Banff Gondola – Oh What A Ride
A couple of years ago I was in Banff Alberta touring around for a few days. Despite everybody telling me that I just had to take the Banff gondola up Sulphur Mountain, I absolutely had no plans or desire to go up that mountain on the gondola! That decision quickly went by the wayside. I made a last-minute decision to stay on the bus and not go back to my hotel, and give the gondola a whirl. I had a blast!!!
I was travelling solo and I am terrified of heights, but I have always said that in order to live and enjoy life to the fullest you have to overcome your fears and escape your comfort zone. This one was a real achievement even for me!
By the time I was half way up the mountain in the cable car, I was mesmerized by the beauty surrounding me and completely oblivious to the fact that I was over 7,486 feet in the air. I hadn’t even realized yet any fears that I had were now in the rearview mirror. I just couldn’t get enough of the breath-taking scenery of Bow Valley so far below me and I was even able to see the Town of Banff in the distance. I had never seen anything like it before.
Riding the Banff Gondola 7,486 feet up Sulphur Mountain
Once reaching the end of the gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain, there is a short video that you can watch if you so choose. I passed, as I just wanted to get back outside to admire the views from an elevation of 7,486 feet. The beauty was second to none and you can see for miles on end. When you disembark the gondola, you will enter a gift shop and this is also where dining is available. But I wasn’t done yet, the mountain had another 600 feet to climb (all done by stairs)to reach the summit, and of course I had to get as high as possible!
If you choose not to climb further, not to worry, you will still be able to see and appreciate the incredible beauty. However, if you choose to continue to the summit, you ascend above the tree line and you will be rewarded with the most incredible views around. There are benches along the way if you need to take a rest, or just want to sit and admire your surroundings.
I would recommend wearing warmer clothing, as the higher the altitude, the colder and windier it gets. This is also true during the summer months.
There is a reason why the Banff gondola is considered to be one of Banff’s premier attractions and in my opinion, this is a must do attraction when visiting Banff.
Taking the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain was by far one of the highlights of my trip to Banff National Park, and I am so glad that I decided to set aside my fears and take the plunge. Next time, I will hike up, as I understand that it is a fairly easy hike that takes an hour and a half to two hours.
Hiking Sulphur Mountain
The trail leading up Sulphur Mountain is 10.1 kilometers in length up and back having an elevation gain of 744 meters (2,440.94 feet). If you hike up and back down the mountain, you can expect the hike to take between 2 – 3 hours. Although the hike is rated as being moderate, beginner hikers shouldn’t have a difficult time doing this hike either as there are many switchbacks making the incline not to steep.
If you do decide to hike up you also have to be prepared to hike down as you can’t take the gondola. Because of COVID, the restrooms are not open to hikers. Only the people taking the gondola have access to the restrooms. It does get cooler as you gain elevation, so make sure that you have packed the proper hiking gear.
The Banff gondola is one adventure that you won’t want to miss when visiting Banff National Park in Canada. It is worth every penny.
You can reserve your spot to ride the gondola here. Hurry as they book up fast!
HAPPY & SAFE ADVENTURES 🙂
PIN TO RIDE LATER!