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5 Outdoor Mountain Activities to try this Winter

Jan. 18. 2016
By Afton Aikens, Ashley Materi & Olivia Grecu

Visiting Banff or Canmore this winter? Whether you’re the do-it-yourself or take-a-tour type, the Canadian Rockies offer something for everyone. Get outside and explore!


1. Cross-Country Skiing
Banff cross-country skiers can ride Roam Public Transit to the Spray River Loop (by the Fairmont Banff Springs) or Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court loops (search our Banff shopping listings for gear rental shops). Downhill skiers can also ditch the car and take the bus to the resorts.

In Canmore, cross-country skiers at the Canmore Nordic Centre find respite from the cold inside the new warming hut 2.5 km from the day lodge. Built by volunteers just beyond the night-lit portion of popular Banff Trail, the shelter is warmed by a propane stove, has picnic tables inside and out and is open the same hours as the centre.


2. Cave Tour
Canmore Cave Tours’ Adventure Tour is a Destination Canada Signature Experience “once-in-a-lifetime tour only in Canada.” Find an 18-m rappel, chambers, chutes, stalactites, stalagmites, and a clear pool at the cave bottom.

Rebound Cycle

Rebound Cycle

3. Fat Biking
Bikes with fat tires built to cruise snowy trails are increasingly popular winter toys, but they can damage cross-country ski tracks, so the Canmore Nordic Centre has designated and groomed trails specifically for snow season cycling. First-time riders can try the Georgetown and Rundle Forebay trails. In Banff, try Tunnel Mountain or Sundance Canyon trails. Find bike rental shops in our listings directory.


4. Heli-Snowshoeing
On a Rockies Heli Canada Heli-Snowshoe Adventure, soar above snow-capped peaks for 20 minutes to a remote location. Spend an hour snowshoeing in fresh powder, looking for wildlife tracks, and enjoying hot chocolate and Bailey’s (a picnic lunch is available). Other heli-filled fun options include romantic private tours and a heli-dog sledding package.

Canmore Kananaskis

Canmore Kananaskis

5. Tours with a Treat
Discover Banff Tours’ snowshoe tours treat guests to maple taffy made on a fire and cooled in the snow, while moonlit snowshoe tours hosted by Kananaskis Outfitters are followed by a fireside chocolate fondue. Or, take a guided ice walk and enjoy hot chocolate and trail snacks as you admire towering frozen waterfalls.

An experience to remember, Snowy Owl’s sled dog tours include campfire cuisine—smokies, bannock and apple cider. For something chill, take a Banff Trail Riders’ sleigh ride where you’ll roast marshmallows at a campfire while sipping hot apple cider. For a thrill, take a snowmobile tour with Toby Creek Adventures; most include a BBQ lunch at a mid-mountain log cabin.

See more Banff activities listings.

>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.

>> Connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at whererockies and tag your Canadian Rockies posts and photos with #whererockies

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