Recent Searches
Clear

Travel update: We’re doing our best to help keep you safe and your plans flexible. Learn more.

Read More

Cave and Basin National Historic Site Tours

Cave and Basin National Historic Site
The Cave and Basin National Historic Site in Banff National Park is more than just a neat place to explore. The First Nations who discovered the cave consider the hot springs a sacred site. Today, interactive interpretive exhibits make the birthplace of Canada’s national parks system—known today as Parks Canada—a must-visit.

The Basics

Purchase entry tickets at the gift shop adjacent to the parking lot and climb the gentle hill up to the interpretive center. In the central foyer are information about the historical site, mineral pools, and the tunnel that leads to the cave and the hot springs. Also here is a large museum hall with exhibits showcasing the history of Parks Canada and Banff National Park. Don’t miss a stroll outside to see more.
 
Many visitors come to the site as part of a tour from Calgary or Banff. Half-, full- or multi-day excursions may visit Lake Louise, Victoria Glacier, Moraine Lake, Bow Valley, Bow Falls, and/or other highlights of Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Parks.
 
Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is a must for history buffs and first-time visitors to Banff National Park.
  • There is a fee to enter the site, though an annual Parks Canada pass grants you free admission.
  • Be prepared for a short tunnel that can feel quite closed in when it is crowded. The cave itself is small and there may be a wait to get in.
  • The facility is fully accessible. There is a drop-off point close to the interpretive center for those unable to walk from the parking lot.
 
How to Get There
The Cave and Basin National Historic Site is located on the western edge of Banff, Alberta, and is easy to get to from downtown. Drive, bike, or hike the approximately 1.25 miles (2 kilometers), following Banff Avenue over the bridge to Cave Avenue. A public transit bus runs regularly to the site during summer, and on weekends and holidays from mid-May to mid-June.
 
When to Get There

The site is open year-round, and a visit in the spring, fall, or winter can be quiet and lovely. Peak season in Banff is summertime, from mid-June until the beginning of September. Summer weekends and holidays (Canada Day, Heritage Day, Labour Day) can be busy, with many visitors in from Calgary and beyond. To avoid some of the crowds, visit early in the day or in the evening.
 
How Thermal Waters Birthed Parks Canada

The First Nations have used the area’s mineral waters for healing for thousands of years, but when three Canadian Pacific Railway workers stumbled upon the cave entrance in the Canadian Rockies, they were quick to put up a fence and apply for land ownership. The Government of Canada denied their application, however, and soon took over the site as a protected area—ultimately giving rise to Banff National Park and the entire Parks Canada system.
Address: 311 Cave Ave, Banff AB T0L 0C0, Canada
Admission: Varies
Read More

5 Tours and Activities to Experience Cave and Basin National Historic Site

Filter
Select Dates
Today
Tomorrow




Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details
Sort by:Featured
Covered Wagon or Horseback Ride in Banff with Western Cookout

Covered Wagon or Horseback Ride in Banff with Western Cookout

star-4.5
Saddle up for a ride along the Bow River in Banff and a Western style cookout. Choose from riding on horseback or in a covered wagon through the beautiful Rocky Mountain terrain. At the dining site, spend some time perfecting your roping skills or relaxing with a game of horseshoes before “tucking in”--that’s cowboy speak for “eating”—a yummy BBQ meal.
More
  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.43
From
$85.43
Taking safety measures

2 Hour Banff Horseback Riding Adventure

2 Hour Banff Horseback Riding Adventure

star-4
Saddle up and head out on the Rocky Mountain trails in Banff National Park. Explore the area by horseback with your cowboy guide to see the area in a way you can only experience from on the back of a horse. With a guide in the lead and a guide bringing up the rear, your ride will be a safe, fun adventure in the wilderness.  
More
  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$103.96
From
$103.96
Taking safety measures

Self-Guided Audio Tours Discover the Rockies Package

Self-Guided Audio Tours Discover the Rockies Package

'Discover the Rockies' package includes: Two walking tours Your phone becomes your tour guide as you explore Banff & Canmore with two self-guided audio walking tours! Each with 30 fully narrated points of interest. Driving tour Listen to a tour guide as you drive between Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Sunshine Village & Nakiska! Over 50 points of interest. Freedom No directions or time limits. Stop at as many sights & attractions as you like. Start / stop anywhere. Travel in any direction along route. Hands Free Fun audio clips play automatically as you drive. Live GPS map. No data used during tour. Easy to Use Download the app. Select the tour. Go! Family Friendly Fun Tripvia Guides keep you laughing & engaged along the way! Trivia Fun Each point of interest has a fun multiple choice trivia question. Keep score or just listen! Inexpensive Only 1 tour booking needed per vehicle / group. Play audio through vehicle's stereo so everyone can hear.
More
  • 3 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$10.74
per group
From
$10.74
per group

Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour of Banff Avenue & Central Park

Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour of Banff Avenue & Central Park

Your phone becomes your tour guide as you explore Banff with a self-guided audio walking tour. We'll show you, and tell you all about the sights and sounds of this iconic mountain town! Just walk and listen to the tour, or stop and play the trivia challenge game at each POI. Live GPS map show where you are and where to go next! No data used during tour. Freedom Explore at your own pace with knowledgeable & entertaining tour guides for a fraction of what a live tour would cost! Easy As you walk close to a point of interest, the audio will automatically play from your device. No data used during tour (d/l on WIFI before). Navigate Each tour has a pre-set route with a live GPS map. Easily navigate to the next tour stop and explore as much as you like. Booking Options The number of travelers you select is the number of devices you can download the tour to. Starbucks To meet the minimum price for this booking service, we're including a $5 Starbucks e-card.
More
  • 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$6.13
From
$6.13

Banff Cave and Basin Exploring Game

Banff Cave and Basin Exploring Game

Interactive, educational, playful and fun! Use the interactive map to track other teams in real time as you race to reach question locations Built-in chat function keeps you connected to fellow competitors Explore some of the best walking/running in your community with fun and informative trivia to answer along the way, all guided by your smartphone
More
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$191.88
per group
From
$191.88
per group

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Cave and Basin National Historic Site?