I must be spoiled rotten but I wasn’t in awe of Banff. Yes, it’s got pretty mountains and lakes, but nothing warranting a voyage this far from home. Nature lovers will most likely disagree, but imho, it’s not much different from the Alps or some other mountainous regions. The only awesome panorama was from the deck of Banff Spring Hotel. Mind you, the area is very pretty but not unique. I’ve already seen it (and better) in Bariloche.
Lake Louise, on the other hand, is one of the prettiest lakes I’d ever seen. Maybe the prettiest. It’s just magical! Sadly, it’s overrun with busloads of Chinese tourists. The noisy crowds ruin the majestic serenity of the place, and there is nowhere to hide from them.
Columbia Icefield is another place mobbed with busloads of tourists from every country (mostly Chinese, though). The tourists are allowed to walk at the foot of the glacier on a patch of ice staked by flags, where 6 busloads of tourists at the time are deposited en masse every 20 minutes. If you look at this patch from the bus, you will see a congested herd of humans stomping the ice, making loud noises, and taking selfies. Here too, the majesty and serenity of the place is painfully compromised.
The road to Jasper was pretty: going through the woods with mountains and occasional lakes on both sides. But honestly, I’ve seen better in Japan, on the Amalfi Coast, and in our own route connecting Zion and Bryce National parks.
Sorry guys, I know I am a brat!