Cave and Basin National Historic Site is at 311 Cave Ave. The beginnings of Canada's national park system are founded on a cave and hot springs discovered in 1883 by three Canadian Pacific Railway workers. Disputes over the ownership of the area prompted the Canadian government to declare the area a national reserve 2 years later. The site consists of naturally occurring warm mineral springs inside the cave and an emerald-colored basin outside. A four-screen high-definition film presents the history of the springs and the development of Banff National Park and the Canadian national park system. Exhibits and interpretive trails also are offered.
Guided tours are available. Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.
Free in 2017 to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation, otherwise $3.71; $3.24 (ages 65+); $1.81 (ages 6-18); $9.33 (up to seven people arriving in a single vehicle).
Hours: Daily 10-5, mid-May to early Sept.; Tues.-Sun. 10-5, early Sept. to early Oct.; Wed.-Sun. 11-5, rest of year. Guided tours are given daily at 11 and 2:30, mid-May to early Sept. Closed Jan. 1, Christmas and day after Christmas.