The view from the top
I did my first hike of the year last week. I hiked up Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park, it’s not an incredibly long hike, bu the elevation change is fairly significant and the views from the top are great.
Though I’ve hiked this trail before, this time I started at the Banff Springs Hotel.
I followed the trail through the forest at the back of the Banff Springs Hotel, and made my way up towards the Rimrock Hotel and the parking lot for the Sulphur Mountain Gondola.
On reaching the parking lot I went to the trailhead in the parking lot, where most people start the hike.
Climbing out of the woods on the way up
The elevation of Sulphur Mountain does mean that you’ll be hiking mostly through trees, however this was welcome as it was a pretty hot day and the shade under the trees gave some relief from this!
The views get better with the elevation gain
Still little bits of snow on the mountain
Further along the trail
Following the switchbacks along the way, the trail really starts to climb. If you’re worried you might not get to see any of those views, don’t. The trail will cross underneath the gondola line where there are clear view over to Mount Rundle and the Bow Valley.
Nearing the top of the trail, the path became a little wetter and there were a couple of patches of snow still remaining.
On reaching the top of the gondola station, I went and followed the boardwalk to the top of Sanson’s Peak, but you can read more about that part of the trail here and here.
The view from my lunch stop
After this I came back down to the top of the trail, and proceeded a little way along the ridgeline away from the busy gondola area. I could have gone a little further than I did, but there was still a fairly significant amount of snow on the ground. Instead I stopped and enjoyed the views…and my lunch in the calm away from the gondola station.
Snow on the trail away from the upper gondola terminal
I didn’t go much further than this because of the snow
Making my way back
Lots of pine trees along the ridge
Nice and peaceful away from the busy gondola and boardwalk
To get back down I followed the same trail I took up to the top. In total the return distance from the Banff Springs Hotel is approximately 14.6 km (9 miles) and an elevation gain of 856 metres (2800 feet).
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