This was the birthplace of Banff National Park. Here, the natural hot springs were the main draw to the region by legions of travelers hoping to find solace in its apparently curative waters; as their numbers grew, the CPR saw the opportunity for tourism, and built the Banff Springs, providing a luxury destination to go along with the healing springs. In the early part of the century, the springs themselves were the main attraction, the warm waters diverted from their source to a large pool where dozens of people could soak at once.
The original springs and pools haven't held up well to the heavy traffic they've received over the decades, and are no longer open to the public (the Upper Springs, a little ways up the road, serve that purpose now). But the site offers a surfeit of historical background as to how and why Banff came to be, complete with interpretive displays and historical videos.
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about Cave and Basin National Historic SiteLocals have answered 4 questions about Banff.
Ask Banff Locals about Cave and Basin National Historic Site
- visit website
- tel: 403/762-1566
- 1.5km (1 mile) west of Banff; turn right at the west end of the Bow River Bridge
- Banff, AB
- May 15-Sept 30 daily 9am-6pm; Oct 1-May 14 Mon-Fri 11am-4pm, Sat-Sun 9:30am-5pm
- No Sweat