Banff is beautiful no matter when you visit. However, since I enjoy cold weather activities, I was happy to visit in late November. Even though most of the below attractions are accessible all year, here are my suggestions for Banff winter attractions.
Banff, the Town
With many shops, a visitor center, and restaurants lined up along Banff Avenue, you could spend an entire day shopping and drinking hot beverages. Stop in at the Visitor’s Center to see what local attractions and events to see while visiting.
Banff Cave and Basin
This natural landmark contributes to the national park and area preservation. With underground hot springs within the caves, it is a great place to visit. However, be ready to smell sulfur (or rotten eggs) while touring, along with some wildlife, such as elk or coyotes. Also, learn about how this remarkable geography has evolved. Located at the edge of Banff, it is a great place to start touring.
A small village around some great ski destinations and outdoor hiking, be ready to bundle up for some snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or ice skating. During the winter months, Lake Louise is open to the public to skate on. Didn’t bring your own gear? No worries, you can rent at any of the rental shops in the village. Stop by the Visitor Center to see where the best trails and activities are during the season. This area has all season outdoor activities.
Snowshoeing above Lake Louise
Located in between Lake Louise and Banff, this canyon has remarkable icicles and winter landscapes. In the summer, the trail is more accessible and displays its bright blue waters cutting through the canyon. Be sure to wear the proper gear depending on when you visit. The trail can be very snowy or icy depending on when you go. I did carry my mircrospikes but did not need them.
The Upper Falls
From Radium Springs to the Upper Hot Springs, warm up from the winter weather by taking a dip. Didn’t bring a swimsuit? You can rent those too. With the early setting sun, the hot springs provide evening entertainment.
Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Area, or Mt Norquay
All these resorts are close driving distance from Banff. Strap on some skis or a board and head to the mountain for a day or more. Pray for a blue bird day to see the snow covered mountainous landscapes. Ride the gondola up to Sunshine Village for a day of skiing or snowboarding.
Sunshine Village Ski Resort
*I did not visit the Banff Cave and Basin or the other hot springs due to time.
More in this series:
- Banff Instagram Photo Essay
- Johnston Canyon – Banff National Park
- Lake Louise Alpine Skiing World Cup
- A Canadian Experience in Banff
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