and reflection shots!

Peyto Lake - The standard gorgeous blue/green glacier water you've seen everywhere. Stop at the lookout and walk past the first viewpoint without even taking your camera out. Follow the trails to the upper viewpoint where you might share the (better) view with one or two other people!

Mt Assiniboine Park (BC) if you have the time/money/camping gear a flight to mt Assiniboine park is a landscape photographer's wet dream! flights are booked out of both the town of canmore and a wilderness airfield in spray valley. $150 each way I believe. The larches would make a stunning dressing on top of the "Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies"

I just blogged about Banff and have more coming about jasper and Assiniboine soon at my travel photography blog

Adventographer Travel + Photo Blog

Aug 28, 2017 at 09:59 PM

  Previous versions of IslandSpark's message #14160617 « Banff and Jasper National Parks »