Kids and adults will love this scenic summer gondola ride up the Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest national park. Hop inside the eight-person gondola at the base of Sunshine Village and enjoy the nearly 20-minute scenic mountain ride. Once at the top, you will arrive at Sunshine Village, where Sunshine Mountain Lodge sits (now open year-round) along with the Mad Trapper’s Smokehouse cafÃ©, which was the old lodge in the 1920s, and the Interpretive Center. Families can check out the indoor Interpretive Center, where they will learn more about the village and Banff National Park.
Just a short walk from the gondola, visitors will hop on the four-person chairlift to reach the top of the mountain. The five-minute chairlift ride brings you to the magnificent viewpoint at the top of the mountain. There is a short, gravel walking trail to reach the elevated viewpoint. It is very important to stay on the marked path as the wildflowers that line the pathways take more than 10 years to grow and bloom. As you walk along the trail, you will enter the Canadian Provence of British Columbia and then cross back over into Alberta.
Take some time to enjoy the breathtaking mountain and lake views from atop the mountain and of course be sure to take tons of photos. Several hiking trails also begin at the top of the mountain and make their way back to the village. You are also welcome to skip the hike and take the chairlift and gondola back down the mountain, as well.
Arriving early is always a good idea when visiting this popular summer attraction, but the wait is never too long. It’s also a good idea to bring a light jacket as the temperature is cooler once at higher elevation.
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from the end of June through early September
$21 for ages 6 to 15, $42 for 16 and up and free for children 5 and under
There are several cafes available at the base of the gondola and in the village.
Free parking is available.