Banff Gondola, Banff National Park
The Banff Gondola rises up to an elevation of 7500 feet in under 8 minutes to the top of Sulphur mountain. Once at the top there is an observation station with a gift shop, restuarant ( $$$), observation deck and a boardwalk that runs along the top of the mountain with amazing views to a tiny "cosmic ray" station. An old weather station.
For Sulfer mountain there are 2 ways to reach the top. One is by hiking like we did quite a climb, 1.15 hrs, but if you prefer an easier way take the gondola. The view is magnificent!
Just a 5 minute drive from the Banff town site, this gondola takes you up to the top of Sulfur Mountain where you get a 360 degree view of the area. The ride up is about 8 minutes and there was a line up when we went, however it wasn't too long of a wait. The nice thing is that the operators put you in your own gondola and you don't have to share with strangers. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes. There are wooden stairs and walk ways, but you will go through some semi rocky trails along the way up to the lookout point. The price is $29.95 return, which is a bit expensive, but if you are really adventurous, you can hike up. The view up at the top is spectacular. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the Banff area.
This gondola takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain where you have an excellent view. It is located just 5 minutes from the Town of Banff. It takes you 8 minutes to reach the top and once in the top terminal, you have a 360o view. There's a cafeteria-style restaurant which is open all year round. You can have the chance to see wildlife up there like ravens, eagles, bighorn sheep and bears!!
The price was CND 21.20 back in 2003.
It's the top of the World
Sulphur Mountain Gondola begins halfway up the mountain just past the public pool (hot springs). From there, you ride upwards into the peaks.
July 6, 2001: After a liesurely breakfast, we drove the 1 km to the Sulphur Mtn Gondola, which we rode to the top of Sulphur Mtn. On the way up we could see out hotel and the town of Banff. A walk went north from the landing (down, they back up) for a view down into Banff Townsite. We went part way, enjoying the quiet and the light cool breeze. The air was clear and crisp. From the top, we could see up the Spry Valley to the south and the Bow Valley to the north. When we were getting ready to return to the car, more and more people were around the observation deck. When we got off, the line going up the mountain streatched out the door. There were several buses in the parking area. Arriving early had been a good idea.
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)
Pictures yet to come
the view from the top of sulpher mountain was fantastic, laying before you is the entire town of Banff, the bow river that snakes through town as well as two jack lake and lake minnewanka in the backgroung. it cost $24 for a roundtrip ticket. Once you are on the top ther is a long boardwalk that will take you to a site formerly used for space research. all in all, taking the ride up the gondola was very much worth it.
The Sulphur Mountain Gondola is a fun way to spend a couple of hours. The gondola does not travel very high above the ground, and the cars are completely enclosed (you are seated 4 people to a car), so it's not scary at all. Once at the top you have the most amazing views of the valley and other mountain peaks. There is a short hike that can be done to the summit of the mountain or you can have lunch in the restaurant while you are up there.
Located a few kilometers outside of the townsite of Banff is Sulphur Mountain. I personally think it's a strange name for a mountain, as it reminds me of the smell of rotten eggs! However, there are hot springs nearby Sulphur Mountain in which the water *does* smell like rotten eggs, so that's very likely the source of the name!
The gondola takes 4 passengers at a time and takes 8 minutes to get to the top. Even immediately as you leave the ground base, you get a beautiful view of the Banff valley. Once at the top there are boardwalks for sightseeing. For some reason I don't remember these boardwalks when I visited in 1993, and my old photos show that we were just walking on the bare rock up there. Perhaps they existed but my dad just took photos of us off the boardwalk?
In August it can be quite busy at the top of Sulphur Mountain, but on a beautiful day the view is stunning. And if you're lucky, you can see mountain goats as they meander on the mountainside!
For an amazing bird's eye view of the Rocky Mountains, take this gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain. You will see a panoramic view of Banff, Mount Rundle, the Bow Valley and Cascade Mountains.
You will ultimately reach an elevation of 2281m, so bring along a jacket, it can be cold at the summit.
Sulphur Mountain is at the south end of Banff townsite. It has 2 peaks, Sulphur and Sanson, both at about 2280 m elevation. The fastest way to get to the top of Sulphur Mountain is to take Banff Gondola (700 m elevation gain).
The recently reconstructed (1998) Banff Gondola felt new and comfortable. Each gondola holds up to 4 people, and everybody gets to sit. Compared with the 40-year old Jasper Tramway where 30 people squeezed in 1 car, this felt much safer. While riding the Gondola, you can see the hiking trail zig-zag under your feet. The ticket to the Gondola was $21.5 (Canadian).
To see more gondola photo, including panoramic view of Banff from upper terminal, visit my travelogue.
You can ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain in a glass-enclosed, gondola giving a 360-degree view of Banff and the surrounding area. At the top are indoor and outdoor observation decks. It was freezing when we went there so we did not spend too long outside. Hot tea and coffee from the
restaurant was a godsend!
For those of you who may prefer to sit back and enjoy the view, you can take a gondola ride to the top of Mt. Sulphur. For your convenience, there is a restraunt, souvenier shop and several indoor look out spots.
You can also hike to the top on a paved path. I have seen many families on this path.
You may also be interested in soaking in the Hot Springs for some relaxation. You will drive past them to get to the gondola ride. The cost is $7/adult. I believe there is also family rate.
Ride the gondola to the top of Sulpher Mountain and enjoy a 360-degree view of Banff and area. Canada's highest restaurant is situated at the summit and offers self-serve meals. Short hiking trails explore the summit ridge.