Banff National Park


The Banff National Park is located in the west of the Alberta, on the border of British Columbia. It is surrounded by other national parks: Jasper National Park to the north, Yoho National Park to the west, and Kootenay National Park and Provincial Parks Mount Assiniboine and Height of the Rockies south. The region of Kananaskis and Canmore include provincial parks Spray Valley and Peter Lougheed, the provincial wildlife parks Don Getty, of Bow Valley and the wilderness area of Ghost River that are located south and east of Banff. North of the park are located in wild areas Whistler and White Goat.

The Trans Canada Highway through the Banff National Park, starting from Canmore, to the east to Yoho National Park, British Columbia, west, through Banff and Lake Louise and the Col du Cheval qui Street. The town of Banff is the main commercial hub in the national park. The village of Lake Louise is located at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and the Icefields Parkway.

The Icefields Parkway.
The Icefields Parkway.

The North Park is, in turn, accessible through the Icefields Parkway, a road of 230 km between Lake Louise to Jasper via the Bow Valley. It then follows the creek up Mistaya Saskatchewan Crossing where it crosses the road David Thompson. It then runs along the North Saskatchewan River to the Columbia Icefield and the boundary of Jasper National Park.


View of Peyto Lake.
View of Peyto Lake.

The Canadian Rockies consist of several chains oriented northwest-southeast, the foothills, the Front Ranges (Front Range), the principal links (Main Range) and the links to the West (Western Range). Following closely the line of watershed, the principal links are the backbone of the Canadian Rockies. The Banff National Park stretches eastward from the line of watershed and includes the eastern slope of the principal links and much of the front range.

The landscape of Banff is also marked by the erosion glacial, with valleys deep U-shaped and many hanging valleys which often end in a waterfall. Mountains to the pyramidal shape, such as Mount Assiniboine, were shaped by glacial erosion. Many small canyons also exist, such as Mistaya Canyon and Johnston Canyon. The elevation in the park varies from 1 350 m in the Bow Valley at 3 618 m at the summit of Mount Assiniboine.

The northern and western boundaries of the park is bounded by many passes, the most famous are the collars of the horse-that-Street (1 627 m), Sunwapta (2 023 m), Vermilion (1 680 m) and Bow (2 088 m), which are accessible by road and neck Howse (1 539 m), an important historic pass which was important during the fur trade.


View of Mount Rundle.
View of Mount Rundle.

The Canadian Rockies are composed of sedimentary rocks, shale, sandstone, limestone and quartzite, whose origin is the deposition of sediments in an inland sea. The geological formations of the mountains of Banff are dated between Precambrian and Jurassic. The mountains were formed are 80 and 120 million years, by reverse fault Over the last 80 million years, the erosion has exacted a heavy toll on landscapes with a more intense erosion in the foothills and front range in the principal links The mountains around Banff are several different forms depending on the composition of the rock deposits, layers and structure.

Many mountains of Banff are composed of sedimentary layers with an inclination of 50 to 60 degrees These mountains are steep side and one steep slope more gradual following the stratification of rock formations such as the Mount Rundle near Banff. The mountains of Banff include other types: complex, irregular anticline, syncline, crenate, dentate and Sawback

The Castle Mountain has a castellated form, with steep slopes and cliffs. Its upper section is composed of a layer of shale of Paleozoic between two layers of limestone. The jagged mountains like Mount Louis exhibit sharp peaks and jagged. The Sawback chain, consisting of tilted sedimentary strata has been eroded through gullies. Deposits of debris are common in the piedmont of many mountains and cliffs.


Located east of the Continental Divide, the Banff National Park receives an average rainfall of 472 mm per year While Yoho National Park, located west of that line, receives 884 millimeters Lake Wapta and 616 mm in Boulder Creek

Every winter, on average, it falls 234 cm of snow on the town of Banff and 290 cm at Lake Louise. During the winter months, temperatures are moderate in Banff, from Edmonton and other areas of central and north of the Alberta, due to the Chinook wind and other ocean influences of British Columbia. The temperature during the month of January is between -15 ° C and -5 ° C for the town of Banff Weather conditions during the summer months are pleasant, with temperatures between 7 ° C and 22 ° C in July

Winter Sports

Skiing at Lake Louise. 
Skiing at Lake Louise.

The activities related to winter sports starting in Banff in February 1917 with the first Winter Carnival Banff. A large ice palace, built by the internees in the camps, is the flagship of Carnival 1917.

During the carnival, sporting events are organized: skiing, ski jumping, curling, snowshoeing and skiing joëring In the 1930s the first ski resort, Sunshine Village, is created by Brewsters. On Mount Norquay, a ski area is also created during the 1930s, the first chairlift was installed in 1948

In the 1960s, the Trans-Canada Highway was built, offering a new highway in the Bow Valley, in addition to Valley Parkway-of-the-Bow, making the park more accessible. Also in the 1960s, the Calgary International Airport is built. From 1968, when the hotel Fairmont Banff Springs is equipped to accommodate clients in winter, Banff is frequented by tourists throughout the year

Canada was a candidate several times for organizing the Winter Olympics, suggesting the site of Banff. The first time in 1964, but the Olympic committee chose Innsbruck, Austria. A second attempt was made in 1968, but the Winter Games are awarded to Grenoble in France. Once again, Banff is a candidate for the Winter Olympics of 1972, with the project to organize in Lake Louise. This application is the most controversial by environmental pressure groups, as sponsored by Imperial Bowing to pressure, Jean Chrétien, then Minister of the Environment, Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, withdrew the nomination.

When Canada finally welcomes the Winter Olympics in 1988 in Calgary, testing cross-country skiing take place at the Provincial Park Canmore Nordic Center in Canmore, in Alberta, located on the eastern edge of Banff National Park.

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