In the southern third of Canada’s Alberta province sits Banff National Park. In addition to being the country’s first national park, it is one of the nation’s largest and most-visited. Full of breathtaking scenery, the park sits at the heart of the Canadian Rockies near the southeastern border. Visitors can glimpse black bears, grizzly bears bison, moose, bighorn sheep, wolves, and bald eagles while climbing one of the area’s many dazzling peaks.
Banff National Park includes more than scenery and opportunities for adventure. The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is an excellent place for visitors to begin their exploration of the Canadian Rockies. Originally housing a collection of paintings, this museum has grown to encompass the history of Banff and the culture of the Canadian Rockies. The Whyte Museum also includes four log cabins and two heritage homes.
When you’re ready to set out, be sure to carefully plan your routes and “to-hike” list; at 2,564 square miles, visitors should prioritize their expeditions. Not in the mood for hiking? Visitors can also mountain bike, rock climb, cross-country ski, and snowshoe.
If you want to experience the grandeur of this park without pulling on a pair of hiking boots, you have several options. The Banff Gondola brings visitors to and from the top of Sulphur Mountain, providing spectacular views of the surrounding peaks. The Upper Hot Springs are another great destination for those wanting to postpone the adventure; since 1880, visitors have visited these therapeutic mineral waters, which are maintained between 98 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.