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Winter Activities in Banff National Park

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  • Lake Louise Sleigh Ride

Whatever your interest, whether it be finding the best skiing, going dog sledding, or a romantic skate, you’ll find it here in Banff National Park. We love snow days in Lake Louise! The more it snows, the bigger our smiles get. Visitors and locals get out and enjoy all the Rocky Mountain activities by water, air and land. At the Mountaineer Lodge, we are a Lake Louise hotel happy to offer recommendations to our guests on where to see wildlife, take in the best of the local dining scene or enjoy a heart-pounding day at Lake Louise Ski Resort in the Canadian Rockies. We have compiled a list in alphabetical order of Lake Louise’s most popular winter activities.

Bird watching
While most species head south for the winter, such birds as the White-tailed Ptarmigan, American Dipper and Chickadee call Banff National Park home year round. Binoculars in hand you can explore the surrounding woodland areas or hire a local guide such as Great Divide Nature Interpretation.

Helicopter Tours
Climbing 500 feet per minute gets you above the peaks to take in the vast Rocky Mountain landscapes, glaciers, streams and rivers of Jasper National Park. There are a variety of helicopter tours available to the Cline and Wilson Glaciers, as well as a tour to the Columbia Icefield. Few people experience the Rockies by air and we think it is an experience that you will remember for a lifetime. Check in with Icefield Heli Tours Canada for more information. Let us book your helicopter tour – call 855.552.7737 or email us now

Ice Walks & Winter Hiking
There are few places more beautiful to hike year round than at Johnston Canyon. One of the most spectacular gorges in the Canadian Rockies, Johnston creek has cut through the limestone rock to form sheer canyon walls, as well as waterfalls, tunnels, and pools. During the winter season, try your hand at a guided Ice walk across the floor of the frozen canyon. Let us book your Johnston Canyon IceWalk – call 855.556.8473 or email us now

Icefields Parkway Drive
The Icefields Parkway, between Jasper and Lake Louise, is without a doubt the most dramatic stretch of highway in Alberta, if not in Canada. It is amazing in the summer and completely transformed in the winter. The Icefields Parkway is 232 km in length and offers access to a vast wilderness of pristine mountain lakes, ancient glaciers and sweeping valleys. This remarkable travel route winds its way through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. We highly recommend that you plan plenty of time to stop at the many scenic look outs, the Columbia Icefields and riverside pull outs. Check road conditions before heading out. This road is not a major highway but it is usually well maintained after a snowfall. Visit IcefieldsParkway.com for more information

Lake Louise Gondola
The Lake Louise Gondola is closed in the winter and reopens at the end of April until Thanksgiving weekend. Click here for rates and operating times Family vacation packages including the Lake Louise Gondola and hotel accommodations are available at the Mountaineer Lodge, Alberta.

Banff Upper Hot Springs
Put the Banff Upper Springs at the top of your list of things to do in Banff. Soak in the steamy hot mineral water where travellers have come to ‘take the waters’ for over a hundred years. Banff National Park’s only hot springs pool welcomes you for an authentic heritage experience that is a favorite among visitors. When in Banff do as the locals do - come in the morning for the most relaxing visit.

Skiing & Snowboarding – Lake Louise, Alberta
Lake Louise Ski Area (www.skilouise.com) is as unpretentious as it is pristine. Overlooking breathtaking mountain vistas, you will find the 1,700 acres, 145 marked plus back bowls 2,637 vertical feet of varied terrain that make up “the Lake”. Voted again as the best ski resort in Canada, The Lake Louise Ski Resort is the Canadian Rockies biggest ski resort and boasts an incredible amount of varied terrain for all ability levels. The Mountaineer Lodge offers Lake Louise hotel accommodations and free door to door ski shuttle. Let us package your lift tickets with accommodation – call 855.556.8473 or email us now

Cross Country Skiing
Whether you enjoy short cross-country ski loops with gentle slopes and spectacular sights, or longer challenging ski routes, Lake Louise is full of breath-taking cross-country skiing adventures. Take in the scenery at a variety of locations including; Moraine Lake, Pipestone Loops, Great Divide trails and Tramline. Click here for cross country ski trails. Ski rentals and guides are available at Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise, Alberta

The chance to observe wild animals as they go about their natural lives is one of the most fascinating experiences that our mountain national parks have to offer. The Wildlife Safari Tour with Discover Banff Tours is an excellent way to get close and learn about these animals in their natural habitat. Just walking through Lake Louise and even looking out your Mountaineer Lodge hotel accommodation often you will see elk or deer nearby.

Ice Skating
Ice skating is a favorite Canadian pastime. Lake Louise area boasts one of the most stunning outdoor natural ice skating locations – the famous Lake Louise. Ice skates can be rented at Wilson Mountain Sports.

Early and late in the day is usually the best time for photographing landscapes and wildlife. For tips on Lake Louise photography, visit local photographer and published photographer Paul Zizka Photography or John E Marriott’s photography blog.

Covering ground in fresh snow can be challenging but not with snowshoes! Snowshoeing is rapidly increasing in popularity and is an exciting, and very practical way to explore Banff National Park wilderness. Whether you're interested in taking a short, leisurely stroll around the town of Banff or village of Lake Louise or keen on accessing remote locations in the backcountry, there are many opportunities to enjoy snowshoeing in Banff National Park. There are several places to rent snowshoes in Lake Louise. For optimal sightseeing and safety you may want to book a Snowshoe Tour. Let us book your snowshoe tour – call 855.556.8473

Another great source for Banff National Park activities, guides and maps is Parks Canada and Banff Lake Louise Tourism. Vacation packages and specials are available at our Lake Louise hotel accommodation The Mountaineer Lodge. These packages and specials include hotel accommodations, area activities and sightseeing tours. Visit our specials and packages page for more information and to help plan your Lake Louise hotel vacation package.