Named in 1916 after the hot springs bursting from the earth at its base, 8,041-foot Sulphur Mountain is famous for its views across the mountains and valleys of Canada’s Banff National Park.
The Banff Gondola is a popular way to get to the top of Sulphur Mountain, as the ride takes just eight minutes instead of a two- or three-hour hike to the top. At the upper summit are two restaurants, as well as a gift shop and plenty of viewing decks. Once the gondola drops you off at the summit, it’s worth taking the 0.6-mile trail along the Banff Skywalk to the top of 7,448-foot Sanson's Peak, where a century-old meteorological observatory still stands. Take a peek through the observatory windows for a glance back in time.
From the mountain top, there are many animals and birds to keep an eye out for, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, hoary marmots and ground squirrels. But the main draw to Sulphur is the view of the surrounding mountains and Bow Valley down below.
The South East Ridge trail is the main hiking route to the top of the mountain. It starts and ends at the parking lot for Banff Upper Hot Springs, meaning once you’ve trampled up and down the mountain, there’s a steaming hot pool of water waiting to soak your tired muscles in at the end.
Banff Gondola is open year-round and costs $35.95 for adults. Banff Upper Hot Springs costs $7.30 per adult. The base of Sulphur Mountain is just a five-minute drive from downtown Banff, and there are also regular Roam public buses that take visitors to the gondola for $2 each way.