Banff National Park, while not in Calgary, is not too far from it, with an average vehicle travel time from the city being about one hour and half.
The Park is the oldest National Park in Canada. It was discovered in 1883, while CP Rail was building the railroad. CP Rail workers stumbled upon the Hot Springs, that are now known world wide, and the rest as they say is history.
The name is said to come from a town called Banffshire in Scotland, where a CP Rail executive was said to originate from.
The Park spans 6,641 square kilometres or 2,564 square miles and is home to several mountain ranges, such as Mount Rundle, Cascade Mountain, Mount Norquay and the smaller ones closer to the community of Banff beingTunnel Mountain and Sulphur Mountain.
Without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the country, perhaps in the world and this is why it is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide.
Many people come here simply to enjoy the magnificent Hot Springs which some swear have medicinal value.
But there is so much more to enjoy, you have to visit it yourself to truly understand the vast amount of attractions and things it has to offer.
Many enjoy the Gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain, where the views are truly breathtaking. Once there, tourists can enjoy a trail that leads you to what was once known as a weather station of sorts.
The pathway has been built out of wood so all can enjoy, as long as you can maneuver the countless number of stairs.
There are some activities that are more specific to a summer or winter visit.
There are others that can be enjoyed year long. They include the Hot Springs, the views, shopping at some of the most unique shops one has ever seen, dining at great restaurants, horse drawn carriage rides or simply relaxing in the beauty.
The winter activities are probably more obvious with 3 major ski resorts in the area, there is skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, cross country skiing and skating.
In the summer, many people enjoy hiking, swimming, cycling, golfing, kayaking, canoeing, camping, fishing, tennis and more.
Although Banff National Park is a world tourist destination, being just a short drive from Calgary, makes it easy for Calgarians to enjoy, at a moments notice.