There are 47 national parks in Canada. The oldest national park is Banff National Park , located in the Canadian Rockies . It is located in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Natives showed three workers on the Canadian Pacific Railway a cave with hot, healing springs in 1883. There was never any commercial exploitation of the sources. As early as 1885, the government designated the still small area a protected area.
In 1887 the “Rocky Mountains Park Act” came into being, and with it the current Banff National Park . With 6,641 km² it is the third largest national park in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A picture-book landscape of high mountains, glaciers, deep gorges, vast forests, turquoise-blue lakes, imposing waterfalls and rivers impresses around 5 million visitors every year.
The largest masses of visitors flock to Banff National Park in summer to experience the main attractions. The play of colors of the gigantic, grandiose mountains and the turquoise-blue, emerald-green lakes remain unforgettable.
Just as impressive is Lake Louise, the town and famous mountain lake in a high-alpine, grandiose postcard landscape in front of the glacier backdrop of Mount Victoria (3459 m).
Only 12 km away is 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 through photos in many Canadian illustrated books.
Those looking for deserted nature can hike into the backcountry, into the fantastic game and bird sanctuary of the Vermillion Lakes or to the wild Johnston Canyon. Since hunting is not allowed in Banff National Park , even the bears are carefree.
With such a bear sighting you should keep calm and enjoy the sight. Quiet talking or singing gives the bears the opportunity to retreat. A total of 1,500 kilometers of hiking, cycling and riding trails open up the park.
The rustic town of Banff with only 6,000 inhabitants is the center of the national park. It was named after Banffshire, Scotland, home to important financiers of the park. 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 700-room luxury hotel is pompous in the Scottish castle style. The terrace offers a fantastic view of the Bow River valley and the Rocky Mountains.
Inside there are fourteen restaurants, fifty shops and hot sulfur springs. Banff has a lot going for it. Numerous museums, excellent restaurants, a lively nightlife, elk grazing in the village, marching moose, a year-round Christmas shop and the historic spa and bathing house Banff Upper Hot Springs.
The “Sulfur Hot Springs” (Cave and Basin) from 1883 are the main attraction, even if there are no longer any bathing facilities there.
The best vacation time to visit Banff National Park is between April and October. In winter, the “Big Three”, Mount Norquay, Louise and Sunshine Village are world-class destinations with an added bonus: a huge panoramic view.
The large selection of hotels, resorts, motels, mostly cheaper than in Germany, is another plus point for the Banff National Park.
Did you know that …
- the beginning of Banff National Park with the accidental discovery of hot springs on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains by three employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883?
- Banff National Park was Canada’s first national park and third in the world?
- the Banff National Park comprises 6,641 km² of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers?
- the park was one of the first excursion destinations in the world?
- over 260 bird species are registered in Banff National Park?
- July is the warmest month with average values of 22 C ° in the city of Banff and January is the coldest with values around -15 C °?
- the mountain zone is the smallest eco-region in Banff National Park, accounting for only 3% of the total area of the park?
- the Vermillion Wetlands near the town of Banff is a major example of this type of landform as it offers the greatest variety of wildlife in the park?
- the Bow River drainage system makes up about 53% of the park’s water catchment area and that is where most of the lakes are?
- the moose is the animal most likely to see during a visit to Banff National Park? A male moose is correctly called a “Stag” and a female “Hind.” Care should be taken as they can suddenly appear in the middle of a road.
- Banff National Park is home to 53 species of mammals?
- about 66 grizzly bears live in the park, 16 of which are adult females?