Surrounded by snow capped peaks, beautiful lakes and amazing wildlife, Banff has long been the destination of choice for visitors the world over; wishing to escape the winter gloom and experience the best the season has to offer. There’s so much to pack into your visit, and to help you make the most of your time, we’ve compiled our top 10 winter things to do!
Ski or Snowboard
Banff is globally renowned for its winter sports offerings, and millions of people from around the world visit banff each winter to hit the slopes of the famed ‘Big 3’ (consisting of Mt. Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Mountain Resort). Whether you are coming for a few days, or staying for an entire season, you’ll never forget your time speeding down the incredible runs on offer here. Check out our lift ticket, lesson or equipment rental options.
First settled in the 1880’s, Banff is a town that is steeped in history, and what better way to take you right back to where it all started than by enjoying a trip racing through the snow behind a team of huskies. After being shown the ropes by experienced guides, you’ll even get the chance to take the reigns yourself and ‘mush!’.
Ice Magic Festival
The finest ice carvers from around the globe descend on Lake Louise in January (15 - 26) for the annual Ice Magic Festival. Taking place in the shadow of the majestic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, this two week extravaganza gives visitors the chance to wander through a winter wonderland of ice castles and towering ice sculptures, as well as taking in events such as the International Ice Carving Competition. It is an event not to be missed. Check out the schedule of events & ticket information.
Johnston Canyon Ice Walk
It turns out that nature is pretty good at making its own awe-inspiring ice sculptures, and the best way to experience them is with an ice walk. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Banff National Park, Johnston Canyon ice walk is a two and a half mile trek takes you to six different frozen waterfalls as well as providing fantastic views of the gorge below. There are both morning and afternoon tours, as well as an illuminated evening tour!
Get a meal above the clouds
Head up the Banff Gondola at Sulphur Mountain to get the ultimate in eating with a view. Atop the mountain are world-renowned dining experiences to enjoy while taking in the breath-taking scenery. Even if you are not feeling hungry, the trip to the top is worth it to take-in a wander round the observation decks and visitor centre.
Horse Drawn Sleigh
What better way to get in the festive spirit than a horse drawn carriage ride through the snow? These tours, starting from the stables in Banff, take in the beautiful scenery of the snow capped mountain ranges as you dash across the meadows behind a team of steeds. There are options to take the whole family, or pony up for a private ride for 2!
Go for a tour (On foot or through the air!)
Guided tours are a great way to insure that you make the most of the beauty that Banff offers, and there are a number of different ways to experience. Whether on foot, by sleigh, dogsled or even in a helicopter, there’s something for everyone and to suit every budget.
Enjoy Downtown Banff
Unsurprisingly for a destination that caters for millions of visitors annually, downtown Banff offers much more than is usual for a town its size. There are a myriad of great dining options to be had, whatever your tastes and budget, and the town puts a number of events throughout the year to keep you entertained during your trip. There’s also a number of museums and other activities close at hand for the whole family to enjoy!
The ultimate thrill ride, snowmobiling is a great way to experience the Rockies while feeding the adrenaline junkie inside of you. Guided tours take you through winding forest trails, up mountain peaks and into deserted mining towns for an unforgettable experience. Whether you are experienced or a first time rider, these tours will get you up to speed before giving you free reign to explore the surrounding areas.
Set high in the snow-covered Rocky Mountains, the air is clean and the lake, with vast expanses of untracked snow, is not crowded. Enjoy ice fishing with professional guides in the heart of some of the most breathtaking scenery. Ice fishing is a unique winter wilderness experience, and with the benefit of heated huts and tents, is actually quite luxurious, and absolutely, lots of fun!
There’s so much to see and do in Banff during the winter season that you’re bound to find something to make your trip unforgettable. Make sure to check our winter activities and book today, so you don’t miss out!
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