Imagine standing on the edge of mountain, gazing down on sweeping valleys dotted with ice-blue lakes. Surrounding you are snow-capped peaks reaching up into the clouds. This is one of those life-affirming moments, and it won’t be long before you start to feel as though you’re on top of the world.
Named after the sulphurous hot springs in the foothills, Sulphur Mountain is among the most popular attractions in Banff National Park. If you're feeling energetic, strap on your hiking boots and tackle the steep trek to the top. Otherwise, Banff Gondola will whisk you to the ridge of the mountain in no time with spectacular views of the Rockies, Bow Valley and the bustling town of Banff on your way up.
At the summit, you might be surprised to find an ultra-modern complex with restaurants, interactive exhibitions and multiple observation decks. Continue along the scenic boardwalk to reach the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station and Sanson’s Peak, or explore some of the alpine trails for even more jaw-dropping vistas. Down on the lower slopes, the park’s famous hot springs are simmering away with their mineral-rich waters ready to soothe your aches and pains.
So whether you’re enjoying bird's-eye views from the gondola, hiking the jaw-dropping mountain trails or indulging in some well-deserved R&R at the thermal springs, a trip to Sulphur Mountain can be as leisurely or action-packed as you want. The choice is yours.
For many, taking the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain is the highlight of their Banff National Park adventure. This unforgettable sightseeing experience takes you on an eight-minute journey to the summit, offering some breathtaking views of the valley and town below. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a grizzly bear in search of its next meal. Once you reach the top, grab a bite to eat in one of the restaurants, capture a postcard-worthy picture from the rooftop observation deck or enjoy a unique, multi sensory experience at the Above Banff Theatre. Continue your journey along the boardwalk towards Sanson’s Peak and the historic observatory, or take the even more scenic South East Ridge Trail to the mountain’s real summit.
For the more adventurous, there’s the option to hike to the top of the mountain and take the gondola back down. The ascent is made up of a series of steep switchbacks through the forest, with the occasional view of Bow Valley peeping through the foliage. The trail takes around two hours to complete and can be strenuous at times, but trust us when we say the views make it more than worthwhile.
After your alpine adventure, why not head to Banff Upper Hot Springs for some well-deserved rest and relaxation? Spend a few hours soaking in the steamy water and let the minerals work their magic.
Sulphur Mountain is located just five minutes outside Banff Town in Banff National Park. The gondola station and hot springs can be found at the base of the mountain.
Sulphur Mountain is technically open year-round, but it’s worth bearing in mind that hiking can be dangerous during the winter months. The gondola is open from 10 am to 8.30 pm on Wednesday to Sunday from January until April and from 10 am to 4.30 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. Banff Upper Hot Springs are open from 10am to 10pm from Sunday to Thursday and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday.
The weather is cooler at the top of the mountain, so make sure you wear warm clothing. If you’re planning on hiking, it’s a good idea to wear layers and a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
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