Recently, our family was given the opportunity to check out Nightrise – an immersive light display at the Summit of Sulphur Mountain in Banff, Alberta. If a visit to the Rockies is on your itinerary before March 12, 2022, I’d definitely recommend paying a visit to the Banff Gondola and taking a ride to the top to experience Nightrise.
The magic started with the gondola ride, where the mountains and sky around us were dark, but the interior of the gondola came alive with lights and a beautiful soundscape, welcoming us on our adventure. At first, the kids were a little bit nervous, but excitement quickly took over as they looked down at the sparkling lights of the townsite of Banff from above.
When we arrived at the summit, we were welcomed with even more incredible lights and sounds as we made our way through Nightrise’s indoor and outdoor stations, known as the “Four Wonders” — Cosmic Rays, Diamond Dust, Alpenglow and Frosted Waves. Inside, we experienced twinkling snowflake lights, video projections, multimedia effects and music; when we made our way outside, we warmed up next to bonfires, walked atop interactive projections, and listened to unique soundscapes at the Listen to the View stations.
The beauty of the lights display outside was matched only by the deliciousness of the food inside. We were fortunate to get a chance to taste just about every dish laid out in the incredible buffet at the Northern Lights Alpine Kitchen before heading back to the bottom of the mountain. From slow braised beef brisket and grueyere and bacon spaetzle to flatbread and pork loin, our mouths were watering with every bite in between! Of course, the kids had their eyes on the cakes, pies, and mousses at the dessert bar the entire time, and I can’t say I blamed them one bit!
Riding back to the bottom of the mountain was a bit bittersweet – while we were all excited to get back to the Elk + Avenue hotel for a warm cup of cocoa, we were sad to say goodbye to the beauty of Nightrise and the fun evening we shared together. Luckily, we were able to get a photo from the gift shop to commemorate the experience!
Although we lived close to the mountains for many years and visited Banff multiple times, this was our first time taking a trip on the gondola. Even for those a little nervous about heights, the magic at the top was well worth the ride. Things do get a little chilly at the top, especially once the sun goes down, so I would definitely recommend dressing in layers to keep warm. Our kids were thankful to have their snow pants, mitts and toques, even if it was a bit of a battle to get them on in the first place (*ahem* Eloise *ahem*).
Thank you so much to Pursuit for gifting us this amazing experience that our family will remember for years to come. We can’t wait to visit again!