My Experience Going Up the Banff Gondola on Sulphur Mountain

Note to my fellow wanderers: This guide was written from my first-hand experiences. I try my best not to over-glamorize any location I travel to because I want HappyWander’s content to be as authentic as possible. My goal is to provide you real information so that you can have the best possible adventures wandering the world. Enjoy!

The Banff Gondola is an exhilarating experience that whisks you up Sulphur Mountain in the heart of Banff National Park. Picture this: stepping into a sleek, modern gondola car that ascends smoothly up the mountain, offering jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies. The mountaintop hosts a top-notch restaurant and an immersive interpretive center where you can delve into the mountain’s history and ecosystems. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography buff, or just seeking unparalleled views, the Banff Gondola promises an unforgettable adventure amidst breathtaking scenery. In this adventure, I review everything you need to know about the Banff Gondola and I go through my experience riding the Banff Gondola on Sulphur Mountain.

How Much Do Tickets on the Banff Gondola Cost?

Tickets to ride the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain vary in cost. I paid $58 CAD to ride the Banff Gondola, but looking at their website, prices vary from $58 to $67 CAD on any given day. It looks like if you choose to purchase your ticket the day of, it will cost you the most.

You can check out the Banff Gondola bookings site here.

What to Do and See at the Top of Sulphur Mountain?

So once you enjoy your ride on the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain, what is there to do and see? Let’s highlight a few:

  • See 6 Mountain Ranges, Bow Valley, Banff City
  • Walk on the Boardwalk to Cosmic Ray Station and Sanson’s Peak
  • Get Coffee at Castle Mountain Coffee
  • Enjoy Fine Dining at Sky Bistro

Whether you just want to enjoy the views, snap a few photos, walk the boardwalk, or do a fine dining experience, the Banff Gondola is as must-see activity if you’re staying in Banff.

My Experience Riding the Banff Gondola

In this section, I will review my experience riding the Banff Gondola, from parking all the way to coming back down Sulphur Mountain. Let’s jump in:

Parking

When I went in late October, parking was a breeze. The parking lot itself is fairly large, and there were plenty of spots when I went on a Saturday at around 2 PM.

Banff Gondola Parking Lot

Riding Up

Riding up the Banff Gondola was quite fun, not to mention the views are insane. Photography and videography seem to flatten mountains, and in Banff it’s no different. The Banff topography is insane, the mountains are unrealistically tall, sharp, and steep.

Sulphur Mountain is quite tall; when you get to the top you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. Here is my friend Katie and I going up the mountain:

Walking Around the Boardwalk

Did I mention it was crazy cold on top of Sulphur Mountain? When you get to the top of Sulphur Mountain, your cart will arrive inside a nice warm facility that features a shop and a nice warm coffee shop. Once you leave the facility, you’ll encounter a lovely Canadian flag and converge with the location hikers arrive.

On Top of Sulphur Mountain Via the Banff Gondola

The boardwalk itself seems to go on forever as it wraps around parts of Sulphur Mountain:

After you walk 15-20 minutes, you’ll arrive at the very top of the mountain, which has a near 360 degree observation of 6 mountain ranges, Bow Valley, and the city of Banff.

Enjoying a Sunset

One extra benefit I got of going on the Banff Gondola was to see the sun setting through the clouds over the spectacular mountains in Banff.

Watching a Sunset on the Banff Gondola

Going Back Down

After spending time at the top walking on the boardwalk, enjoying good conversation, and having a hot chocolate, we jumped back into our Banff Gondola cart and started making our way back down:

Is Going Up The Banff Gondola Worth It?

Personally, I loved going up the Banff Gondola. When I visited Banff in late October, it was only 5 degrees F, or -15 C, so it was super cold. However, on top of the Banff Gondola, it was significantly colder. Even with the cold temperature, the Banff Gondola was an experience I highly enjoyed. Some of the major benefits of the Banff Gondola for me were:

  • The views: I loved going up and down the Banff Gondola, the views were out of this world.
  • The experience: Not many times does one get to ride up a huge mountain. It was just fun.
  • The company I was with: I went up with my friend Katie and they gave us our own cart.
  • The Boardwalk: The boardwalk was actually pretty big. We walked the entire thing and got some great views of the nearby mountain ranges.

So is going up the Banff Gondola worth it? I think so! But I’ll let you make that decision.

Final Thoughts on Taking the Banff Gondola

Thank you for reading about my adventure going up the Banff Gondola on Sulphur Mountain! If you’re on the fence about going up the Banff Gondola, I highly recommend you consider doing it. I went up the Banff Gondola on a day in between hikes to rest my legs, so the Banff Gondola was the perfect activity near downtown Banff. Happy wandering!

Anthony Bart
Author: Anthony Bart

Hello! Welcome to HappyWanders! My name is Anthony, I'm on a mission to live a life full of adventure and to help you to do the same. As an ex-corporate worker and current entrepreneur, I've been working to design a life with more time for adventure and less time for the 9-5 grind. If you're ready for an adventure, you're my type of person!

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