Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff

3.9
#3 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.
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Cave and Basin National Historic Site Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
1,223 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The hot springs though not active is a site to tell how very long ago it was used for its thermal properties and how the national park was born.  more »
  • A quick, cheap, visit that is worth your time. The history of the Parks is interesting (although quite dark), and taking in the sites of the cave and basin is like no other. This visit will only take ...  more »
  • We drove to Banff on a weekend as we didn’t have much else to do. But this turned out to be a great time at the cave and basin. Beautiful cave (smelled a lot like sulphur) and the pond outside was als...  more »
Google
  • The cave and basin is fascinating. The hot springs are really neat especially in the winter. I loved the little hike around back where you can see all the pools and the water bubbling up. Seeing minnows swimming in pools while everything else is frozen is really great. Note: these are sulfur pools. Outside the smell isn't that bad but in the cave and right beside the basin, it's incredibly strong. If you have a really bad gag reflex I recommend bringing something to cover your nose and mouth! Definitely worth checking out, just be prepared!
  • Pretty neat spot to check out. I really like the history of the park and this is where it all started so that’s a real bonus to learn about that. It’s a real shame that I didn’t visit 100 years ago so I could swim in the pool (they don’t allow it anymore). We came in the off season on a week day in the rain.and it was pretty busy. I would not want to be here on Canada day.
  • 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.)
  • Learn about the history of Banff. They have some new displays and the walk down to the marsh never disappoints. The warm water from the hot springs flows down the hill along the walk way down to the marsh. Beautiful!
  • Absolutely amazing place. Historically significant and a fantastic place to explore. One of Alberta's most underrated attractions. I've been to Banff dozens of time and somehow never even heard of this place.
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