Banff National Park
The story of Banff National Park begins with its bubbling hot
springs and the railroad. In 1883, Canadian Pacific Railway
laborers building Canada's transcontinental railroad discovered
natural hot springs on the side of Sulphur Mountain. This discovery
eventually led to the establishment of Banff as Canada's first
national park, and, shortly after, that same railroad helped fuel
Banff tourism. Travelers came from across the country for alpine
adventures. Today, vacationers can experience that same excitement
on a train trip to Banff.
Banff tours from Vancouver feature some of the country's great
rail journeys: The all-daylight Rocky Mountaineer train into Alberta
or an overnight trip on VIA Rail's Canadian train. Once in the lush
Canadian Rockies, things to do in Banff are limitless, from hiking
in the summer to dog sledding in the winter. Many Banff tours
include a ride on the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain.
From the summit's observation deck, visitors enjoy panoramic views
of the Bow Valley and Banff town site below. Popular guided
sightseeing tours include visits to Lake Minnewanka with its many
outdoor activities; Cave and Basin Historic Site, where the first
hot springs were discovered; and Lake Louise, the scenic hamlet
with its eponymous turquoise lake and the massive Victoria Glacier
looming behind it. Banff holiday packages showcase the best of the
Canadian Rockies and are nothing short of memorable.