Banff, Alberta, Canada
Located 5 minutes West of Canmore, the Banff National Park is arguably the best known National Park in Canada. Established in 1885 the Park encompasses over 6600 square kilometers, was Canada's first National Park and the world's third oldest protected park.
Declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations in 1995, its exquisite scenery, awe inspiring mountains, alpine meadows and turquoise cold waters form a natural protected habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including elk, bighorn sheep, black and grizzly bear, fish and over 260 species of birds.
Over 95% of the Park remains a pristine mountain environment. Encouraging a unique wilderness experience, Parks Canada maintain some 1500 kilometers of hiking and equestrian trails. There are numerous backcountry and serviced campgrounds with in the park for visitors to use.
Nestled along the banks of the Bow River, at an elevation of 1,372 meters, is the Town of Banff. The town is the heart of the National Park and during the peak season over 50,000 visitor's flock to Banff on a daily basis. The immense tourist traffic in Banff drives an economy that is completely void of any industry which does not directly or indirectly support tourism.
With a population of approximately 10,000 residents, Banff boasts such attractions as the Banff Springs Hotel and Golf Course, Cave and Basin Historic Site, Upper Hot Springs Pool and the Sulphur Mountain Gondola. During the winter months many visitors spend their days skiing at one of the three area hills, Banff Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.
Whether you looking to enjoy a quiet walk in a natural setting or just being pampered with world class service, Banff is a definite must visit if you are in the area.