Banff Ice Walks

In the winters of Banff National Park, sub-zero temperatures turn mighty waterfalls into glittering pillars of ice. Suspended in time, these frozen falls look almost otherworldly. It’s an experience that’s truly unique to Banff and that’s why we’re proud to operate all three ice walk tours in and around Banff National Park.

The most popular ice walk is the narrow gorge of Johnston Canyon which has a network of steel catwalks built into the canyon walls that allows you to walk right along this cathedral of ice. As you do, you’ll get to wander through a natural cave to gaze down at the flowering waters of the lower falls. Continue onto the awe-inducing upper falls — a glittering tower of ice that rise 30 metres above your head. Want to add a touch of extra drama to your experience? Head back after dark on our night-time tour of the Johnston Canyon where your headlamp illuminates the way on the first leg of the trip.

Grotto Canyon gives you a second ice walk option where our guides will lead you along a frozen creekbed to see ancient native pictographs.

Highlights

  • Choose between three unique ice walk tours in and around Banff
  • Walk along steel catwalks through the Johnson Canyon and discover a glittering gorge of spectacular frozen waterfalls
  • Watch for wolves, moose, elk and coyotes while traveling through the Bow Valley Parkway wildlife corridor
  • Discover 500-year old native pictographs and walk across a frozen creek bed on the Grotto Canyon Ice Walk
Johnston Canyon Icewalk
Most Popular

Johnston Canyon Icewalk®

Water cascades into this narrow canyon in the heat of summer, but in the winter the thundering falls freeze solid to create natural ice sculptures. Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular attractions in Banff National Park and has a network of steel catwalks built into the canyon walls that allows you to walk right along this cathedral of ice with airy views into the gorge below. As you do, you’ll get to wander through a natural cave to gaze down at the flowering waters of the lower falls. Continue onto the awe-inducing upper falls — a glittering tower of ice that rise 30 metres above your head. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. This popular guided icewalk will lead you past the lower
per person
Nov-Apr
8:30am, 1:30pm
4 Hours
Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours

Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk®

Your headlamp makes the frozen waterfalls of Johnston Canyon shimmer as you hike along the suspended catwalks in quiet darkness at night. The Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk is all about heightening your senses, appreciating the darkness, the scents of the fresh pine forest and enjoying the silence of a night spent beneath the stars. At one point, the group turns out their lights and you’re immersed in the peaceful stillness of a winter night. Light your way through this narrow, water-formed canyon as your small group follows our guide to the Canyon's lower falls. The suspended catwalks, built into the limestone walls, make this an easy trip for everyone. Along the way, your guide will highlight unique features by powerful flashlight and pause for moments of darkness and quiet to foster an appreciation for spending time in the canyon at
per person
Dec-Apr
6:30pm, 7:30pm
2.5 Hours
See Pictographs on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk with Discover Banff Tours

Grotto Canyon Icewalk

Explore the icy beauty of Grotto Canyon and see ancient native pictographs using special hiking crampons to grip the smooth frozen creek bed. Here at Grotto Canyon, 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 at the bottom of Grotto Canyon gives you a unique view of the canyon. 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. 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. The symbols have many possible meanings and
per person
Dec-Apr
8:30am
4 Hours