HomeRoad TripThe BEST Methods to Expertise Banff in Winter (for...

The BEST Methods to Expertise Banff in Winter (for 2024)

The BEST Methods to Expertise Banff in Winter (for 2024)


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Compiled by the Highway Journey Alberta workforce

Final up to date on January 14, 2024

In Banff, Alberta, winter wraps itself across the city with a frosty white embrace. Bundled up like marshmallows, guests waddle by the streets, having fun with the diminished crowds and the winter wonderland ambiance. The mountains are draped in white fluffy powder, and lights twinkle all through city like stars. That is Banff in winter…and it’s a magical place to go to with a lot to see and expertise. Overlook a crimson carpet, it’s a stupendous white one which welcomes those that come to go to throughout these chilly months!

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Banff Winter Crosswalk – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Mike Seehagel

Find out how to Put together to Go to Banff in Winter

One have to be ready to go to Banff through the winter months. Having ample heat clothes, together with jackets, toques, gloves, scarves and ski pants, is a necessity as climate can change rapidly. The chilly can and will likely be excessive at instances (under -40 levels Celsius) so test the climate earlier than you enterprise out.

For those who’re driving to Banff Nationwide Park, be sure you have an emergency automotive package ready as roads could be extraordinarily icy. And in case you’re venturing out on the Icefields Parkway, it’s obligatory to have your automobile geared up with winter tires or chains.

Issues to Do in Banff in Winter

Banff SnowDays

Banff and Lake Louise are rocking each January for a number of weeks with the annual SnowDays celebration. There are PLENTY of outside winter actions to participate in, together with snow sculpting, dwell leisure within the streets, dogsledding, a winter carnival, plus rather more!

Banff SkijoringBanff Skijoring
Banff Skijoring at SnowDays- photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Shannon Martin

And don’t miss the thrilling occasion of skijoring as horses pull skiers down the streets of Banff at full velocity! SnowDays is a bunch of enjoyable for the entire household

Attempt Winter Climbing

Don’t be fearful of mountaineering in Banff in winter… in truth, some individuals desire it over summer time mountaineering! Banff Nationwide Park has many nice winter hikes; the bottom line is sticking to the better, extra accessible trails, as you don’t need to put your self at risk by straying too far within the snow. A few of our favorite winter mountaineering trails embody Johnston Canyon, Fenland Path, Lake Louise Lakeshore, Fairview Lookout, Tunnel Mountain, and Sulphur Mountain.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Climbing Sulphur Mountain in Winter – photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Lukasz Warzecha

We advocate bringing mountaineering poles and ice cleats on these trails in winter, as they make it a lot simpler if the path is icy. Lots of the mountaineering trails in Banff will also be explored by snowshoes, which is one thing to remember!

Take pleasure in Downhill Snowboarding and Snowboarding

For those who’re visiting Banff in winter, chances are high you like to downhill ski or snowboard. Happily, Banff Nationwide Park has a number of the greatest mountains on the earth! Take pleasure in the great thing about the snow-capped mountains in all their glory in winter. With one of many longest ski seasons in North America, you’re spoiled for choices; select from Mount Norquay, Banff Sunshine Village, and the Lake Louise Ski Space, which mixed provide you with over 8,000 acres of terrain. It doesn’t matter what stage you might be, there are ski hills in Banff Nationwide Park that may go well with you.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Snowboarding at Mt Norquay – photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Dan Evans

Don’t have your individual skis or snowboard? There are many locations to lease ski gear in Banff Nationwide Park, so there’s no excuse to not strive it in your subsequent go to!

Go Ice Skating

There’s no scarcity of spots to go ice skating in Banff Nationwide Park! Some of the iconic locations to ice skate is on Lake Louise itself, as there are additionally ice sculptures and an ice fort there on your enjoyment. For wild ice skating on frozen lakes – which takes plenty of planning and precautions – Lake Minnewanka, Johnson Lake, and Two Jack Lake are all standard choices.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Picture through Journey Alberta credit score Paul Zizka

If you wish to go ice skating on a maintained rink, go to the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre, the Prepare Station in Banff city, or the Lake Louise Recreation Centre for an indoor rink. And don’t fear in case you don’t have your individual ice skates, as there are many locations to lease them round Banff and Lake Louise!

Expertise Christmas

Is there something extra magical than experiencing Christmas in a winter wonderland like Banff? Christmas in Banff is likely one of the greatest instances to go to, as you’ll have your decide of Christmas lights, markets, live shows, purchasing, parades, and extra.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge Christmas – photograph through Journey Alberta

We extremely advocate visiting the Cascade of Time Backyard in Banff for an interactive vacation expertise, the Banff Christmas Market, and seeing the lights on the Banff Springs Lodge.

Go for a Gondola Journey

The Banff Gondola is a unbelievable approach to see the majestic Canadian Rockies from a special viewpoint, and it’s probably the most standard issues to do in Banff within the winter.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Banff Gondola with Household – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Chris Amat

Take the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain for unparalleled views and enjoyable choices on the high, together with an interpretive centre with eating choices, 360-degree views, and even the occasional dwell occasion. Discovered not removed from downtown Banff, the Banff Gondola is simply as stunning in winter as it’s in summer time.

Go Cross-Nation Snowboarding

Positive, we might immediately consider downhill snowboarding on the excessive peaks of the Canadian Rockies once we consider Banff Nationwide Park, however there are some unbelievable cross-country snowboarding trails within the park, too! There are scenic track-set and skate snowboarding choices in Banff, and also you’ll discover many alternative trails to strive all through the Banff and Lake Louise areas.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Cross Nation Snowboarding in Banff Nationwide Park – photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Noel Hendrickson

A few of our favorite cross-country snowboarding trails embody the Tunnel Mountain River Trails, the Spray River West Path, the Lake Louise Loop, the Bow River Loop, and Moraine Lake Highway.

Expertise the Banff Springs Lodge

Visiting the Banff Springs Lodge in winter is like stepping onto the set of your favorite Christmas film!

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge in Winter – photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Other than the wonderful Christmas lights on show on the resort, the Fairmont Banff Springs has unimaginable eating, purchasing, and spa choices. Often called the “Citadel within the Rockies,” the resort makes for a photogenic and memorable cease throughout your journey to Banff Nationwide Park.

See the Northern Lights

One of many advantages of visiting Banff in winter is the power to see the Northern Lights. Shining their brightest from December till February, the Aurora Borealis dance their approach throughout the Alberta skies in shades of inexperienced, blue, and even crimson!

Northern Lights Above Lake MinnewankaNorthern Lights Above Lake Minnewanka
Northern Lights Above Lake Minnewanka – photograph offered by Journey Alberta credit score Ryan Clennett

You possibly can take a Northern Lights tour or attempt to catch them by yourself; your greatest wager to see them is on a transparent night time. There’s additionally the close by Darkish Skies Protect in Jasper, among the best locations to see the Northern Lights in Alberta.

Go Snowshoeing

Certainly one of our favorite Banff winter actions is snowshoeing. Good for traversing by deep snow, many of the mountaineering trails in Banff in winter will also be used as snowshoe trails. Unsure the place to start out? You possibly can take one of many snowshoe excursions within the park.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter

We personally love the Johnston Canyon stroll as you may see the frozen waterfalls, however many individuals love Tunnel Mountain and Peyto Lake, too.

Go to the Banff Higher Scorching Springs

We don’t learn about you, however we desire winter scorching springs over summer time! There’s simply one thing further magical about seeing all the steam within the air and experiencing the nice and cozy water in distinction with the chilly climate.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Banff Higher Scorching Springs – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Noel Hendrickson

Arguably probably the most well-known scorching springs in Alberta, the Banff Higher Scorching Springs are family-friendly; there’s additionally a present store, café, and a day spa with numerous remedies that embody therapeutic massage, steam rooms, and aromatherapy, so your time right here can take the higher a part of the day. Discovered close to the Banff Gondola, the new springs are a unbelievable approach to loosen up and unwind on a wintry day.

Take a Tour

Whether or not it’s your first time to the Canadian Rocky Mountains or your hundredth, there’s at all times one thing new to see and find out about. Unsure the place to start out? Take a tour! Happily, there are many excursions to strive in winter in Banff; we love relinquishing all accountability to a tour firm and never having to fret about driving, parking, or the place to go.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Banff in Winter – photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Shannon Martin

A few of our favorite winter excursions in Banff embody these run by Banff Adventures, the place yow will discover excursions on the whole lot from mountaineering to helicopter flights and past.

Attempt Dogsledding

For those who’re on the lookout for a singular approach to see Banff in winter, why not strive dogsledding? Discover the gorgeous Canadian Rockies with a workforce of energetic Huskies and a musher (your information) as you zip by the panorama such as you by no means have earlier than.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Canine sledding in Banff Nationwide Park – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Paul Zizka

Our suggestion is Kingmik Canine Sled Excursions, which has operated in Banff since 1982.

Go Tubing

You will have tried snowboarding or snowboarding in Banff Nationwide Park… however have you ever tried tubing in Banff?! For those who’re on the lookout for one thing enjoyable and thrilling, tubing is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Banff in winter.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Banff Snow Tubing – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Paul Zizka

Among the best locations in Banff to strive it’s at Mount Norquay Ski Resort, the place there’s a complete tube park devoted to the exercise. Journey down Alberta’s longest tube lanes on an inflatable tube for a snowy exercise you’ll always remember.

Indulge within the Scorching Chocolate Path

For those who love scorching chocolate, you’re in luck! Banff has a particular “Scorching Chocolate Path” with over 20 taking part eating places and cafés to strive, all providing a singular festive-themed scorching chocolate.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Scorching chocolate break – photograph through Journey Alberta

Good for a enjoyable winter exercise in Banff – this yr, it’s operating from November seventeenth till December twenty third – take pleasure in the whole lot from Raspberry Ripple to Banana Bliss to boozy concoctions with Cointreau and Maple Rye!

Attempt Fats Biking

Fats biking is a comparatively new exercise to the park, but it surely’s a good way to expertise Banff within the winter. This can be a unbelievable approach for avid cyclists to maintain up their interest, even when the snow falls, however newbies love this distinctive exercise, too!

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Fats Biking in Winter – photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Shannon Martin

Whether or not you keep on with the Banff townsite or enterprise additional afield to one of many trails – the Lake Minnewanka Path, Sundance Path, and Spray East Path are all standard – there are many methods to discover the park on a fats bike. You too can join a fats biking tour. And there’s no must carry your individual bike, as there may be loads to lease in Banff!

Go to Lake Louise

Seeing Lake Louise in winter is a should. Whether or not you’re skating on the frozen lake, popping into the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, having fun with the Lake Louise Ski Space, or wandering across the village, don’t miss out on visiting this a part of Banff Nationwide Park.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Lake Louise Ice Citadel – photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Shannon Martin

Whereas many guests to the park keep in downtown Banff, you might simply spend many days exploring all that Lake Louise has to supply… and it’s solely a brief drive away from the Banff townsite! Snowshoe, ski, skate, hike, store, eat… Lake Louise in winter actually has all of it.

Get Cozy on a Sleigh Journey

Some of the memorable (and maybe most romantic) of all of the Banff winter actions? Occurring a horse-drawn sleigh experience within the park! There are fairly a number of choices for horse-drawn sleigh rides in Banff Nationwide Park, however we nonetheless advocate reserving your sleigh experience as far upfront as doable.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Sleigh experience in Banff Nationwide Park – photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Paul Zizka

Breathe within the recent air, take within the views of the Canadian Rockies, and luxuriate in the great thing about this winter wonderland throughout you. You possibly can even guide a non-public sleigh experience for an additional particular expertise!

Deal with-yo-Self on the Spa

In spite of everything of these Banff winter actions, you would possibly really feel the necessity to loosen up! Fortunately, Banff Nationwide Park is residence to fairly a number of glorious spas. Each the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the Fairmont Banff Springs are standouts, however there’s additionally Cedar and Sage Co. Spa, Meadow Spa and Swimming pools, Bliss Valley Therapeutic massage and Wellness, and plenty of extra, most of which could be discovered within the city of Banff.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter

There’s nothing like a little bit of relaxation and rejuvenation after an extended day of being outdoor, particularly within the chilly climate!

Take pleasure in Procuring

Let’s face it: generally we’d like a break from all of the outdoorsy adventures and simply really feel like a purchasing spree! Fortunately, there may be plenty of nice purchasing in Banff Nationwide Park, each in downtown Banff and Lake Louise Village.

The BEST Ways to Experience Banff in WinterThe BEST Ways to Experience Banff in Winter
Banff Procuring – photograph through Banff Lake Louise Tourism credit score Dan Evans

Stroll alongside Banff Avenue for quite a lot of retailers providing the whole lot from winter gear to souvenirs. In Lake Louise, don’t overlook to take a look at all the retailers on the grand Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.