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A man watches the Northern Lights above the skies of Banff and Lake Louise
Paul Zizka
The Real Banff / Published: Thu, 10/19/2017 - 12:01

7 Great After-Dark Adventures in Banff and Lake Louise

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Just because the sun has set doesn’t mean your adventure needs to be over! Banff and Lake Louise have an endless amount of excuses to keep you up well past your bedtime. Here’s our list of 7 great after-dark activities:

1. Experience the nightlife 

As the day winds down, the evening scene in Banff and Lake Louise comes to life. Grab a cocktail at one of the many great lounges, sample the best of the après scene or dance the night away at one of our great nightclubs. Check out our Dining and Nightlife page for plenty of inspiration! 

Eating dinner with friends in Banff
Destination Canada

2. Lace up your skates 

Getting ready for the next Olympics? Well, you’re in luck as there are several illuminated skating rinks in Banff and Lake Louise. If you’re downtown, swing by the centrally located rink at the Banff High School (at the corner of Banff Ave and Wolf St). If you’re adventuring near the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, bring your skates to the lakeshore and have a blast skating on natural ice rinks of Lake Louise. For more inspiration, read our 8 memorable places to skate blog. If you need ice skates, rentals are available from Snowtips-Bactrax and Banff Adventures in Banff and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.  

Ice Skating, Banff National Park

3. Explore a frozen canyon   

Strap on your cleats, turn on your headlamp and watch the crystallized walls of Johnston Canyon come to life on an evening ice tour with Discover Banff Tours and Banff Adventures. One of the most popular summer destinations in Banff National Park, Johnston Canyon becomes transformed as surging waterfalls turn to frozen giants during the winter months. Add a cup of hot chocolate and you’re in for a night to remember!

4. Soak in the stars

You’ve seen the stunning aurora photos, now it’s time to capture one for your Instagram! Astrophotography enthusiasts will appreciate the endless dark skies surrounding Banff and Lake Louise. Consider heading out to Lake Minnewanka, Bow Lake to be sure you’ve left all of the light behind! For the latest on aurora conditions, sign up for alerts with Aurora Watch. If photography isn’t your thing, just bring some tea and watch the stars dance across the mountain skies - you won't regret it.   

Night Sky Sentinel Pass Banff National Park Jake Dyson

5. Go for a moonlight snowshoe

As night falls over the iconic Lake Louise, the only sound you’ll hear is the snow crunch under your feet. Put on some snowshoes and let a Mountain Heritage Guide from the Chateau Lake Louise help you explore hidden gems under the red glow of headlamps. The evening transforms this iconic shoreline into a silent paradise. 

Night snowshoe, Banff National Park

Head to The Lake Louise Ski Resort and snowshoe under the stars and get a look into what happens at a busy ski resort after the last ski lift of the day.

6. Try night skiing at Mt Norquay  

A favourite of many Banff locals, the illuminated slopes of Mt Norquay will give you a chance to ski under the stars. Hop on the Cascade chair and enjoy a few laps to finish off the week.  Skiing runs for several Fridays during the winter ski seasons - dates to be announced. Local tip: Don’t forget to head up to The Lone Pine after your runs for a pint and a snack!

7. Enjoy a show at Banff Centre

With an events calendar as tall as the mountains surrounding it, Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity will have a show for you. Enjoy the best of dance, music, theatre and more at this iconic Canadian arts institution. Before or after the show, be sure to grab a table at Three Ravens restaurant and bar, where you can watch the moonlight wash across the valley. 


Plan Your Stay

Browse and book accommodation and lodging packages with our trip planning tool. To learn about the different types of accommodation available in Banff and Lake Louise, visit our Places to Stay page or Contact Us to speak to a local expert.