Monday, January 15, 2018

The BEST of Winter in the Canadian Rockies - updated 2024

Discover the best ski trails, winter getaways, sledding hills, festivals, and all things magical in the Canadian Rockies this winter. Go snowshoeing, skate on a wild mountain lake, or explore frozen waterfalls! This is the guide you'll need.

The BEST of Winter in the Canadian Rockies

Read this guide AND make sure you don't miss anything:

Make sure you're following my facebook page and follow my instagram account to see what we're up to each week, and make sure you're subscribed to receive an email each time I publish a new post (so you don't miss anything) - right sidebar, "get new posts by email."

Winter is AWESOME when you know where to go

I also recommend saving this post (Pinterest is your friend here) so you can find it again next winter, because I plan to add to it anytime I discover something new and awesome.

This guide has been updated for winter 2023-24

The Best of Winter in the Canadian Rockies 


1. Attend the Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise at the end of January

2. Attend Fun Family-Friendly Events at Snow Days in Banff in January / February

Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise

Ice Adventures

1. Go Skating on a Frozen Lake (The Banff Lake Tourism site has several suggestions.)

2. Experience Wild Mountain Lake Skating (The real deal, not groomed or cleared)

Skating on Johnson Lake in Banff (usually in condition by mid-November)

3. Plan a Trip to Invermere, BC, to Skate The World's Longest Skating Trail on Lake Windermere
    with over 30 kilometres of ice cleared for skating
Read: Winter Guide to the Columbia Valley (Golden, Radium Hot Springs, Invermere, and beyond)  

4. Hike a Frozen Canyon or Visit a Frozen Waterfall in Kananaskis or Banff

Frozen waterfalls are a magical discovery!

5. Head North to Jasper National Park to Hike Frozen Maligne Canyon 

6. Try Ice Climbing as a family! 

Family ice climbing (the real deal!)

Winter Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Snowy Fun

1. Make a Snow Fort, Tunnel, or Quinzee (think igloo or snow house)

2. Discover how much Fun Winter Hiking is! Check out my winter hiking guide here.)

          And Read: 10 Winter Walks and Hikes to Enjoy with your Family in Kananaskis

Winter hiking is a BLAST with kids!

3. Go Snowshoeing in Kananaskis (Check out my Family Snowshoeing Super Guide)

4. Explore the Trails in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis 
Read: Winter Adventures in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park 
5. Go Sledding at the Canmore Nordic Centre (The sledding hill is free!)

6. Visit one of the local Ski Resort Tube Parks in or near Calgary
Read: Family Tube Park Review (Calgary, Kananaskis, Banff, and Lake Louise)

The Canmore Nordic Centre has the BEST Sledding Hill (and it's free)

Cross-country Skiing 

1. Learn to Cross Country Ski at the Canmore Nordic Centre 

2. Discover the Best Cross-Country Ski Tails near Calgary in Kananaskis or Banff 
Read: Discover the BEST Cross Country Ski Trails near Calgary this Winter
Read: Family Cross Country Ski Trips  - our favourite destinations near Calgary 

Read: The Best Beginner Cross-country Ski Trails near Calgary  

Read: Ten Reasons to Try Cross-country Skiing with your Family  

          Read: The Best Early Season Trails for Cross-country Skiing near Calgary  

Blueberry Hill Lookout, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park 

3. Try Backcountry Ski Touring as a Family (Featured: Chester Lake, Kananaskis)

4. Find a Snowshoe Trail - And go SKIING (Featured: Boom Lake Trail, Banff)

5. Go Ski Touring in Banff National Park (Featured: Paradise Valley and Ross Lake)

Cross-country ski touring in Paradise Valley at Lake Louise 

6. Ski out your Cabin Door at Baker Creek Mountain Resort in Banff

7. Visit Lake Louise for an affordable cross-country ski weekend
Read: Cross-Country Skiing a Lake Louise: Where to Ski and Stay this Winter

          Read: Bed and Breakfast Cross-Country Ski Getaway at Lake Louise 

8. Plan a cross country ski getaway to Jasper this winter

Cross-country skiing on Lake Louise

Cross country skiing in Jasper National Park

9.  Plan a cross country ski getaway to Radium Hot Springs in BC

         Read: Plan a Cross-Country Ski Getaway to Radium Hot Springs

10. Plan a ski weekend to Fairmont Hot Springs in BC

Read: Hot Springs and Cross Country Skiing - the Ultimate Winter Getaway 


And connect with other skiers here: Cross Country Skiing YYC on Facebook.   

Nipika Mountain Resort is backcountry paradise for a ski weekend

Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding 

1. Spend a Day on the Ski Slopes at Calgary's Closest Mountain, Nakiska Ski Area in Kananaskis

2. Spend the day skiing or tubing at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary

Skiing close to home at WinSport's Canada Olympic Park 

3. Ski Sunshine Village AND stay overnight! 

4. Discover why families love skiing at Lake Louise

5. Visit Mt Norquay for a day of skiing and tubing!

Spring Skiing at Sunshine Village in Banff 

6. Plan a Family Downhill Ski Weekend at Fernie Alpine Resort
Read: 5 Reasons for Families to Love Fernie Alpine Resort

Read: The Key to Successful Family Ski Weekends at Fernie Alpine Resort

Read: Top 5 Things to do with your Family in Fernie this Winter 

Epic ski weekends start at Fernie Alpine Resort

7. Go Ski Tripping across the Columbia Valley in BC

9. Travel South to Ski Castle Mountain Resort


10. Travel West to Ski Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Read:  Family Ski Guide to Revelstoke Mountain Resort 

Extreme skiing starts at Castle Mountain Resort in Southern Alberta 

Backcountry and Wilderness Adventures 

 1. Try Winter Camping (without sleeping in a tent) and ski or hike into a backcountry cabin

Winter Backcountry Cabin Camping is a very cool experience!

2. Spend a Night Winter Yurt Camping at Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis

Glamping at Mount Engadine Lodge, Kananaskis

4. Spend a weekend on the Remote Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper 

5. Spend a Weekend at Hilda Creek on the Icefields Parkway

6. Discover solitude at the HI Mosquito Creek Wilderness Hostel in Banff 

The HI Hilda Creek Wilderness Hostel in Banff National Park

Sundance Lodge, Banff National Park

Gorgeous Shadow Lake in Banff National Park

Fat Biking 

1. Try Fat Biking at Nipika Mountain Resort near Radium Hot Springs, BC

2. Try Fat Biking at Kananaskis Village

Fat Biking at Nipika Mountain Resort

Explore Alberta's Provincial Parks 

1. Discover Why Calgarians love day trips to Kananaskis Village

2. Enjoy the BEST Family Winter Fun in Cypress Hills Provincial Park

Cypress Hills Luge Track in Southern Alberta

Winter Road Trips 

1. Explore the Northern Canadian Rockies on a Winter Road Trip! North to Jasper National Park

2. Discover Yoho National Park and Magical Emerald Lake in Winter

3. Travel South to experience Winter in Waterton Lakes National Park in winter

4. Go Ski Tripping through the BC Kootenay Rockies and discover the best of the Columbia Valley in winter

5. Hot springs, wildlife, and hiking - Discover the best of winter in Radium Hot Springs, BC 

Exploring the Natural Bridge near Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park 

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