365 Canadian Sights | Day 358: Banff Week – Cave and Basin

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| Image from Flickr/ via Cas CC BY NC ND 2.0 |

There’s a reason Banff is ground zero for the Canadian National Park system.

Just outside of the Town of Banff lies one of the most important tourism spots in Canada. Hidden underground, a cave with a basin of glacial water may not seem like an obvious point of inception, but it’s here that Canada’s national park system saw its first days.

The cave is not the grandest or most epic sight; it fits along with those natural wonders that are unique and unusual, like the Pingos.

The park idea came about as the resolution to arguments over who got to commercialize the site, as it was an expected tourism draw 130 years ago. And they weren’t wrong.

The large cavern holds a pool of glacial water heated vie geothermal energy; all of this is done naturally, and when the light comes in through the skylight in the roof of the cavern you can see why it those first groups got in a tizzy over it.

Now it’s a historic site and museum, with the original cave and basin still open to the public.

Located just on the edge of town, a car or tour can take you over. Hiking trails are all over the place, too, and you can make your way over under human power.

While it is inside Banff National Park, it requires it’s own fee as a historic site. But it’s only $4, so that’s not gonna stop anyone.

TripAdvisor ranks this as 22 on it’s list of things to do, and it seems because some go expecting a uge cave complex or something. Do remember it’s not famous for it’s grand size. As a historic site it has a federally run official site. And like all other Banff sites, there’s are gigabites written about it. For consitencies sake, here’s Banff and Beyond’s piece on it, and the town’s as well. And sure, et’s do the province’s tourism site again as well. And why not a reminder it’s all part of UNESCO, while we’re at it.

Photos • FeaturedGallery 1Gallery 2Gallery 3

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