Cross-Country Ski the Spray Loop
Whether it’s the close proximity to town or the scenic riverside Nordic ski trail, the Spray River Loop is a time-honoured local favourite. The river often flows well into the winter season, and the clear ice that builds up along the shore makes for some spectacular photographs.
The trail is double trackset on the east side of the river and then turns to single tracks on the return part of the loop. The slightly higher elevation on this side opens up amazing views of the river below and the “castle in the Rockies” across the valley.
Good To Know
- 1-3 hrs
- Dec - Mar
- Length: 14 km loop
- Elevation gain: 105 m
- Trailhead: Spray River West Trailhead
- Double trackset with skating lane and then single trackset
- Distance from Banff:
- Distance from Lake Louise:
There is a small parking lot at the trailhead located beyond the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel on Spray Ave.
When to go
Dates can vary based on conditions
It’s best to keep moving and avoid stopping in the avalanche paths that cross the river 4.5-5 km from the trailhead.
Drop into the cozy Waldhaus restaurant for a hot drink after your ski.
To really earn your lunch, extend your day by starting further east in Kananaskis and coming all the way down the Goat Creek trail to ski into Banff.
New to cross-country skiing? Sign up for a lesson to learn the ropes.
Check the Parks Canada Trail Report for up to date conditions.
Let's do this
Cross-country ski rentals available from