One of the best views in Banff can be had with a one hour plus hike up Sulphur mountain. This mountain is the reason Banff is what it is, being the source of the hot springs at its base. A weather station built in 1902 was followed by a trail, then a gondola in the 1950's and a visitor center. Just few years ago, the visitor center at the top was expanded to four stories complete with restaurant, bistro, and tourist shop. A boardwalk one kilometer long connects the visitors center to the weather station.
Mountain tops usually don't have visitors centers complete with most of the comforts a tourist can expect. It is almost as if man is creating a theme park out of a national park. And the view? I find it odd that when looking out over the valleys that converge here, my eyes turn toward the things man has accomplished: the highway, the town, the golf course, and the hotel. But this is Banff. I have to consciously tear my eyes away from those sights to look at Spray valley, the Cascades, the Fairholme range, and the Rundles. Yes, this is Banff.