16℃ / 61


  • Sun
    17℃ / 63
  • Mon
    14℃ / 57

Ice Skating

A women ice skates on Lake Louise, Banff National Park, AB
Destination Canada

Ice Skating in Banff and Lake Louise

You feel like a kid again, skating in the open air with rosy cheeks and a huge grin. Gliding by snowbanks piled high along the shore, everything glitters in the sunlight. You stare up at snowy peaks and glaciers, totally awed by their sheer size and rugged beauty. It feels so uplifting and free to be here – skating across a frozen lake, breathing in the icy-cold air, surrounded by these incredible mountains.

A favourite Canadian sport that is fun for all ages and abilities, ice skating in Banff and Lake Louise is a great way to enjoy the fresh mountain air with family and friends. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of your surroundings or maybe join in a game of pick-up, or “shinny” hockey. Then take a break and warm up with hot cocoa beside a bonfire before heading back out on the ice for more. 

There are several indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks open during the winter in Banff National Park. All skating rinks are free unless otherwise noted, and skate rentals are available in both Banff and Lake Louise. While skating is generally available from mid-December to March, this activity is weather dependant so check with the Visitor Centre before you go. 

with the Rocky Mountains in the background, you’ll feel like royalty as you skate through and around the castle, which is illuminated in the evening. – Annie Bruce, HuffPost Travel

In Banff

For a traditional experience, head to The Waldhaus Rink in the Spray Meadow behind the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. It’s a picture-perfect spot for skating, with a warming hut and open fire nearby. Have a snack at the German pub, located directly above the rink.

The well-equipped Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre offers indoor public skating and shinny year-round on two full hockey rinks. There is an entry fee to the rink. 

The outdoor rink at Banff High School in downtown Banff is lit in the evenings. The skating rink will be closing on March 18, 2019 in preparation for the summer.

In Lake Louise

For a truly spectacular skating experience, you must try the iconic Lake Louise. Named as one of the “10 most beautiful ice skating rinks in the world,” by CNN Travel, the frozen lake is cleared and maintained daily by the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and has a heated shelter to warm chilly fingers and toes.

An additional rink near the Nordic Stop on the shores of Lake Louise is open to hockey enthusiasts.

During the Ice Magic Festival each winter, ice carvers create a giant ice castle on the lake.

The Lake Louise Recreation Centre, located on Village Road, has a covered outdoor hockey and ice skating rink.

Other skating spots

Skating on lakes and ponds in Banff National Park might be available during the winter, depending on weather conditions and temperatures. Please consider the risks of skating on natural ice before heading out. See more information on ice safety from Parks Canada.

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