Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park, established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains. The park, located 110180 kilometres (70110 mi) west of Calgary in the province of Alberta, encompasses 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 sq mi) of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes.
The Icefields Parkway extends from Lake Louise, connecting to Jasper National Park in the north. Provincial forests and Yoho National Park are neighbours to the west, while Kootenay National Park is located to the south and Kananaskis Country to the southeast. The main commercial centre of the park is the town of Banff, in The Bow River valley. Throughout its history, Banff National Park has been shaped by tension between conservation and development interests.
The park was established in 1885, in response to conflicting claims over who discovered hot springs there, and who had the right to develop the hot springs for commercial interests. Instead, prime minister John A. Macdonald set aside the hot springs as a small, protected reserve, which was later expanded to include Lake Louise and other areas extending north to the Columbia Icefield.