Banff
Snow & Winter Sports

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Our most recommended Banff Snow & Winter Sports

Banff: Wildlife and Sightseeing Minibus Tour

1. Banff: Wildlife and Sightseeing Minibus Tour

Get ready to explore the best of Banff, as you discover the history of the Bow Valley. Be picked up from your hotel in a modern minibus by your guide, and start your 3-hour experience. Learn about local wildlife while you keep watch for elk, deer, and bighorn sheep.  Visit Bow Falls, where many iconic movies from the 1950s were filmed. See the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, known as the Castle of the Rockies. Stop at Lake Minnewanka, and learn the importance of wildlife management practices from your expert guide. Be amazed by iconic views from Surprise Corner and the Hoodoos Lookout. There will be plenty of stops along the route for you to enjoy the sights, snap photos, and walk to incredible viewpoints. At the end of your tour you'll be dropped off back in Banff.

Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

2. Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Start with pickup from Banff and travel in a modern minibus along the Bow Valley Parkway to the Canyon. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the moderate 2.7 kilometer hike with 135 meter elevation to the Upper Falls. Walk along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way you'll learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed and stop at the Lower Falls, where you'll have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view. At the Upper Falls, enjoy a brief stop on the upper deck with a small refreshment break to enjoy the views. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. Once you've finished your hot chocolate, hike back down and your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

3. Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

Get picked up by your friendly guide from the meeting point in Banff, then enjoy the drive in a modern minibus. Take the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, a scenic drive through a wildlife-rich habitat. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the easy 1.1km hike with 65m elevation gain to the lower falls, walking along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way, your guide will highlight unique features by powerful flashlight and pause for moments of darkness and quiet to foster an appreciation for spending time in the canyon at night. At the turn around point, your guide will illuminate the expanding ice that encases the rushing water. Have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view of the lower falls while also enjoying a refreshment break with hot chocolate and a maple cookies snack. The return journey is your opportunity to travel without your headlamp (should you wish). Be amazed as to how quickly your eyes adjust to the darkness, enough for you to travel through the pine forest guided only by the ambient light of the moon and the stars above your head. At the end of the tour, your guide will then transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Canadian Rockies: Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles Helicopter Tour

4. Canadian Rockies: Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles Helicopter Tour

Start the day at the base with a hearty hot buffet that might include stew, chili or soup with freshly made bread, dessert and a side salad, veggies or fruit. Then, embark on your helicopter flight over Abraham Lake. Fly over the Canadian Rockies to Landslide Lake for breathtaking views and an experience you will never forget. Admire the impressive fierceness of the massive mountains as you fly close to them. Pass over 6 different astonishing glaciers surrounded by frozen lakes and waterfalls.  After landing at Landslide Lake, go on a guided snowshoe tour with complimentary hot chocolate and Irish cream. Then, head back to base by Helicopter taking a different route back with equally spectacular views of the Rockies and valleys. When you return to base, take a seat around a fire to warm up your toes. Roast some marshmallows as you enjoy complimentary coffee or tea. Finally, take a guided tour of the Bubbles on Abraham Lake. Marvel at this natural phenomenon of methane gas getting trapped in the ice, a mesmerizing sight that makes for great pictures and attracts a lot of attention on social media platforms.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

5. Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

Hike up through Johnston's Canyon on walkways extended into the canyon. Enjoy beautiful views while passing waterfalls or icefalls, depending on the time of year. Walk through the home of the migratory and endangered Black Swift. Learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the Canadian Rockies. After hiking through the canyon enjoy the quiet hum of the forest before arriving at a cool spring, the Ink Pots, with great views of Mt. Ishbel. Enjoy some time to relax at the Ink Pots before returning back to the carpark.

Banff: Nature Walking Tour

6. Banff: Nature Walking Tour

Discover Banff and its stunning natural surroundings through the eyes of an expert guide on a walking tour. A perfect introduction to the Rocky Mountains, this tour opens your eyes to mountain survival, bear encounters, and how locals have used the flora for medicinal purposes over the years. Head off on an adventurous and educational nature walk around Banff. You'll learn about how locals survive off the land in the summer and winter months, discovering medical plants in the forest. Hear first-hand stories and facts on bears, bear spray, and how to live safely among wildlife in the Rockies. Be amazed by the dramatic mountain ranges around you, the verdant forest, and clear lakes.

From Banff: Lake Louise Half-Day Winter Tour

7. From Banff: Lake Louise Half-Day Winter Tour

Begin your journey with a scenic drive along Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise, where you may be lucky enough to spot wildlife. Once at Lake Louise, your guide can provide you with complimentary snowshoes and will lead you on an introduction to snowshoeing. Enjoy some free time at the lake and take an easy, quaint snowshoe walk through the serene woods and take in iconic views along the shoreline. Explore Lake Louise, a picture-perfect winter wonderland. The lake transforms into a real-life snow globe in the winter that has to be seen to be believed. Enjoy some hot chocolate and local maple taffy. Come and discover this winter wonderland for yourself.

Banff: Marble Canyon Snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park

8. Banff: Marble Canyon Snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park

This is an excellent trip for beginners as it covers mainly flat terrain with minimal elevation gain, and also suits anyone wanting a pleasant activity outdoors in the majestic Kootenay National Park. Your guide will pick you up from Banff in a modern minibus and take you along Highway 93 South, a scenic drive that takes you into Kootenay National Park. On arrival at the Marble Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on snowshoes over your winter boots, as well as give you an introduction on the art of snowshoeing. To start the tour, you'll hike along the bridges around Marble Canyon’s 40-meters deep gorge, worn away over centuries by the rushing waters of Tokumn Creek. Look down over the railings at the frozen falls below. Then, take a 3 kilometre winter walk along the nearby trails and search for snowshoe hare, moose and wolf tracks while exploring how the landscape is changing and animals are adapting. After this crisp winter walk, enjoy hot chocolate and a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert. At the end of your  adventure, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at the meeting point or your hotel.

From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

9. From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

Once your guide has picked you up from the meeting point, take a scenic drive in a modern minibus along Highway 93 South from Banff into the neighboring Kootenay National Park. Upon arrival at the Paint Pots trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on snowshoes over your winter boots and give you an introduction to the art of snowshoeing. Then, start down the easy 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) winding forest trail, perfect for beginners as it covers a mainly flat terrain with minimal elevation gain. Cross a bridge over the frozen Vermilion River to the fascinating Paint Pots, mineral deposits once used by First Nations people for rock painting. As you explore this cultural treasure within the Kootenay National Park, learn about the history of the fur trade with your guide. Throughout your snowshoeing tour, hear stories of Banff’s indigenous people, explorers, and fur traders who lived in and traveled through the Rockies. After the crisp winter walk, enjoy hot chocolate and a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert. What's more, try a crazy carpet slide down the hill while the maple taffy is being made - kids and adults alike love this part of the tour! After your snowshoeing adventure, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Lake Louise: Cross Country Skiing Lesson with Tour

10. Lake Louise: Cross Country Skiing Lesson with Tour

Get ready to spend the morning learning how to cross country ski or refresh your skills, and an afternoon confident in your ski boots. Begin your experience meeting at the public bench in front of the washrooms at Lake Louise at 10:30 AM to sign your waiver and medical form. While here, also complete an orientation before beginning your skiing lesson. Before heading off to the trails you will learn either how to cross-country ski near the iconic Lake Louise, or alternatively can enjoy a refresher course catered to your level. This activity covers everything from falling down and getting back up, to gliding and stopping on nordic cross country skis. Enjoy a short tour at the end of your lesson.

Frequently asked questions about Banff Snow & Winter Sports

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Other Sightseeing Options in Banff

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What people are saying about Banff

This tour is fantastic and I cannot recommend enough. Our guide was born and bred in Banff and was a fountain of knowledge; as well as being interesting, engaging and friendly. The route was beautiful and we took so many pictures but isn’t too challenging and anyone could enjoy (though there are multiple routes available). There is also lots of nature to see around you that only enriches this experience further. It’s an easy 5 stars for this tour and would recommend to anyone heading to Banff!

Gina was the best. Knowledgeable about history, animals, climate, everything. And fun too. Learned so much about banff and the wild animals. Enthusiastic, smart, fun, it was a pleasurable tour. Didn’t want it to end.

Rob, our guide, was knowledgeable and kind. The geography is breathtaking. Need to be in decent shape to handle the vertical and the cleats they give you are key. I'd recommend.

It was a wonderful breathtaking experience. Our guide Gina was amazing and passionate about her job. I recommend her 100% Valeria from México.

Tylor was an excellent guide. Very knowledgeable and kind. Highly recommended!