The Best Banff Hikes: Sunshine Village
Planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies? Follow along for stories from our best Banff hikes. Today, Sunshine Village.
You guys. THIS PLACE. When we visited the Canadian Rockies in August, our friends from Calgary brought us to Sunshine Village for a hike and picnic lunch. They downplayed it so much in the few days before we went that we had no idea what gorgeousness awaited us.
Lift from the parking lot to 8954 ft
From the parking lot (which is 15 minutes from the town of Banff and 90 minutes from Calgary), we bought lift passes and took an enclosed gondola followed by a good old chairlift, to the top of the mountain. The peak elevation is 8954 feet above sea level, which means that when hiking uphill at a brisk pace, I was thankful for my regular runs and cardio-intensive hot yoga classes.
The continental divide
Sunshine sits along the continental divide and also spans two Canadian provinces (Alberta and British Columbia) and National Parks (Banff and Yoho). Not a bad résumé, am I right? And of course unlike some candidates for the job (what job, weird lady?), it doesn’t just look good on paper.
I’m too lazy to look back at my Fitbit stats from our Sunshine day,** but I’d say we hiked six or seven miles and barely scratched the surface of this lovely place. I’d suggest a whole day here. Packing a picnic felt exactly right, even if it was primarily made up of leftover flatbread pizza. (Check our post on where to eat in Canmore for more information.)
** Massive props if your brain went straight to the Brady Bunch.