Winter Travel to Beautiful Banff - The Ultimate in Family Vacation Ideas
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to Banff means Family Fun in the Canadian Rockies.
Banff is one of Canada’s most famous ski resorts.
There is so much more to do there in the winter.
You can take a guided ice walk through Banff’s Johnston Canyon where you wear cleats and explore blue ice formations during the day or at night using head lamps.
If you're thrill seekers you could try ice climbing where you actually climb the frozen mountain waterfalls in Banff National Park.
You can skate on Lake Louise or behind the Banff Springs Hotel. Take a horse driven sleigh ride along the Bow River or along the shores of Lake Louise. After a long day you can relax in the Banff Upper Hot Springs. It's an outdoor mineral pool surrounded by beautiful views of the mountains.
Banff is a great place to enjoy just about any winter outdoor activity you can imagine. Make your winter travel plans and enjoy this part of the world.
The National Park enjoys plenty of reliable snow and a relatively long winter recreation season. Although temperatures are often below freezing, we have regular warming trends called chinooks. They relieve the cold, and often bring even more snow.
The Banff weather is always changing because of our high altitude and the rugged mountain terrain. It should always be considered when planning your winter vacation.
Autumn (September - October
Fall sees diminishing daylight hours and warm days, with cooling evening winds. Average temperatures are dropping, but the highs remain well above freezing and lows hover right around the freezing point.
Winter (November - March)
Although it can and does snow at any time of the year, the first "real" snow generally begins to fall in November. The average temperature during the winter months is around -12º C (6º F); however it is not unusual to have a two-week cold snap during December or January where temperatures plummet into the -30º C (-22º F) range.
Fortunately, Banff, the National Park, and areas west and south, regularly enjoy a pleasant winter weather phenomenon called a chinook. The warm winds of the chinook produce spring-like temperatures in a matter of hours, and the moderating influence can last for days or even weeks. So your winter travel plans shouldn't really be affected.
The UV rating for Banff and its surrounding area is usually high to extremely high throughout the year. Because of the altitude and the sun's angle of incidence in this section of the world, people's skin tends to burn much faster than usual. You really must use sunscreen, a shade hat, and sunglasses, to avoid sunburn. Some good winter travel planning is all you need to do.
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
This winter travel destination draws skiers and snowboarders to Banff and Lake Louise from all over the world. They come to experience our world-class ski resorts: Mt. Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village.
Combined, these three resorts offer almost 8,000 acres of skiable terrain; dry, light snow; and one of the longest ski seasons in North America, from mid November to late May.
There is terrain for every level and desire, from gentle green groomers to some of the world’s most extreme in-bounds challenges. What a great winter travel destination for any family needing both.....
You can rent downhill ski and snowboard equipment from several gear rental outlets in Banff and Lake Louise, as well as at the resorts. Many of these outlets also offer technician services for tuning and repairs.
Tri-Area lift tickets are available, offering unlimited access to Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village; night skiing at Mt. Norquay (January to March); and return shuttle transportation between many hotels and the resorts.
Ski Hill Transportation
Shuttle transportation is available between the ski resorts and many hotels in Banff and Lake Louise.
Shuttle bus service is included in the cost of tri-area lift tickets. For those without a tri-area lift ticket, bus fares are additional. Some Lake Louise hotels offer complimentary shuttle services to Lake Louise Ski Area.
Sunshine Village offers on-hill accommodations at theSunshine Mountain Lodge ....it's gorgeous and a great way to holiday with the kids...ski to your door!!!! No hassles with parking, tired kids....make it relaxing for everyone Mom and Dad included....make it a stress free winter travel destination.
You'll find ready access to all of the different categories of Nordic skiing in Banff and Banff National Park. From classic track-set cross-country and groomed skate-skiing trails. What about untracked backcountry trails, telemark slopes, and rugged ski mountaineering routes. This winter travel destination has lots to offer any skier.
For most recreational skiers, the cross-country ski season runs from December through March. But local nordic enthusiasts and competitive athletes are usually on the snow at Lake Louise area trails (especially Moraine Lake Road) or at the nearby Canmore Nordic Centre by mid-November.
There are several enjoyable easy-to-moderate x-country trails in or near the Banff townsite, including:
Cascade Fire Road, from the Lake Minnewanka parking lot Spray River Loop, from the Banff Springs Hotel trailhead Sundance Canyon, starting from Cave and Basin Historic Site Banff Springs Golf Course, from the Bow Falls parking lot Bow River, from the Canoe Docks
Some popular favourites in Lake Louise include:
Moraine Lake Road The Great Divide (Highway 1A) Bow River Loop, starting near the Station Restaurant There is also a series of scenic cross-country trails accessible from the top of the Sunshine Village Gondola (note that there is a fee for the gondola ride).
Cross-country ski rentals are available at a limited number of retail outfits, including Mountain Magic Equipment in Banff, Monod Sports in both Banff and Lake Louise, and Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.
Guided cross-country ski tours are available through White Mountain Adventures and Willow Root Nature Tours.
World-class Nordic facilities and equipment rentals are also available at the Canmore Nordic Centre, built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, just 25 km east of Banff.