The Banff Gondola

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Gerry May on July 8, 2003

The Banff/Sulphur Mtn. Gondola was built to provide a view of the Town of Banff and the surrounding Bow River Valley. And that it does! For less than $20 (CDN) for adults, a clean, modern gondola carries you up more than 2100 vertical feet from the base station. The ride takes you well above the trees and might be troublesome to someone with an extreme fear of heights.

At the top you are greeted by an observation building with two restaurants and plenty of outside observation points. If it is cool or windy, good views are still available from within the building. The views from the observation deck are fantastic and provide a good perspective of how Banff and the Bow River fit in amongst the mountains. Postpone the trip if the weather is cloudy.

From the top a trail of boardwalk and steps leads to another peak, offering views to the other side of the mountain. Although this is a completely fenced-in route and looks short, it is a full kilometer each way and includes a fair amount of climbing up stairs. And at an elevation of about 7000 feet there was a fair amount of panting and wheezing. But the view up here is worth the walk.

We took the option of hiking down from the observation station to the gondola base. Even downhill, this is a hefty hike. Sturdy shoes and water are recommended and be sure to allow well over an hour for the trip down. Another option is to hike up and take a free gondola ride down. On our hike down we encountered many people hiking up. Some were really struggling. We also saw several who gave up and turned around. If you are in shape, have proper equipment (shoes, water etc.), and are used to hiking at altitude, then it is a nice climb. Don't try it just to save the gondola fee.

Banff Sulphur Mountain Gondola
Hot Springs Road
Banff, Alberta, T0L 0C0
+1 403 762 5438

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