Banff, Canada is a winter wonderland with plenty of outdoor activities for people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking adventure or a family looking for a cozy winter getaway, Banff has something for everyone. Here are some of the top things to do in Banff in the winter.
- Skiing and Snowboarding Banff National Park is home to three world-class ski resorts, including Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay. With over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain and more than 300 marked runs, there’s plenty of space for beginners and experts alike. Each resort has its unique features, but they all offer stunning views of the Canadian Rockies and excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions.
- Ice Skating Banff has several outdoor skating rinks that are free to use. The Banff High School skating rink is a popular spot for families and hockey enthusiasts. The Banff Springs Hotel also has a skating rink that is open to the public. The hotel also offers skate rentals and hot chocolate, making it an ideal spot for a romantic evening or a family outing.
- Dog Sledding Dog sledding is a unique way to explore Banff’s winter wilderness. Several tour companies offer dog sledding tours through the pristine Canadian Rockies. You’ll be able to enjoy the breathtaking views while being pulled by a team of enthusiastic sled dogs.
- Snowshoeing Snowshoeing is a fun and easy way to explore Banff’s winter wonderland. Banff has several snowshoeing trails that range from easy to challenging. Johnston Canyon is a popular spot for snowshoeing, with stunning views of frozen waterfalls and the surrounding mountain scenery.
- Ice Climbing If you’re looking for a thrill, try ice climbing in Banff. There are several guided tours that will take you up frozen waterfalls and ice formations. If you’re a beginner, you can start with an introductory lesson, or if you’re an experienced climber, there are plenty of challenging routes to explore.
- Hot Springs After a long day of skiing or outdoor activities, relax and unwind in Banff’s hot springs. The Banff Upper Hot Springs are open year-round and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The hot springs are heated by natural geothermal springs and are a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
- Ice Fishing Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in Banff. Several local tour companies offer guided ice fishing trips to nearby lakes and rivers. You’ll be able to catch trout, pike, and other fish in the pristine mountain waters.
- Snowmobiling Snowmobiling is a thrilling way to explore Banff’s winter wilderness. Several tour companies offer guided snowmobile tours through the Canadian Rockies. You’ll be able to explore the backcountry, frozen lakes, and stunning mountain scenery.
- Fat Biking Fat biking is a unique way to explore Banff’s winter wonderland. These bikes have oversized tires that allow them to ride through snow and ice. Banff has several fat biking trails that range from easy to challenging.
- Wildlife Watching Banff National Park is home to several species of wildlife, including elk, deer, moose, and bighorn sheep. In the winter, these animals come down from the mountains to lower elevations, making it easier to spot them. Several local tour companies offer guided wildlife watching tours, or you can explore on your own.
- Winter Festivals and Events Banff hosts several winter festivals and events throughout the season. The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is a popular event that celebrates mountain culture and adventure. The Banff Ice Magic Festival is another popular event, which features world-class ice carvers creating intricate ice sculptures. The festival also includes skating shows, ice skating parties, and other winter-themed activities.
- Nordic Skiing Nordic skiing, also known as cross-country skiing, is a popular winter activity in Banff. The Canmore Nordic Centre is a world-class facility that offers over 65 kilometers of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing. The trails are suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to elite athletes.
- Sleigh Rides A sleigh ride through the snow-covered landscape of Banff is a magical experience. Several local tour companies offer sleigh rides through the countryside, with views of the Canadian Rockies and wildlife sightings.
- Winter Hiking Hiking in the winter is a unique experience, with stunning views of snow-covered mountains and frozen lakes. Banff has several winter hiking trails that range from easy to challenging. The Banff Gondola also offers a winter hiking experience, where you can take a guided tour through the snow-covered landscape and enjoy stunning views from the top of Sulphur Mountain.
- Aurora Watching The northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, are a stunning natural phenomenon that can be seen in Banff during the winter months. Several local tour companies offer aurora watching tours, where you can witness the dancing lights in the sky.
Remember friends, Banff, Canada is a winter wonderland with plenty of outdoor activities for people of all ages and skill levels. From skiing and snowboarding to ice climbing and snowmobiling, there’s something for everyone. And if you prefer a more relaxing experience, you can soak in the hot springs or take a sleigh ride through the snow-covered countryside.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or a cozy winter getaway, Banff has it all.