CRMR Summer Insider Tips

Lush green forests, crystal blue water and endless summer days are just a few of the things that come to mind when planning a summer trip to the Canadian Rockies. Along with the breathtaking scenery, summer in the Rockies offers numerous activities to enjoy, no matter your fitness level, age or ability – it’s a place that truly welcomes everyone! These insider tips from CRMR will make your trip to Deer Lodge in Lake Louise, Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff, and Emerald Lake Lodge in Field, BC, even more memorable!

Insider Tip #1

To paddle, a canoe along the impossibly clear waters of Emerald Lake, with its magnificent mountain views all around you, is to seize a quintessential moment in the Rockies. There’s simply no finer way to appreciate the peace, stillness and tranquillity of this singular body of water.


Rent a canoe at The Boathouse Trading Co., just across the main bridge by the upper parking lot at Emerald Lake Lodge. Canoes, paddles and life jackets rent by the hour, half-day or day.


Paul Zizka, Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Insider Tip #2

You need not scale the tallest mountain to feel the exhilaration of the Rockies.


Lake Agnes Tea House is a cozy family-run restaurant near Deer Lodge in Lake Louise. With an altitude of 2,135m (7,005ft), this treasured establishment redefines the notion of ‘high tea’.  Sit out on the patio in a stunning hanging valley on the shores of Lake Agnes. After a 3.5-km forest hike, with an elevation gain of 400m (1,300ft), the valley opens to reveal this spectacular lake’s many secrets. For a less strenuous approach, rent a horse at the Brewster or Timberline Stables in Lake Louise. The trailhead is a 5-minute walk from Deer Lodge in Lake Louise.

Insider Tip #3

Feel the full force of nature through all your senses at Takakkaw Falls. To sit back and watch tumbling waters pummeled into swirling curtains of rainbow-infused mist by the craggy rocks is as thrilling as it is humbling.


Drive the Yoho Valley Road (3km east of Field) north for 13km to experience one of Canada’s tallest and most dramatic waterfalls. Easily reached from the day parking lot, guests are welcome to hike from Emerald Lake Lodge to Takakkaw Falls (a 5-8 hr hike each way), but two cars are required for shuttling purposes. Depart from Emerald Lake Lodge.

Insider Tip #4

Claim your castle. Stand atop Tunnel Mountain and behold the vast kingdom known as the Rockies.


Beginning on Tunnel Mountain Drive, minutes from Buffalo Mountain Lodge, this short, moderate-difficulty hike offers spectacular 360-degree views of Banff and surrounding area. This trail is perfect for families and hikers of all abilities.

Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Insider Tip #5

Weave along mossy forest floors and tall trees as you bike the Tunnel Mountain Loop. You’ll come away with a deep understanding of why they’re called ‘mountain’ bikes.


Offering great views of the surrounding mountains, the Bow River valley and the famous Hoodoos, Tunnel Mountain trailhead starts just 30m up from the Buffalo Mountain Lodge.

Deer Lodge and Buffalo Mountain Lodge are bike-friendly lodges. We offer options for storing your bikes during your stay and Buffalo Mountain Lodge has two complimentary mountain bikes on-site for use during your stay. Feel free to take them out for a dash along our nearby trails.

Paul Zizka, Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Insider Tip #6

The ever-changing mountain views make this 26km (one way) trail feel like an effortless pleasure. This easy bike ride between Banff and Canmore may well be the highlight of your visit.


Access the Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail connecting Banff and Canmore via the northeast end of Banff Avenue. This is the ideal trail for families and cyclists of all abilities.

Deer Lodge and Buffalo Mountain Lodge are bike-friendly lodges. We offer options for storing your bikes during your stay and Buffalo Mountain Lodge has two complimentary mountain bikes on-site for use during your stay. Feel free to take them out for a dash along our fabulous nearby trails.


Insider Tip #7

The striking beauty of Emerald Lake’s sparkling green water stays with you long after you leave. This jewel is a natural gift arising from millions of years of ever-shifting Rocky Mountain geology and glaciation.


Emerald Lake Trail is an easy five-kilometer hike around picturesque Emerald Lake beginning from the bridge by Cilantro on the Lake. Throughout the summer enjoy free weekly guided walks led by friendly, knowledgeable Parks Canada Staff who share the history, geology and geography of the area.

Paul Zizka, Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Insider Tip #8

Stand in a state of astonishment as a thundering creek gives way to the lower falls at Johnston Canyon. Walk right into the tunnel, just feet from the falls with the spray licking at your face and see if you can stop smiling.


Johnston Canyon is located 30 minutes from Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff by car. The lower falls are a 1km hike up from the day parking lot. Continue the hike further to visit the Upper Falls or the Ink Pots.

Insider tip #9

Mountains all around – the perfect accompaniment to a delicious meal on the patio.


Enjoy our delicious take on Rocky Mountain Cuisine while dining on the outdoor patios at Deer Lodge in Lake Louise, Cilantro on the Lake at Emerald Lake Lodge, or Cilantro at Buffalo Mountain Lodge. Our patios are open seasonally, but the views are here year round.