MARTIN STABLES HAS THE BEST HORSEBACK RIDE. IT IS A 3 HR. BREAKFAST RIDE. YOU RIDE FOR AND HOUR THEN EAT FOR AN HOUR THEN RIDE A DIFFERENT TRAIL BACK FOR AN HOUR. WHAT A BLAST. A MUST TRY FOR HORSE LOVERS OR NOT
This was one of the most spectacular hikes/ walks we did during our week in Banff. On our last day in Banff we decided to drive the 25 km to the canyon along the Bow Valley Parkway and as we approached we were astounded to see the number of vehicles parked on the side of the road. We thouight we would try the parking area but it was completly full and we were soon parking on the side of the road.
The area approaching the canyon had beautiful tall trees, then we saw the rushing water as we commenced the hike along the 1.1 km track to the lower falls. It was steep at times and very quickly the canyon appeared, extremely deep in places as the gushing water had cut through the rocky terrain over millions of years. The walking tracks then gave way to catwalks on the side of the canyon with the rushing waters 100 feet below. It certainly was spectacular and some found it very scary as they hung onto the rail as they walked the catwalk.
It was to become more spectacular as we reached the lower falls and walked the bridge over the canyon and then entered an old cave/ tunnel where the water had gushed through thousands of years ago and now used as a platform to view the waterfall, watching the water tumble down the canyon, being very careful not to let the spray spoil your camera lens.
The walk back downhill was much easier and allowed us to get the photos we missed on the way up. On reaching the entrance were stopped at the restaurant and enjoyed a light lunch.
Would recommend this canyon to anyone visiting the area. For those a little fitter you may like the 2.7km hike to the Upper Falls. A small entry fee applies.
The path winds back and forth up the mountain with great views over Banff and The Babff Springs Hotel and Golf Course. It's a bit more challenging than a stroll for sure - although we did meet a few joggers coming back down!!
It took us about 2hrs altogether, starting from the car park at the bottom.
The tourist centre in Banff has all the info you'll need.
This is where Banff, the first National Park in Canada, started. Curious? Well then you'll just have to go there yourself and read up on it!
Aside from the little musuem and the hot spring water, the hiking around there is excellent. There is a path down to the marshy area of the river where you can find lots of fish, birds, and great views of the surrounding mountains. So close to town yet very few goes, and fewer yet of those who go hike around in the little paths.
To go into the cave you have to go into the museum. It's reasonably priced, but if you're very budget conscious, you're not missing too much.
Why not HIKE up Sulphur Mountain, just outside the town. Although there is a gondola, you will feel much better after walking up instead. Unfortunately, at the top, you will be greeted by hordes of lazy chairlift-tourists complaining about how uncomfortable the ride was (!!!) HOWEVER, the view of the town from the top is beautiful.
Just don't try to hike up the chairlift run... When I was coming down the mountain, apparently two stupids got stuck while trying to do this. Stick to the paths, please.