Top Photo Spots in Banff National Park

Top Photo Spots in Banff National Park

Banff National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. The elevated mountain peaks, tall green pines and abundance of natural lakes and wildlife make this mountain town a photographer’s dream – it is no wonder we are blessed with some of the best photographers in the Bow Valley. If you live in Banff or are planning your Banff Vacation, there are a number of hidden photo spots where you can capture that Insta-worthy picture like a local. But don’t just take our word for it. We sat down with photography-extraordinaire Paul Zizka, who shared his Top Photo Spots in Banff for this Secret Season.

Paul Zizka’s Top Spots for Springtime Photography in Banff

reflection of red sky in lake with mountains in the background

Vermillion Lakes

This is perhaps the most heavily photographed location in the Canadian Rockies next to Lake Louise. Take the classic shot of Mt. Rundle, but see if you can challenge yourself to create an image of Vermilion Lakes that is unique to you.

Paul’s Photography Tip: For a more balanced composition, look for foregrounds that can compete with Rundle in the background.

person stands outdoors at night

Castle Junction

This is a classic spot where the Bow River flows past one of Banff’s most famous peaks, Castle Mountain. I recommend you walk upstream a little to get a clearer view of this iconic mountain.

Paul’s Photography Tip: Look for reflective pools on the river’s edge and try a long exposure for a more dynamic image.

silhouette of a tree at night

Bow Falls

Depending on when you visit, this waterfall may still be frozen or may be raging with springtime runoff. Look for intimate landscape images that feature the interplay of water and ice.

Paul’s Photography Tip: Keep things simple by using a longer lens to zoom in on the action.

silhouette of a mountain at night against green sky

Lake Minnewanka

I recommend you walk eastward along the shore of Banff’s biggest lake. That’s where the lake usually thaws first and offers up a reflection of the surrounding peaks.

Paul’s Photography Tip: Look for natural frames to add depth to your compositions (try shooting through trees, for example).

Hotel Tip: Experience Lake Minnewanka at night with our Rocky Mountains After Dark Tour.

snow-capped mountains reflect in lake surface

Two Jack Lake

Go at sunrise to beat any crowds and see Mount Rundle light up at the far end of the lake. For another image, wander down the west side of the lake for ten minutes. This will give you a more peaceful experience and a clear shot of Cascade Mountain.


Silverton Falls

For the rare chance to experience and document a Banff waterfall on your own, consider the short walk to Silverton Falls off the Bow Valley Parkway. Most of the year, there isn’t much to it, but in the spring when the water is flowing, it can be breathtaking.

Have some photo tips of your own? Share them with us on Instagram

About Paul Zizka

Paul Zizka is an award-winning mountain landscape and adventure photographer based in Banff, and the author of several photography books, including The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered.
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