Surprise Corner, Banff

Driving on Tunnel Mountain Road, make a stop at Surprise Corner, a sudden 90-degree bend that opens up to a sweeping view of a historical hotel. Drive or walk up to the viewing platform, a wooden deck that lets you observe the picturesque scenery. Gaze upon the grandiose 19th-century railway hotel, star of many postcards and paintings over the years. With the Bow river rushing in the foreground and snow-capped Sulphur Mountain dominating the backdrop, the vantage point makes for a great photo op. Our Banff National Park trip itinerary planning tool makes visiting Surprise Corner and other Banff National Park attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Surprise Corner Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
532 reviews
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4.3
TripAdvisor
  • October 4, 2017
    A quick turn around the corner opens up in the most spectacular view of the Fairmon Banff Springs Hotel in its entirety. Stories abound about the original structure and builder. Boasting more than 750...  more »
  • October 3, 2017
    Take the road out of Banff to surprise corner with lovely views of the river and Fairmont hotel across the river. There is a car park but very busy and quite a few coach trips stop there. If you carry...  more »
  • October 2, 2017
    What a view. From afar it looks amazing. But up close, you would not believe. It's a real life castle complete with men in their Scottish attire. Wow, this hotel! It's a must on anyones list to visit,...  more »
Google
  • June 6, 2017
    This viewing area provides an excellent view of the Banff Springs Hotel across the Bow river. That's pretty much it. There are also some information boards about the area/hotel. There is a small parking lot across the street and a space that I presume can be used for parking on the same side. Downside is there didn't seem to be any washrooms on-site or in the parking lot. Visited May 2016
  • June 13, 2017
    Provides a great view of the Fairmont. It is a tight corner with little parking. Tour buses dump people one after the other, so it can get busy. But people take a quick photo and move on.
  • April 30, 2017
    This was an awesome place. There isn't anything discouraging or ugly about anything in Banff. AT ALL
  • November 17, 2016
    Great view of the river and sulphur mountain. It's not a great angle if you want to view the falls. Smallish parking lot. Perfect place to access to the hoodoo trail. I would recommend walking up to the circle platform, but also walking up the hwy towards Banff (200m) to see the falls better.
  • June 14, 2017
    Good view, lots of tour buses drop off tourists

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