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Published June 26th 2016
Visit the "Lake of the Water Spirits"
Submerged in the emerald green waters of Lake Minnewanka, lies Minnewanka Landing, a once-popular resort village. Its first hotel was built in 1886 and by 1912 the village was established with hotels, wharves, a restaurant and two cruise boats.
Minnewanka Landing's only guests now are scuba divers who brave the 3-4 degree water to explore village remnants dating from between 1912 to 1942 including house foundations, a fireplace, cellar, wharfs and a bridge foundation. Damming resulted in the waters rising up to 30 metres and flooding the town site in 1923.
One hundred years later, visitors are still enjoying boat cruises on Lake Minnewanks and this is just one of the fascinating stories you will hear aboard the one-hour scenic Banff Lake Cruise. At 28 km in length, Lake Minnewanka is the largest lake in the Banff National Park and this boat cruise is an ideal way to view the panoramic mountains hugging the shoreline whilst learning about the area's history.
Banff Lake Cruise
Lake Minnewanka has a rich history. Known as the "Lake of the Water Spirits" to the First Nations, then renamed by the Early European's to "Devil's Lake", Lake Minnewanka is now a popular destination with trout fisherman, hikers and families.
The one-hour Banff Lake Cruise departs from the western end of the lake. The first half of the cruise is devoted to fascinating facts on the region and the remainder of the trip is focused on relaxing and soaking in the beautiful scenery.
A variety of wildlife frequents the area so keep your eyes peeled for any animals that may appear along the shoreline including bighorn sheep, bald eagles, wolves and if you're lucky, bears.
Devil's Gap is a unique location where a gap appears in the mountains, allowing for a splendid view of the Prairies and some great photographs.
This cruise is ideal for young children. Paw print moulds from a brown bear and grizzly bear are passed around as well as deer antlers and information cards.
The cruise operates from mid-May to mid-October with a number of departure times available each day. The cruise is located, approximately 15 minutes from the town of Banff, on the Lake Minnewanka Loop. Complimentary shuttle buses are available with a ticket purchase between 7 June and 18 September 2016. The shuttle buses depart hourly from the Banff International Hotel. If you book outside of the complimentary shuttle period, a taxi will cost $40 (set fare) including tax.
The cruise costs $60 for an adult and $30 for a child (6-15 years old). A more cost effective option is purchasing the Banff Explorer Combination Package, which is $80 for an adult and $40 for a child. This package includes the Banff gondola and the Banff Lake Cruise.