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Winter Adventures in Banff

By Viator, February 2018

5 131 Reviews | Add your review

In winter, Canada’s snow-blanketed Rocky Mountains are the perfect playground. Travelers to Banff National Park are spoiled for choice when it comes to winter adventures, with everything from horse-drawn sleigh rides to wildlife-watching hikes to world-class skiing on offer. See below for inspiration on Banff’s best winter activities. 

Sleigh Rides
The snowy surfaces of Alberta are perfectly suited to sleigh rides. Passengers in horse-drawn sleighs are given blankets to keep cozy as they streak across snowy meadows, admiring the views of the majestic mountains and valleys of Canada’s first national park.  
 
Wildlife Watching
With many of Banff’s resident animals descending from their high-ground summer retreats in winter, the cold season provides unexpected wildlife-watching opportunities. Of course grizzly bears will be in hibernation, but other species, such as mule deer and bighorn sheep, are active year-round. For the best chances of spotting wild animals, go with a guide who can also explain how these hardy creatures survive the harsh winter conditions of the Canadian Rockies.

Winter Hiking
Winter hiking in Banff National Park is the ultimate escape, and with so few tourists braving the elements, you’re more likely to have the trails all to yourself. Trek through the Johnston Canyon to see frozen waterfalls. Go as part of a guided tour and you’ll be given ice cleats and hiking poles to help you along.

Skiing and Snowboarding
It’s just a 10-minute drive from Banff to the powdery slopes of the Mt. Norquay ski resort, where around 60 runs cater to all levels, from new to experienced skiers. The resort, which is typically open from December through mid-April, also has snow tubing runs. Sunshine Village, a resort with more than 3,300 acres (1,335 hectares) of skiable terrain, and Lake Louise Ski Resort are also good options, being just 15 minutes and 40 minutes, respectively, from Banff town. For cross-country skiing, try the Fairview Trail or Pipestone Trails near Lake Louise.

Tours & Tickets

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Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff, Banff, null
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Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 69 Reviews

Admire lakes and glaciers on a full day tour from Banff to the Columbia Icefield. Ride the Ice Explorer and settle in as a local guide provides fascinating ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $211.31
Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff, Banff, Day Trips
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Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

4.5 star rating: Recommended 42 Reviews

Visit Canada's famous glaciers on a full-day seasonal excursion from Banff. Your personalized small group tour takes you through an awe-inspiring landscape ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $211.31
Johnston Canyon Icewalk, Banff, Ski & Snow
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Johnston Canyon Icewalk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 6 Reviews

Join this small-group Banff guided tour and hike on steel walkways which have been built into the canyon walls. Travel through prime wildlife habitat and ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $64.24
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride in Banff, Banff, Ski & Snow
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Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride in Banff

4.5 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

Add the perfect rustic touch to your winter Alberta experience with a sleigh ride in Banff. Ride with your family or friends in a horse-drawn sleigh through ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $32.12
Winter Tour: Banff and its Wildlife, Banff, Ski & Snow
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Winter Tour: Banff and its Wildlife

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Join a personalized small-group tour and discover beautiful Banff in the winter! Over three hours, your local guide will take you to some of Banff's key ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.63
Lake Louise Scenic Snowshoe Tour, Banff, Nature & Wildlife
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Lake Louise Scenic Snowshoe Tour

This 2-hour 'introduction to snowshoeing' tour in Alberta, Canada, will travel to the top of Mount Whitehorn to experience a view previously only accessible to ...  Read more

Location: Lake Louise, Canada
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $63.59
Grotto Canyon Icewalk, Banff, Ski & Snow
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Grotto Canyon Icewalk

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Walk on a frozen creek through Grotto Canyon, past unusual rock formations, ancient native rock art, and icefalls. Escorted by a specialist guide, this ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $64.24
Lake Louise Night Snowshoe Tour, Banff, Ski & Snow
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Lake Louise Night Snowshoe Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Snowshoe under the stars on this guided, 90-minute, nighttime snowshoe tour in Lake Louise, Alberta. Escape the crowds, strap on some easy-to-use snowshoes, ...  Read more

Location: Lake Louise, Canada
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $51.56
Snowshoeing on Top of the World, Banff, Ski & Snow
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Snowshoeing on Top of the World

Put your snowshoes on and walk with into a white powder paradise where there are no trails and it's simply miles and miles of powdery wilderness in front of ...  Read more

Location: Banff, Canada
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $71.64
Peyto Lake Snowshoe Tour, Banff, Ski & Snow
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Peyto Lake Snowshoe Tour

The Journey to Peyto Lake is just over an hour van trip up the scenic Icefield Parkway. This tour will teach you the basics of snowshoeing in one of the most ...  Read more

Location: Lake Louise, Canada
Duration: 6 to 7 hrs

From USD $177.10

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