Winter Activities In Banff National Park, Alberta Canada
Wondering what to do in Banff in winter ? From late fall to early spring, Banff National Park turns into a winter wonderland, becoming a dreamland for all kinds of winter activities. This article details winter activities in Banff National Park.
You may also like Banff Lake Louise Winter Trip
1. Skiing & Snow Boarding In Banff
Visitors to Banff National Park are spoilt for choice, as three of the best Ski resorts in Canada, Lake Louise Ski Resort, Sunshine Village Ski & Snow Board and Mt Norquay Ski Resort are located in the National Park. See the links for more details about each resort.
2. Sightseeing at Banff National Park Ski Resorts
Even if you are not interested in winter sports, visit all the three resorts (at least one), to see the incredible scenery and to experience the ski wonderland the rest of the world brags about. Sightseeing Gondola/Lift ticket, Transportation to and from the resorts and a food voucher is included in the sightseeing ticket cost. For individual Ski resort pricing, see the corresponding pages.
For Back Country skiing – See Parks Canada Site.
Cross Country Skiing – There are plenty of perfect Cross country skiing trails in both Banff and Lake Louise area including 15.6 km (return) Moraine LakeRoad and the beautiful Lake Louise loop (4.1 km).
3. Ice Skating In Banff National Park
Ice Skating in Banff is a free and fun family winter activity. During winter, a spectacular skating rink is made on Lake Louise, decorated with Ice Castles to provide a wonderful skating experience. In Banff, Waldhaus Rink at the Spray Meadow, located behind Banff Springs, presents a pleasant outdoor skating experience.
Lake Minnewanka, Two Jack Lake and Johnson Lake and Bow river provides a natural setting for ice skating (Parks Canada advices caution on these sites as ice thickness can vary anytime).Winter activities in Banff
4. Dog Sledding in Banff National Park
Experience how winter wilderness through this timeless activity. Dog sledding in Banff National Park is provided only by Kingmik Dog Sled Tours.
For other options and more details see the link.
5. Snow Tubing in Banff National Park
Do you love tubing in water parks? Enjoy your favourite entertainment in winter by tubing down the powdery landscapes. Snow tubing is offered at Mt Norquay & Lake Louise Ski Resort. See the individual listing page (1.Snow Tubing – Mt Norquay, 2. Snow Tubing Lake Louise ) for cost and more details.
6. Ice climbing , Ice Diving & Ice Walks in Banff National Park
Avalanche awareness skills are required for Ice climbing in Banff. Johnston Canyon Upper falls is a good spot for Ice climbing.
The old mining town site which was submerged during the building of dams in early 1900’s in Lake Minnewanka is a popular Ice diving site. ‘Restricted Activity Permit’ and other activity related reviews are required for Ice diving. (more details)
See trail condition report by Parks Canada – here
Walk through the catwalks of Johnston Canyon till upper falls viewing the gorges and spectacular winter scenery. Wear cleats (shoes with cleats/Yaktrax ~ $25.00) and you can easily tour the canyon on your own. Guided icewalks are also provided by many tour companies for about $64.00/$40.00 (Adult/Child).
7. Sleigh rides in Banff National Park
This winter activity in Banff is truly family fun. Enjoy sleighing through the snow in an open sleigh! For more details see the article, Sleigh rides in Banff National Park.
8. Snowshoeing in Banff National Park
Save money by snowshoeing on the natural trails on your own or do it with a tour company; but do not miss this activity. Feel and hear the snow crunching underfoot as you set about exploring the scenic Banff trails.
Snowshoeing the Lake Louise lake shore trail is the best way to see Lake Louise in winter. Do the trail, revelling in the snow covered mountain scenery.
Amongst the snowshoeing trails, Johnson Lake on Lake Minnewanka Scenic drive, opens up the montane ecoregion to the snow-shoer with snow covered spruce and Douglas firs glistening in the sunlight.
If you decide on guided tour, try the snowshoeing at Sunshine Meadows / Sunshine Village by White Mountain adventures. For about ~$100, one can snowshoe on ‘Top of the World’ , above the tree line. Lake Louise ski resort also offers snowshoeing tours for about $100. If taking guided tours, it is better to do it at a ski resort(even if you are not a skier) as you get the added advantage of visiting the attraction too, and the lift tickets are included in the fee.
7. Sledding & Tobogganing In Banff National Park
Bring out the child in you and take your kids for tobogganing and sledding at the toboggan run behind the Banff Springs hotel or at the Cascade Ponds (perfect for toddlers) situated on Minnewanka Lake loop.
8. Tours by Tour Companies
All images in this article : Photo Credit to respective Ski Resorts.