The former summer resort village of Minnewanka Landing lies beneath the waters of Lake Minnewanka, near Banff, Alberta.
Minnewanka Landing grew around the Beach House log hotel established on the shores of the original Lake Minnewanka in 1886. The village was a popular summer destination, and by 1912 the resort was laid out along four avenues and three streets, with restaurants, hotels, and two cruise boats, Lady of the Lake and Daughter of the Peaks, offering lake tours to visitors.
A small log dam was constructed in 1895 to improve the shoreline for boating, followed by a larger dam in Devil’s Canyon in 1912 to create water storage for a downstream hydro-electric plant, increasing the lake level by 16 feet and claiming part of the village. During World War II, the needs of a growing and energy-hungry city of Calgary were prioritised over national park protections, and a larger dam built in 1941 increased the water level by a further 65 feet, submerging the entire village and the 1912 dam. The remnants of Minnewanka Landing’s structures are well preserved in the icy cold waters, making it a popular scuba diving location.
The Banff Visitor Centre is located next to St Paul’s Presbyterian Church on Banff Avenue in downtown Banff, in a stone and half-timbered black and white heritage building that was once the Banff School Auditorium.
Operated by Parks Canada, the visitor information centre includes the Banff Lake Louise Tourism office, and is open until 5 pm daily.
The centre offers visitor maps, attraction brochures, Park Passes and activity permits, safety advice, backcountry reservations, weather, trail, avalanche and road condition reports, and features interpretive exhibits and events throughout the year.
The Upper Hot Springs pool in Banff, Alberta, is supplied entirely with natural mineral water from the hot spring for most of the season, although water flow naturally decreases later in the year and there may be times in late fall and winter when the pool is topped up with heated municipal water.
The Banff Upper Hot Springs website provides regular updates on the flow status of natural mineral water into the pool, along with water temperature, and signs on site display the same information.
The water temperature of the outdoor pool normally ranges between 37 and 40 degrees Celsius (or 98 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit), and the Hot Springs closes whenever the water temperature falls below 37 degrees Celsius. Such unplanned closures are infrequent and typically only occur when ambient temperatures are very cold.
A one-way trip down on the Banff Gondola is available during normal operating hours for half the regular round-trip ticket price.
This only applies when hiking up Sulphur Mountain and riding the Gondola down. When taking the Banff Gondola up and hiking down, you must purchase a full-price ticket.
Children aged 5 years and under can travel for free on the Banff Gondola, but are still required to have a ticket.