By Naomi Witherick
To get to the top, hitch a ride on a sightseeing lift. In minutes you’re whisked from the valley floor to heights of up to 2,400 m/7,874 ft where peaks stretch as far as the eye can see.
But gondolas and chairlifts give way to more than awesome views. While all five rides in Banff and Jasper national parks promise perfect mountaintop moments, each offers differences.
New Height, Historic Site
Hike or ride up Sulphur Mountain to look down on the Town of Banff. Photo by Brewster/Pursuit
July 9, 2016
By Afton Aikens with notes from Where writers
In the Canadian Rockies we take our cues from the mountains—we go big. We also get creative. Our tour operators offer activities that allow everyone to explore our wild alpine playground. We’ll get you to the summit; you choose whether you want to ride, fly or climb.
Sunshine Meadows (photo credit: Jack Newton)
Sunshine Meadows courtesy Jack Newton
“Normally you have to hike far to reach worthwhile lookouts, but at Sunshine Meadows you get incredible, wide-open views with your first step,” says trailhead shuttle operator Gord Stermann. From gentle rambles to adventurous full-day hikes, this is one of Lonely Planet’s top 5 hiking areas in Canada. Where publisher Jack Newton suggests the moderately easy 7 km (4.3 mi) loop to picturesque Rock Isle, Larix and Grizzly lakes past wildflower meadows, rocky ridges, larch forests (fiery gold in autumn) and babbling streams. Go on your own, or take Stermann’s advice: “This treeline environment is so unique that it’s worth exploring with a knowledgeable guide.” By Meredith Bailey