A Winter Day in Banff

A Winter Day in Banff

Snow has officially fallen in Calgary, meaning that the neighbouring world-famous national parks of Banff and Jasper on the Albertan border with British Columbia are welcoming in the winter as well. Typically, November to April is when snow lingers in the national parks, meaning that summer roadtrips are a distant memory and lakes are frozen over. Rather than hibernating for the winter, Banff turns into a winter wonderland, inviting outdoor enthusiasts to experience the wonderful activities of the wintertime.

With winter comes potentially treacherous conditions - always travel prepared, dress warmly, be aware of shorter daylight hours and drive safely.

Banff National Park is a 1.5 hour drive from Calgary, which is where the closest international airport is located. For those looking for a longer stay, accommodation choices are in abundance - from hostels to the luxurious Fairmont (a true castle in the mountains).

Sam and I spent a day in -10° weather exploring the lovely park, taking in the many cold-weather outdoor options and escaping indoors to warm up over a chai latte. Here are six beautiful things to do on a winter day in Banff:

Ice-Skating on Johnson Lake

The cold weather makes many of the lakes in Banff National Park freeze over. One of these is Johnson Lake, which is just to the east of Banff town. Bring your skates - or not - and join the locals on the self-shoveled rinks.

jana meerman banff johnson lake (1)
jana meerman banff johnson lake (1)
jana meerman banff johnson lake (1)

Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive

One of the roads to Lake Minnewanka is closed in the wintertime, but the scenic road past Johnson Lake is open and ready for visitors to slowly meander along as they enjoy the views from the various viewpoints along the way.

jana meerman lake minnewanka banff

Two Jack Lake Reflections

While not yet frozen, the waters of Two Jack Lake were well on their way to becoming icy. The banks were snow covered, providing for a reflective wintery dream.

jana meerman two jack lake (1)
jana meerman two jack lake (1)
jana meerman two jack lake (1)

Spot Bow Falls

Bow Falls is a Banff town gem - a gushing rush of water tumbles across half-frozen waves into the stunning bend at Bow River, situated just below the castle-like Fairmont.

jana meerman bow falls banff (1)
jana meerman bow falls banff (1)

Wander Banff Town

Wandering the sweet little town of Banff is idyllic and quaint. Banff is a wonderful place to relax, grab a coffee, sit down for lunch, go shopping and all in front of a stunning backdrop.

jana meerman banff

Explore the Fairmont

The Fairmont in Banff is the epitome of luxury and at Christmastime is even more so. Christmas trees adorn every window and the snow covering the ornate grounds make you feel like you're in a castle. Stop in for brunch, a dip in the pool, elk-spotting or some shopping.

jana meerman fairmont banff (1)
jana meerman fairmont banff (1)
jana meerman fairmont banff (1)
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