Banff - Apologies if the Smoke obscured your View!!


Smoke at times quite dense, and heavy haze at other times , were the norm for Banff during much of this fire plagued summer. Even today many fires are still burning in B.C ( sadly for those folks living in harms way). We experienced the same issue last summer with smoke from fires, one fire being very ,very close to Banff - and again the air was filled with smoke and haze.


  • The air was at times rated as 10+ on the Air Quality Index. ( That is the highest rating of BAD air that there is!! Shocking was the news leading with Banff's air is worse than Beijing or Mumbai - and we are known for our clear , crisp, fresh smelling mountain air!) Sadly this wasn't to be for a great part of this summer.
  • Poor air is a serious matter not to be taken lightly check this Link   - Air Quality Index  and both Calgary and Banff received a 10+ on certain days OUCH!
  • An Air Quality Statement was in effect for Southern Alberta - and Banff  lies in the Southwest of ALberta - Air Quality Statement

On those days it was best to try some of the other attractions in Banff and leave the hiking and outdoors activity for another time:

  1. The World Renown Banff Center for Arts and Creativity
  2. Visit the Historic Sites and Museums 
  3. Indoor Climbing Gym
  4. Making and Painting YOUR OWN POTTERY
  5. Try the indoor game of  Bowling  or Combine Bowling at dinner with Pizza and a Cold One 
  6. And the Many dining choices for Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner

However, in the mountains you can count on the weather changing , and it did finally -  the wind changed and the rains came, the fires got knocked down and scenes like this returned to Banff and the Rockies- to take your breath away! ( Mt. Temple, Mt. Fairview and Saddleback,Mt. St. Piran from Herbert Lake)

Image Title: EXHALE

I had to remind myself to "EXHALE" - as I viewed this scene

This shot, was taken on the morning after the rains came and the wind moved the smoke out. It is an image I had been planning for quite some time. On this morning, I figured the conditions were finally there for me to get the capture I had envisioned -

The name of the image is EXHALE - because , as I stood and looked out "it took my breath away" and was just what I had envisioned!! I created this in Black & White - as that was my vision - and it came out just as I had seen it in my mind's eye!


All visitors to Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies, when they get to see one the many remarkable jaw dropping views in Banff National Park, commonly say "it was breathtaking" ! Standing and seeing the majestic landscape has, and will always

Take Your Breath Away!

Banff has views, many of them, that will "take your breath away"

  • The fires interrupted much of life in Banff National Park and the Kootenays, where fire once again caused by lightening burned in the valley and down to the road. Highway 93 South through the Kootenays was closed several times and put on restriction. Going NOrth the smoke , regrettably hung in the air in this part of the Park as well.
  • But , again the weather changed , as it always does in the mountains , and the Tourism Officials were aware and counting on that !
  • Busy Season will Continue despite wild fire Smoke

Well the weather , at times, did it's part - it rained, the air was cleared and the wind swept the smoke away so the pristine views of Banff National Park - these gorgeous Rocky Mountains and their Lakes could be seen.

                                                                                         Image Title: Sun Up on Crowfoot Mtn. and Bow Lake

The scenes never go away, they get a bit muffled and obscured at times ( the wild fire smoke being the issue) but they are STILL THERE and they WILL COME OUT.  You can come and visit again if you were unfortunately "hazed out" of seeing these gems of the Rockies.

Image Title: Moraine Magic

Image Title: Peyto Lake Transition

Image Title: Two Jack & Rundle - Alpin Glow

Nature is a  powerful force and these Rocky Mountains are here to be experienced , but always at the whim of nature.The Naturalists and Managers in the Parks are studying and learning how to cope with and manage these "natural events" You can read from the R11 Forest Management Plan ( be aware it is 59 Pages long) but simply put, fire in the summer season are part of the natural cycle - to be aware of and managed when and where possible. 

No one can say what will come next Summer season BUT the Canadian Rockies will still be here. Banff National Park still has stunning views and breath taking landscapes to see and experience. Like snow storms in WInter , some "natural events" can interrupt your plans - but you can adapt and still experience the grandeur of the Rockies.

The weather and natural events are part of the experience :) 
These pictures, images of Banff, Lake Louise and the Canadian Rockies Landscape are to show you that -
If the haze and smoke obscured some views - you can check my on line Art Gallery to get an image despite the smoke!
We ship Prints direct to you  from the OnLine Art Gallery 

Canada FREE, U.S. only $10.00 and International only $15.00