Cross-country skiing is a great way to explore Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies during the winter months. A vast network of classic and skate skiing trails provides plenty of options for all fitness levels. Banff, Lake Louise, and Castle Junction trails are track-set and groomed regularly, giving you the choice of leisurely loops or more demanding routes. Pack a lunch, grab your gear, and choose your ideal trail.
There are many classic cross-country trails around the town of Banff, ranging from easy to moderate. Some have single or double track-sets and may also offer a skate skiing lane. Venture through dense forest to the Brewster Creek Junction, enjoy pleasant rolling terrain in the Cascade Valley, and go night skiing under the stars at the Tunnel Mountain Campground Trailer Court. It’s track-set and lit from dusk until dawn. For a list of all cross country ski trails, visit Parks Canada.
Lake Louise has a large number of spectacularly scenic trails from novice to advanced, with single or double track-settings and skate lanes. Climb steadily up picturesque Moraine Lake Road, ski across frozen Lake Louise, or explore old pioneer log cabins.
Bow Valley Parkway
There are two trails along the Bow Valley Parkway, a spectacularly scenic winding road that connects Banff and Lake Louise. Start at Baker Creek and make your way to Protection Mountain Campground, paralleling the original auto-route through Banff National Park, or enjoy a network of trails through lodgepole pine forests at Castle Junction.
Lessons and Rentals
If you are new to the sport, lessons are available from certified instructors who will have you gliding along in no time. Intermediate to advanced skiers may also want to brush up on their technique with a group or private lesson. If you don’t have your own gear, there are many options for rental equipment in the area such as Snowtips-Bactrax,, Banff Adventures, Chateau Mountain Sports in Banff and Wilson Mountain Sports and Chateau Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.