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The Real Banff / Published: Sun, 12/19/2021 - 10:36

What to Expect in Banff and Lake Louise in February

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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 lake
Noel Hendrickson

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)  

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.  

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.  

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 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 canyon
Devaan Ingraham

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. 

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.

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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.