We were on our last day in Banff, in this salubrious retreat town surrounded with hike-worthy peaks. Poking out like a huge hump directly above Banff Avenue was Sulphur Mountain. We drove to the base of this mountain where the hikes and gondola rides start form.
Banff Gondola, as it's called, cost $29.95+ per adult (child $14.95+). Thanks to my sis-in-law who had connections in town, our tickets were comped. The queue at the gondola terminal was long which just shows how popular this ride is.
It took 8 minutes for the 4-seater gondola to haul us up to the summit at 7,486 feet above sea level. While we sat in comfort, hikers below us negotiated the switchbacks leading to the summit. From the upper terminal, we emerged into walkways going to many viewpoints. The views were already spectacular.
But there's more. Right along the mountain's summit ridge is the 1-km Banff Skywalk. This elevated walkway leads to the Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site of Canada as well as Sanson's Peak Meteorological Station. We walked up and down steps, chilled by the winds, thrilled by the views.
From such vantage point, sweeping vistas of surrounding mountains as well as the entire town of Banff itself unfolded before us. My parents were so happy. They wouldn't have cared if we stayed longer. Me either. But my brother was waiting. We still got 4 hours to drive - to Edmonton where he lives.