A cave that wrote history, hot spring water from 2.000 meters below ground, Alberta's most popular mountain lake and gorgeous views over the Canadian Rocky Mountains – the unique nature of the Banff National Park is full of highlights. In the third part of our Banff Lake Louise Special, we introduce the five ultimative Must-Sees in this region:
In, at and high above the water
A visit to the Banff Upper Hot Springs gives you a chance to absolutely relax and to get a first hand experience of the famous hot springs in the region surrounding Banff. The water inside the well comes from a depth of 2.000 meters. It runs through many layers of the Rocky Mountains, before it arrives in the valley. While relaxing in water temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius, you can enjoy a unique panorama view over the National Park with its mountains and large forest areas. From here, you can also see Mount Rundle, whose summit is almost 3.000 meters high.
If you visit Banff without having seen Lake Louise, you would surely miss out the best part. The turquoise-blue mountain lake is a famous landmark for Alberta. The clear turquoise-blue color of the lake is made up of stone dust in the water, which travels from the glacier into Lake Louise. The unique coloring of the lake harmonizes beautifully with the picturesque mountain scenery of the Rockies. From here, you can also see Mount Victoria and the Victoria Glacier. The landscape along the banks of the lake is particularly popular for its mountainbike trails and climbing opportunities. What is more, you could also hire a canoe or kayak to discover the lake.
The Lake Louise Gondola takes you to lofty heights. The 14 minute long journey up to the 2.088 meter high mountain station, offers you a fantastic view over the Rockies as well as of course Lake Louise, which gives the Gondola its name. With a little luck, you can even spot one of the most distinguished animals of Canada on the mountain slopes, the grizzly bear. In spring time, they especially often wander around the lush green meadows with their young ones, searching for food. At the mountain station, the Wildlife Interpretation Center gives you an insight into the nature of the Banff National Park.
Attractions in Banff city
An attraction steeped in history is the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. It marked the beginning of Banff city, when the cave with its interior hot springs was discovered in 1883. Exhibitions explain the existence of the spring water around the cave, and during a guided tour through the cave system, you can find out even more about the famous hot springs and their healing powers.
In the Banff Park Museum you can learn about the natural history of Canada. It is the oldest natural history museum in Western Canada. What is more, it exhibits artifacts from the years 1891 and 1931. Also architecturally, the museum is an absolute highlight. In fact, it is under monumental protection today. In earlier years the museum served as a state building. It is surrounded by a large cultivated park, the oldest one in all of the Canadian national parks. Today, this park is often used for festivals or other open-air events. Lastly, you have a fantastic view over the Bow River and the city center of Banff from here.