Canada, Family Travel, History & Culture

Discover Nightrise at the Banff Gondola

December 21, 2021
Nightrise at Banff Gondola people looking out window

Whispered Stoney Nakoda words and the English translations mix with soulful music as the four-person cabin climbs through the darkness to the top of Sulphur Mountain for Nightrise at the Banff Gondola.

Nightrise Banff Gondola suspended in dark sky
Photo credit Moment Factory

Tonight we honour these mountains and those who have called them home since time immemorial.

Stoney Nakoda

Created by Moment Factory, the Stoney Nakoda Nation and Pursuit, the Nightrise multisensory experience shares powerful stories about the Stoney Nakoda Nation within the Banff region while highlighting nighttime, winter, and magic of the Canadian Rockies. It’s a remarkable combination.

The artistic concept behind Nightrise draws from Moment Factory’s Lumina night walk series, which is inspired by our connection to nature and created to enhance the wonder of each natural site.

Moment Factory

After exiting the gondola at the summit, visitors explore the four wonders of Sulfer Mountain located on the indoor and outdoor levels of the summit building. Each of the four wonders — Cosmic Rays (Apenene Garharhagach), Diamond Dust (Wiyapta Ptach), Alpenglow (Aîthîya Eya) and Frosted Waves (Yowatha)— offer a different experience. Linger, look, and listen. Soak it all up. There is no rush. Nightrise at the Banff Gondola is interactive and experiential. Take your time.

Two People Nightrise at the Banff Gondola
Photo credit Moment Factory

After exploring Nightrise within the summit building’s different levels and outdoor terraces, stop and enjoy Rocky Mountain-inspired cuisine and drinks. If you feel like more, revisit one or all four of the wonders of Sulpher Mountain before returning to the town on the Banff Gondola.

Music and soothing Stoney Nakoda words, along with English translations, fill the cabin on the ride down Sulpher Mountain. Visitors are invited to reflect on their experience at Nightrise. “Perhaps you feel a little different than on the way up.”

“The night has risen, and what has she left you with?”

Stoney Nakoda

Nightrise at the Banff Gondola – Good to Know

  • Nightrise runs until April 10, 2022. Opening hours are 5 pm and 10 pm until March 12, 2022 and 7 pm – 10 pm from March 13 – April 10, 2022. Tickets and more information about the experience are available here.
  • It takes eight minutes for the Banff Gondola to climb 698 metres (2,292 feet) to the top of Sulpher Mountain.
  • Nightrise is an indoor and outdoor experience so dress for the winter weather. A winter jacket, warm socks and winter footwear are required to access visit Nightrise.
  • Nightrise is a family-friendly activity.
  • If you are visiting Banff, Alberta, plan to stay and play for a few days. Luxury travellers will appreciate the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. I recommend the Fairmont Gold experience with exclusive access to the Gold Lounge. A more budget-friendly option is the historic Mount Royal Hotel located on Banff Avenue.

I attended a Nightrise as a media guest. As always, if I don’t love an experience, I won’t recommend it to you. Photos provided by Moment Factory.

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