Living just a short 60 minutes away from Banff has afforded the Rewards Canada family lots of time in our oldest National Park. Heck I spent many days in the area during my ski racing days of yesteryear but since that time some things have changed. Namely the amount of visitors that the national park gets. Some days it can be hard to find parking in Banff and surrounding attractions and this was before this year’s 150th Birthday offer of free access to all of Canada’s National Parks. Banff this summer has been insane!
One attraction that gets crazy line ups and can take up a good part of your day, perhaps more than you would like is Banff’s Sulphur Mountain Gondola. Yes the terminal at the top has recently been rebuilt and the views are particularly spectacular. That being said I have an alternative for you. A favourite of the Rewards Canada family that also provides spectacular views yet is way less busy and is roughly half the cost. That alternative is the Banff Sightseeing Chairlift at Mt. Norquay and in our minds it provides even better views than the gondola.
Every time we have gone, at least 4 times over the past 2 summers, we have never had to wait to get onto the chairlift! At the base of the lift they have a sign stating how many days it’s been since there has been a bear sighting and in most cases it’s 0. That’s right if you want to see bears from the safety of the air there is a good chance you can do so here! Here are some photos and even videos of some our rides on the Norquay lift:
Our youngest providing Bambi style questioning of the bear!
There are times the chair lift is even featured on Groupon so you can get it for even less than the current rates which are as follows:
Adult (16+) $29.95
Child (6-15) $19.95
5 and under free (minimum age 2 years)
Also at Mt. Norquay is the Via Ferrata which is at the top of the chairlift where you can go mountain/rock climbing. They have various options from novice to advanced. We haven’t tried it yet as our youngest wasn’t old enough but she is now so if time allows we may just do it this summer!
The drive up and down to Mt. Norquay doesn’t disappoint either as we have seen Bears, Rocky Mountain Sheep, Deer and more:
For more details on the lift and the mountain climbing visit Banffnorquay.com