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Experience in Banff & Lake Louise
Outdoors Winter Sports

Banff’s Winter Wonderland Escape

Canada’s first national park could have been designed for winter. From tubing and chasing fresh powder at world-class ski resorts, snowshoeing on top of the world, or soaking it all in at Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs, Banff is eager to show you the best winter has to offer.

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I still get excited to turn on our local radio and hear the snow forecast. Is it a day for the slopes or a day at the spa? Us locals have a saying here in Banff, “My life is your holiday” and it’s a great one!

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Katrina Rosen is the author of, With You By Bike; one couples life- changing journey around the world. She lives in Canmore, Alberta, Canada with her family.

What you need to know

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Learn more about the Banff & Lake Louise community

We are the destination marketing organization for Banff National Park, which means we promote the destination as a whole to potential visitors around the world. When a business becomes a member, they become part of the story we share. We leverage our members’ investment with our destination marketing budget and that of our partners, increasing visitation, and repeat visitation year-round.

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When to visit

Winter

Time needed

A week

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What to bring

A winter jacket & toque

Warm pants

Bathing suit

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Banff’s Winter Wonderland Escape


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Definitely Dog sledding

Snuggle beneath a cozy blanket as dogs chase through trees laden with snow - these pups are so excited to spend the day on the trail! Then take a turn mushing your own sled to feel the thrill of being a part of the team. By experiencing the majestic backcountry with the pitter pattering of paws, you’ll be accessing part of our Canadian heritage and mountain culture. I enjoy visiting the kennels and dogsledding every year. I just can’t get enough of cuddling and kissing these beauties.

Meet the dogs from the Disney sensation Togo

Book your dog sled tour

Hosted by Snowy Owl

Snowshoeing on top of the world

Winter and deep snow beckons those of us with wild spirits to head off trail and create our own path. If you haven’t strapped on snowshoes since junior high, give it another try with modern snowshoes. It really is “just walking”. Snowshoeing is fun for all ages and can be as easy or adventurous as your body allows. A mellow trek to the back of Lake Louise* will have you beaming at how peaceful and refreshing this season can be. The options for snowshoeing destinations in Banff National Park is as deep as the snow. One of my favourite spots is Sunshine Meadows. A ride up the gondola, then a chairlift will bring you beyond the tree line and the crowds, where wildern

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Book your 90-min to 3-hr tour – including hot cocoa and cookies!

White Mountain Adventures

Hosted by White Mountain Adventurers

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bike

Spa spa spaahhhhhhh!

Banff is all about pampering ourselves. This town would not exist if it weren’t for the discovery of hot springs on Sulphur Mountain. Breathing in the pure mountain air and having a soak is absolutely rejuvenating. And thank goodness we know how important it is to take care of our entire bodies. I can’t stress enough how wonderful it is to destress with a spa experience. Once a month, I spend a day at the Willow Stream Spa in the Banff Springs Hotel. This is a part of our mountain culture. Last year, the Nordic Spa opened in Kananaskis and it’s outside! In the heart of the Rockies! I honestly spend eight hours at a time going from hot tub, to sauna, to cold tub. H

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Pamper yourself in Banff

Willow Stream Spa

Hosted by Willow Stream Spa

Banff is where alpine skiing was born in Canada.

The first guides to Banff National Park brought straight wooden skis. Over 100 years later, their exploratory tracks have morphed into three incredible ski villages. Mount Norquay is only a few minutes from downtown, offering tubing, easy slopes or short steep and fast runs. Although Norquay is our smallest hill, it packs it all in and you can pay by the hour! Just down the valley is Sunshine Village, where a gondola ride brings you directly to the alpine, surrounded by stunning snowy peaks. It would take days to satisfy your desire to ski/board all the terrain, but you must leave time for Lake Louise because Louise is even larger with long runs, gorgeous views, and a deep snowpack. Be sure to stop fo

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Get the 'Ski Big Three' pass to go to all three mountains.

Hosted by Ski Big Three

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Caving - When going inside is like explore outside.

I know this is winter, but trust me, a cave tour on one of Banff’s coldest days is an unforgettable and worthy experience! The cave holds a steady temperature all year long, and you’ll be crawling into a balmy five degrees Celsius as you discover nature-sculpted passages deep in Grotto Mountain. Donning headlamps and overalls, you’ll follow the trails of the first explorers of the cave. Enjoy hearing about the history, finding ancient pictographs, and learning about formations like stalagmites versus stalactites. Rats Nest Cave is over four kilometers long, making it one of the longest caves in Canada. Being claustrophobic myself, I was nervous my first time, but

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Book your tour

Canmore Cave Tours is where it’s at.

Hosted by Canmore Cave Tours

Ice canyon hikes – A walk encased in Ice

So you’re facing a day with no new snow in the forecast, or the cloud cover is low and you’re not sure what to do with yourself? Find some grippers for your boots and head out on an ice walk at one of the canyons in Banff National Park! Wind your way through a captivating winter wonderland, with frozen waterfalls, ridiculously long icicles, and phantasmagorical* icy sculptures. Grippers will slip onto your runners or boots, so you don’t slide onto your bum. All ages love Johnston Canyon and Marble Canyon - my son especially enjoys spotting ice climbers scaling the frozen waterfalls in these icy canyons.    It’s easy to rent grippers in town and these

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A walk encased in Ice

Book a private guide or photography tour

Hosted by Big Nature

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bike

Exploring the historical Banff Springs Hotel

The Castle of the Rockies is one of our iconic locations and a must see if you’re not already staying there. It always makes me feel wonderful just being there, which is fantastic, since it is where I often work out of. Walk into the awe-inspiring lobby and turn left into Stock to buy a hot beverage. I like to get the chai tea latte or hot chocolate. Then take your drink on a tour of the hotel and a tour of our town’s history.  Begin by going up the limestone staircase to Heritage Hall, a room dedicated to Banff Springs photography and stories. From there find Mount Stephen Hall and Riverview Terrace where you will be greeted

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A short holiday escape

Book now – rooms always sell out quickly

Hosted by Banff Springs Hotel

Fresh Tracks Fat Biking

“Wow, that bike has huge tires!” … and they really do. Riding a fat bike is a great way to feel like a little kid again, as the big tires grip the snow and let you roll over anything. If you can ride a bike, then you can fat bike. Fat biking has taken off as a sport in the mountains in the past few years, even competing with skiing. You’ll find many places to rent from, so discover the mountain valley as you ride mellower jaunts to Vermillion Lakes or Sundance Canyon. Or if you’re feeling motivated, head out to Minnewanka trail for a challenge. I’m finding I get as excited for powder days on my fat bike as I do on the slopes. Don’t worry, I’ll leave you some fresh tracks.

Big Fat Bike experience

Book a winter fat bike frozen waterfall tour

Hosted by Kananaskis Outfitters

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