8+
Age
Dec-Mar
Season

Combo Package; chill with an ice walk into Grotto Canyon and then snuggle down on a snowy sleigh ride.

Included: Grotto Canyon Icewalk (8:30am – 12:30pm)

Our Icewalk hikes the frozen creek bed through a narrow canyon, past unusual rock formations and spectacular icefalls. This is a unique experience to walk directly on the ice, and walking on the creek bed floor gives you a unique view of the canyon. All icewalks include hot chocolate to warm you up and our famous maple cookies!

This tour is operating as a small group public tour, and masks are mandatory for all guests and guides. Learn more about our health and safety measures.

Included: Sleigh Ride (various times available)

Take a 40 minute sleigh ride with family and friends through Banff’s mountain meadows as you keep your eyes peeled for elk and deer. Your memorable excursion includes a fireside warmup stop after the ride where you can enjoy a warm drink back at the stables (weather and snow conditions permitting).

COVID-19 UPDATE

For the health and safety of staff and guests, the following measures are in place:

  • Masks are mandatory at all times.
  • Each booking will be seated in their own row, with a minimum of two paid guests per booking. Each row can seat up to three guests (on the half hour) and four guests (on the hour).
  • Blankets and s’mores kits are not included, but can be purchased.

Activities in this package can be taken on the same day or on different days.

The best parts of the Grotto Canyon Icewalk Tour for most people include the following:

1

A stunted forest

Why are the trees so small and oddly shaped?
2

Grotto Creek

You will walk on the frozen creek bed in Grotto Canyon winding through the narrow gorge.
3

Rockies geology

Witness unusual rock formations and ancient ocean floors around you, the result of mountain building processes.
4

Pictographs

The ancient Native rock art provides 1,500 year old clues linking native culture in Canada to distant areas further south.
5

Icefalls

Get close to icefalls seeping from the cliff face, and if you’re lucky watch ice climbers performing their craft.

The best parts of the Sleigh Ride for most people include the following:

1

Sleigh ride through the mountain meadows

Enjoy spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains.
2

Hot drinks by the fire

Warm up by the fire after the ride with a hot drink back at the stables.
The tour commences at 8:30am and runs for 4 hours, which includes  2 – 2.5 hours for the icewalk. The tour returns to Canmore around 12pm and to Banff at 12:30pm.
The tour includes transport from Banff and Canmore, and a 2 – 2.5 hour walk on a frozen creek through Grotto Canyon past unusual rock formations, ancient Native rock art, and icefalls.

We provide ice cleats that will be attached to your boots that will prevent you from slipping on the ice. We also have hiking poles for extra stability if you would like to use them.

We pick up from most hotels in Banff, and you can select your preferred pick-up location during the booking process. Guests in Canmore will be picked up at 8:45am from the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre and dropped off here after the tour. For drop offs in Banff, our guide will ask you on the way back where you would like to be dropped off either in town or at your hotel.
You are welcome to meet us at any of our pick up locations in Banff to join the tour, and a popular central downtown meeting point is the public bus parking area behind the Mt Royal Hotel (the hotel address is 138 Banff Avenue). Guests staying in or near Canmore will meet at the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre.

Most guests choose to self-drive into Banff, although please note that you will need to find parking in Banff that exceeds the duration of the tour. Please refer to the Town of Banff website for general parking information, or the banffparking.ca website for live parking availability.

Yes! This is a unique opportunity to walk directly on a frozen creek bed. In the summer Grotto Creek flows through the canyon and then freezes solid in the winter. Being able to walk on the creek bed at the bottom of Grotto Canyon gives you a unique view of the canyon.
The Grotto Canyon Icewalk is 4.2km (2.6 miles) and has an elevation of 100 metres (328 feet), with a total walking time of 2 – 2.5 hours. This icewalk is considered easy, with a few small inclines. We provide ice cleats that will be attached to your boots that will prevent you from slipping on the ice, and we have hiking poles for extra stability if you would like to use them as well.
Please be prepared for the mountain weather, it changes quickly and our winter tours run in anything from -27C (-17F) to +10C (+50F). Wind chill can change the temperature dramatically and you will be outside for the majority of your tour.

To ensure that you enjoy the tour, please wear/bring:

  • Thermals/base layers/long johns.
  • Snow pants are recommended for this tour and are mandatory if it is below -16C (3F). Otherwise on warmer days, jeans/regular pants over long johns are okay. Snow pants can be rented from stores in Banff such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A warm sweater.
  • A warm jacket. Ski jackets can be rented from stores in Banff such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A hat and mitts.
  • A neck warmer or scarf.
  • Sturdy warm shoes, ideally winter boots or hiking boots. They do not have to be waterproof, but they must be warm. No heels, ugg boots, flip flops or sandals. If you do not have warm shoes, please contact our Reservations Team and we will check our stock levels or recommend a rental store such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A water bottle.
  • A face mask.

Please note that safety is our first priority. If the guide thinks your attire or footwear isn’t appropriate and compromises your safety on the tour, you may not be able to participate.

It does get icy during the winter season which is why we provide ice cleats during the tour to give you extra grip while you are doing your ice walk on the frozen creek. We cancel our tour at around -30 degrees Celsius or -22 Fahrenheit, and would offer to reschedule or refund your tour if this occured,
The tour runs for approximately 40 minutes, including time by the campfire after the ride.
The sleigh ride travels through Banff’s mountain meadows as you look for wildlife with your sleigh driver. Then, enjoy a fireside warmup stop after the ride where you can enjoy a hot drink back at the stables (weather permitting). Blankets and s’mores kits are not included, but can be purchased.

Please meet at Warner Stables, the big red stables located at the end of Sundance Road in Banff. When you arrive, please follow the sleigh ride signs to check in for your ride at the office in the west barn. The stables are located approximately a five minute drive or a 20 minute walk from downtown Banff, and there is plenty of free parking at the site.

Please see the below map for the location of Warner Stables:

Horseback Riding Map of the Stables in Banff, Canadian Rockies

We recommend that you get to the Warner Stables 15 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.
The sleigh is “open top” so we recommend that everyone dresses warm with multiple layers, mitts, hats, a thick winter jacket and boots. You may like to bring your own blanket for the ride.
The sleigh is a traditional wood construction style, with wooden bench seats. You do not sit on hay.
Typically there are two horses pulling the sleigh. The horses are a variety of heavy horse breeds, including Percheron horses. There are two different sleigh sizes, a 9 seater and a 16 seater. The sleigh may or may not be full on your tour.
Unfortunately you cannot feed the horses but you certainly can pet them if you wish. They love a good scratch on the cheek. While you cannot ride the horses as part of this tour but we do offer horse-riding tours in the summer.
There is a 24 hour cancellation policy, which allows you to change/cancel or refund your booking up to 24 hours outside your booked tour (up to 7 days for group bookings).
Tips are not expected, but are certainly appreciated. If you think your guide did a wonderful job and would like to indicate that with a tip, it will be graciously accepted.
  • Activities in this package can be taken on the same day or on different days.
  • The minimum age for this package is 8 years.
  • All minors under 18 years old must have a parent or legal guardian with them.
  • All adults must sign a waiver prior to the tours. A waiver must also be completed by the parent or legal guardian of any child under the age of 18 (documentation may be required to confirm the signatory’s authority).
  • Please note that the Grotto Canyon Icewalk tour requires a minimum of 4 participants, please call the day prior to confirm the tour.
Winter sleigh ride in Banff
Walk on ice on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk Tour with Discover Banff Tours in the Canadian Rockies
See magnificent frozen falls on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk Tour with Discover Banff Tours in the Canadian Rockies
See ancient pictographs on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours in the Canadian Rockies
Wear comfortable ice cleats over your winter boots on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours in the Canadian Rockies
Banff sleigh rides in winter
Sleigh ride mountain views
Family Banff sleigh ride