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“Best place ever!”
Review of Sunshine Meadows

Sunshine Meadows
Ranked #8 of 85 things to do in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located only a short distance, 16km/10m, from the Town of Banff, the pristine beauty of Sunshine Meadows is easily accessible for everyone, and can be best experienced and enjoyed through the relaxed comfort of our facilities. Take a ride up to the skies in Banff’s biggest gondola (8-passenger cabin capacity) with room for the whole family. Start at the base at an elevation of 1,660 m and ride the gondola 4.6km to the top gondola village terminal at 2,164 m where the Alpine Village is located. Take in all the views of the valley, mountain peaks and wildlife. Once you have reached the top – the Sunshine Village area, or just “the Village” – stop in at our new interpretive center before embarking on an exploration of the six diverse, graveled hiking trails, that wind their way through three alpine lakes, waterfalls and flower filled meadows covering more than 12 Km through the Sunshine Meadows. For a more revealing experience, join one of our hosted trail tours and enjoy learning about the wonders of the alpine world of Sunshine Meadows and more as you through some of Banff National Park’s most spectacular spots. Feel on top of the world when you summit Mt Standish via our Standish Express Sightseeing Chairlift. With an elevation of 2,400m/7,875ft, it will give you a full 360 degree view of the area. From here you can enjoy an unobstructed view the famous Mount Assiniboine – the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies at 3,618m/ 11,871ft – as well as other joys on the horizon, such as Rock Isle, Laryx and Grizzly Alpine lakes. There are three retail stores awaiting you for all your hiking essentials and Canadian Rockies souvenirs. After taking in the captivating views, indulge in one of our six licensed food outlets, including four fully serviced restaurants, including a BBQ deck of outside Mad Trapper’s Smokehouse. Come by to wind down with a drink before making your way back down the gondola.
Reviewed 29 December 2011

Summer or winter, a must in Banff! Period, end of. It is the top of a mountain so it's not a good idea for children or anyone with mobility issues.

4  Thank zjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (335)
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Reviewed 17 December 2011

Best advice: start early, take the shuttle bus up to Sunshine Meadows, hike all around beautiful scenery, then trek over to Healy Pass for more views, and finally hike back down to the parking lot on your own. This itinerary is a full day of hiking (~28 km for our route), but if you have great weather like we did, then it is a terrific and memorable experience.

Taking the shuttle bus up is good idea - yes it costs money, but it saves time and energy. Plus, once you get up to Sunshine Meadows, things are more or less level until you climb up to Healy Pass - there isn't a lot of elevation gain once you are at the Meadows. If you don't want to do Healy Pass, you could instead hike over to Citadel Pass, which seemed to be a popular option on the day that we went. Or you could skip doing either pass (don't go to Healy or Citadel) and make a shorter day of it.

Make sure you have a clear day so that you can appreciate the stunning mountain vistas - I would not go if it were overcast. There are four designated lookout points: Simpson, Standish, Rock Isle, and Monarch. I recommend them all! There is a small map that is quite valuable - it allows you to plan a route with minimum amount of double back - pick it up from the helpful information centers (I am attaching a link to the map). A couple people told us that they saw a bear on the trail to Healy Pass, but we did not see any wildlife other than ground squirrels and fine looking hawk.

13  Thank Enyedy00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

I travel every winter to Banff National Park . My favourite
Place to get away from the crowds is sunshine meadows .
Hire a guide and snowshoes ( ie White mountain adventures )
and head ip the ski lifts.once you leave the ski area you
Decend into a stunning valley with views to die for , no people
And peace and quiet.wrap up warm,take a camera and have the
Trip of a life time and all only 40 minutes from Banff.

2  Thank peter h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

A ski resort in the winter, Sunshine meadows opens its doors to walkers in the summer allowing you to get easy access to fantastic mountain vistas and wildlife.

3  Thank TWMC2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2011

One of the most beautiful hikes in Banff, especially when the wild flowers are in bloom. The trails to and from the lakes can get very busy, but with a little more effort, and with proper hiking boots, Sunshine Meadows is pristine with a top of the world feel to it. You should pre-book the bus up and down, otherwise it is a long boring slog of a hike to the ski area day lodge (where the trailhead to the alpine hike is).

2  Thank deseret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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