Awesome Alberta: These underground hot springs in Banff are a must-visit

Jan 25 2019, 5:29 pm

It turns out that Banff makes for a stunning sight both above and below ground.

The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is a lot more than just a pretty pool ‚ÄĒ though the pool¬†is¬†quite pretty ‚ÄĒ as it is known as the birthplace of national parks in Canada.

See also

According to Parks Canada, the site, known to Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years, was found by three railway workers in 1883, which inadvertently led to the Government of Canada deeming the springs and the 16-sq-km around it as off-limits for sale or settlements.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Travel Alberta (@travelalberta) on

The park’s area would widen in the coming years, eventually becoming the Banff National Park as we know it today ‚ÄĒ and Canada’s first national park in the country’s history.

The hot springs¬†are now an official historic site, which means that while you can’t go soaking in the underground hot tubs like those early settlers, you will be able to check them out on a guided tour.

And they are definitely worth a look, with the clear, turquoise waters, the beautiful underground environment, and the smell of rich minerals on the air making a visit to the Cave and Basin Historic Site is a must-do for anyone exploring Banff.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lora Silva (@silvalaura82) on

What’s there

The site features a discovery tour that takes you on a guided journey through the caves, right to the very spot that those three railway workers first discovered the mineral water.

You can also choose to go on a lantern tour through the caves, taking a trip into the dark after the sun has gone behind the mountain. This tour is only available on Saturday nights from May to August.

Other activities around the area include multiple trails, seasonal exhibits on the pool deck, and the Banff Winter Carnival every winter.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by isolamyou (@isolamyou) on

Where is it

The Cave and Basin Historic Site is located within the town of Banff, just southwest of the city centre and south of the Bow River.

Its official address is 311 Cave Avenue, Banff, and is a short drive away from the Banff Upper Hot Springs, if you really want to go for a dip after your visit.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jori Kellow ūüď∑ (@jorikellow) on

How do you get there

From Calgary, the best way to get to the Site is by heading to the Town of Banff along Highway 1. Once there, take the Mt. Norquay into town, cross the Bow River via Banff Avenue, then Cave Avenue heading west until you reach the site.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mike Longenbach (@treefiddy5) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Debra Hunter (@debramhunter) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Michelle (@my.journey.through.photography) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by eilishhill (@eilishhill) on

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ūüź• (@katesaetang) on

See also