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Holiday Travel Guide

Mountain scenery, wildlife-spotting opportunities, hiking trails and canoeing adventures await you at this series of lakes in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.

Appreciate the serenity and natural beauty of the Vermilion Lakes. This chain of three lakes and verdant marshland is an ideal place to escape the busy tourist activity of Banff. Vermilion Lakes have drawn people for almost 11,000 years. Today, the area is a popular area to canoe, hike, view soaring mountains, picnic along the waterfront and spot wildlife.

Sit on the shore of one of the lakes and gaze in awe at a spectacular mountain backdrop dominated by Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain. Watch as the mountains’ jagged peaks reflect perfectly in the third lake. Visit at either sunrise or sunset to witness the changing colors of the sky and water. In winter it is sometimes possible to see the enchanting northern lights.

Spot varied wildlife such as beavers, deer, moose and an occasional bear. Look for blue herons, red-tailed hawks and water dippers, among other birds.

Set out on foot along the pavement, boardwalks and dirt tracks of the 1-mile-long (2-kilometer) Fenland Loop Trail. Drive, bike or walk along Vermilion Lakes Road, a 2.7-mile (4.3-kilometer) path passing the lakes’ northern banks. At Vermilion Lakes Viewpoint enjoy panoramic vistas and excellent photo opportunities. Stop at interpretive signs to read about the ecology, ethnology and geology of the lakes.

Cruise in a canoe or kayak for an alternative perspective of the lakes and surrounding countryside. Reach the lakes by paddling down Echo Creek and Forty Mile Creek. The calm waters make this activity suitable for all levels of fitness. Rent equipment from the jetty on Bow Avenue, a short walk from Banff’s town center.

The lakes are a 5-minute drive or 30-minute walk from Banff. Use the free parking available at the first lake and at the start of the Fenland Loop Trail. Pay the entrance fee for Banff National Park in order to reach the town of Banff and the lakes.

Vermilion Lakes are accessible year-round. However, be prepared for extreme weather conditions in the winter months. The Vermilion Lakes Road forms part of the Banff Legacy Trail, a multi-use recreational route that links the Bow Valley Parkway with Canmore.

Top things to do in Vermilion Lakes

Top Trending Hotels Near Vermilion Lakes

Moose Hotel And Suites
Moose Hotel And Suites
3.5 out of 5
345 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £107 per night from 7 Mar to 8 Mar

Located in the heart of Banff, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Banff National Park Information Centre and Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau. Banff ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,873 reviews)

"was hoping for a balcony with a mountain view not the inside of the building"…"

Reviewed on 3 Mar 2021

Moose Hotel And Suites
Mount Royal Hotel
Mount Royal Hotel
3 out of 5
138 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 10 Mar to 11 Mar

Located near the slopes, this Banff hotel is situated in the mountains and within a 5-minute walk of Canada House Gallery, Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,560 reviews)

"First time staying. The location is perfect right on Banff main avenue. Easy walk to everywhere. Staff were all lovely."…"

Reviewed on 3 Mar 2021

Mount Royal Hotel
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
3.5 out of 5
521 Banff Ave, Box 1070, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 10 Mar to 11 Mar

Located in the heart of Banff, this spa hotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Cave and Basin National Historic ...

4.1/5Very Good! (2,065 reviews)

"Convenient location with underground parking. Rooms were updated but they need new duvets as they are old and lumpy"…"

Reviewed on 3 Mar 2021

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Vermilion Lakes

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Top Hotel Deals

Moose Hotel And Suites
Moose Hotel And Suites
3.5 out of 5
345 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £107 per night from 7 Mar to 8 Mar
Moose Hotel And Suites
Mount Royal Hotel
Mount Royal Hotel
3 out of 5
138 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 10 Mar to 11 Mar
Mount Royal Hotel
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
3.5 out of 5
521 Banff Ave, Box 1070, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 10 Mar to 11 Mar
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Park Lodge
Banff Park Lodge
3 out of 5
222 Lynx St, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 21 Mar to 22 Mar
Banff Park Lodge
The Elk & Avenue Hotel
The Elk & Avenue Hotel
3 out of 5
333 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £75 per night from 12 Mar to 13 Mar
The Elk & Avenue Hotel
The Fox Hotel and Suites
The Fox Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
461 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £81 per night from 10 Mar to 11 Mar
The Fox Hotel and Suites
Banff Ptarmigan Inn
Banff Ptarmigan Inn
3 out of 5
337 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 10 Mar to 11 Mar
Banff Ptarmigan Inn
Rundlestone Lodge
Rundlestone Lodge
3 out of 5
537 Banff Avenue - Box 489, Banff, AB
The price is £62 per night from 12 Mar to 13 Mar
Rundlestone Lodge
Brewster's Mountain Lodge
Brewster's Mountain Lodge
3 out of 5
208 Caribou Street, Banff, AB
The price is £51 per night from 8 Mar to 9 Mar
Brewster's Mountain Lodge
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.