The History of Banff National Park and Banff Upper Hot Springs

26 Feb 2016

The History of Banff National Park and Banff Upper Hot Springs

Author: SuperUser Account  /  Categories: Environment  / 

Prior to exploration by Europeans in the 19th century, the area that is now known as Banff National Park was home to First Nations people. They had been using the hot springs in the region as a source of healing and renewal for hundreds of years. When an expedition for the Canadian Pacific Railway was surveying the area in 1888, they stumbled across the hot springs. Two years later, the government granted a federal reserve for the area around the hot springs and called it Rocky Mountain Park, which is the beginnings of Banff National Park, To attract people to the area the federal government comissioned the building of roads, bridges and other services to make it an enticing location. The Banff Springs Hotel was built in 1888 and the land around Lake Louise was added to the park a few years later.

As the number of visitors to the park began to soar the Brewster brothers, Bill and Jim, opened an outfitter and guiding business in 1900. The increased interest in the area sparked the building of roads between Banff and Lake Louise and to the Radium Hot Springs. Banff is the premier vacation spot it is today because of the discovery of the hot springs and the building of modern roads (such as the Trans Canada Highway that was built through the park in 1962) which allowed automobiles to access the park and the hot springs.

The Incredible Benefits of Hot Springs

The Banff Hot Springs have been used for centuries for its numerous health benefits. Here are some ailments and body issues that the hot springs can alleviate:

  • Hot springs can help to reduce skin problems such as acne and eczema.
  • It promotes blood circulation and relaxes tense muscles.
  • Bathing in the springs can help to ease the symptoms of arthritis.
  • The concentration of minerals in the water rid the body of toxins.
  • Hot springs assist our bodies with the absorption of essential minerals.
  • Soaking in the water boosts the immune system.

Mineral Content

So what makes the Banff Hot Springs extraordinary? What's in the water anyway? The answer is that the water has a high concentration of minerals, such as:

  • Sulphate: Concentration of 572 mg/l.
  • Calcium: Concentration of 205 mg/l
  • Bicarbonate: Concentration of 134 mg/l
  • Magnesium: Concentration of 42 mg/l
  • Sodium: Concentration of 6.6 mg/l

These minerals are helpful to our bodies and provide the healing properties for which hot springs are famous.


If you have never been to a hot springs before, you may want to read up on the common etiquette guidelines to ensure you have a pleasant experience.

Important Information You Need About the Banff Upper Hot Springs

Hours of Operation:

January 3rd, 2016 - May 19th, 2016:

  • Sunday to Thursday: 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
  • Friday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.

*Please remember that you will need to arrive a half an hour before closing time to be admitted to the pools.


  • Children: $6.30, children under 3 are admitted for free
  • Adults: $7.30
  • Seniors: $6.30

For more information on pricing, click here.

Packages that Offer a Trip to Banff Upper Hot Springs

Banff Adventures offers a wide range of vacation packages that include a visit to the Banff Upper Hot Springs in summer or winter. Contact us by phone at 1 (800) 644-8888 to find out more about Banff National Park and the hot springs.


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