The tops of the pine trees seem to whisper ancient legends in the breeze. At the hillside location, the Banff Juniper Hotel’s panoramic view is arguably one of the best in Canada’s first National Park. At the base of Mount Norquay Road, the Juniper looks out at Vermillion Lakes, Rundle, Sulphur and Tunnel mountains.

More astounding than the view, is the historical significance and ties to the First Nations peoples. Built in the 1950’s, and renovated in 2014, the site of the Juniper Hotel has been a meeting place for thousands of years.

At the edge of the Juniper property, a circular depression discovery revealed the remains of a pithouse or kiguli.  The dwelling was constructed by the  Shushwap or Sewecpmec people whose traditional lands are located in the interior of British Columbia.

Parks Canada archaeologists, examining the artifacts found at the site, concluded that for over 4000 years the area had been used by people as a stopping point for shelter and food.

Juniper Hotel Banff

Banff Juniper Hotel and Bistro -Alberta, Canada

First Nations history at the Juniper

‘ The Juniper is situated on an archaeological site that has been a meeting place for humans and a movement route for animals for over 11,000 years. The Shuswap people from the interior mountains travelled east to the bison rich land to trade with the Stoney and Blackfoot nations, stopping for rest, shelter and food. We know from archaeological evidence found in and around the Juniper site – from stone tool flakes to fire-broken rock from cooking. Just think – right now we are standing on a place with a rich and much travelled history. Stop and rest to enjoy the sunniest spot in the valley and the same views appreciated for thousands of years.’  ~ The Juniper Interpretive Exhibition

Indigenous art Banff Juniper Hotel

Indigenous art at the Banff Juniper Hotel

Throughout Banff’s Juniper Hotel, artifacts and exhibits pay homage to the history of the First Nations peoples who came long before modern day tourists. Celebrating indigenous creativity, the Juniper showcases First Nation, Métis and Inuit artists from across Canada.

Banff Juniper Hotel’s Panoramic View

Dawn Rundle Mountain

Early morning winter view from Banff’s Juniper Hotel

Waking up to the panorama of the Canadian Rockies outside the window, one imagines those early travellers sharing this exact vista. Rising from their subterranean dwellings, using the insulating power of the earth to protect them from the elements of winter, they too must have been awestruck. 

Today at the Juniper Hotel there are no traditional kigulis to sleep in. The accommodations are far more comfortable. Ranging from cozy standard rooms facing toward the deep green of the forest to deluxe rooms with stunning views of the Bow Valley to suites and cabins.

Deluxe room Banff Juniper hotel

Deluxe room Banff Juniper hotel

Take a walk at the Juniper

The interpretive exhibits begin at the first floor lobby of the Juniper. The story of the formation of the mountains outside to the herds of buffalo that once roamed the area are told through artefacts and displays.

Interpretive walk and exhibits

Stone tools explained in artefact exhibit

Outside the Juniper Hotel, the Woodland Discovery Trail is a short footpath describing local fauna and flora. The walk passes an area where Indigenous Elders sometimes hold traditional ceremonies.

The trail is also near the Mount Norquay wildlife corridor. This protected area is part of a network stretching from the Yukon to Yellowstone National Park. Large animals use the corridor.

We always suggest to have bear spray with you especially in summer in the mountains. The staff at the front desk will be happy to give you more information.

 Modern Canadian cuisine at Banff’s Juniper Hotel Bistro

Breakfast Juniper Bistro Banff

Breakfast with view at Juniper Bistro

With a focus on handcrafted and seasonal local ingredients, the chefs at the Juniper Bistro create award winning dishes. A Trip Advisor Select Winner in 2021 and recipient of many Best of Bow awards the same year, the Bistro remains one of Banff’s  most delicious hidden gems. 

Room service, dine in and take out are available. Reservations are highly suggested and currently the restaurant is closed for dinner Monday and Tuesday.

Juniper Hotel Bistro lounge

Juniper Hotel Bistro lounge

Friendly Service at Banff Juniper Hotel

Each time we visit the Juniper a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere greets us. We wander in with suitcases, ski helmets, ice skates and multiple bags. 

Where some hotel staff roll their eyes at the sight of such paraphernalia entering their establishment, Juniper hotel will make room for bikes, backpacks and more. Juniper provides storage for your skis if you have brought your own equipment.

There is no elevator to the second floor however, the staff will take all of your luggage to your room if you want assistance. Wheelchair accessible rooms are available.

 

The Best of Banff Location

For thousands of years visitors have chosen the site the Juniper Hotel rests upon. Today you are more likely to see an elk or bear than a bison.

The Juniper provides a peaceful mountain escape as well as accessibility to the vibrancy of Banff town across the highway. Choose to enjoy a fabulous meal gazing out over the mountains, or wander into town to experience the amazing things to do in Banff.

Most importantly, know that you stand on the land that the First Nations peoples chose as their resting spot thousands of years before you.

Early morning Juniper Hotel

 Banff Juniper Hotel

 

As guests of the Juniper Hotel in Banff our stay was complimentary. All opinions shared are our own.