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How Facebook Photos Cause Traffic Jams

Going to Banff to get away from it all? Think again! This summer, a Tsunami of visitors flocked to this special place.

Whoa! Banff National Park has been hopping this summer! 

François Masse from Parks Canada told CBC News, “This summer might be the busiest ever in the park.” 

Lake Louise, always a big hit with visitors, is super packed and had to have traffic access closed to the scenic lake this past August long weekend.

Photograph of a mountain lake with rocks in the foreground and a mountain at sunrise, all reflected in calm waters.
Two Jack Lake is a popular destination along the Minnewanka Lake loop. Darwin Wiggett | oopoomoo

But guess what? It’s not just there. Places like Lake Minnewanka and Johnston Canyon are also jam-packed with people. 

Tim Nokes, who knows the park well, said it’s like a “tsunami of people.” on the Johnston Canyon trail. 

And the Lake Minnewanka loop was also closed due to traffic congestion in July.

Photo showing results of a search on instragam for posts about Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park.
Instagram hashtag, #johnstoncanyon, reveals over 90,000 posts!

Why are so many people coming? Well, there are a few reasons. The city of Calgary has more people now. And Banff is on the radar as an epic location for international travellers.

But there’s another biggie that we have already reported on  – social media

When someone shares a pretty photo from the park on Instagram, many people see it and want to go and create their own “Insta-moment”!

Jason Darrah, the Town of Banff’s director of communications and marketing, told Rocky Mountain Outlook that there will likely be traffic delays whenever the Banff Townsite has more than 24,000 vehicles per day.

On the August long weekend, Darrah stated: “We were well over 30,000 for periods over the weekend,”

But hey, some good news is more folks are walking or taking buses or carpooling in Banff.

David Matys, a tourism pro, told CBC News that if you’re considering visiting, you must plan, especially during the busy summer. He also suggested visiting during the shoulder season or winter or considering other amazing but lesser-known spots in the park.

So what should we do? We have already suggested visiting less-known spots! Alberta has over 470 parks and recreation areas to explore. 

If you find a quiet spot, think twice before sharing it everywhere online. Remember, enjoy nature and leave it beautiful! 🌲📸🚫📱🌲

Photo of moutain refelcted in calm pond in Banff National Park.
A rarely visited, small hidden lake along the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park. Darwin Wiggett | oopoomoo

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