Day 3 of our visit to Banff was certainly the best of the 3 days so far whereby we headed to Sunshine Village to do a bit of hiking around Sunshine Meadows.
We got up fairly early, not out of choice however due to the jet lag still biting hard (waking up at 4am!), and grabbed some breakfast at the hotel.
Before setting off we headed to the reception desk where we were able to hire some bear spray. It’s one of those situations where you’re almost certain you’re not going to need to use it but why take the chance right?
Armed with my last line of defence we jumped in the jeep and drove the 15km or so from Banff to Sunshine Village.
Once we arrived at Sunshine Village we headed to the ticket office to purchase gondola tickets however due to the wild fires and smoke they told us that they had closed all but one of the hiking trails. That was pretty disappointing but when it comes to mountain fires you really dont want to risk getting caught out.
with tickets purchased we got into our gondola and made the 20 minute ride up the mountain which offered some spectacular views.
Once we had reached the top of the gondola route we then had to jump on a chair lift that took us to the top of one of the peaks. I havent been skiing in over 15 years and had forgotten quite how scary those chair lifts are!
Once at the top we made the short 5 minute walk to the viewing point across Sunshine Meadows which was pretty special indeed, what a stunning landscape!
Having been to the Sunshine Meadows viewpoint we made our way back down the chairlift to start our hike. This involved an hours hike each way along the winding, steep ski runs that cover the Sunshine Village ski resort and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty damn tough!
Once we made it to the end of the trail the view was of course well worth the effort! I think just about every view of the Rocky Mountains here offers something incredible.
With the ascending hike complete we made our way back down the trail and ski slopes, walking back down through the flowers we even managed to spot some deer in the woodlands. From here we then jumped back in the gondola down to the car park.
With the hike finished we drove down the hill and at the bottom of Sunshine Road came across a really picturesque river view – I was hoping to see a bear doing a spot of fishing but unfortuantely we weren’t so lucky!
On the way back into Banff we also stopped at a view point overlooking the mountains and Vermilion lakes.
Exhausted, once back at hotel we finsihed the day by jumping in the hotel’s hot tub to relax!