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Banff National Park

  • Lake Louise Ski

Banff National Park - a UNESCO Word Heritage Site

Banff National Park Quick Facts

  • Banff National Park is Canada's first national park and the flagship of Canada's park systems.
  • It is the world’s third National Park.
  • It is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The disovery of cave hot springs was the birth of tourism in Banff National Park – now known as Cave & Basin in Banff.
  • The first hotel, then Canadian Pacific Banff Springs Hotel, was built in 1885
  • The park encompasses 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers.
  • Banff and Lake Louise are the only two communities within the Park. 

About Lake Louise, Alberta

Lake Louise was name for the nearby Lake Louise, which in turn was named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.

The Lake Louise area is divided into two mini-communities; the village and upper Lake Louise. The main community, referred to as the village, is directly off the Trans Canada Highway and is where the Mountaineer Lodge is located. The Village has a small shopping area, Samson Mall, which includes restaurants, equipment rental shop, information centre, grocery and liquor store, and gift boutiques.

The other area, known as upper Lake Louise, is where the famous lake is located, as well as the Chateau Lake Louise, and many trail heads for hiking, and horseback riding. "

About Banff, Alberta

Banff was named in 1884 by George Stephen, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, recalling his birthplace in Banff, Scotland. 

Banff was first settled in the 1880s, after the transcontinental railway was built through the Bow Valley. In 1883, three Canadian Pacific Railway workers stumbled upon a series of natural hot springs on the side of Sulphur Mountain. In 1885, Canada established a federal reserve of 26 km2 (10 sq mi) around the Cave and Basin hot springs, and began promoting the area as an international resort and spa as a way to support the new railway. In 1887, the reserve area was increased to 673 km2 (260 sq mi) and named "Rocky Mountain Park". This was the beginning of Canada's National Park system.