One thing I do love when playing Trini Tourist in any part of the world is riding a cable car/telespherique/gondola … pretty much any ride that goes up or down a mountain.
Past highlights include
Singapore Cable Car – Singapore
Zermatt/Matterhorn Cable Car – Swiss Alps, Switzerland
Montserrat Cable Car – Montserrat, Spain
Masada Cable Car – Masada, Israel
Pao de Azucar Cable Car – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
So once you’re in Banff, riding the Sulphur Mountain gondola is another must see/do, especially if you’re blessed with sunny weather in winter. Sulphur Mountain is one of the most popular hiking trails to do in Banff during the summer – not that I would attempt hiking it, when there is a gondola to ride (and the hike is about 2hrs+ … I don’t have that time to kill. The good thing is that the gondola is available for those who want to go to the top of the mountain when the trails are not open or are unable to make the several hour climb on their own.
As for the cost and the schedule of the gondola … feel free to check out : Banff Gondola but here are the main facts for winter 2012/13
The one way ride is 8 mins long
$29+taxes for an adult return ticket (Going up and down the mountain)
Runs from 10am -4pm in winter
The Upper Gondola Terminal offers visitors a 360 degree view of the Bow Valley.
Budget about 1.5 and 2 hours for your sightseeing (or even more if you’re going to the walk the 1km trail from the Upper Terminal to the radio antennae
There is a popular rumor suggests that the employees at the gondola do not check tickets on the return trip down, implying that those who hike up can take the one way trip down for free. While I wouldn’t really test this theory without the single fare down, I’m sure that there are people who attempt and easily get away with this.
As for the views once you’re on the cable car … they’re as spectacular as expected going up.
Once you’re up the Upper Terminal, then you’re treated to some great vistas
As for seeing the Fairmont Banff Springs, there were three zoom views of the hotel …
Did I mention the close up of the Moraine Lake …
As for some video going up the mountains …
or the view while you’re up there
Also if you’re into other alpine activities and want to go skiing in Canada? Be sure to check out cheap flights to Vancouver and discover what Vancouver has to offer.