Self-Led Exploration of Banff

On foot or using shuttles, there are several Self-led Adventures to take:

The town of Banff is located within Banff National Park, Canada's first national park established in 1885.* 

Banff Gondola
**: A gondola runs to the top of Sulphur Mountain, where  sweeping views of six mountain ranges, the Bow Valley, and Banff can be seen. At the top, there are walking paths, dining options, and a visitor's center.  Delegates can use the Promo Code ISEB-ISSM2023 to purchase tickets.

Cave and Basin National Historic Site**: This site is a short (1.5 km) walk from the center of Banff. There is a small museum and walking area to see a cave with sulfidic, geothermally heated water.

Banff Park Museum**: This museum contains animal and plant exhibits, and was built in 1903. It is the oldest natural history museum in western Canada. It is also the oldest surviving federal building in Canada’s National Parks. The museum is located within Banff and near the Banff Park Lodge, the Symposium site. 

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies**: This museum is located in Banff and walking distance from the Banff Park Lodge. This is a gathering place to engage with the evolving Canadian history, peoples, cultures, environment, and ideas of Rocky Mountain culture.

Banff Upper Hot Springs**: An historic site with a bathhouse, spa, and outdoor pool. It is located about 4 km from the center of Banff. 

And many more indoor, outdoor, in-town, and an hour away activities. 

*Inclusion of activities here is only meant to inspire adventure while you are in Banff attending the Joint Symposium, and should not be interpreted as endorsements of the sites, locations, or businesses. Note hours of operations for these locations may not coincide with potential openings in the scheduled Joint Symposium program.
**Admissions charges are not included in delegate registration.

Mid-Week Delegate Excursions

"Running Water in the Canadian Rockies" Delegates can add this optional mid-week trip to their registration.

Wednesday morning, delegates will depart at 8AM by bus from the Banff Park Lodge for an all-day excursion. Weather permitting, we will explore iconic places within Banff National Park. Stops  may include Lake Louise, the Cave and Basin, or other places.  Regular shoes are fine (but may get turned red from the mud). A warm jacket and rain gear may be useful given unpredictable fall weather and higher elevations (~1400 m above sea level).

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"Stroll through Johnson Canyon"

Delegates can add this optional mid-week trip to their registration.

Wednesday morning, delegates will depart by bus from the Banff Park Lodge for an all-day excursion. Participants will visit Johnson Canyon, which is about 25 km from Banff.  The hike through the canyon is rated "easy," and there are suspension walkways bolted to the steep and shear canyon walls. The canyon is about 30 m deep and as narrow as 6 m wide in sections. Rocks encountered include Mississippian carbonates of the Rundle Group, and fossils are visible from the walkways. Depending on the destination, the hike can be about 2.4 km round-trip to the Lower Falls or roughly 5 km to the Upper Falls. To get to the Upper Falls, rocks of the Pennsylvanian/Permian Rocky Mountain Group, sandstone, dolomite, and phosphatic siltstone are visible, and the contact with the Sulphur Mountain Group is near the Upper Falls. Elevation gain is about 200 m. Regular shows are fine, and a warm jacket and rain gear may be needed given the unpredictable fall weather.

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ISSM delegates in Waitomo Glowworm Cave, New Zealand, 2017.

2023 ISEB & ISSM

About us

The International Society for Environmental Biogeochemistry and the International Society for Subsurface Microbiology teamed up in 2005 for their first joint symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This 2023 gathering of both societies will be the  2nd joint symposium, but separately will be the 25th symposium for ISEB and the 11th symposium for ISSM.