In 1883, three railway workers came upon a cave in Alberta containing a hot spring.  Soon the area surrounding the cave became Canada's first National Park, Banff National Park.  In 1888, the elegant Banff Springs Hotel was built.

About five million people visit Banff N.P. each year, but it doesn't seem crowded.  It contains 2,565 square miles of beauty - mountains, valleys, glaciers, rivers and forests.  It also contains plenty of wildlife - elk, moose, caribou, grizzly bears, wolves and mountain goats. One of the most beautiful spots is Sunshine Meadows - a flower-filled area popular with hikers and walkers.  Another must-see spot is Bow Valley - driving through it is an unforgettable experience.

It is generally recommended that you plan to spend at least four days in the park to be sure you have the time to experience the most popular activities and sights.

Banff is easily accessible by the Trans-Canada Highway and the Icefields Parkway. 

It is paradise for the outdoorsy types.  In the summer: hike, backpack, climb, golf, horseback ride, kayak and paddle. In winter: snowshoe, ice climbing and cross-country ski.

The villages of Banff and Lake Louise are the central gathering spots for visitors, offering terrific accommodations, restaurants and shops.