December 11, 2017

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Banff Lake Louise

Located 90 minutes west of Calgary via the Trans Canada Highway, Banff National Park sits among the Canadian Rockies of Alberta. Banff is the first and largest town to be incorporated within a Canadian national park. At 4,537 ft, it also boasts the highest elevation in Canada. Banff National Park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

The history of Banff traces as far back as 11,000 BC, when the Crees, Kootenays and Plains Blackfoot native Canadians were believed to have lived in the region of the Bow Valley. The first recorded visit by a European is in 1754. Up until the 1880’s, the Canadian Rockies were filled with hunters and trappers providing beaver furs to England and Europe.

 When the Canadian government created the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883, it was built through Siding 29, now known as the town of Banff. Later, when in 1886 the Canadian Pacific railroad set up its trans-continental line, Banff became a true tourist destination. In 1887 Banff receives National Park status, and five years later Lake Louise is added to the Rocky Mountains Park. 

Today Banff is a world-class tourism destination that welcomes visitors from all over the world to enjoy its majestic waterfalls and towering peaks and canyons. Banff National Park has over 1,000 miles of hiking trails and over 1000 glaciers. The name Banff was derived from Banffshire, Scotland, birthplace of the two original directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The mountains in Banff National Park are 45 tp 120 million years old and the Bow River flows as far as the Hudson Bay. Banff was established as a town and park by discovery of thermal hot springs. Known to the First People and a few trappers in 1865, it wasn’t until a cold morning in November of 1883, three workers, Frank McCabe and William and Thomas McCardell, noticed steam rising from the side of Terrace (now Sulphur) Mountain. As they checked out the source of the steam they became the modern discoverers of the Cave and Basin Hot Springs.

Attractions:

Discover a variety of museums such as the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum which celebrates the history and culture of the Plains Indians, Banff Park Museum, Cave and Basin National Historic Site, and the Canadian Ski Museum West. Explore the Cave & Basin Hot Springs, visit Boundary Ranch and Cross Zee Ranch, or enjoy a ride on the cable car that travels through town.

Dining:Banff offers some of the best cuisine Canada has to offer and features a variety of restaurants with award-winning chefs, wine lists all situated in a stunning setting. The Grizzly House is a Banff institution and boasts and eclectic menu specializing in expensive fondue dinners featuring morsels of beef, ostrich, buffalo, rattlesnake, alligator, venison and assorted other meats, as well as more than 100 different wines.

The Maple Leaf is one of our favorites, expecially after a memorable day outside, see if the Wild British Columbia Salmon poached in Maple Syrup and Grainy Mustard is on the menu. Now that’s Canada! Bruno’s, named after Swiss Guide Bruno Engler, is a favorite for inexpensive dining and Find The Bison Restaurant & it’s Bear Street Tavern for smoked bison, mozerella and edamame pizza with a cold Kokanee beer. Now you’re on the path to Wild Bills, one of the late night spots in town!

Shopping:

Stroll Banff Avenue and explore the varied specialty shops, souvenir stores, and upmarket outdoor clothing and equipment shops. Watch our for Monod Sports with it’s great collection of outdoor gear and apparel, you are sure to leave with a practical souvenir.

 

 

 

 Lake Louise:

Named for nearby Lake Louise, the small village of Lake Louise along with the lake it takes its name from; Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of John Campbell, the 9th Duke of Argyll, who was the Governor General of Canada for 1878 to 1883. The province of Alberta was also named for Princess Louise.

Lake Louise consists of the village which is located adjacent to the Trans Canada Highway and has a small shopping center, grocery, bakery, petrol station, grill, bar and sporting good store along with a post office and National Park visitors centre. Across the valley is Lake Louise Ski Area, the largest and most well known ski area in Alberta. The second part of Lake Louise is centered around the lake, Chateau Lake Louise Hotel and the Deer Lodge.