Thursday, June 6, 2024

June 6 – Sulphur Mountain Gondola and Upper Hot Springs

I had booked our tickets for the gondola a few days ago based on the weather forecast. It turned out to be a mostly sunny day with some high cloud that did not obscure any views. It was a bit cool but there was no wind. Perfect!

The hot springs and the gondola are right next to each other and their parking lots fill up very early. You must pick a time for your gondola ride, both up and down, so I picked 9 am for up and 11 for down. When we got there the parking lot was already about 1/4 full and when we got back down it was full.

This is not a cheap ride. Depending on the day it is either $70 or $82 pp.

Up we go. The cars hold four people but it was not that busy either way so we had a car to ourselves.


The top is at almost 7500 feet in elevation. Banff is at around 4700 feet.

The building at the top has 4 levels. The first has the gift shop. The second has the very expensive restaurant (the lunch buffet was $45 pp). The third floor was a movie theater. And the top has an open air deck which I read had the best views.

Mountains everywhere. Looking down on Banff.


The Banff Springs, Surprise Corner and Bow Falls look pretty small from up here.


The long line of mountains to the south.


And another line to the west and north.


I guess when it is windy you can huddle inside this igloo.


The photosphere from the deck.

A mountain goat put in an appearance, to have his photo taken many times..


There is a very impressive boardwalk with MANY steps that leads to the summit and an old weather observatory.


Off we go.



Partway along a marmot posed for all the photographers.


Another great view to the north and west.


Almost there.


Made it.


A photosphere (I managed to cut Jennie in half and duplicate a woman).

The unobstructed view north right next to the weather station.


A photosphere from here (also with some very cut up people that moved while I was making it).


Heading back towards the gondola station.


We went back up to the top deck to lounge in the chairs and stared at the view for a while. We also had a very early lunch sitting on the deck.

Back down we go. It turns out that they didn’t even check our ticket here. I guess the timed ticket only matters when it is really busy.


The hot springs are basically at the other end of the parking lot from the gondola so it was easy to combine them both in one day.

Even now the parking vultures were hovering. As we dumped our gondola gear and grabbed our swim gear, someone asked hopefully if we were leaving.

At this lower elevation the views are still pretty good. These are taken from the deck above the pool. It was not very crowded at all.



The water temperature is at 104F so hot, but not uncomfortable. I only detected a very tiny sulphur smell..


We started out in the sun. In for a few minutes, out to sit on the edge to cool down and repeat over and over.


But because Jennie forgot her hat and I didn’t put enough sunscreen on my face (it is very red now) we moved into the shade.


When I started to get a little dizzy getting out of the water we knew that it was time to go home, with a slight detour downtown for more ice cream.

There was a long line of cars waiting on the road up and lots more heading up, to only be let in when someone left. There are signs at the bottom saying that the lot is full and that you should take the bus up but I guess they don’t believe.

1 comment:

  1. Great weather for that gondola ride and the views from the top are spectacular!!!! The views from the hot springs pool are equally stunning!!!!