Sulphur Mountain Gondola: Banff & the Bow River Valley

This past August we went to Banff National Park in Canada for vacation. It was a spectacular trip with gorgeous mountain scenery. One of the most memorable parts was riding the Sulphur Mountain Gondola to the visitor center and then walking to the lookout on a boardwalk while sweeping views were visible from any direction you chose to look towards.

We only had a thirty-minute wait in line after paying for our tickets, which none of us considered too long to wait in the late afternoon. But each car on the gondola only holds four people and we had a party of five, so we split it between the kids and the parents. My husband and I went in one car, while our three sons went in another car right behind us.


The gondola is busy. It has the capacity to carry 650 people per hour!  The trip to the interpretive center, which is the last stop, takes only 8 minutes if you did not get stopped and left hanging in mid-air. You can find a plethora of information on the technical information page of the Banff Gondola website. We did stop shortly after this photo, most likely for a problem in the loading area.

img_6433This photo shows the distance between gondola cars. We are taking the photo in our care, while our sons are in the car just emerging from the loading area. It was a smooth ride without many of the bumps you can experience on a chairlift while skiing. The cars are totally enclosed with glass covering all the sides, so you can easily see the beautiful scenery.



The views, as you can see, were stunning. Large swaths of pine trees took on the appearance of being brushed by some magical artist. Greens melded with browns to give the mountains a gray tone with splashes of white snow on the highest peaks. Once at the top, you understood why there was still snow in early August! It was windy and cold despite the sun shining brightly!



From the interpretive center at the top of the gondola ride, you exited onto this observation deck.  Then, we took off on this boardwalk to reach the lookout tower you can see in the photo below at a distance. There were many people doing the same, but the space is so large and the views so captivating and immense from any angle, you really did not notice other humans.
















There were stunning views that would have been missed if we had not taken the ride on the Sulphur Mountain or Banff Gondola. It was well worth the time and money to be on top of the world!  So, if you go to Banff National Park, I would highly suggest a trip on the Gondola!

Have you ever been on a Gondola Ride? If so, where? How did you like it?

All photographs in this post are copyrighted by Carol Labuzzetta, 2019. No permission to reproduce or copy in any form without express permission. Thank you!

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