We went to Banff at the end of our Canadian trip. We flew into Calgary Airport and the drive to Banff is just over an hour. Since it is so easily accessible, there were a lot of people at the park. But it’s so huge and there’s so much to do that we were lucky to have planned some extra time to visit this area.
We stayed at the SameSun hostel which is right in Banff Village along the main street and close to all the restaurants and shopping.
Our first impression of the town was that it was quite urban and developed yet felt like a small ski village. The views of Mt. Rundle and Sulphur Mountain were spectacular as we walked around.
We walked along the Bow River to the Banff Springs Hotel looking for the Sulphur Mountain/Gondola trailhead. Check out the drama in the sky.
We planned to hike Sulphur Mountain on the first day instead of taking the Gondola. We miscalculated where the trailhead was and instead of driving to it from the village actually landed up walking the 3 km. Not the most exciting walk but can be done. From the trailhead, it is 5.8 km to the summit of Sulphur Mountain which takes about 2 hours on average. There are a lot of switchbacks and its a steep ascent, but the views make up for it. Great views of Banff town, Bow river and the valley keep it exciting for most of the climb.
Of course we were all smiles once we completed the hike and got to the top. The views were spectacular. There is a great 360 degree view of Banff town and the mountains nestling the village.
We also got lucky to see two rams locking horns (literally) as we waited for the gondola to get back down to Banff village
The beauty of being so high up north is the long days and we ended our long day with dinner at one of the well known terraces in Banff. This place was a tip from our server in the morning and we had a lot to thank her. Great views from the Rose and Crown terrace and they had half off on bottles of wine (yes!) and live music later in the night.