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.
Create an itinerary including Surprise Corner

(Banff National Park is the nearest city to Surprise Corner)

map
Surprise Corner Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
546 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Bow River and watching with you. Parking can be difficult during peak times when parking is cramped. Away from the Fairmont Banff can enjoy the beautiful view.
    View original
  • Great view of the Banff Springs hotel, but very limited parking. If you follow the hoodoo trail you can walk down to the Bow River where you will have much nicer views of the mountains. We walked down...  more »
  • There could be a variety of surprises at this lovely spot near the Banff Centre where Buffalo Street and Tunnel Mountain Drive meet. The first surprise is the gorgeous views of the Fairmont Banff Spri...  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

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

8 days in Banff, Jasper & Lake Louise BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Banff, Jasper & Lake Louise BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Jasper, Lake Louise & Banff BY A USER FROM BELGIUM September, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in Canada BY A USER FROM INDONESIA January, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Canadian Rockies BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 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 5 days in Banff & Lake Louise BY A USER FROM CANADA August, kids, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Banff & Lake Louise BY A USER FROM CANADA January, kids, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Banff & Lake Louise BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, outdoors, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in Alberta & Toronto BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in British Columbia & Alberta BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, teens, popular PREFERENCES: May, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Banff, Jasper & Banff National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans