Explore the Canadian Rockies for 3 days this Winter!
Justin and I are avid snowboarders, so escaping to the Mountains for a few days is something we enjoy as often as we can. There are many things to enjoy in both Banff & Lake Louise other than hitting the slopes though; here you will find some other activities and recommendations for your winter escape.
Snowboarding & Skiing
If you’re here to hit the slops you came to the right place, you have a few hills to choose from, each with their own charm; Sunshine Village, Norquay, and Lake Louise. We always find ourselves boarding at Lake Louise because we enjoy their tree runs, in our opinion Sunshine Village is best for skiing, and we’ve never actually boarded on Norquay, but they do offer snow tubing which is a whole new thrill.
You will find numerous options for winter hikes in Banff National Park; we are excited to head back a few more times this winter to explore different trails in the area. We recently hiked the Johnson Canyon trail, which is a 5 km loop, and only takes around 2 hours to complete; the trail is classified as easy, and you’ll find many families enjoying the snow and ice every day! On this hike you can veer off
the main trail in a few spots to get right down to the creek, walk along the ice and get amazing views of the frozen waterfalls. ** Hiking Boots and/or cleats are highly recommended **
Start your hike early in the morning then skip back into Banff for a bite to eat around lunch hour. There are many delicious restaurants to choose from in Banff town.
You will find a list of recommended National Park hikes here
You can also rent or bring snowshoes and cross country ski’s for exploring the trails in the National Park. There are rental places in Banff Town & Lake Louise Village if you’re in need of gear for the day.
We were fortunate to have amazing accommodation while in Lake Louise this last weekend, and would highly recommend Baker Creek Resort. They have a guest book in each room listing the best scenic drives in the area. The Bow Valley Parkway is a fantastic drive off the main highway, and if you stay at Baker Creek you need to drive 30 km down Bow Valley Parkway to get there.
** Be sure to drive slowly and keep your eyes open while driving through these back roads, there is a lot of wildlife in the area and you might be lucky enough to see some. **
Festivals in Banff & Lake Louise
You can find a full list of events and festivals here while you’re in Banff or Lake Louise. The Lake Louise Ice festival & Banff Snow-days are something we look forward to every year, Running the last 2 weekends in January. In Banff you will find sleigh rides, ice skating, snow sculptures and different culinary experience. If you head to Lake Louise there is an ice sculpting competition which brings Sculptors from around Canada every year. Enjoy the gorgeous Ice sculptures, and skating right on Lake Louise, surrounded by the mountains.
Bring your ice skates and hit up a rink in the National Park on your weekend away! Lake Louise is a beautiful place to skate, surrounded by the mountains, and if you go during the Ice Festival in January you’ll be able to admire the ice sculptures while you skate on the lake. In Banff there are a few rinks you can hit up, as well, certain resorts have their own rinks, like Baker Creek where we stayed this last trip!
We are already planning our next trip back to Banff in a few weeks, check back for updates on other hikes and festivities we partake in that weekend.
— Tell us what Winter hikes have you been on, in Banff National Park or other National Parks in Canada —