A chilly morning with gorgeous sunshine and mild wind welcomed our day!  It was wonderful to have a kitchen to prepare breakfast in our condo.

After getting bundled up, we left for Banff National Park. It was a 4 kilometer drive from our AirBNB to the park entrance. Then we proceeded to the Banff Gondola. One of the perks of visiting the park in ‘shoulder season’ are fewer crowds and a few off-season discounts! Free child admission for each paying adult when you visit before 12 noon and a discounted cost to prepay for lunch. Yahoo!

Our little ones loved the eight minute ride up on the gondola. We began our tour on the 360 degree observation deck  which is the 4th level of the upper terminal. The summit of Sulphur Mountain offers spectacular views of six mountain ranges and the Bow Valley. When we needed to warm up, we ate lunch at the Northern Lights Cafe (3rd level). Afterwards, we all enjoyed exploratory family friendly activities indoors at the Interpretive Center (2nd level) and continued outside for a little excursion on the mountain boardwalk. The trip down on the gondola was even more exciting for the kids.

In late afternoon, we ventured to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, birthplace of Canada’s National Parks. We visited the dark cave leading to a thermal natural spring of turquoise blue and headed outdoors to follow the Marsh Loop Trail. The trail was a bit icy in spots, but provided wonderful views of Bow Valley and surrounding mountaintops.

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