|At the top of Sulphur Mountain / Banff Gondola|
We promised the kids hot chocolate at the top of Sulphur Mountain, but ten minutes into the hike, we’re hot! After shedding a layer, we decide lemonade would be oh-so-refreshing, and make guesses on how long it will take to reach the Upper Terminal. In November, we hiked up in an hour and 45 minutes, but spring conditions will make for a slower hike, especially since the girls keep stopping to play in the snow.
|Sulphur Mountain Trail (East Side), Banff|
|Northern Lights Cafe, Sulphur Mountain, Banff|
|Above Banff Interpretive Centre, Sulphur Mountain|
|Banff Gondola Upper Terminal Observation Deck|
|Sulphur Mountain Interpretive Boardwalk, Banff|
|Sanson’s Peak Weather Station, Banff|
Although we’ve been here countless times, we never tire of the view. We gaze across the Bow Valley pointing out mountains we’ve hiked or want to hike, look down on the Banff Springs Hotel tiny in the distance, then turn westward and admire the Sundance Range. As the sun dips lower in the sky, we make our way to the terminal for a free ride down (only available in the off season from after Thanksgiving to just before May long weekend). The 8-minute ride is scenic and fun – we can’t wait to do it again!
|Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk, Banff|
|Heading down in the Banff Gondola|
Sulphur Mountain Trail (East Side) at a Glance
Distance: 5.5 km one way
Elevation gain: 655 metres
Nearest washrooms: Banff Gondola Lower Terminal, Banff Gondola Upper Terminal (at the summit)
Sports stroller friendly? Yes
Restrictions: Dogs must be kept on a leash. Bikes are not permitted.
Directions: Google “Banff Upper Hot Springs” and park in the Upper Hot Springs parking lot. The Sulphur Mountain trailhead is at the northwest end of the parking lot (look for it on the left as you walk towards the hot springs).
For a prettier, but longer route, start at Cave and Basin and hike up the west side of the mountain via Sundance Trail and the old fire road (Sanson Road). Note: As of April 4, 2019, Sulphur Mountain Westside Trail is temporarily closed.
Check the Banff Trail Report before you go for current conditions.
Know Before You Go
Ice cleats / microspikes are recommended from November to April as the trail gets packed down and icy.
|Sign re download fare at Banff Gondola Upper Terminal|
If you plan to hike up and ride the gondola down, you must purchase a ticket during the summer months. You can ride the Banff Gondola down only for free in the offseason (after Thanksgiving until Victoria Day weekend) or after 7 pm. Dogs are not permitted on the gondola or in the interpretive centre.
Amenities at the Upper Terminal include Northern Lights Cafe (casual dining), Sky Bistro (fine dining), gift shop, interpretive centre, theatre, observation deck, and washrooms.
For More Information
Visit Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection – Banff Gondola for gondola tickets, special events, or dining information.