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Things to Do in Banff and Lake Louise in February

Published Date
Jan 26, 2021
A woman and her dog sitting on a bench in front of snowy Emerald Lake

Find romance in the Rockies in February. Whether you’re on a path of self-discovery or looking to spend some time reconnecting with your significant other away from the hustle and bustle, Banff and Lake Louise offer up the right balance of solitude and social experiences.

From candle-lit dinners to hot springs and spas, there’s plenty of relaxation to indulge in—and once you’re wrapped in a cozy robe, you won’t want to leave!

Here’s what you can expect to see, do, and experience in Banff and Lake Louise in February.

A couple enjoying a winter hike around a frozen lakeA couple enjoying a winter hike around a frozen lakeA couple enjoying a winter hike around a frozen lake

The Weather

Similar to January, February is the middle of our winter season here in Alberta.

You will likely arrive to cold temperatures with a good base of snow. Ideal for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and winter hiking, you’ll find plenty of ways to explore the mountains at this time of year.

Banff Daytime 0°C (32°F)

Banff Overnight -12°C (10.4°F)

Lake Louise Daytime -1°C (30.2°F)

Lake Louise Overnight -17°C (1.4°F)

A charming snow covered lodge surrounded by trees and frostA charming snow covered lodge surrounded by trees and frostA charming snow covered lodge surrounded by trees and frost

What to Pack

For the most enjoyable experience—despite the winter temperatures—wear layers.

You’ll see most locals and travellers alike dressed in winter coats, boots, mitts, toques, and scarves while around town. Out in the mountains, they sport snow pants and long underwear.

If you’re not accustomed to cold weather, be sure that you bring more layers than you think you might need, along with extra dry clothing. As you warm with activity, you may sweat and need to remove layers to stay dry, then re-add them as you cool down.

Water-resistant boots, pants, jackets, and gloves are all vital if you’re out playing in the snow.

A family of three sit at an outdoor table enjoying hot chocolate and pizza with their three dogs. Everyone is bundled up for the winter weatherA family of three sit at an outdoor table enjoying hot chocolate and pizza with their three dogs. Everyone is bundled up for the winter weatherA family of three sit at an outdoor table enjoying hot chocolate and pizza with their three dogs. Everyone is bundled up for the winter weather

What to See and Do

Valentine’s day falls mid-month and brings couples from all over the world. Banff and Lake Louise is an inclusive destination that welcomes all with open arms.

If you’re looking to celebrate someone special, book a room with a mountain view, head to the hot springs, and finish the day at one of our day spas. Options for facials, scrubs, massages, and more await you.

A couple soaking in an outdoor hot tub with a snowy background behind them and steam rising in front of themA couple soaking in an outdoor hot tub with a snowy background behind them and steam rising in front of themA couple soaking in an outdoor hot tub with a snowy background behind them and steam rising in front of them

After a relaxing day, you’ll want to make a reservation for dinner, drinks, and dessert. Banff and Lake Louise are well-known for hand-crafted, Alberta-made spirits and beers and farm-to-table meals.

Outside of Valentine’s Day festivities, there are plenty of ways to explore the area. Since the snow cover is so good, the opportunity for wildlife spotting reappears. Keep an eye out for tracks along roadsides, particularly at dawn and dusk, to view some of the animals active during the winter months, like elk, fox, and wolves. Observe the powerlines for a wide variety of birds like House Sparrows, Clark’s Nutcrackers, Pygmy Owls, and Sharp-shinned Hawks.

If you’re lucky enough to spot animals on your visit, please keep your distance.

A big horn sheep standing on a ledge surrounded by snowy trees and deep snowfallA big horn sheep standing on a ledge surrounded by snowy trees and deep snowfallA big horn sheep standing on a ledge surrounded by snowy trees and deep snowfall

While you’re out, find geological formations unique to our area on a self-guided tour at Mistaya Canyon or a guided ice walk at Johnston Canyon.

A group in colourful winter jackets standing on a bridge over a frozen canyonA group in colourful winter jackets standing on a bridge over a frozen canyonA group in colourful winter jackets standing on a bridge over a frozen canyon

Looking for a higher view? Lake Louise Ski Resort, Mt. Norquay, and the Banff Gondola can all whisk you to the mountaintop for a culinary experience like no other. Check out their events calendars for daytime sightseeing and nighttime dinner options that feature local musicians. After dark, the skies light up with more than just stars as the Banff Gondola hosts Nightrise in partnership with the Stoney Nakoda Nation. A combination of light, projections, and music cover Sulphur Mountain, telling the story of the First Peoples in this area.

A couple sits on a bench overlooking trees and mountains with starry lights surrounding themA couple sits on a bench overlooking trees and mountains with starry lights surrounding themA couple sits on a bench overlooking trees and mountains with starry lights surrounding them

SEE ANOTHER SIDE OF BANFF AND LAKE LOUISE

The popular hiking trails and vistas of Banff and Lake Louise present a different kind of beauty during the winter months. And there’s a good chance you’ll have the spots to yourselves compared to the summer season. Take the Johnston Canyon Ice Walk to see how the canyon’s waterfalls become stunning natural ice sculptures when the temperature drops. White Mountain AdventuresDiscover Banff Tours and Banff Adventures all offer a combination of day and night tours.

A guided snowshoe tour takes advantage of the snowfall to unlock new paths and new adventures around Banff National Park. Knowledgeable guides will teach you about the winter wildlife that lives under the snow while you keep an eye out for hares, lynx, and other creatures. We’ve curated a list of the best guided snowshoe providers: White Mountain AdventuresDiscover Banff ToursGreat Divide Nature Interpretation, and Banff Adventures.

Romance in the Mountains

We could all use a bit of love this February, and what perfect timing with Valentine’s day. We do think you should celebrate love every day, and the scenery in Banff and Lake Louise makes this easy. The cozy, relaxed, and blissful atmosphere means romantic mode is always switched on.

If you’re in need of an intimate experience, a cozy cabin is the answer. The cabins in Banff and Lake Louise will have snuggling by the fire as soon as you walk in the door. If you’re after more of a grand affair, living like royals at the castle at Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel or the Rimrock Hotel are great options. But as we say, everywhere is romantic in Banff and Lake Louise, so anywhere is a great choice.

If you’re thinking of taking the next step, the magical surroundings of Banff National Park have got you covered! Declare your love while standing on the shores of a frozen lake with the snow-capped mountains in the background or go the extra mile with a romantic sky-high helicopter ride.

Whitney Arnott

Whitney Arnott

Whitney enjoys all things outdoors. Whether she’s camping, hiking, or kayaking, she always has her camera at hand ready to capture life in the Canadian Rockies.