Banff, Canmore, and Lake Louise

Banff: Cave and Basin Run

Wikimedia Commons
Car-free road path beyond Cave and Basin. Google Street View

This is a wonderful run on a paved road and path that is car-free after the first mile. The Cave and Basin is a National Historic Site — it’s Canada’ s first national park, featuring hot mineral springs in a cave and an outdoor, emerald-colored pool. It can be accessed from downtown along Cave Rd. It’s 1.5 km to the site, with sidewalks along the road. Once at the Cave and Basin, the paved road continues and becomes car-free. This road/path continues, and is fairly flat, going along the Bow River for about 1.5 km. Our turnaround point is at the 4 km mark, where the path turns to dirt and becomes more rugged.  and hilly as it heads for another 4 km to the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site.

Variations/add-ons:  You can also continue further into Sundance Canyon for another 4 km to the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site, but that’s hillier more challenging trail running. If you want to avoid Cave Rd. (and a 40m climb over the first 1.5 km), you can drive or take a bus to the Cave and Basin parking lot. You can also combine this with sections of the the Bow River Trail or Golf Course Loop.

Essentials
  • 8 km (5 miles) out and back, if start from town
  • 108m (357 feet)
  • Downtown Banff - Cave Rd.
  • Parking lot at Cave & Basin site