Vermilion Lakes

Vacation Travel Guide
Banff which includes wetlands, mountains and a lake or waterhole

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 Hotels Close to Vermilion Lakes

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
3.5 out of 5
521 Banff Ave, Box 1070, Banff, AB
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $119 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
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 ...
4/5 Very Good! (2,462 reviews)
"A quality restaurant like the Keg was right on site. Making it very convient"

Reviewed on Nov. 30, 2021

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
The Fox Hotel and Suites
The Fox Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
461 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $149 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Banff National Park Information Centre and Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau. Banff Centre ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (1,875 reviews)
"This was a great place to stay with an incredible grotto spa, spacious and clean suite, well located for a great value!"

Reviewed on Nov. 30, 2021

The Fox Hotel and Suites
Moose Hotel And Suites
Moose Hotel And Suites
3.5 out of 5
345 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is CA $229 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
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 ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (2,069 reviews)
"The room layout in the suite was great. The balcony looked into a courtyard with an original homestead house in the center. It was lit up beautifully with lights for the holidays. Especially enjoyed the fireplace in the main lobby. Would absolutely stay there again."

Reviewed on Nov. 30, 2021

Moose Hotel And Suites
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.

Plan a trip to see Vermilion Lakes

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Vermilion Lakes

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Best Lodging Options Near Vermilion Lakes

Mount Royal Hotel
Mount Royal Hotel
3 out of 5
138 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
The price is CA $102 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
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 CA $119 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
The Fox Hotel and Suites
The Fox Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
461 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is CA $149 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
The Fox Hotel and Suites
Moose Hotel And Suites
Moose Hotel And Suites
3.5 out of 5
345 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is CA $229 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 7
Moose Hotel And Suites
Banff Ptarmigan Inn
Banff Ptarmigan Inn
3 out of 5
337 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is CA $129 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 6
Banff Ptarmigan Inn
Banff Park Lodge
Banff Park Lodge
3 out of 5
222 Lynx St, Banff, AB
The price is CA $119 per night from Dec 12 to Dec 12
Banff Park Lodge
Peaks Hotel and Suites
Peaks Hotel and Suites
3 out of 5
218 Lynx Street,, P.O. Box 2200,, Banff, AB
The price is CA $199 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Peaks Hotel and Suites
Brewster's Mountain Lodge
Brewster's Mountain Lodge
3 out of 5
208 Caribou Street, Banff, AB
The price is CA $126 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
Brewster's Mountain Lodge
The Elk & Avenue Hotel
The Elk & Avenue Hotel
3 out of 5
333 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is CA $145 per night from Dec 5 to Dec 5
The Elk & Avenue Hotel
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.