As you’ve probably heard all over social media by now, Canada has recently been named the World’s #1 Travel Destination in 2017 by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, The New York Times, and more!
The icing on the cake?
…It is also Canada’s 150th Birthday this year!
In honour of this exciting news, I decided to embark on a winter road-trip adventure to visit Banff National Park, located in the beautiful and scenic province of Alberta*.
*I should probably also mention that Alberta happens to be my home province… but I promise I’m not being biased! Just wait until you see the pictures, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. 😉
And, without further ado…
(PS, Be sure to keep your eyes open for an awesome freebie & contest located somewhere within this post…!)
Featuring five of Banff National Park’s most amazing outdoor activities, along with several fun photo highlights and more!
1. Johnson Canyon Icewalk
While on the Johnston Canyon Icewalk tour, you will have the opportunity to see many spectacular views of the canyon’s lower and upper icefalls! Along the way, you can also enjoy hearing about Banff’s natural history & local wildlife from your group’s knowledgeable and friendly outdoor guide. To top it all off, you’ll also get to enjoy a hot chocolate drink and Canadian maple cookie snack. Tip: Be sure to be mindful of where you step, as the walking paths are often extremely icy!
- Single Adult Admission: $68 CAD*
- Total time: 4-4.5 hours (Morning or Afternoon)
- What the tour includes: RT bus transportation from your hotel to and from Johnston Canyon, Ice cleats (to wear with your boots to prevent slipping), hiking poles, a hot chocolate and maple cookie snack, and your friendly & certified tour guide of course!
- *Receive an additional 10% off admission if you book online!
2. Scenic Snowshoeing Tour
As someone who had never previously gone snowshoeing before, I was definitely looking forward to having the chance to try it out for the first time. Plus, what better way to do so than by learning to snowshoe right at the top of a mountain? Upon my arrival to the lodge, all of the staff were super friendly and welcoming, which made me even more excited for the tour. Shortly after registration, we were soon on our way up the Lake Louise Gondola! My guide named Lydia was super awesome, and throughout the tour, she shared many interesting stories with us about the history of Banff National Park, facts about the local wildlife and environment, and she also pointed out several animal tracks on the mountain, which was all very cool to see up close! The views on this tour are absolutely breathtaking, and the photo opportunities are pretty much endless. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who is open to trying new experiences, or anyone who is looking for a fun alternative to skiing or snowboarding!
Check out Lake Louise Ski Resort’s website for a 15% off coupon.
- Single Adult Admission: Ranges from $45-$75 (Full Day Tour: $159)
- Total time: 2-2.5 hours (Morning or Afternoon)
- What the tour includes: A sightseeing lift ticket on the Lake Louise Gondola (where you will also get to skip to the front of the line!), snowshoe rental, hot chocolate and a snack, and an experienced snowshoe/nature guide!
3. Snow Tubing
Calling all adrenaline fans! The next time you’re in Banff, you’ve definitely got to try Snow Tubing! I would describe it as a much more thrilling form of tobogganing, plus this time you’ll also get to ride up the hill on a magic carpet. 😀 I had such a blast at Mount Norquay’s Snow Tubing park, where they have specially designed tracks just for the tubes. If you’re feeling brave… you can even ask the staff to spin you on the way down, and you can also connect with up to 4 other tubes to go down even faster! It was such a fun experience, and I found it to be a great way to spend the afternoon on the mountain.
- Single Adult Admission $30
- Recommended time: 1-3 hours (Morning or Afternoon)
4. Banff Upper Hot Springs
At an elevation of 1,585 meters (about 5,200 feet), Banff Upper Hot Springs is Canada’s highest natural hot springs! With a history of over 130 years, these relaxing mineral waters have been consistently popular with both the locals and visitors for generations. It’s a perfect place to go, especially at the end of a long day outside in the cold! (*If you want to avoid crowds, then a better time to visit would be in the morning.)
- One Adult Admission $7.30
- Recommended time: 45 min- 1.5hrs (Morning, Afternoon or Night)
5. Cave and Basin National Historic Site
This National Historic Site celebrates the birthplace of Canada’s National Park system, which dates back all the way to the year 1885! While here, feel free to check out the fun and interactive exhibits, and explore the inside of the cave to find naturally occurring warm mineral springs. (Be aware… the sulphur smell from the springs can be quite potent!)
- Single Adult Admission: Free with 2017 Discovery Pass, or $3.90
- Recommended time: 1-2 hours (Morning or Afternoon)
- During my visit to Banff, I was invited to stay as a guest at the Moose Hotel & Suites, which is Banff’s newest hotel (it recently opened in June of 2016)! Upon entering the lobby, I was so amazed by all of the incredible architectural features and its’ beautiful stone fireplace. Plus… The view of the mountains from our room was absolutely gorgeous! One of my favourite parts was getting to end the day by relaxing in one of the hotel’s rooftop hot pools during sunset.
Stay tuned for a full hotel review & room tour in my next post coming out in one week! 😉 ❤
- Dress for the weather! Our Canadian weather during winter months is known for being notoriously cold, so be sure to bundle up if you’re planning a winter visit (The snow usually doesn’t begin to melt until mid to late April…. and sometimes there’s still snow in May!)
- Book your visit early! Banff National Park is expecting a super busy year with a record amount of visitors in 2017, so save yourself the disappointment of missing out on a great tour or hotel deal by reserving your stay in advance!
- The nearest International Airport is located in Calgary, which is approximately a 1.5hr drive to Banff (via the Trans Canada Highway).
- Before you arrive, be sure to order your FREE Parks Canada 2017 Discovery Pass by clicking on the image below! 😀
Want to win a luxury stay in Canada’s Rocky Mountains?
Check out Ski Big 3’s Luxury Ski Vacation Contest!
- Enter to win on: SkiBig3.com/contest
- Entry deadline: May 1, 2017
- See website for all rules & regulations
A super huge thank you to Discover Banff Tours, Lake Louise Ski Resort, Ski Big 3, Canadian Rockies Hot Springs (Parks Canada), and Moose Hotel & Suites for supporting this post! As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 🙂
Thank you very much for reading!