Banff: the perfect base

Banff: the perfect base

Banff Hot Springs, Alberta, Canada

Banff Upper Hot Springs is the perfect ending to a day on the slopes or after some winter hiking.
Photo courtesy Travel Alberta


BANFF, ALTA. ? Staying right in the Town of Banff is stellar. Banff, located in Alberta?s Banff National Park, hums with activity: a rockin? nightlife, great family activities, plenty of accommodation options and of course, some excellent dining.  

A big culinary favourite of mine is a stop at the Banff Sushi House, which offers up some of the best sushi this side of Vancouver. The sushi travels via train that winds around through the restaurant, allowing diners to catch a plate as the box car slowly chugs past.  

Hitting the museum

My travel buddy, Ryan Cancilla and I also spent some time at the Whyte Museum discovering a little more on Mount Rundle, the town and the park. It's Canada?s oldest national park and part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Whyte Museum is named after Peter and Catherine Whyte, two prominent pioneers who first settled in what is now known as the Town of Banff. Showcasing the history of settlers to the area, it?s a great stop to learn more about the geography and history of this mountain town.  

Banff Gondola, Alberta, Canada

The upper terminal of the Banff Gondola boasts spectacular views.
Photo courtesy Travel Alberta

To appreciate the size of Mount Rundle from a different perspective, our next stop on this Banff-Rundle blitz took us to the Banff Gondola, an excellent option for those not into hiking. Still, for those looking to get in a little outdoor activity, you have the option of either taking the gondola back down, or doing the easy walk down the front side of Sulphur Mountain. 

Via an eight minute ride, the gondola elevates you to almost 7,500 feet delivering killer views that sweeps the entire Bow Valley, including Mount Rundle and beyond. The gondola is open year-round with a few weeks off in January for maintenance. 

A perfect ending

After a day of hiking and scrambling in the great outdoors, the only way to round out our day ? and keep to our Rundle theme ? was with a visit to the Banff Upper Hot Springs, a restored 1930?s heritage bathhouse, located minutes from the Town of Banff.

With a spectacular view of the majestic Mount Rundle and after a big day of exploring, it was the perfect ending ? we armed our muscles, soothed our feet and relaxed our brains.

On our drive out of town, we could see Mount Rundle in the rear view mirror, calling us back as it does to every visitor to Banff. We know we?ll be back soon ? as a peak we have yet to summit, it?s now been added to the "must do" list.  

Interested in checking out Doc Pow's account of his eventual Mount Rundle scramble? Click here.

For more stories and detail on Banff check out our SnowSeekers' destination page.