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“Amazing hike”
Review of Sunshine Meadows

Sunshine Meadows
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Banff Sunshine Village Winter Sightseeing Package
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Banff Sunshine Village Sightseeing Gondola and Scenic Chairlift Package
Ranked #7 of 85 things to do in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located only a short distance, 16km/10m, from the Town of Banff, the pristine beauty of Sunshine Meadows is easily accessible for everyone, and can be best experienced and enjoyed through the relaxed comfort of our facilities. Take a ride up to the skies in Banff’s biggest gondola (8-passenger cabin capacity) with room for the whole family. Start at the base at an elevation of 1,660 m and ride the gondola 4.6km to the top gondola village terminal at 2,164 m where the Alpine Village is located. Take in all the views of the valley, mountain peaks and wildlife. Once you have reached the top – the Sunshine Village area, or just “the Village” – stop in at our new interpretive center before embarking on an exploration of the six diverse, graveled hiking trails, that wind their way through three alpine lakes, waterfalls and flower filled meadows covering more than 12 Km through the Sunshine Meadows. For a more revealing experience, join one of our hosted trail tours and enjoy learning about the wonders of the alpine world of Sunshine Meadows and more as you through some of Banff National Park’s most spectacular spots. Feel on top of the world when you summit Mt Standish via our Standish Express Sightseeing Chairlift. With an elevation of 2,400m/7,875ft, it will give you a full 360 degree view of the area. From here you can enjoy an unobstructed view the famous Mount Assiniboine – the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies at 3,618m/ 11,871ft – as well as other joys on the horizon, such as Rock Isle, Laryx and Grizzly Alpine lakes. There are three retail stores awaiting you for all your hiking essentials and Canadian Rockies souvenirs. After taking in the captivating views, indulge in one of our six licensed food outlets, including four fully serviced restaurants, including a BBQ deck of outside Mad Trapper’s Smokehouse. Come by to wind down with a drink before making your way back down the gondola.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

My husband and I booked a half day private guided hike in September 2012. We had perfect weather, and the best hike of my life to date.. While it wasn't cheap, it was the highlight of our Canada holiday.

We are quite active, outdoors people, but also were a bit daunted by alpine hiking (being from Australia), so we wanted a guided hike. The best thing about a guided hike (other than the general confidence of having a knowledge guide with bear spray), was the ability to go off-trail. We hiked across meadows, up Quartz ridge (a real climb!), and were taken to places with stunning views. Once we left the main trail, we didn't see a single other person.

I wouldn't recommend Sunshine Meadows for people who don't have a reasonable level of fitness, but neither do you have to be an experienced hiker. If you get a guide, they will tailor the hike to your fitness and ability- our hike was perfect for us- made us feel challenged, but always safe and within our limits. We were rather exhausted when we got back to Banff!

If you don't want to pay for a guide, there appeared to be some well marked trails which allow people unfamiliar with the area to still do some decent half day hikes.

If you are going in September, make sure you take food with you- the cafe wasn't properly open and choices were limited.

7  Thank Australian_couple32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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263 - 267 of 344 reviews

Reviewed January 15, 2013

sunshine meadows falls on the great divide - where you cross from alberta to BC. A great chance to visit two provinces in one day. The hikes range from easy to expert. Just remember to book the bus early as it is the only way to access the meadows!

3  Thank Jessica I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

You have to take the bus to get to the top, which does go on strange schedule and costs about 90$ for the family of four. You don't need to buy anything in advance, just walk in and buy the tickets when you arrive. We got to the parking area at 10:30 to get to 11:00 bus, but we still managed to get inside 10am bus that was about half full. Trails are well managed and worth the visit in mid-late July when all the flowers are in peak blossom. We got there in August and it seems we have missed the best time to visit, but it was still a great place for the afternoon walk and worth the price of bus ride.

15  Thank Ron N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

We loved this hike the best. Did it with kids (8 and 4) loved the views. There were no flowers when we went but it was beautiful nonetheless. Less popular therefore there were hardly any people around. Would strongly recomend it. Spectacular 360 degree views. There is a bus ride involved after you park your car. Take mosquito repellant if going summer.

8  Thank m k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

We did this trip towards the end of September and were rewarded with clear skies,golden larches and spectacular views. The ride on the shuttle bus eliminates the real hard work of getting out of the valley and drops you high in the alpine region.The only thing I would add to other reviews though, is that once there, the hiking is not completely effortless. By Rockies standards it isn't difficult, but by the time you have climbed up from the main ski lodge (where the shuttle bus drops you), descended to the lakes on the other side, maybe climbed to the lookout, and then completed the circuit, the amount of uphill hiking must be not far short of 1500 feet.
We got the impression that some people on our shuttle bus thought they would get the fantastic views as soon as they got off the bus. Certainly quite a few of them didn't tackle the first quite steep climb out of the ski lodge bowl, so they didn't get the views.

10  Thank Alan321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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