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Banff National Park

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It is no secret that Banff National Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Rocky Mountains.   

"In the fall of 1883, three Canadian Pacific Railway construction workers stumbled across a cave containing hot springs on the eastern slopes of Alberta's Rocky Mountains. From that humble beginning was born Banff National Park, Canada's first national park and the world's third. Spanning 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows and rivers, Banff National Park is one of the world's premier destination spots."

The park has been doing this series for a few years now, and who better to show you some of the hidden gems than the people who know it the best?  Would you know where to find old mining ruins? The best place to view wildflowers or spot fish lazily swimming in the pond? 

Geocachers are known as good stewards of the precious natural areas, which we have an abundance of in Canada, and this is particularly important in the lush and popular National parks. Remember to tread lightly while visiting. It is always good to become familiar with the Parks Canada Geocaching Guidelines, whether just seeking geocaches or planning on hiding one.  All geocaches that have been placed in the park have been done in a manner that has minimal impact on the surrounding area. 

Don't forget to plan ahead. No matter what season you are heading out to Banff, a bit of preparation ahead of time is essential, even if you are just going for the day.  Look over the links on the Banff NP site for the latest information on important notices, weather, road and trail conditions and any unusual wildlife to take note of (although wildlife is a constant so be aware). 

Conserve, Restore and Connect with Nature | Conserver, restaurer et se rapprocher de la nature

Number of Geocaches: There are five seasonal geocaches in the intermediate series (available from July 1 to September 30), or five beginner level geocaches (available year round) required for the geocoin, and some questions to answer on the activity sheet. There are many other geocaches in Banff as well that aren't part of the series placed by Banff NP Staff.  

Approximate Time for Completion: can easily be completed in a single day, even with all the wonderful distractions around Banff! Three of the five in the series are a moderate hike. 

Cost of Geocoin: $4 (for those who qualify; collectible / non trackable). The collectible geocoin features Parka, the beaver mascot of Parks Canada. The back of the geocoin shows Castle Mountain.

How to Qualify: Download the challenge sheet ahead of time (more here) or pick one up at the Visitor's Center and after three of the five qualifying geocaches have been found and the questions have been answered, return to the Visitor's Center to pick up your geocoin. (photo courtesy of Canadian Rockies)

Associated Fees: National Park Entrance Fees

Pro Tips

  • Banff, like all National Parks that we know of, do not allow SWAG of any kind to be left in the geocache.  This includes all geocoins and other trackables
  • All geocaches placed by parks staff and approved geocaches placed by others will be within very close proximity to established trails. Bushwhacking is not recommended as the parks primary purpose is to preserve these naturally beautiful areas. A devoted handheld GPSr is recommended but keep in mind you may get signal bounce due to dense canopy.
  • Note that the activity sheet doesn't include GC numbers as they change from season to season as geocaches are removed and new ones placed so you may want to make note of them ahead of time. 
  • Banff is a favourite destination for tourists. If you can, try planning a trip here in the off season.  Less tourists mean more opportunities to explore the natural beauty that first drew visitors here. 

For More Information

Geocaching In Banff

Banff NP

This blog entry is part of a larger resource. LINK TO GEOWYRM'S GEO-TOURISM

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