Popular for skiing, Mount Norquay is considered one of Banff’s premier ski and snowboard destinations. The mountain primarily offers intermediate level skiing with a few slopes ideal for beginners. The mountain is also home to the Ski Norquay resort.
This mountain range is located northwest from the town of Banff and stretches about 35 km (22 mi) starting in the Bow River Valley until it ends near the Cascade River. The area contains a number of well recognized mountains including the Finger and Mount Louis.
Named in 1886, Mount Fifi is perhaps one of few mountains ever named after a dog. Fifi belonged to an attendant of Sir John A. MacDonald’s wife and was named as Lady MacDonald, the attendant and the dog hiked through this area. The mountain is located in the Forty Mile Creek Valley.
Standing at 3,235 m (1,0614 ft), this three-summit mountain is the tallest of the Sawback Range. The mountain was Bonnet Peak because it appeared to wear a white bonnet due to its snowcap.
With its relatively easy hike to the top, Tunnel Mountain is a popular climb for visitors wanting a bird’s eye view of the Bow River Valley as well as the surrounding mountain ranges. This 1,690 m (5,544 ft) tall peak takes about an hour to hike and leads hikers through natural alpine forest. The trail, as marked by map, begins on the north side of St. Julien Road. The name Tunnel Mountain comes from an 1883 proposal, which was not realized, to create a tunnel through the mountain for the CPR railway.
Although a modest 2,949 m (9675 ft) tall, Mount Rundle is one of the more photographed mountains in Banff because of its idyllic location, the peak often being reflected in the waters of the Vermillion Lakes. A characteristic feature of Mount Rundle is the series of long corrugated layers that appear on the mountain’s face. The peak was named for this geological pattern, which is known as the Rundle Formation.
The Finger is a 2,545 m (8,350 ft) tall jagged peak that points straight upwards. This mountain is part of the Sawback Range and can be found in the Bow River Valley.
Famously associated with the town of Banff, Cascade Mountain is the looming gray peak that overlooks this community. The mountain was named in 1858 for the cascading waterfall that is located on the southern face. Among climbers, this 2,997 m (9,832 ft) tall peak is ideal for moderate level scrambling.
Stoney Squaw Mountain
Stoney Squaw Mountain offers a 2.1 km (1.3 mi) long trail for visitors looking to hike near the town of Banff. The trail, as marked by the map, begins at the Mount Norquay ski area parking lot. Neighbored by Mount Norquay, this mountain is characterized by its curved shape.
Mount Louis is found in the Forty Mile Creek Valley just east of Banff. A challenging mountain for climbers, this peak juts straight towards the sky and stands 2,682 m (8,800 ft) tall. This limestone mountain was formed vertically and features dangerously steep cliffs.
Snow Dome is a mountain that is located on the Continental Divide. The mountain, whose summit is covered entirely by the Columbia Icefield, is known as a hydrological apex, one of two in the world. Water from this hydrological apex feeds three of the world’s ocean (the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic) through various river systems.
Sulphur Mountain is located about five minutes from the town of Banff and offers panoramic views of the town and its surrounding area. The mountain’s summit is easily accessible by the Banff Gondola while those wishing to hike may follow a trail to the top. The starting point of the Sulphur Mountain hike trail, as marked by the map, is found at the Upper Hot Springs parking lot. Apart from an observation area, the mountain’s summit is equipped with a restaurant and gift shop.