Photo Credit: Travel Alberta / Mike Seehagel
Looking for the best things to see and do in Banff in February?
February means fluffy snow that is deeper than ever in the Canadian Rockies – the powder months have arrived! Banff and Lake Louise are transformed into a winter wonderland and there’s never been a better time to soak in their snow covered beauty. Plus, it’s the perfect time of year for snowy activities such as dogsledding, snowshoeing and sleigh rides.
1. Glide through the snow on a dogsled tour
This is the most popular winter activity in Banff! Imagine gliding along a snowy, winding trail as your team of dogs pulls you through breathtaking Rocky Mountain landscapes in a traditional yet thrilling way. Dogsledding tours are perfect for families of all ages or as a romantic winter experience – you can even choose to relax on an instructor driven sled, or mush the sled yourself.
2. See Johnston Canyon’s frozen falls on a private tour
Johnston Canyon is one of Banff’s most popular hiking trails, but this winter the access road is closed to public vehicles due to the pandemic. Grab your household cohort and join our friendly local guide on a private tour from Banff to Johnston Canyon and marvel at the frozen waterfalls. It’s a rare opportunity to see this iconic canyon without the crowds!
3. Check out local events
There’s always something happening in Banff! The Banff Winter Carnival returns to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site with fun activities for all ages. Try your hand at curling, challenge family and friends to wild and wacky outdoor games, and check out vintage films and media from the carnival’s glory days in the Roaring Twenties. If you’re visiting for Family Day, there’s a range of free and low-cost events as part of the Family Winter Arts Festival at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Plus, on Friday and Saturday evenings the Banff Gondola‘s Alpenglow Festival at Sulphur Mountain gives you the chance to see the rose coloured sunset on the surrounding snow-capped peaks and then stargaze at 7,500 feet.
4. Snowshoe through fresh powder
Is there a more fun way to play in the snow than snowshoeing? Kootenay National Park has transformed into a winter wonderland and our snowshoe tours are fluffier and deeper than ever. This removed yet engaging experience allows guests to truly interact with the silence of winter at Marble Canyon with its incredible 40-metre gorge of frozen falls. Breathe in the smell of fresh pine as you explore these winding forest paths led by your friendly guide and sample a truly Canadian treat – maple taffy made in the snow!
5. Take a sleigh ride (perfect for Family Day!)
Imagine being pulled through a snowy mountain meadow by a pair of beautiful horses, as their sleigh bells jingle in the crisp air. A sleigh ride is the perfect group activity for the family or with your friends, with stunning mountain peaks such as Mt Rundle surrounding you.
For families visiting Banff, the new private family sleigh seats up to four people and includes two cozy fleece blankets and a s’mores kit to enjoy by the fire after your ride.
6. Celebrate Valentine’s Day in style
Looking for the perfect romantic Valentine’s Day date? Take a private sleigh ride just for two on a one-horse open sleigh complete with a delicious beverage, a s’mores kit and a cozy blanket to snuggle under. This is our most popular option for proposals in Banff.
Another popular option for Valentine’s Day is scenic helicopter flights over the Canadian Rockies. Near Banff, take a private 30-minute helicopter flight for two to Marvel Pass with a 15 minute stopover at 7,200 feet. If you’re driving to Jasper, stop along the Icefields Parkway for a unique winter experience combining a helicopter snowshoe adventure with a guided tour of Abraham Lake’s famous frozen bubbles.
In February Banff’s winter wonderland is perfect for dogsledding, seeing frozen falls, snowshoeing through fresh powder, taking a sleigh ride with family and friends, and celebrating Valentine’s Day in style.
Johnston Canyon is open to the public, please check Parks Canada’s trail report and wear ice cleats during winter. Without a guide you’ll miss the interesting history and unique fossils.
There is no dogsledding directly in the Town of Banff, there is dogsledding in Lake Louise (45 minutes from Banff) and at Spray Lakes near Canmore (50 minutes from Banff).
A horse-drawn sleigh ride is a romantic Valentine’s Day option that’s perfect for proposals. Another popular choice is scenic helicopter flights over Banff including a private flight for two.
There’s lots of family friendly winter activities in Banff including tubing at Mt Norquay, horse-drawn sleigh rides, dogsledding tours, and the Banff Gondola.