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Surprise Corner, Banff

(460+ reviews on the web)
Lookout Observation Deck
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. Work out when and for how long to visit Surprise Corner and other Banff National Park attractions using our handy Banff National Park trip itinerary builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This spot has a fine view of the historic Fairmont Hotel. If you are staying in the hotel it is a good memory photo opportunity, if not there are much nicer areas to visit in Banff.  more »
  • Visting Banff while on a business trip to Calgary and had heard that we should stop here for some great views. We thought it was going to be tricky to find, but actually there are signs from Banff dir...  more »
  • We stayed at the Fairmont Banff Springs and enjoyed the 20 minute walk to see the property from this angle. Lovely photo spot  more »
Google
  • 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
  • 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.
  • This was an awesome place. There isn't anything discouraging or ugly about anything in Banff. AT ALL
  • 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.
  • Good view, lots of tour buses drop off tourists