Banff is a little town in the Banff National Park.
Banff NP was Canada’s first National Park, and as one of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, it’s also a World Heritage Site. At an altitude of 1,463 m Banff is the highest town in Canada. Any further growth from its current population of seven or eight thousand (depending on the season) has been restricted due to environmental concerns – the National Park is one of the most visited in North America. The Canada Census of 2006 gave the median age in the town as 29.6, thanks in no small part to the huge number of 18-30 year old internationals over here on working holiday visas (apparently Banff can be quite popular with the 18 year old crowd, as being in the province of Alberta the legal drinking age is 18 – versus 19 for British Columbia).
On my first day in Banff we hiked up the Sanson Peak of Sulphur Mountain, one of the scenic mountains that are conveniently scattered around the town. At 2256 metres it towers above Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko (2228 m). And the photo above shows the view from the peak. Looking down into the Bow Valley, you can see the township of Banff nestled next to Tunnel Mountain, and the Bow River winding along next to it.