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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    744 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    10.1 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
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    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Sulphur Mountain

    Sulphur Mountain

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    Table of contents

    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.

    Route Description for Sulphur Mountain

    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 1.1 km 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.

    Hiking the Sulphur Mountain in Banff in 2024

    Hiking Sulphur Mountain in Banff continues to be a prime activity in 2024, attracting those keen on experiencing its moderate to challenging trails, depending on seasonal conditions and personal fitness. For an easier ascent, the Banff Gondola offers an alternative with an eight-minute ride to the top, priced from 66 CAD per person in 2024, providing a relaxing way to enjoy the panoramic views.

    Getting to the Sulphur Mountain Trailhead

    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 4.5 km 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.

    Route Information

    • When to do:


    • Backcountry Campsites:


    • Pets allowed:

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly:

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      One Way

    Sulphur Mountain Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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