Snowshoe Trails in Banff National Park
Snowshoeing in and around Banff National Park is a wonderful way to enjoy winter in the Canadian Rockies! You can experience the beauty of the outdoors without the crowds associated with hiking in summer. Plus, every route offers something different, from strenuous climbs to easy strolls.
Our Banff snowshoeing routes provide you with rewarding outdoor adventures, from a calm sightseeing trip to a fun day out with the family. Many of these routes follow summer hiking trails, which makes it extra fun to enjoy familiar sights in a new snow-capped landscape.
THE TOP 10 SNOWSHOES IN BANFF NATIONAL PARK
- Healy Pass (19.6km, 869m, 6-10 h): Snowshoeing to Healy Pass is a great day out in winter, and a fantastic break from the busy ski hills. The trail to Healy Pass is often packed, and the expansive views of the vast meadows of Healy Pass and Sunshine Meadows make this a fantastic snowshoe trip in Banff.
- Wilcox Pass (11.3km, 635m, 3 -6 h): Lying on the edge of the Athabasca Icefield and surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in Alberta, a snowshoe trip into Wilcox Pass offers the casual snowshoer a glimpse into the world of snow and ice typically reserved for the serious mountaineer.
- Deception Pass (22.2km, 707m, 6-8h): If you can’t get out to Skoki Lodge for a few nights, consider this wonderful trip up to Deception pass. This is a great, though long, daytrip from Lake Louise Ski Hill. While faster to do on skis, you can also do this on snowshoes.
- Sunshine Meadows (3.3km, 40m, 1-2h): If you’re a beginner snowshoer, this is the both the best trip and the closest snowshoe trail to the town of Banff. On clear days you can expect to be amazed by the views.
- Crystal Ridge (7.6km, 649m, 3-6 h): Crystal Ridge is the unofficial name given to the ridge south of Cirque Peak by Bob Spirko after he found enormous crystals on its lower slopes. A snowshoe trip to Crystal Ridge takes you through fascinating boulders, giant crystals, and awe-inspiring views of the Wapta Icefield and its enormous peaks.
- Paradise Valley (14.7km, 235m, 3-5h): Paradise Valley, near Lake Louise, is stunning. It’s also isolated, especially in winter. While snowshoeing deep into Paradise Valley opens up risk of avalanches, we love poking around at the start of the valley before there is any avalanche danger.
- Peyto Lake Viewpoint (2.3km, 45m, 1h): This snowshoe trip is a gem, taking you to one of the best views not only in Banff, but the entire Canadian Rockies. While this can be a tourist trap in summer, in winter you often have the view entirely to yourself. We like to combine this with a trip to Bow Lake.
- Taylor Lake and Panorama Meadows (15.8km, 755m, 5 - 8 h): A snowshoe trip to Taylor Lake, which sits at the base of Mount Bell, is a beautiful trip. Be sure not to miss the open meadows below Panorama Ridge, just a short distance from the lake; they are what make this a spectacular trip.
- Johnston Canyon (6.3km, 120m, 2-3h): Johnston Canyon in winter is spectacular. Not only are there fewer people, but seeing the ice in this canyon is special. Often this route is best done in winter boots with microspikes, but the crampons on snowshoes sure do help if there has been a lot of snow recently.
- Bow Lake (4.0km, 5m, 1h): Snowshoeing on Bow Lake is incredible, especially on a weekday in mid-winter, when it is all yours. Follow the path until there are avalanche slopes above you and enjoy incredible views of this wonderful place.
- Boom Lake (10.2km, 230m, 3-4h): Boom Lake is a great snowshoe trip in Banff National Park. While it’s mostly in the trees, once you get to Boom Lake it’s spectacular.
- Lake Louise (4.8km, 15m, 1-1.5h): This is a classic snowshoe route once Lake Louise freezes over. Head out across Lake Louise and explore the area at the far end of the lake, before the avalanche risk increases.
The best Snowshoe Trails in Banff National Park
Yes, there are more than 10
Banff National Park is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 Snowshoe Trails. So here is a list of bonus Snowshoe Trails in Banff National Park that you should take a look at as well
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