Sights in Banff

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Peyto Lake from Bow Summit Overlook

Peyto Lake from Bow Summit Overlook

Daniel Coughlin (http://www.pbase.com/efatapo)

Visiting some of the scenic wonders in the Banff area will provide memories for a lifetime.

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Moraine Lake and Valley of the Ten Peaks

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Lake Moraine
Lake Moraine
photo by: David Denton

Moraine Lake is known for its emerald green color and for being previously pictured on the back of the Canadian $20 bill. Mount Temple, the highest mountain in the Bow Range, is to the north and is a great area for hiking.

You can obtain information on trails by visiting the Parks Canada Information Bureau in Banff or the Visitor Centre in Lake Louise.

Location: 12 km (7.5 mi) east from Lake Louise access road

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Sulpher Mountain Gondola .

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A View down Sulphur Mountain
A View down Sulphur Mountain
photo by: Daniel Coughlin (http://www.pbase.com/efatapo )

Ride to the top of Sulpher Mountain in a glass-enclosed, four-passenger gondola and enjoy a 360-degree view of Banff and area. Canada's highest restaurant is situated at the summit and offers self-serve meals. Short hiking trails explore the summit ridge. Hours of operation subject to seasonal change. Tel: 1 403 762-2523 Fax: 1 403 762-7493 Address: 3.2 km (2 mi) from Banff town on Mountain Ave

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Cave and Basin Centennial Centre .

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Visitors can walk into the Cave, view the intact basin and learn the fascinating story of the springs discovery. Historical exhibits, geological displays and videos tell the park's history. Short self-guided walks explore the effect of heated spring water on the surrounding marshes. Tours available, call for details. Tel: 1 403 762-1557 Fax: 1 403 762-3380 Address: 311 Cave Ave.

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Columbia Icefield .

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This massive field of ancient ice covers 325 sq km (125 sq mi) and reaches depths estimated at 385 m (1,270 ft). It is composed of the Athabasca, Stutfield and Dome glaciers. Straddling the Continental Divide, the icefield feeds four of the continent’s major river systems: the Columbia, Fraser, Mackenzie and Saskatchewan. Meltwaters from the icefield flow to three different oceans (the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic via Hudson Bay). Called a ‘hydrological apex,’ it is one of two in North America, the other being Triple Divide Peak on the Montana/Idaho border. (Another is in more..

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Johnston Canyon .

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Follow the self-guided interpretative trail along Johnston Creek for views of water erosion in action. A 5.6 km (3.5 mi) walk will take you to the Ink Pots. Six cool springs bubble out of the ground year-round. The glacial sediments in the springs create beautiful aqua colours. Address: 26 km (16.25 mi) W of Banff on Hwy 1A.

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Peyto Lake .

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Peyto Lake from Bow Summit Overlook
Peyto Lake from Bow Summit Overlook
photo by: Daniel Coughlin (http://www.pbase.com/efatapo)

The highest point on the Icefields Parkway is Bow Summit, 2088 m above sea level. Here the road crosses alpine meadows near the source of the Bow River before dropping into the Mistaya Valley. From the lower parking area at Bow Summit, a short trail takes you uphill to the Peyto Lake lookout. Address: 190 km (118.75 mi) S of Jasper/40 km (25 mi) N of Lake Louise

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Mistaya Canyon .

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Mistaya Canyon
Mistaya Canyon
photo by: Daniel Coughlin (http://www.pbase.com/efatapo)

A short ten-minute trail leads to the canyon, where visitors can see the waters of the Mistaya River which have delicately sculpted this gorge, leaving many circular "potholes" in the canyon walls. Address: 159 km (99 mi) S of Jasper/71 km (44 mi) N of Lake Louise

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Lake Louise .

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Lake Louise from Hotel
Lake Louise from Hotel
photo by: Ron Bessling

View the majestic Victoria Glacier and beautiful Lake Louise. At Lake Louise visitors can enjoy horse-back riding, hiking, canoeing, etc. The original Chateau Lake Louise (Canadian Pacific) was originally built in 1890. Address: Access road is S of the Trans-Canada Hwy.

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Bow Valley Parkway .

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Also known as Hwy 1A, this 51 km (30.6 mi) route is a scenic alternative to the TransCanada Hwy between Banff and Lake Louise. There are peaceful picnic areas, short hikes and three lodges offering cabin accommodation and services for travellers. At Johnston Canyon, a self-guided tour takes you along Johnston Creek to two impressive waterfalls. It’s a 5.6 km (3.5 mi) hike to the Ink Pots, which has six cool springs bubbling out of the ground. Address: Access the parkway 7 km (4.3 mi) west of Banff and from the Lake Louise overpass

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Hector Lake .

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Hector Lake
Hector Lake
photo by: Bill Crider

The beautiful green waters of Hector Lake spread below a fresh carpet of lush forest. While the southern part of the lake is forest-enclosed, the northern end is set hard against rugged mountains which is typical of a lake formed in a glacial basin. View Mt. Balfour and the Waputik Range to the SW. Address: 214 km (133.75 mi) S of Jasper/16 km (10 mi) N of Lake Louise.

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Cave & Basin Hot Springs .

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Historic and geological displays reveal the effects of the warm sulphur water on the flora and fauna of the area. Interpretative displays and self-guiding trails. Interpretative. Centre open year-round. Swimming pool open mid June to Labour Day. Tel: 1 403 762-4900

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Saskatchewan River Crossing

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Facilities available from March to mid-November include accommodation, groceries, cafeteria, licensed dining room, gift shop, fuel and telephone. Address: 153 km (95.6 mi) S of Jasper/77 km (48 mi) N of Lake Louise.

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Bow Falls .

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Bow Falls in November
Bow Falls in November
photo by: Carl Christensen

The Bow River thunders into Bow Falls just before the junction of the Bow and Spray Rivers. Address: near the Banff Springs Hotel on the left-hand side of River Road. 

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Hoodoos .

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Hoodoos and the Bow River
Hoodoos and the Bow River
photo by: Daniel Coughlin (http://www.pbase.com/efatapo)

These spires, carved by the forces of wind and water, stand like lonely sentinels overlooking the Bow River. Wheelchair access. Address: 4 km (2.5 mi) from Banff on Tunnel Mountain Dr.

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Banff Centre .

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The Banff Centre is dedicated to the professional development of artists and managers. The Banff Centre is home to the Banff Centre for Arts, Banff Centre for Management, Mountain Culture, Festivals and Performances, and the Banff Centre for Conferences. For festivals and performances at the Banff Centre see the Entertainment and Events listings in Discover Banff. Tel: 1 403 762-6204 Fax: 1 403 762-6388 Address: Box 1020, Station 11 Banff Alberta T0L 0C0 Map

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Banff Centre for the Arts .

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We are Canada's leading learning centre dedicated to the continuing professional development of accomplished artists and managers. Our focus on understanding and fostering creativity encourages artistic exploration and growth and inspires corporate cultures which demand and deliver sustained innovation. Tel: 1 403 762-6333 Toll Free: 1-800-413-8368 Address: St. Julian Road

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Bow Lake .

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The lake is the source of the Bow River. Across the lake is part of a very large icefield covering an area of the Great Divide. The Bow Glacier extends from this field over the cliffs. Address: 93 km (58 mi) N of Banff just off Hwy 93 N (Icefields Parkway)

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Crowfoot Glacier .

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One of over a hundred glaciers that can be seen along the Icefields Parkway. Years ago, this glacier resembled a crows foot, with three large toe-like extensions. The lower "toe" of this foot has receded so much that only two toes remain. Address: 197 km (123 mi) S of Jasper/33 km (20.6 mi) N of Lake Louise.

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Hole in the Wall .

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Hole in the Wall , Banff Park
Hole in the Wall , Banff Park
photo by: David M Hudyma

This cavern appears to have been cut away by the melt waters from the glacier that once filled Bow Valley. Address: 1.1 km (6.8 mi) W of Banff from the Muleshoe picnic area

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The Great Divide .

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The Great Divide is the geographic point where all waters flow either W to the Pacific Ocean or E to the Atlantic Ocean. Displays at the picnic area describe this phenomenon which may be seen in action as the creek separates mid-flow. Address: Follow the sign

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