We tend to shy away from the walk through all the tourist stores down the main street of Banff. Instead, we search out various hikes that we can accomplish even when we are past our prime.
One hike we have gone on many times is the climb to the top of Tunnel mountain - just in the back yard of the town of Banff.
There is no better way to get close to nature and to avoid the hustle and bustle of tourist activity than to lace up your hiking boots and head for the hills!
There are over 1600kms of hiking trails in Banff National Park passing through unforgettable mountain scenery. The hikes are of varying lengths and difficulty so you should be able to find one that suits your fitness level.
I have included info on the hikes that I have done under Sports Travel Tips.
The Cave and Basin Centennial Centre is built around two hot springs. Visitors can walk through a tunnel to discover the hot spring in the cave and travel back to Edwardian times by strolling around the Basin hot springs and bathhouse. At the centre, which is the birthplace of Banff National Park, there are also year-round exhibits, films, and interpretive trails.
The 0.4 km Discovery Trail is a boardwalk built on the hillside above the Cave and Basin Centennial Centre. It takes you past the vent (the opening in the roof of the Cave) and to a spring flowing out of the hillside. Signs explain the geology and human history of the Cave and Basin. Benches along the trail allow you to relax and enjoy the views.
In the winter, this takes you to the Lake Louise Ski Area, in the summer a gondola takes tourists near the top of hill. From here you get a corss-valley view of Lake Louise, and can hike over to Skoki Lodge in the Skoki valley.
Also known as Hwy 1A, this 51 km (30.6 mi) route is a scenic alternative to the TransCanada Hwy between Banff and Lake Louise. There are peaceful picnic areas, short hikes and three lodges offering cabin accommodation and services for travellers. At Johnston Canyon, a self-guided tour takes you along Johnston Creek to two impressive waterfalls. It’s a 5.6 km (3.5 mi) hike to the Ink Pots, which has six cool springs bubbling out of the ground.