Best Spots In Banff In Winter
Banff Alberta is an amazing place to visit and receives millions of visitors each year. Some come in the summer for hiking. Others visit in the winter for skiing. Regardless of when you visit, the views will take your breath away. If you are looking the best spots in Banff in winter that are easy to access, we have a few suggestions for you:
- Drive the Lake Minnewanka road. It is a gorgeous quick little drive with stunning views in less than 15 minutes. Definitely make a stop at Two Jack Lake where these pictures were taken:
- Visit Lake Minnewanka. Regardless of when you visit Lake Minnewanka, you will not be disappointed. It offers great views in all directions. In the winter you can walk on the lake and explore even closer to the base of the mountains.
- is another super quick drive that is just outside the town of Banff. The road itself is very small and easy to drive, taking less than 10 minutes from end to end. It offers excellent views, and is a great place to catch sunset colours as the sun sets behind the mountains.
- Make the drive to Lake Louise. Its only about 40 minutes away and gives you spectacular mountain views. You can also go skating on the lake, or walk across the lake (30-60 minutes each way) to view some ice waterfalls.
- Head to Canmore and check out Grassi Lakes and the area around the Nordic Center. It is ridiculously easy to access and from there you can easily head up to the Spray Lakes area (where many Hollywood movies have been filmed including The Revenant) and from there its less than an hour to Kananaskis via the highway 742. This highway is a little slow going, is usually covered in snow and gravel, but is easy enough to access for just about anyone. Simply take your time on the road and pull over if you need a break or are holding up traffic.
- After you make the drive on the 742, keep on going past Kananaskis until you get to the lakes. The Upper Lake is our favorite. This is another lake that is frozen in the winter and easy to access. Definitely take a walk on the lake to get even better views.
You could likely hit all these spots in one long day, or you could split it up into two days and take your time. If you are at Lake Louise, walk around/on the lake. Head into the Chateau Lake Louise for a hot chocolate or cocktail. Banff & Canmore both have very good restaurants and bars, so stop in and warm up if it is an exceptionally cold day out.
This area is very mountainous and if you are visiting it in the winter, conditions may not be ideal for driving. Check local weather and highway reports to make sure you do not become a statistic. Take your time driving on icy and snow covered roads. Enjoy the scenery, and remember to NEVER APPROACH OR FEED THE WILDLIFE. It may seem like a fun/cute idea to get a selfie close to an elk or bear, but it is extremely dangerous for you and the animal. Each year dozens of animals have to be killed by Parks Canada staff because they have become to accustomed to humans and get aggressive looking for food.
Be safe, be smart and enjoy the natural beauty of the mountains respectfully.