Banff is an attractive mountain resort in Alberta, Canada. In winter, it is a popular ski resort, together with nearby Lake Louise. In summer, it is a centre for all kinds of adrenalin and adventure spots, from mountain biking to canoeing. Unfortunately for those who want to get up in the air and fly, Banff paragliding is banned by the local authorities: the resort lies in protected national parkland. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fly from Banff. It’s just a short hop over the park border to the town of Golden, where you can easily arrange tandem or solo flights.
Canada is well set-up for paragliding: perhaps unsurprisingly, given its mountainous location and huge scale. Flying in Canada means flying over huge areas of untouched wilderness. If you’re used to European flying, you’ll love the incredible feeling of emptiness and freedom you’ll find in Canada.
Beginners should be able to find operators offering tandem flights easily in and around Golden. Mount 7 is a favourite site for beginners and the experienced alike, with great thermal conditions and the chance to take on some truly stunning cross country flying over deep valleys. A particular local speciality is heli-paragliding. This allows you to take-off from peaks that would usually be completely inaccessible, and can be done solo or tandem.
It is looking likely that the authorities will have a change of heart soon and start to allow flights from Banff itself. Until they do, it’s easy to take a trip over to Golden and take off from there.
A Banff paragliding trip is a must-do if you’re in and around Banff and Lake Louise. The area has some of the worlds’ best flying, with the perfect combination of great wind conditions and views that will take your breath away.