During the fall of 1883, three Canadian Pacific Railway construction workers came across a cave containing hot springs on the eastern slopes of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. From this humble start, Banff National Park was born, Canada’s first national park and the world’s third.
The activities you can partake in are endless. From hiking to biking to canoeing and horseback riding, there’s something for everyone. Want to see beautiful views and possibly some animals out in the wild? Take a scenic drive along the picturesque Lake Minnewanka. Stop for a boat ride and do some fishing. Then head back to town for a rewarding dinner!
If you’d rather learn about the history of some of these natural surroundings, then the Banff Park Museum is the place for you. It is the oldest Natural History museum in Western Canada, and you can see original exhibit collections. It has more than 1300 animal, vegetable and mineral specimens collected in the late 19th and early 20th century. Can you believe that?
When you do finally call it day, there is no better place to stay than the Banff Springs Hotel. This is a Chateau-style hotel built between 1911 and 1928. It is perfectly set at the foot of Sulphur Mountain in the town of Banff within Banff National Park. The reason Banff Springs Hotel was designated a national historic park in 1988 is because it is an excellent example of a Canadian large-scale resort in a natural setting. Perfect for all the family!
Details I hear you scream? Well, there are numerous ways you can get to the park:
There are several major highways in Banff National Park:
Trans-Canada Highway (#1) runs west from Calgary into the park, through Banff and Lake Louise, and eventually reaches Vancouver.
Icefields Parkway (#93) runs between Lake Louise and Jasper Townsite
Radium / Invermere Highway (#93 between the Junction with the Trans-Canada and the Radium Hot Springs
Bow Valley Parkway (#1A)
A great way to arrive at your destination of Alberta is by plane. Weigh your options for the cheapest flight.
There is direct bus service connecting downtown Calgary and the Calgary International Airport with the town of Banff and village of Lake Louise. There is also bus service connecting Banff and Lake Louise with the town of Jasper. Taxi service is available in Banff and Lake Louise. Several guiding companies also offer shuttle service to trailheads.
Contact Banff/Lake Louise Tourism for details.
There is limited rail service on a sightseeing basis between Banff and Vancouver. Make sure to contact Banff/Lake Louise Tourism for details before you go.