Banff has always been on my bucket list for travel destinations! It is a beautiful place with lots to offer.
One of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations is Banff National Park and its associated town of Banff, located in the province of Alberta. Together, they attract more than four million visitors to their picturesque corner of Canada every single year. What makes the region so special? Read on to find out!Banff National Park is Canada’s first and oldest national park, and the third such park in the entire world.
The town of Banff was the first town to ever incorporate inside of a national park.
In 1883, Canadian Pacific Railway workers discovered the hot springs of Sulphur Mountain. Today, those same springs are home to the incredibly rare and endangered Banff Springs Snail.
From 1957 to 1981, Sulphur Mountain was also home to a special laboratory built to study cosmic rays and space articles as they entered Earth’s atmosphere.
In 1885, a 10-square mile reserve was built around the Cave and Basin Hot Springs in the Canadian Rockies, kick-starting efforts to promote the area internationally as a luxury resort and spa. The goal of these efforts was to attract more customers for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
The name “Banff” comes from Banffshire, Scotland, the former home of two of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s original directors.
The historic (and purportedly haunted) Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, opening in 1888 with one unique eccentricity. That is, it was built backwards, the result of workers accidentally reading the blueprints upside down.
Banff has the second highest elevation of any community in Alberta, making it a popular location for skiers and snowboarders. There are currently no less than three different ski resorts situated on Banff real estate: Ski Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Sunshine Village.
Every year, the Banff Iiniskim Powwow celebrates the culture and history of the indigenous peoples who originally settled the area before Banff’s founding. During the event, Native Canadians gather and perform live musical and dance performances in traditional tribal regalia.
In 1985, the United Nations declared the entire Banff area as a protected World Heritage Site.
Banff’s Castleguard Caves constitute Canada’s largest cave system.
Banff’s Lake Louise is the single most photographed lake in the world
Banff National Park is home to more than 1,000 glaciers.
Some of the mountains in Banff National Park are more than 120 million years old.
One of the largest lakes in Banff is Lake Minnewanka, a manmade lake. An entire submerged village can be found at the bottom, which visitors can freely explore while scuba diving.