Up the mountain we go! This summer, Kev and I rode the gondola at Lake Louise all the way to the mountaintop. The views of turquoise Lake Louise, Victoria Glacier, along with looming Mount Temple were so beautiful that they sent shivers of excitement down my spine. Few weeks later, I was back again. Only this time the destination was the all-new Banff Gondola Summit!
Soaring to an altitude of 7,486 feet above sea level, the new Banff Gondola Summit is said to be the Rocky Mountains’ premier mountaintop destination that will heighten all of your senses. That alone sounded pretty exciting. Plus, I had never been on the Banff Gondola before. So when Brewster Canada invited me for the grand opening, I was thrilled to go above Banff and check out what this all-new, state-of-the-art venue has to offer!
Taking the gondola
My friend and I started our adventure with an 8-min scenic gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain. Sitting in a fully enclosed cabin, we glided through treetops and slowly seeing the various famous landmarks came into sight. Banff Upper Hot Springs, Fairmont Banff Springs, the Town of Banff, Lake Minnewanka, just to name a few.
A stunning bird’s-eye view of six incredible mountain ranges could be seen after disembarking at the upper terminal. Too bad the fog obscured the mountain view that day and we had no luck catching the breathtaking vistas… To give you an idea of what you would normally see on a clear day, I attached the following photo 😉
[bctt tweet=”Up the mountain we go! Take in magnificent views of Rockies from new Banff Gondola Summit #AboveBanff @brewstercanada” username=”fortwoplz”]
Sure, it was a bummer that the weather didn’t corporate, but we didn’t let that put us off! There were enough indoor activities and ways to make the most of this Rocky Mountain experience even when it was a bit cold (or wet) outside.
Banff Gondola Summit: Canada’s Most Iconic Mountaintop Experience
After 13-month, $26 million redevelopment, the upper terminal has transformed into something quite impressive! With interactive exhibits, new restaurants, a multi-sensory theatre and a rooftop observation deck, the Banff Gondola Summit offers a richer experience and really connects visitors with the Canadian Rockies. Here are the highlights of the new facilities:
Above Banff Interpretive Centre
Want to deepen your understanding of the landscape that surrounds you? Then a walkthrough the interactive exhibits is a must. You could find anything from the history of the region’s First Nations people and the discovery of the hot springs, to the distinct flora and fauna of the vast, sensitive ecosystem! We had such a blast playing with the hands-on interactive displays, which made learning even more fun and brought us closer to nature.
Above Banff Theatre
Take a seat at the multi-sensory theatre and soar over Banff National Park. The short presentation will take you through crisp blue waters of Lake Minnewanka, the awe-inspiring Glacier Skywalk, the majestic Columbia Icefield and more!
Ever wonder what it feels like to dine 2900 ft above Banff? This is your chance to find out! Several great dining options are available, including:
- Sky Bistro: The upscale bistro features a picturesque mountain backdrop and a distinctly Canadian menu using locally sourced meats, produce and ingredients. If you plan to dine here, I suggest you look into the Sky Experience package, which includes admission to the Banff Gondola and your choice of any two-courses from the menu (starting from $65; available from 4:30 PM). Reservation can be made on their website.
- Northern Lights Café: Just want something simple and healthy? This casual, self-serve café offers a wide range of fresh, nutritious items from burgers and panini to salads and snacks.
- Castle Mountain Coffee Co.: For convenient grab-and-go food options, this little coffee outlet is your best bet. Pop in and grab a bite to eat or a coffee while you fuel up for your adventure!
360-Degree Rooftop Observation Deck
If the weather permits, head over to the rooftop and embrace the panoramic views of six spectacular mountain ranges, the Bow River Valley and the Banff town site! The views are truly mesmerizing!
Banff Gondola Summit definitely is an exciting addition to the Canadian Rockies. There is so much more to see, learn and do than ever before. You can easily spend half a day here!
About Banff Gondola
Hours: Open year-round; 10 AM~4:30 PM Sundays & Mondays, 10 AM~8:30 PM Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Rates: Adults $49 / Child $25 (or $29/$15 after 4:30 PM)
Disclaimer: I was formally invited by Brewster Canada for the media event. All expenses were paid for by Brewster Canada. As always, all opinions on For Two, Please are my own and I only recommend services that I 100% stand behind.
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