Banff Gondola rides are one of the most exciting things to do inside the national park outside of adventure sports. The adrenaline-filled ride to the top of the Canadian Rockies is one of the most thrilling and scenic in the country and is available to visitors at any time of year. Some would argue that the scenes from above are most breathtaking in the summer when the landscape is vibrant and lush while others claim winter, in all it’s white glory, is the most impressive. In any event, there’s no arguing that the scenes from Sulphur Mountain in Banff are glorious indeed.
The Banff Gondola adventure starts off with a ride to the Sulphur Mountain summit that feels like a lifetime for some. Each gondola has a maximum capacity of four people, which can make it a really personal event for many. The gondola’s cabins are fully modernized and enclosed on all sides. The thrills might start right away but as the gondola climbs higher and higher, the views become more and more spectacular. The lift rises to the 2,292-foot summit over the short period, and is the gateway to a variety of activities offered at and from the mountaintop including skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. The Sulphur Mountain Hike is about 3 miles and rated as a strenuous trek for intermediate and advanced hikers. Visitors will walk approximately half a mile over a two to five hours period.
Once at the top, Banff Gondola riders can opt to leave the summit terminal and explore the Skywalk, spanning half a mile along the ridge leading to Sanson’s Peak Meteorological Station and Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site of Canada. The second option is to head to the restaurant and enjoy the landscape from there. The elevated observation deck, located above the dining section, offers choice views and is also handicapped equipped. Be sure to keep a keen eye out for Banff’s famous wildlife; the Canada Gray Jay, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Gold Mantled Ground Squirrels, and many others.