There’s no doubt about it: the adventure opportunities are endless in Banff National Park. With the first dusting of snow comes an excitement – those looking for their next adventure, some seeking a winter wonderland, and most excited to see the magic of the mountains! 

Regardless of the adventure you’re looking for, Banff and Lake Louise are sure to provide. Here’s what you can expect to see and do in Banff this winter: from the hills to the town!

If you want to ski: 

Ski the Big 3: Banff and Lake Louise are home to SkiBig3, a collective of 3 world-class ski resorts located within the boundaries of the park. Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mount Norquay combined offer over 300 runs for all ski abilities, as well as varied terrain. All three are home to fantastic accommodation and restaurants, and provide some of the best views in the Rockies. 

Canmore Nordic Centre: Home to the 1988 Olympics, the Canmore Nordic Centre boasts an impressive 65+km of groomed trails. Close to downtown Canmore, the Nordic Centre is easily accessible by car or bus. Ski out to the meadow to catch spectacular views of the valley, or ski to the lodge to warm up! 

If you want to adventure: 

Hike the Rockies: Picturesque walks through snowy forests and covered peaks add to the magic of the mountains in the winter. Banff and Lake Louise have endless options for winter hikes: check out the local Tunnel Mountain for a quick and easy summit, or head on out to Mirror Lake near Lake Louise for a more challenging route. If hiking isn’t your thing, opt for snowshoes instead. Regardless of your plan, don’t forget your crampons on the way out! 

Johnson Canyon Ice Walk: A fan favourite adventure in Banff, the Johnson Canyon Ice Walk takes you through the icy Johnson Canyon and out to a frozen waterfall. There are three main viewpoints: the lower falls, the upper falls, and the ink pots. Don’t forget your ice cleats (link)

Local tip: There’s a secret cave just before the upper falls; find the sign and head in! 

Dogsledding: Travelling through the snowy trails under the towering peaks of Banff is magical on its own, but becomes even more special when packed warmly into a dogsled. Historically used as a means of travel by the Inuit people in Northern Canada, the sport is rich in tradition and has since been adapted for modern recreation. There are various locations around the Bow Valley to choose from, but don’t forget: dress warm! 

If you want to explore the town: 

Banff Snow Days: Beginning at the end of January, the town of Banff comes alive with the annual Snow Days Festival! Spreading through the streets of downtown are snow and ice sculptures – meet local artists and watch them in action! Try your hand at dogsledding, catch a Skijoring show, or head to the tube park with the whole family. 

Local Dining: Both Banff and Lake Louise are brimming with fantastic restaurants. With a focus on locally grown and made ingredients, the Bow Valley has something for everyone. Find tastes from around the world and award-winning restaurants with traditional Canadian dishes or fusion menus. To drink, visit any of our local distilleries or craft breweries, distinctly Alberta grown! 

Visiting Banff National Park goes far beyond outdoor recreation. Enjoy some of Alberta’s best eats, as well as heart-racing adventures and family-friendly fun! 

Leave a comment