Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff

3.9
#2 of 7 in Historic Sites in Banff National Park
The discovery of the thermal mineral springs of Cave and Basin National Historic Site in 1883 was a catalyst for establishing Canada's first national park. Today, you can no longer swim in the hot springs, but you can visit the historic site and view displays about the history of Canada's national parks. Admire the cave surrounded by scenic hiking trails and boasting indoor and outdoor natural pools filled with striking azure waters. Make Cave and Basin National Historic Site a centerpiece of your Banff National Park vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Banff National Park trip planner.
Create an itinerary including Cave and Basin National Historic Site

(Banff National Park is the nearest city to Cave and Basin National Historic Site)

map
Cave and Basin National Historic Site Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
1,200 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • This place is worth a visit whenever you are in Banff. It is I believe $4 per adult to enter. We have been yesterday and they had been a lot of activities going on there.  more »
  • We were looking for something to do as we had an hour to kill before leaving Banff. I was really happy we went as you get a little glimpse into the past which was really neat. The cave itself is worth...  more »
  • We walked here from our motel as it is only about 20 minutes or 30 at the most depending where you start from. Lovely walk along the path and through the trees. This was a free activity because of Can...  more »
Google
  • A place you must visit. The caverns are a great place to take a picture or two. Smells of sulfur but that's because of the natural heated waters flowing in it. "The path to the cavern was rocky on both sides and the walls were very rocky like the floors (7 year old's description) it was dangerous because you will need to duck your head in a place or two." Exciting never the less. The kids loved it. They were given work books to play with and gather information. It was "very smelly like dead fish because the water had sulfur in it." It smelled very bad according to one child. I didn't mind the smell. It opened up my nasal passages. "But it was good" It was cool cause it looked like a real cave (it was) I will give it 4 out of 5 stars, but my dad like it. It was weird that my dad liked it. (I was half way into the review when my little one interrupted.)
  • Great spot to spend a rainy day when camping with the kids. My kids like going here and checking it out. In the winter they had some fun outdoor activities for the kids as well. It is small and you could probably wander through it all fairly quickly, however our kids like to take their time and curl up for a bit with a book in the little reading area when we visit.
  • Sulfur Mountain is where Parks Canada was formed and started. Many of our national parks we're discovered only by Railroad during the late 1800s. There is a strong connection between this mountain park and the native aboriginal people that lived here. You must always remember the sacred connection between this land and its people.
  • Best priced exhibit in Banff It’s Free with your “Park Pass” as in it’s free at the door!!!! In a town where every thing seems to cost more then you expect. This is a Must see on everyone’s bucket list!!!! The museum is built around the primary exhibit and it is the only place in the world to see what is here in person!!! The main hall has a streaming video playing across three full wall screens with different visual content related to the audio (making for the opportunity for my nine year old to want to see it three times) along with other full sized displays discussing the history of the site. Pro: Having rediscovered this place as an Adult from a longing to see it again from memories of seeing it as a child it will now be a “Benchmark experience” EVERY trip back to Banff!!!! There truly is no other place anywhere like it!!!!!!! Con: With children it is quite the hike from parking to the museum door. Average adult not to bad. Senior will definitely want to use the Drop Off Loop however the driver will still have to make the hike. Pro: The gift shop is an entirely different building then the museum, and thus with children you don’t have to “EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP” Con: They keep bankers hours so go earlier in the day as they close early even on a Saturday Pro: Lots of Parking, Even to use the area as a starting point for hikers. Con: It is NOT (for most people) walking distance from the downtown core area, or really any thing other then the Stables (horseback) Thus parking twice to see this and any thing else... but on/at this site it’s not to bad to get a spot.
  • Very interesting piece of Canadian history, would definitely recommend anyone to go see if they are visiting Banff and want to learn more about the Canadian Parks and see where it all started.

Plan your trip to Banff National Park

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Banff National Park

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Banff by other users

14 days in Glacier National Park, Banff & Jasper National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, romantic, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in Banff, Jasper & Lake Louise BY A USER FROM MEXICO March, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Banff & Jasper BY A USER FROM MEXICO March, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Banff, Jasper & Lake Louise BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES April, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in Canada BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES April, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Jasper, Lake Louise & Banff BY A USER FROM CANADA May, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Jasper, Lake Louise & Banff BY A USER FROM CANADA April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Banff, Jasper National Park & Golden BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Banff, Jasper & Lake Louise BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans