Nestled in the scenic forested Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff was founded in 1880 by the Canadian Pacific Railway as a tourist resort. Towering stone-capped mountains rise just beyond the edge of town, including the majestic Cascade Mountain which towers over end of Banff Avenue, the city's main street. The Bow River flows through Banff.
Banff lies within Banff National Park, which was established in 1887 as a preserve of the Canadian Rockies. Canada Highway 1 passes through the city, leading eastward to Calgary and westward into British Columbia. The population, as of 2005, is 8,352.