About Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies Story
Who knew that some bubbling hot water would result in the birthplace of Canada’s National Park system and Canada’s first National Park, Banff National Park !
In 1883, three Canadian Pacific railway workers discovered the natural hot springs now known as the Cave and Basin. This natural attraction soon resulted in the Federal Government setting aside this and surrounding land as a Federal Reserve named the Rocky Mountain Parks.
Soon to follow was the establishment of the town of Banff, named after Banffshire in Scotland, the birthplace of two Canadian Pacific Railway Directors.
Quickly recognizing the tourism potential of Banff, Canadian Pacific built the Banff Springs Hotel. While the hotel was originally planned to service guests as a stopover while traveling across the country, it soon became a destination on its own and still is today.
Travelers took the train to visit the Canadian Rockies and enjoyed the incredible beauty of Banff National Park once they arrived. This was a discovery soon accessed by many through the advent of the automobile and the building of roads which makes Banff such a unique accessible destination to this very day for anyone.
The lure to climb and venture into, and onto, the mountains was met with the hiring of Swiss mountain guides by Canadian Pacific. The guides would practice their mountainous craft letting Banff guests experience the Canadian Rockies first hand and up close. Generations of the Swiss guides remain today and carry on the tradition of mountaineering in Banff National Park.
What started as a log cabin on the shores of Lake Louise in 1890 has grown into the Chateau Lake Louise. This very special place is within the Banff National Park boundaries and provides exquisite beauty and serenity to any who visit there. Like Banff, it is a special place.
From these early times a destination has arose and sustained itself to the people of the world. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff National Park holds the wonder and beauty for anyone to come and discover.
When you climb the mountains you will see them as they were 200 years ago, and as you ski the mountains, you will see the views as they were 200 years ago. This is the allure of Banff, Canada’s first National Park. It is waiting for you to come and discover today.