The Canadian province of Alberta is home to Banff National Park. It was established in 1885, making it the oldest Canadian national park and even the second oldest in North America. In addition, Banff National Park is the third oldest national park in the world.
The area covers an area of 6,641 square kilometers and is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. However, it came to its name in a relatively unspectacular manner. Other Canadian national parks refer to history with their names, or were given it by natives who distributed a name based on certain characteristics of the areas. The Banff National Park is so named because there is a region in Scotland called Banffshire there. Two of the financiers of the Canadian Pacific Railway live here, which was built here in 1883. A hot spring was discovered in a cave. This is where the village of Banff was built and finally the park got its name from there.
UNESCO has declared the park area a World Heritage Site.
History of Banff National Park
The geological history of the park goes back to the formation of the Rocky Mountains about 600 million years ago. At that time, two tectonic plates met. So the ground was pushed up. Canada’s
first indigenous people settled here around 11,000 years ago settled. They lived as hunters and gatherers. The first Europeans encountered the area when they were looking for a route for the railroad on behalf of the Royal Geographical Society in the Palliser expedition. Even James Hector and Bow Valley came to the area of today’s park. Bow discovered the Bow Pass, named after him, and the Lyell Glacier. When one began building the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883, other important natural wonders of the region were discovered. However, these “discoveries” were not news to the indigenous people. It was even they themselves who showed the railway workers the hot springs with the basin in the cave. Two years after this event, the Canadian government designated a small part of it as a protected area. On June 23, 1887, they raised it to the status of a national park.
Animals in Banff National Park
Particularly large animals have settled in the area of the national park. Moose, elk deer, bighorn sheep and mountain goats live here. Bear species such as the black bear and the legendary grizzly bear also live here. Lynx, wolves and coyotes have settled in the immediate vicinity.
There are numerous species of birds. These live mainly on Vermilion Lakes or use it as a stopover.
Attractions in Banff National
Park The Bow River runs through the park. You can take a rest here and admire some animals and nature. Banff is a town with a population of around 6,000. This is located at an altitude of 1,384 meters and can be reached on foot. This is also where the Banff Springs Hotel is located – a luxury hotel that was built in the style of a Scottish castle. A trip to the Cave and Basin, a cave with a hot spring and a warm water basin that was created naturally, is particularly popular with tourists. The establishment of the national park is also based on the discovery of the source.
Mountaineers and hikers like to climb the Sulfur Mountain. This has a height of 2,285 meters and is located above the village of Banff.
The Johnston Canyon is just as famous as Lake Louise. However, its prominence also has its disadvantages, as most of the tourists gather here and therefore the lake is often overrun by visitors. They wanted to use this gathering of people and built the Chateau Lake Louise, a huge luxury hotel right on the lake.
The fantastically located Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks is a mountain lake which is surrounded by 10 peaks.
With all the grandiose sights, the park struggles with you strong conflict. The problem is mass tourism and the preservation of nature, which often cannot be completely combined. This becomes particularly clear when you know that 5 million people travel here every year and that all of the visitors concentrate on just a few points in the park. These places are most at risk from the heavy tourist traffic. A solution to the problem has not yet been found.