Historic Sites & Museums

National Historic Sites of Banff National Park:

Banff National Park is home to seven National Historic Sites. As the name indicates, National Historic Sites have been designated based on their significance in Canada’s history.

Banff Park Museum

This unique museum features remarkable displays of wildlife, but it is the fashion in which they are displayed which is of real interest here. Housed in a 1903 log cabin, the collection of specimens reflects an approach taken by naturalists at the beginning of the 20th century.Located on Banff Avenue.

Cave and Basin, Birthplace of Canada's national parks

The discovery of hot springs at this location actually led to the establishment of Canada’s Parks system in 1885. Here, mineral springs can be found in a cave, as well as a basin just outside. Located on Cave Avenue and reopening Victoria Day Weekend 2013.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

When this hotel was built in 1888, it was the largest hotel in the world and also marked the beginning of tourism in the Canadian Rockies. Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, the Banff Springs is known as “The Castle of the Rockies.”Located on Spray Avenue.

Cosmic Ray Station on Sanson Peak

Located on the upper ridge of Sulphur Mountain, this historic site can be reached either by hiking up Sulphur Mountain or taking the Banff Gondola and then walking along an easy 1km self-guided walkway. Research on cosmic rays was conducted here until the late 1970s.Located via hike or gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain.

Skoki Lodge

First opened to skiers in 1931, Skoki Lodge was Canada’s first backcountry ski lodge. This area is now equally famous as a premier hiking destination, and visitors can stay at the lodge and enjoy warm meals and hospitality.Located via hike or ski into Skoki Valley, behind the Lake Louise Ski Hill. 

Abbot Pass Hut

This stone hut, now operated by the Alpine Club of Canada, was constructed in 1922 as a safe haven for mountaineers exploring the peaks surrounding Lake Louise. The hut can be reach via the trails at Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, followed up by rigorous scramble.Located via hike and scramble to Abbot Pass, between Lake Louise and Lake O’Hara.

Howse Pass

This pass was well known to Aboriginal peoples as a means of gaining access to buffalo hers on the plains East of the mountains. David Thompson traversed the pass in 1807 and it was used in the years following to explore and establish trading posts west of the Rockies.  Located via 26km hike West of the Icefields Parkway.

Museums in Banff National Park

Banff National Park is infused with a rich culture and heritage and offers you many authentic opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture of the past and present.

Banff Park Museum

This unique museum features remarkable displays of wildlife, but it is the fashion in which they are displayed that is of real interest here. Housed in a 1903 log cabin, the collection of specimens reflects an approach taken by naturalists at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

Founded by renowned mountain artists Catharine and Peter Whyte, this museum offers ongoing exhibits that explore the history and culture of early residents in Banff National Park, as well as seasonal art exhibits. The Whyte Museum also offers fascinating guided tours of heritage homes.

Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum

This museum commemorates the traditions and culture of the First Nations people that first inhabited the lands we now call Banff National Park. Learn how these people lived through displays of their native arts, tools and hunting equipment, textiles, teepees, ornamented clothing, ceremonies and more.

Canadian Ski Museum West

This free exhibit is housed at the Cascade Plaza on Banff Avenue and commemorates the rich history of skiing in Banff National Park. Visitors should view the exhibit in chronological order, from the lower level of the plaza up to the second level.

Banff Park Museum National Historic Site of Canada

Location: Banff

A showpiece of architecture and early natural history...

View Website

Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum

Location: Banff

Visit the Buffalo Nations Museum to return to the...

View Website

Cave and Basin National Historic Site

Location: Banff

Welcome to the birthplace of Canada’s National Parks....

View Website

Whyte Museum Of The Canadian Rockies

Location: Banff

Located in Banff National Park, the Whyte Museum of...

View Website