Banff Lake Louise Winter Itinerary
Wondering how best to enjoy your Banff – Lake Louise winter trip? Here are some ideas for your consideration.
If you are from Calgary or live reasonably near Banff, do few of the Winter activities in Banff National Park like Johnston Canyon ice walk and skating amongst the magical Ice castles built on Lake Louise.
One Day Winter Trip to Banff – Lake Louise
First things first, if you are planning a day trip to Banff in winter, CHECK road conditions and closures.
If you love skiing, enjoy yourselves at the ski resorts, as explained at the end of the post ( part of Day 2 itinerary). This trip plan is mostly sightseeing one, with very few activities included.
This itinerary is made along the similar lines of Banff Lake Louise One Day tour, with same assumptions (you will not be returning to Banff- Lake Louise in immediate future during winter time) and taking into consideration the fact that it is winter. No trip goes exactly as planned to the hour (especially if you have children with you): the time is given just to give a general idea, and will help you tweak the Banff itinerary accordingly.
If you like to do some snow related activities like snowshoeing, consider renting the equipment from town. Also make sure you reserve/book any tour you plan to do in advance.
View Banff Lake Louise Winter Itinerary in a larger map
Start your trip at Lake Louise. See the snow blanketed lake, the ice castles made by Chateau chefs. If you are visiting Lake Louise during the Ice Magic festival, you will be able to see the marvelous ice sculptures made by renowned artists. Skate on the ice rink or snowshoe here. Be mindful of the time. In case you are not interested in going to Lake Louise ski resort, then visit Art of Man Gallery inside the Lake Louise Chateau.
If you want do Dog sledding inside Banff National Park, reach Lake Louise by 8.00am. See Lake Louise. Then do any of the 9:30am tours by Kingmik tours.
You can also enjoy horse drawn sleigh rides here.
Next stop is the world famous, ‘2013 Best Ski Resort in Canada’ award winner Lake Louise Ski Resort. Take the sightseeing Gondola and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
If you are a skier (and have the gear with you), do the free heritage tour or free mountain tours(if available at that time).
You may have a quick brunch here (cheapest option $15.00-$20.00) or from Lake Louise town.
take Trans-Canada Highway/AB-1 E to Banff-Windermere Hwy/AB-93 N. Take exit 50 from Trans-Canada Hwy to Bow valley Parkway to reach Johnston Canyon. Another option/place to have lunch is the Johnston Canyon Resort.
Make sure you have shoes with good grip/ ice cleats (Crampons)/micro-grips (Yaktrax) on. Hike upto to the upper falls, enjoying the magical winter canyon. If you are not in love with walking, go till lower falls and return.
Continue to Banff on Bow Valley Parkway.
In case you choose not to do Johnston Canyon Hike, go to Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Do the interpretive trail.
Go to Banff Fairmount Springs. See the magnificent interiors of the famous hotels. Get something to eat and enjoy the atmosphere.
Ride up on the Banff Gondola. Enjoy setting of the sun in the Canadian Rockies. Have dinner here, if you like.If it is already dark (Sun Set ~ 05:00 PM in Dec/Jan) when you reach the town of Banff, skip Banff Gondola.
If you are in Banff on Friday/saturday and the kids are over 42″ tall & 4+ years, go to Mt Norquay Ski resort, enjoy night skiing or tubing.
Banff – Lake Louise Trip in Winter – Two Days
Since you have more time to spend in Banff, consider including some Winter Activities in Banff National Park in your itinerary. Deciding the two day trip itinerary depends on how much of a ‘Winter person’ you are and the budget.
Spend more time in Lake Louise. Rent the equipment from Banff town and snowshoe the Lake Louise Lake shore trail or go ice skating. Take a Dog sledding tour at Lake Louise if interested. Hike the Johnston Canyon.
See Fairmont Banff Springs, Bow Falls, Surprise Corner & Hoodoos. Visit Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
Ride the Banff Gondola(by 6:00pm). End your day in Banff Upper Hot Springs.
If you interested in Skiing, enjoy skiing at one of the Ski resorts in Banff or if you have young kids with you, try snow tubing.
Another option Day 2- Morning
Do the Lake Minnewanka Scenic drive, counter clockwise. Snow shoe at Johnson Lake (Views of Mt. Rundle) or Hike (do not forget to wear crampoons/ microspikes) the Stewart Trail.
Go on a heritage home tour as part of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies visit or if you have young ones with you go sleigh riding in Banff town.
Day 2- Afternoon
If you have the budget, go on a guided snow shoeing tour at Sunshine Village. The free alternative suggestion is to hike the Hoodoos trail (if you are doing this, do not go to Surprise Corner & Hoodoos Lookout as part of Day 1 itinerary.
End your day by snow tubing at Mt. Norquay (especially if you have kids with you).
If you have done(or after doing) a Banff – Lake Louise Trip in Winter, leave a useful tip for others to help them make their trip even more enjoyable.
- Snowshoe in Kananaskis Country
- Price: $87.21
- Banff Winter Sightseeing & Wildlife Tour
- Price: $43.69
- Lake Louise Winter Tour
- Price: $53.11
- Grotto Canyon Icewalk
- Price: $50.42
- Banff Sleigh Rides
- Price: $36.00
- Winter Tour: Banff and its Wildlife
- Price: $46.98
- Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride in Banff
- Price: $28.66
- Lake Louise Scenic Snowshoe Tour
- Price: $52.32
- Lake Louise Winter Wildlife Snowshoe Tour
- Price: $29.57