Oldest National Park of Canada
Aborigines showed in 1883 three workers of the Canadian Pacific Railway a cave with hot, healing springs. There never was a commercial exploitation of the sources. As early as 1885, the government appointed the still small terrain as a protected area. In 1887, the “Rocky Mountains Park Act” was created, the current Banff National Park. With 6,641 km², it is the third largest national park in the world and UNESCO World Heritage.
A picture-book landscape of high mountains, glaciers, deep gorges, vast forests, turquoise-blue lakes, imposing waterfalls and rivers impresses approximately 5 million visitors each year. The largest crowds flock to Banff National Park in the summer to see the main attractions. The color play of the gigantic, grandiose mountain world and the turquoise-blue, emerald-green lakes remains unforgettable. Equally impressive is Lake Louise, the site and famous mountain lake in a high alpine, magnificent postcard landscape in front of the glacier backdrop of Mount Victoria (3459 m). Only 12 km away is the Moraine Lake in the spectacular valley of the 10 peaks. Lake Minnewanka is the largest lake in the park. Peyto Lake has become famous around the world for taking pictures in many Canada photo books.
If you’re looking for deserted nature, head to the backcountry, the fantastic wildlife and bird sanctuary of the Vermillion Lakes or the wild Johnston Canyon. Since Banff National Park must not be hunted, even the bears are unconcerned. With such a bear sight one should keep calm and enjoy the sight. Soft speech or singing gives the bear the opportunity to retreat. A total of 1,500 km of hiking, biking and riding trails open up the park.
The rustic village of Banff with only 6,000 inhabitants is the center of the national park. He was named after the Scottish Banffshire, home to important park financiers. A highlight of the park is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel against the backdrop of Sulfur Mountain (2,285 m). In 1888, the former “Railway Hotel” of the Canadian Pacific Railway was the largest hotel in the world. Today, the more than 700-room luxury hotel presents itself pompously in the Scottish castle style. From the deck, you have a fantastic view of the valley of the Bow River and the Rocky Mountains. Inside there are fourteen restaurants, fifty shops, and hot sulfur springs. Banff has much to offer. Numerous museums, excellent restaurants, lively nightlife, Wapiti grazing in the village, marching moose, a year-round Christmas shop and the historic spa and bathhouse of Banff Upper Hot Springs. The “Sulfur Hot Springs” (Cave and Basin) of 1883 are the main attraction, even though there is no longer any bathing activity there.
The best time to visit Banff National Park is between April and October. In winter, the “Big Three”, Mount Norquay, Louise, Sunshine Village are world-class destinations with added: huge panoramic views. The large selection of hotels, resorts, motels, usually cheaper than in Germany, is another plus for the Banff National Park.
Did you know that …
- the beginning of Banff National Park with the accidental discovery of hot springs in the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains held by three employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883?
- the Banff National Park was Canada’s first national park and the third in the world?
- the Banff National Park covers 6,641 km² of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows, and rivers?
- Was the park one of the first destinations in the world?
- Over 260 species of birds are registered in the Banff National Park?
- July is the warmest month, with average values of 22 C ° in the city of Banff and January the coldest with values around the -15 C °?
- the mountainous area is the smallest eco-region in the Banff National Park, which accounts for only 3% of the park’s total area?
- The Vermillion wetland near the town of Banff is a major example of this type of landscape form, as it offers the park’s largest variety of wildlife.
- The Bow River drainage system accounts for approximately 53% of the park’s catchment area and is home to most of the lakes?
- The moose is the animal that most likely sees during a visit to Banff National Park? A male elk is correctly called a “stag” and a female “hind.” Caution is advised as they can suddenly appear in the middle of a street.
- the Banff National Park is home to 53 species of mammals?
- About 66 grizzly bears live in the park, 16 of which are female females?