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Winter activities in and around Banff

Owing to its mountainous terrain and reliable snowfall, Banff is a great place where visitors can enjoy a winter experience like no other. With numerous activities to choose from, there are just about enough winter activities that offer tons of fun for everyone. For those who do not allow the chilly winter weather to hold them back from having fun, here are the many winter activities in Banff that would guarantee anyone of a fantastic time on the ice and snow.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Banff is home to three excellent world class ski resorts which include Mt. Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. With up to 3237 ha of terrain that is suitable for skiing, Banff offers every kind of snow sports activity that you can think of. Experience the adrenaline of downhill skiing and snowboarding as you rush down one of the many mountain slopes while being surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery of the Canadian Rockies. For the extreme thrill seekers, heli skiing and snowboarding tours offer unsurpassed excitement, while those who prefer to explore the glorious back-country terrain can traverse the numerous trails that crisscross Banff National Park and the surrounding area through activities such as Nordic and cross country skiing.

There are several skiing and boarding rentals located both in the town-site and on the ski slopes, so you might want to go carrying your own equipment while traveling. Guided tours plus skiing and snowboarding lessons ensure that even beginners will have a fantastic time on the snow regardless of their skills level.


Much like hiking in summer, snowshoeing in winter is a fantastic way to explore the amazing sights that Banff has to offer. Explore the unspoiled wilderness when covered in snow and experience a totally different side of Banff. Whether you prefer to take a casual stroll around Banff National Park or to explore the vast back-country of Lake Louise and the surrounding mountains, there are plenty of snowshoeing opportunities to suite your preference. However, if you opt to set out for a snowshoeing trip without the help of a tour guide make sure to check out trail and snow conditions to ensure your own safety.


Snowmobile tours are also come in plenty and run all through the winter season. Tours can span for different durations which range from several hours to multiple day adventures, therefore offering enough excitement to suite different snow enthusiasts. Make reservations with a snowmobiling tour operator and experience a fast paced snowmobile ride while cruising through the snow covered wilderness and the craggy mountainous terrain. It is a thrilling experience in itself that is worth pursuing!

Dog Sledging

For a true and genuine winter experience, dog sledging is one of the activities that you have to try out during your winter vacation in Banff. With the help of tour guides, learn how to mush a pack of dogs and experience the thrill that comes with it. This is also great and fun way of exploring the fantastic landscape of Banff National Park when covered in snow during the winter season.

Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides

For those that are after a romantic experience in Banff, horse drawn sleigh rides would certainly make up for a memorable experience. All you have to do is sit back and cuddle up while you navigate through Banff's pristine woodlands. It is a great way to savor the stunning surroundings and to have a unique winter experience.

Downhill Sledging/Tobogganing

Downhill sledging or popularly known by locals as tobogganing is one of the popular winter activities in Banff that delights adults and children alike. It is a great way to have some downhill exhilaration and the best part is that little skill is required; just hop on to your sleigh, rush down the hill and experience some great fun.

Ice Skating

A winter vacation is certainly not complete without experiencing some fun on the ice, and Banff offers lots of ice skating opportunities to be enjoyed. There are several ice skating sites to choose from which range from outdoor to indoor rinks, but for a true and authentic ice skating experience be sure to try out outdoor ice skating whenever conditions are suitable.

Ice Fishing

If you thought that fishing in Banff was only possible during summer then think again. Ice fishing is one of the popular activities that can be enjoyed even during the winter season. Get a different perspective on fishing and by experiencing an ice fishing tour on a partially frozen fish pond and still manage to catch some lake trout. Tour guides are recommended as they are well familiar with the best fishing spots where you will be guaranteed of catching some fish.