Headed to Banff and looking for something to do? No matter which source you consult, the Banff Gondola will be at the top of the list. The eight-minute ride will bring you up to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, which is at 7,486 feet. (2281 meters). It’s the most relaxing way to experience the town’s beauty from way up high.
For the more adventurous, you can hike up the 5.5 km trail which takes about 2.5 to 3 hours for those with moderate hiking experience.
Afraid of heights and worried about going on the gondola? We were and it’s really not that bad. A ski resort chair lift is way worse since the 4 passenger cabins are fully enclosed. Unless you are up for the hike, it’s the only way up there.
Once you get to the top you will find recently renovated terminal with a 360-degree rooftop observation deck a boardwalk where you can take in the breathtaking views of the Bow River Valley, the town of Banff and six mountain ranges. There are also some restaurants with incredible views, a coffee shop and a gift shop for those looking for something uniquely Canadian to bring home.
The price is a bit steep, but we think its worth it. At the gate, it’s $64 per adult, $32 per child ages 6 to 15 (if you go before 10 am one child admitted free with each regular-priced adult) and children 5 years and under ride for free. It is recommended to book in advance, and you can save 10% by doing so on their website. Want to save even more, hike up and you can ride down for half the price!
The gondola is a little more than 3 km (2 miles) south of the centre of town. There is some parking on site, but it’s limited. So, since we weren’t there first thing in the morning, we decide to err on the side of caution and take public transit there. It was really easy! If you want to do the same, look for a Roam bus indicating Route 1 Sulphur Mountain. We hopped on at the Banff Park Museum and were dropped off at the base of Sulphur Mountain, steps away from the gondola. It was $2 per person per direction.
Looking for something to eat after the Banff Gondola? Check out our review of Eddie Burger Bar.
Also, if you are planning a trip to Banff, our Day in Banff post might have some valuable information for you (click here).
Wary Travelers Tip
Finally, wear layers. There can be a drastic difference between the temperature at the base of the mountain and the summit. There are some heaters and fire pits on the patio of the terminal just in case.
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