The Banff Gondola takes visitors to the top of Sulphur Mountain for the most spectacular views and photo opportunities in Banff National Park. The ride is 8-10 minutes and offers unmatched views of the surrounding mountains and downtown Banff. The elevation gain is 698m (2292 ft) between the parking lot and the upper terminal, with an overall elevation at the top of 2281m (7486 ft) above sea level. At the top there is a gift shop and a choice of restaurant or cafeteria.

Town of Banff from Banff Gondola

There is an additional hike along a boardwalk to the apex of Sanson's Peak to the north of the gondola where you can see the old weather/cosmic ray station that used to function here. The views here are actually more revealing, and from the top you can look northeast and see Mt Brewster - 2,859 m (9,380 ft); Cascade Mt - 2,998 m (9,836 ft); Mt Aylmer - 3,163 m (10,375 ft); Tunnel Mt - 1,692 m (5,550 ft). To the east you'll see Banff downtown, the brilliant glacial blue Bow River and even Bow Falls.

While there are other locations in the Banff area to get a commanding view of the surrounding mountains, few are easier (via the gondola) and provide such an elevated vista.

As a side note, Upper Hot Springs is located very near the Banff Gondola and is an excellent place to relax. Here you can soak in the wondrously hot waters surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas - a great way to relax after the day!

Location Details: 

  • Directions: 2.5 km / 1.5 miles southwest of Banff. Driving, from downtown, take Banff Ave south across Bow River, then a left on Cave Ave. Take a right on Mountain Ave and follow that road until it ends at the Gondola Parking area.
  • Roam Public Transit, leaves downtown Banff every 20 minutes during summer. Take route 1. roamtransit.com
  • Latitude / Longitude: 51.148236 / 115.559503

Hiking Details:

  • Distance / Time: Over 1.5 hours up, 1 hour return down. Approximately 5.5km (3.5 miles) one way.
  • Elevation Gain: Strenuous (700m / 2300 ft gain)
  • Trail Type: Out and Back (or mix with a Gondola ride). Dirt trail
  • Notes: Water and restrooms at the trailhead and summit only

Banff Gondola top station from boardwalk on Sulphur Mountain

Banff Skywalk on Sulphur Mountain

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