Our home is Alberta is now officially for sale. It was a bittersweet trip back to Alberta to get the house ready to sell. Bitter because we were saying goodbye to our friends who are like family, and there was a lot of work to do. Sweet because that meant we were heading back to my favourite Canadian city, Banff, Alberta. We are in the Calgary area for less than a week, with a list of fixes our house required, but there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to see my Banff.
Open year-round, the Banff Upper Hot Springs is in the town of Banff and is a perfect way to end a day of touring the area. Soak in the 100 % natural mineral water flowing at the Banff Upper Hot Springs. There is a small fee to soak in the springs.
If you forgot your bathing suit you can rent one (cleaned to hospital standards) for less than the price of a latte. Here is a mannequin, who is lovingly named Stella by the staff, modeling the cute historical bathing suit available for rent.
Banff national park, the first Canadian national park, was partly created to protect the hot spring because of its importance to Canada and its people. Pre 1880, Indigenous Peoples were the first to soak in the hot springs who believed these are sacred waters – a place to cure illness and maintain health. In 1883 Canadian Pacific Railway workers discovered the Cave and Basin Hot Springs, at the foot of Sulphur Mountain. The discovery captured the attention of the nation and led to the creation of Banff National Park.
A must see while in Banff, Alberta is the Bow River Falls. The falls are in the town of Banff, making it easy to get to whether you walk or drive. Free parking and easy access to the falls makes it a busy spot at times but the view and walking trails make it worth braving the occasional busload of tourists. A short walk along the paved trail and you are far away from the crowds. The evening is my favourite time to visit because the busses are long gone and the evening light plays on the mountains and dances on the falls. Marilyn Monroe famously visited Bow Falls and the nearby Banff Springs hotel in 1953 while filming River of No Return.
Where to see wildlife in Banff, Alberta?
Everywhere! The area is rich in animal life such as elk, mule deer, mountain sheep, and bears. You can spot elk and mule deer in the town itself, happily munching on greenery. The Lake Minnewanka Loop is a scenic drive where you can see all the animals close up and the views are amazing on the loop. Another spot to see wildlife is on the drive up Mount Norquay. It’s a winding 6.4 km drive that has a viewpoint overlooking the town of Banff and you will likely see bighorn sheep and mule deer.
You really do need more than a day trip to experience all that Banff, Alberta has to offer. You are able to see a lot of sights, wildlife, and natural beauty if you only have a day. Learn more from some of my favourite Banff resources, Official Banff website, Explore Banff, or follow Banff Squirrel on twitter,