If you've been to Banff, you know exactly what we're talking about. That view. That moment. That feeling. Everyone's first visit to Banff is unforgettable. And everyone here has a story to share.
Maybe it was spotting a grizzly bear or eating ice cream with your grandparents. It could be the drive into the mountains from the foothills, or hiking to your first summit. Whether it was in the 1940s or just last year, Banff forges a place in our memories that never leaves.
What do you remember about your first trip to Banff?
Here are some memories we've collected:
The view...Cascade from Banff Ave, wild flowers, and chimpmunks!
The drive from Calgary with foothills, then bigger then bigger then BAM! Mountains! (And of course ice cream shops on the Main Street!)
The smell! I remember stepping off the bus in Lake Louise and being overwhelmed by the smell of pines and the fresh, fall air...
I thought, “This is a postcard. People can’t possibly actually live here.”
At age 5 in the 1950s, I remember the mailboxes on knobby wooden posts, the bears at the dump, the hot springs and stumbling off the Mt. Norquay chairlift.
Little gophers everywhere. I was 8.
I felt like I was home.
Staying at a motel on the Main Street, driving past a bison reserve and being in awe of Mount Rundle.
Pulled into Banff campsite after dark and went straight to sleep. We’d just driven an all-nighter across the Prairies. The next morning, I remember looking outside the tent and discovering a paradise, gentle and pain-free. Mountains and a sparkling lake. I think there was even a young deer crossing the scene.
The main street (Banff Avenue) with an awesome chocolate shop and views that look like movie backdrops - so beautiful they seem too good to be real.
The enormity of the mountains and how picture perfect it looked. It was just like the postcards!
Being wowed by the mountains coming over Scott Lake hill, and I still get that feeling after living here for 25 years.
I remember there being an elk standing at an intersection on the main street like he was waiting for the light to change.
I came out for a summer when I was 19. I remember flying into Calgary and taking a bus to Banff. I was blown away by the mountains, I took so many pictures from inside the bus, not thinking of course that I would be in Banff for 4 months and that there would be plenty of opportunities to take pictures of the mountains! I also remember calling my parents from an outdoor payphone on the main street that first night, talking a mile a minute, telling them how beautiful it was. In my excitement, I left my "first meal in Banff" leftover take-out pizza box on top of the pay phone!