Sulphur Mountain hike
The hike up Sulphur Mountain is a local’s favourite that is surprisingly skipped by visitors. The Banff Gondola is a distracting tourist destination that draws people in with its newly renovated summit building equipped with dining, viewing decks, and interpretive centre. Put your wallet away and head up the Sulphur Mountain trail to earn your summit views and save some cash.
To get to the Sulphur Mountain trailhead, begin in the Town of Banff, and head southbound on Banff Avenue towards the Bow River. Cross the bridge and turn left, staying in the right lane. Immediately after you turn left, yield right onto Mountain Ave. Continue for 2.8mi up the winding road and take the first right off the traffic circle to the Banff Upper Hot Springs parking lot. You’ll see a trail sign on the right hand side.
|When to do|
Yes - On Leash
Older Children only
Sulphur Mountain Hike Description
Sulphur Mountain was the original weather station for the town of Banff. In 1903, the meteorological observatory was built, which is now the upper gondola station. In 1956, the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station was built 0.7mi from the main observatory. This is a National Historic Site, and hikers can walk the 1.1km boardwalk to visit the station.
The Sulphur Mountain hike begins in the Upper Hot Springs parking lot below the pools on the left side. Start up the immediate slope and curve to the right where the switchbacks begin. This trail is made up of 28 switchbacks, but don’t worry they ease the grade of the climb. Try not to count on your way up, it does not make the trail go by faster.
Appreciate the forest on this local grind as you pass underneath the gondola line. Gondola passengers will surely hoot and holler out the window, pumping you up to make it to the top. You will continue on the switchbacks until you reach a cobblestone pad at the upper gondola station. Follow the signs around the building to check out what the facility has to offer or to add the 1.1km to the Cosmic Ray Station.
The summit offers panoramic views and one of the best lookouts over town. This is a very rewarding hike for a trail made up of switchbacks. Plan a visit to the Banff Upper Hot Springs below to wind down after your hike.
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