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Surprise Corner, Banff

4.2
#6 of 11 in Sightseeing in Banff National Park
Observation Deck Lookout
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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(Banff National Park is the nearest city to Surprise Corner)

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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
505 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • We hiked from Surprise Corner to Hoodoos. We did miss a turn and ended up on a longer, more challenging path. Not all of the splits are well marked. The hike, as intended , is a moderate hike.  more »
  • This spot has a great panoramic view of the Banff Springs Hotel and surrounding area. Probably worth the short climb to the upper viewing area.  more »
  • Unfortunately this week the smoke from British Columbia is quite heavy and visibility is limited, however the Bow River is quite impressive as it is less than 100 yes away and beyond that the Fairmont...  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

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