If you want to experience the quintessential Rocky Mountain winters and the snow-capped landscapes around, then Banff National Park in Winters might be the perfect escape for you. Nestled in the Canadian Rockies, Banff is both, a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This star attraction is surrounded by vibrant turquoise lakes and wildly diverse landscapes that hide adventures around every corner.

So, read and bookmark this blog as we offer you the ultimate guide to visiting Banff National Park in Canada during winters.


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Where is Banff National Park?


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For those unfamiliar with this picturesque location, Banff National Park is located in the Rocky Mountains, in the province of Alberta.  It’s Canada’s first national park (established in 1888) and is known for its amazing mountain views, relaxing hot springs and pristine wilderness. Banff National Park is also a world-class destination for outdoor sports activities and gets around four million visitors every year!


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This ideal getaway is not only adored for its winter-themed outdoor experiences but the mere fact that this little escape is known for having just four percent of wild terrains accessible by road. The scenic highways that wind between towering peaks are well maintained. Nature in all of its wintery glory!

Where to Stay in Banff National Park?

There are ample number of places where individuals can stay whilst exploring the Banff National Park in Canada. A couple of them are listed below:

  • Fairmont Banff Springs


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When it comes to experiencing a world-class winter escape the Fairmont Banff Springs is the perfect retreat. This gorgeous resort has a 32 metre lap pool and a 20 metre heated outdoor pool plus a Stream Spa that has 27 treatment areas to rest your ski-weary bones. Other outdoor activities for guests to explore include bowling, tennis, horseback riding and golfing.

  • Moose Hotel & Suites

Moose Hotel & Suites

Moose Hotel & Suites is Banff’s newest four-star hotel in Canada’s heartland with spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes and outstanding architecture. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of modernism and traditionalism with 174 guest suites and pet-friendly hotel rooms.

Best Things to Do in Banff

There’s no shortage of activities in Banff National Park in Winters, for outdoor adventure lovers and snow sports enthusiasts. In the winter months, you can go for dog sledging and sleigh rides underneath the Northern Lights, snowshoeing, or hike the Snow-topped mountains. Ski and snowboard, relax in a thermal pool, and so much more. There are plenty of things to do here during the winter season all with fewer crowds and cheaper prices! Let’s get started.

  • Ice Skating at Lake Louise


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Ice skating at Lake Louise is the most popular destination for skating in Banff. The Lake Louise skating rink is located right on top of the frozen lake. Moreover, it has won numerous awards. Besides the surrounding snow-covered mountain peaks, visitors get astounding views of the Victoria Glacier and a stunning ice castle built from large blocks of ice. There is so much winter charm and a lot of fun activities- ice sculptures, horse-drawn carriages and a little ‘ice bar’ that serves several decadent drinks too.

  • Go Snowshoeing


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One of the most fun things to do in Banff during winters is Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies. There is something so peaceful and serene about it with breath-taking views. Imagine walking in your very own snow globe with flakes falling down around you. There are several snowshoeing trails in Banff that you can explore including Johnston Canyon, Sunshine Meadows, and the trail around Lake Louise. Check the weather before you go snowshoeing as it can be very temperamental – sunny one minute and a blizzard the next.

  • Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride


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Riding in a Horse-down sleigh is like a fairytale ( Who doesn’t want it? Right!): Warmed up with a blanket, they take you in the incredible scenery at Lake Louise. This is the quintessential thing to do at Banff. You’ll be in awe at the towering snow-capped mountains and the ice falls at the end of the Lake Louise lakeside trail. You can enjoy the Sleigh rides between December and April.

  • Banff Upper Hot Springs


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After a long day of ice-walking, snowshoeing, ice skating, and snowboarding what’s better than soaking in the thermal bath at Banff Upper hot springs? As you sink deeper into the water, you can wave goodbye to all the sore, aching muscles. This incredibly rejuvenating water flows from the slopes of Sulfur Mountain. Open year-round, the experience is unforgettable best in wintertime when falling snowflakes melt into the rising steam.

  • Riding the Banff Gondola


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Located a 5-minute drive take the gondola from downtown Banff up to Sulphur Mountain. The Banff Gondola is one of the best things to do in Banff as you nestle your way through the forestry. Gaze at wintry landscapes from above, explore the summit trails leading to Sanson’s Peak, and warm up in one of the atmospheric restaurants with a beautiful dining experience on top of the mountain. The ride costs CA$ 49-58 and is open every day during the winter.

  • Winter Festival at Banff

Winter Festival at Banff

If you visit Banff in January, this Ice magic festival must be on your must-do list. With the Victoria Glacier as the backdrop, skilled carvers from around the world come to compete and shape enormous blocks of ice into incredible sculptures. If possible, visit before the snow flies to snap selfies in frozen castles.

Tips for Visiting Banff National Park


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  • Get your Pass Park to enter Banff National Park. Considering it’s $10/adult or $20/family per day. It’s often worth getting the Discovery Pass which allows you to go to any park in Canada.
  • Travel by tour or transit for hassle-free sightseeing with the added bonus of interpretive entertainment.
  • Banff is a picturesque town home to a vibrant dining scene and artisan shops that are locally owned and inspired by the surroundings, so take time to wander and explore.
  • Dressing in layers is the best way to stay warm, especially waterproof clothing if you’re going to do outdoor activities. So, pack your favourite cosy sweaters, a warm coat, and waterproof winter boots and then you are all set!.

Final thoughts 

Going to Banff National Park in Winters is an experience that you will never forget. No matter which combination of the above activities you do, embarking on this winter wonderland will definitely be a story you share for a lifetime.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many days do you need in Banff National Park?

There are some incredible experiences to explore in Banff and Lake Louise that simply can't be missed for that five days is a good length of time to enjoy this winter getaway.

What is Banff National Park known for?

Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest National Park attracting millions of visitors every year for its surreally coloured lakes, scenic mountain views, and endless outdoor activities.

Do you need to pay to enter Banff?

Yes, all visitors are required to have a valid National Banff Park Pass, regardless of the mode of travel.

How do people dress in Banff?

With rapid weather shifts all year round in Banff, the secret to comfort is layers. Waterproof clothing is also important if you’re going to do some outdoor activities.

What is the best month to visit Banff?

The best times to visit Banff are June to August in summer to explore this wonderland and December to March to visit the exquisite ice music festival.