Some of the best views in the Canadian Rockies can be enjoyed from the top of Sulphur Mountain. Take the Banff Gondola to the summit. The eight-minute ride offers spectacular views from a glass-enclosed cabin. The Summit Complex at the end of the gondola ride has restaurants, a gift shop and multiple viewing platforms. Look out over six different mountain ranges, through valleys and down onto the town of Banff.
The gondola leaves from the base of the mountain about five minutes outside town. It runs throughout the year. Come in summer, when the sun shines and wildlife roams the mountain. The view is no less impressive in winter, when the landscape is covered in a blanket of pristine white snow. In winter, come prepared for sub-zero temperatures and strong winds, and it can still be cold and windy at the summit in summer.
Each glass-enclosed gondola seats four people and offers 360-degree views for the whole ride. The Summit Complex is 7,486 feet (2,281 meters) above sea level.
Go inside to warm up in one of two restaurants. Both have glass walls to make the most of the scenery.
Take a short walk along the ridge for more photo opportunities. A half-mile (800-meter) wooden walkway runs along the summit ridge to the Sanson’s Peak Meteorological Station. Norman Sanson was a local who hiked the mountain once a week for 30 years to check the weather. There’s not much to see at the station itself, but the views across the mountains are spectacular. It’s often less crowded than the gondola Summit Complex.
A second trail runs south from the complex to the mountain’s true summit, but only experienced hikers should attempt the rocky climb.
The gondola runs every day of the year, except during scheduled maintenance. Buses and taxis run from Banff to the base of the gondola, and there’s ample parking.