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Vermilion Lakes

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.


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 151 properties near Vermilion Lakes
Banff Park Lodge AU$115
Banff Park Lodge

Banff Park Lodge

222 Lynx St, Banff, AB
     
    4.1
    of 5, from 2,254 reviews
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the Canadian Rockies, this Banff hotel's quiet location is 2 blocks from Banff Avenue shopping and museums, 1 block from the Bow River and is close to skiing and hiking .

    Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa AU$116
    Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa

    Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa

    521 Banff Ave, Box 1070, Banff, AB
       
      4.1
      of 5, from 2,339 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      Located in Banff National Park just a short walk from downtown Banff, Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa has friendly staff and convenient location with easy access to local sights and activities.

      Inns of Banff AU$92
      Inns of Banff

      Inns of Banff

      600 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
         
        3.3
        of 5, from 2,348 reviews
        2.5 out of 5.0

        Located on the main street of Banff, this inn is within 5 km (3 mi) of the Sulphur Mountain Gondola and Upper Hot Springs.

        The Rimrock Resort Hotel AU$221
        The Rimrock Resort Hotel

        The Rimrock Resort Hotel

        300 Moutain Avenue, Banff, AB
           
          4.5
          of 5, from 2,259 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Nestled in the mountains 750 feet above the town of Banff, The Rimrock Resort Hotel is across from the Upper Hot Springs and within walking distance of the Banff gondola.

          Mount Royal Hotel AU$151
          Mount Royal Hotel

          Mount Royal Hotel

          138 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
             
            4.5
            of 5, from 234 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            This historic 1908 hotel is located in downtown Banff, in the heart of the spectacular Canadian Rockies and within blocks of the Luxton and Whyte museums. The Sulphur Mountain Gondola is just 4 km (2.5 mi) away.

            Moose Hotel And Suites AU$233
            Moose Hotel And Suites

            Moose Hotel And Suites

            345 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
               
              4.7
              of 5, from 997 reviews
              3.5 out of 5.0

              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 Centre for Arts and Creativity and Tunnel Mountain are also within 2 mi (3 km). Banff Station is 7 minutes by foot.

              The Fox Hotel and Suites AU$174
              The Fox Hotel and Suites

              The Fox Hotel and Suites

              461 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 2,296 reviews
                3.5 out of 5.0

                The Fox Hotel and Suites is 4 blocks from downtown Banff, 1 km (0.6 mi) from the Bow River, and 5 km (3 mi) from the Sulphur Mountain Gondola.

                The Elk & Avenue Hotel AU$127
                The Elk & Avenue Hotel

                The Elk & Avenue Hotel

                333 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
                   
                  3.9
                  of 5, from 1,943 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in downtown Banff, this hotel is also superbly situated within the heart of Banff National Park and close to the Tri Area Ski Resort; skiing is a popular winter activity, and hiking and biking are popular in the summer.