The Banff Gondolatakes visitors to the top of Sulphur Mountain for the most spectacular views and photo opportunities in Banff National Park. The ride is 7 minutes and offers unmatched views of the surrounding mountains and downtown Banff. The elevation gain is roughly 700m or 2300 ft between the parking lot and the top, with an overall elevation at the top of around 2300m (7500 ft) above sea level. At the top there is the usual tourist 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 Sulphur Mtn 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 River 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: 5 minute drive (2.5 km / 1.5 miles) southwest of Banff. 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 deadends at the Gondola Parking area.
  • Latitude / Longitude: 51.148236 / 115.559503

Hiking Details:

  • Distance / Time: Over 1.5 hours up, 1 hour return down. Approximately 1.5 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 Banff Skywalk on Sulphur Mountain

Banff Skywalk on Sulphur Mountain

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