The holiday season is wrapping up, but a snowy, adventurous escape still awaits you in Banff National Park this January. With sparkling snow and plenty of activities on ice to entertain, you won’t want to miss these winter adventures in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountains.
Enjoy the magic of winter like a kid
Playing in the snow is a favourite shared memory for many, so why not relive that excitement, or enjoy it for the first time?
Talented sculptors will work their magic to transform giant blocks of snow into magnificent works of art for the SnowDays celebration. Over 12 days, tour the artsy snow sculpture trail around Banff and appreciate the size and detail of the sculptures.
When you’re ready to warm up, what better way than to indulge in some heart-warming hot chocolate? For SnowDays 2021, over 10 restaurants and cafes in Banff and Lake Louise will create signature hot chocolates that will have you consuming more than the recommended daily intake. Order ahead and pick up your sweet treat to go.
Check out a 3D model of the 2019 Bear Street SnowDays sculptures below:
Ski Three Resorts
Banff National Park offers adventure year-round, but January brings snow-blanketed mountains that provide endless adventure for skiers and boarders. Take a gondola past the treeline up to Banff Sunshine Village, and if you’re game, check out the Great Divide chair for routes that take you into neighbouring British Columbia.
Deep powder lures people to Lake Louise Ski Resort from around the world, but novice skiers shouldn’t be shy: the resort offers plenty of beautiful runs at all skill levels, and snowshoe tours are the perfect alternative to hitting the slopes.
Right outside the Banff townsite is Mt. Norquay, well-loved for its steep terrain and fantastic views of Banff town. For an adrenaline rush without skis, try Norquay’s tube park.
Have an outdoor adventure
The same vibrant blue lakes that draw people in the summer months freeze over in winter, becoming the perfect, natural skating rinks. Sparkling snow transforms family-friendly summer hikes into new experiences. January is a great time to put on some cleats or snowshoes and hit the trails.
A guided tour of Johnston Canyon (with Discover Banff Tours or White Mountain Adventure) is a must-see this time of year, and if you’re up for more excitement, try a guided ice climb on the frozen waterfalls. Rent a pair of cross-country skis and explore one of the many track-set trails throughout the park, from beginner terrain at Tunnel Mountain Campground to more advanced trails like Cascade Valley. For a unique adventure, let canines be your guides, hop on a dogsled, and enjoy the ride!
Warm your stomach
The temperatures are still dropping, but the fluffy snow and the joy it brings makes the cold all worth it. Finish the day with something to warm you up from the inside out. Enjoy dinner in your pyjamas after a hard day on the hill or hiking and order curbside pick up, delivery, or takeaway.
For a healthy option, Seed N Salt offer a variety of bowls and smoothies containing lots of nutritious ingredients. Gourmet to Go by La Terrazza brings fine dining to your home, or for après at home, you can't go past the beverages and food on offer through Banff Take-out by Banff Hospitality Collective.
Relax and rejuvenate
After a crisp day outside and the excitement of the festive season, make sure you take the time to wind down and prepare for a new year. Whilst the day spas and hot pools are closed, bundle up, wander outdoors, and embrace the peace and stillness that accompanies snow. Relax, take a deep breath and inhale the crisp air. If you’re warm enough, pack a book and hot beverage to unwind.