Dec-Apr
Season
8:30am
Departure Time
4 Hours
Duration
8+
Age
Active
Activity

Explore the icy beauty of Grotto Canyon using special hiking crampons to grip the smooth frozen creek bed. Your guide will point out the stunted pine forest and hidden ancient native pictographs, which were likely created by Hopi visitors from the Arizona region.

Here at Grotto Canyon, our Icewalk hikes the frozen creek bed, through a narrow canyon, past unusual rock formations and spectacular icefalls.

You might see ice climbers scaling the frozen waterfalls, but for many the highlight of the Grotto Canyon Icewalk is the ancient native pictographs, that are easily missed by the general public.

The symbols have many possible meanings and origins and you will learn more about First Nation history in the Bow Valley.

Included
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of binoculars
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Ice cleats
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
Walking Distance
  • 4.2km (2.6 miles)
Elevation Gain
  • 100m (33 feet)
Guide Quote

Emma's Pick

"Grotto’s a local secret with few crowds and cool human history." - Emma , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Highlights:

  • A stunted forest:  Why are the trees so small and oddly shaped?
  • Grotto Creek:  You will walk on the frozen creek bed winding through the narrow gorge.
  • Rockies geology:  Witness ancient ocean floors around you, the result of mountain building processes.
  • Pictographs:  500 year old clues linking native culture in Canada to distant areas further south.
  • Icefalls:  Get close to icefalls seeping from the cliff face, and if lucky watch ice climbers performing their craft.
Included
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of binoculars
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Ice cleats
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
Walking Distance
  • 4.2km (2.6 miles)
Elevation Gain
  • 100m (33 feet)
Guide Quote

Emma's Pick

"Grotto’s a local secret with few crowds and cool human history." - Emma , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Q: What time is the pick up?
A: We ask you to be ready for 8.15am and the driver will be there between 8.15 and 8.30am. There is a pick up window of 15 minutes for all Banff hotels. Pick up from the Radisson in Canmore is 8.45am.
Q: What time does the tour finish?
A: The driver will aim to drop guests back to Canmore hotels between 12.00pm and 12.30pm, exact times will vary depending on which hotel you are staying at and can sometimes be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.
Q: Where is Grotto Canyon?
A: Grotto Canyon is approximately 30 minutes driving from Banff, just east of Canmore.
Q: How long is the tour?
A: The planned duration of the tour is 4 hours including hotel pick up and drop off. We try our best to adhere to this time schedule however this can sometimes vary due to unforeseen circumstances.
Q: What should we wear?
A: Skiwear is strongly recommended for this tour. Thermal layers, snow pants and jacket, hat, mitts, scarf and warm, waterproof winter boots. It is better to have too many layers than not enough.
Q: Is special footwear required?
A: We recommend wearing a comfortable pair of warm, waterproof winter boots. If you do not own something suitable let us know your shoe size and we can provide boots for you at no extra charge.
Q: How long/strenuous is the walk?
A: This is rated as an easy walk with a return distance of 4.2km (2.6 miles) and elevation gain of 100m (328 feet). You will follow the winding path of the canyon floor.
Included
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of binoculars
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Ice cleats
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
Walking Distance
  • 4.2km (2.6 miles)
Elevation Gain
  • 100m (33 feet)
Guide Quote

Emma's Pick

"Grotto’s a local secret with few crowds and cool human history." - Emma , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Minimum age for this tour is 8 years.

Included
  • Small group size (up to 24 guests per guide)
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of binoculars
  • Hands on interpretive tools
  • Ice cleats
  • Hotel pick up and drop off
Walking Distance
  • 4.2km (2.6 miles)
Elevation Gain
  • 100m (33 feet)
Guide Quote

Emma's Pick

"Grotto’s a local secret with few crowds and cool human history." - Emma , Hiking Guide, Discover Banff Tours

Grotto Canyon Icewalk
Banff Icewalks
Banff Icewalks
Banff Icewalks
Banff Icewalks
Banff Icewalks
Banff Icewalks
Banff Icewalk
Banff Icewalk
Banff Icewalks
Banff Icewalks
Banff Icewalk