Snuggling up with my cup of hot cocoa (with a splash of something extra), I soaked in the magic around me. The Canadian Rockies soared above as I settled into my red Adirondack chair. My copy of “Moon Banff National Park” travel guidebook was next to me. I was ready to dive into my next adventure.
This was my second trip to Banff National Park. My first had been aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. On that trip, I had personal guides to follow around, soaking up any knowledge they had to share. On this trip, I was on my own. I’d had very little time to plan or research. I needed to get up to speed, and quick.
Winter in Banff
My trip to Alberta, Canada began in Edmonton, then a bit of skiing in Jasper and a hotel stay in Banff and Lake Louise. I was ready to explore the area. I wanted to snow shoe, eat, shop, and do some canyoning (whatever the heck that meant). The problem was I had no idea where to start and Yelp could only get me so far. The locals, the few I could find amongst the spring breakers, had a few good suggestions. But what I really needed was a trusted guide. Since my “Moon Ireland” travel guidebook had been so useful (and entertaining), I packed up the Banff guidebook my friends at Moon had sent over.
Moon Travel Guidebooks to the Rescue
The “Moon Banff National Park” travel guidebook is relatively small, when you compare it to the Ireland travel guidebook I took on our recent trip across the pond. At only 149 pages, it was an easy read and small enough to pack in my purse and bring around town. And I’m so glad I did.
As we toured across the Icefields Parkway, one of the most famous drives in the world, no one really knew what we were looking at or about the stops we made along the way. I was able to pull out my trusty guidebook, written by my new friend Andrew Hempstead. No, I don’t actually know him, but if the author of a guidebook isn’t your best friend by the end of your trip, it’s not the guidebook for you.
Looking like a big ‘ole know it all, I quickly informed friends that we were looking at glaciers out there in the snowy fields. We also wouldn’t be able to stop at the snowed-in Peyto Lake. Oh, and they should probably forget about trying to see that epic waterfall I’d photographed in September because it was a solid block of ice right now. Yeah, the Icefields Parkway is much more exciting in the summer and early autumn months.
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Moon Banff National Park Travel Guidebook
While all Moon travel guidebooks give you some background about the destination, author Andrew Hempstead dedicates at least a third of the book to the history of the area and things you need to know about Banff National Park.
As someone who rarely does her research before last minute trips, and reads a lot on the plane, this is a great resource to have on the fly. Tips like how to grab the best flights to the area, what airport to fly into (harder than you think) and what wildlife you will see and when are all covered in the book.
The rest of the book focuses on the town of Banff, which is located inside the National Park, and things to do in and around the park. A small section is dedicated to Lake Louise, where the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is located. This hotel gets a lot of attention thanks to an incredible marketing campaign on Instagram. But I was happy to see the author share that there is a lot more to Lake Louise than just a hotel.
Why Moon Banff National Park
The “Moon Banff National Park” travel guidebook was a valuable resource for a quick trip to the Canadian Rockies. It provided me with a great overview for spots to go snowshoeing and where to hike a canyon (Johnson Canyon in case you are wondering). Oh, it even told me about a great spot to eat in town that I ended up popping into twice. Apparently, Banff is a hot spot for foodies. You really need to book a reservation if you want to eat out.
The best part about this guidebook was that it doesn’t wax on about one particular spot too long. It gave me the information I needed to know in a quick, informative way. I could get to my next destination, knew what to do and could go on my adventure without having to read for another 20 minutes.
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Back to Banff in Summer
My hot cocoa has now switched over to gin and tonics with a bit of cucumber and mint. Sorry Canada, I just can’t get into the Caesar (the northern take on America’s Bloody Mary). I’m hopping back aboard the Rocky Mountaineer with my “Moon Banff National Park” travel guidebook in tow to explore even more of the park this summer. The flowers will be in bloom. Beers will be out, probably some elk too.
I’m planning out my time in Banff, using my Moon travel guidebook. Yes, I’m actually planning ahead for once. That’s the beauty of a guidebook. Once you use it the first time, you can use it again and again. And yes, you are allowed to make notes in the margins. How else are you supposed to remember what you ordered at the restaurant you loved?
Have you been to Banff National Park yet?
This post may contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of those links I will receive a small commission. This post is part of a paid sponsorship with Moon Travel Guidebooks. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know.