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Banff & Beyond Winter Adventure - Lodge Based

Trip Length6 Days
Group Size4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$4,199 for REI Members
$4,599 for non-members
DeparturesDec 2024-Apr 2025

Spend 6 days playing at the foot of snowcapped peaks and along fairytale trails while exploring spectacular Banff and Lake Louise.

Sitting at the foot of the Canadian Rockies and among 2,500+ square miles of national park land, the towns of Banff and Lake Louise provide the ideal jumping off point for iconic, world-class adventure. During the summer months visitors from around the globe find inspiration in the regions soaring peaks, crystal blue lakes and rivers, and dense evergreen forests. As the seasons change and winter sets in, the hum of crowds dies down and a blanket of soft snow transforms the region into a scene straight out of a fairytale.

We'll spend 6 days playing in the spectacular winter paradise of Lake Louise and Banff, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks. Our guides have curated the best experiences in the area for us, so whether we're hiking through dramatic Johnston Canyon or snowshoeing through a stunning high alpine wilderness, our days will be filled with exhilarating winter exploration. Along the way we'll also enjoy hearty meals, the company of new friends, and the many talents of our expert guides.

Surrounded by towering peaks, the Ink Pots are a set of geothermal pools which percolate up from deep beneath the snow-covered landscape.

Trip Highlights

  • Access a high alpine snowshoeing wonderland via gondola
  • Explore the snow-covered valleys of Kootenay National Park
  • Cross the Continental Divide and enjoy views of the President Range from Yoho National Park
  • Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and spectacular views along the icy shores of Lake Agnes
  • Hike among frozen waterfalls in Johnston Canyon

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Participants will be snowshoeing/hiking over snow, ice and slush through potentially inclement winter weather for up to 9 miles with elevation gains and losses of up to 1900'.

  • Snowshoeing
  • Hiking

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; snowshoes; crampons/snow traction devices; hand and toe warmers; gondola pass; all vehicle transfers as noted in the daily itinerary; guide leadership; park entrance fees; all gratuities at lodges and restaurants.

Accommodations

Hotel, 5 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Banff & Beyond Winter Adventure - Lodge Based
Day 1

Explore Chickadee Valley in Kootenay National Park

Meet this morning for introductions and a group orientation in the town of Banff, Alberta. Please arrive ready for a day outside and prepared with more warm layers than you think you'll need. Our destination today is the Chickadee Valley. Depending on the snow and trail conditions, your guides will distribute the most appropriate equipment for your hike, which may include snowshoes, trekking poles and/or crampons. Your guides will also provide a refresher on how to properly use and adjust these winter tools. Once prepared, we will head out on a fabulous introduction to this amazing winter wonderland. Lunch and dinner included.

Hiking or snowshoeing: 5.6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 975'; Van transfers: 1.5 hours

Day 2

Hop aboard a gondola for a journey into a high alpine snowshoe paradise

A day of great winter adventure in Banff National Park awaits! Today we are whisked up above the trees and into the stunning open landscape of Sunshine Meadows. Sunshine Meadows sits astride the Continental Divide and on clear days offers extraordinary views of Mount Assiniboine, also known as the Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies. With our snowshoes on we explore a backcountry full of inspiring views and magnificent solitude. All meals included.

Snowshoeing: 5-9 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,300'; Van transfer: 1 hour

Day 3

Journey along the eastern border of British Columbia in Yoho National Park

Today's travels take us to Yoho National Park, Canada's second oldest national park. A land of towering peaks, massive glaciers and tumbling waterfalls, Yoho National Park transforms into an unbelievably gorgeous winter wonderland under a cover of powdery snow and ice. Our goal today is either Emerald Lake or Sherbrooke Lake, both of which offer outstanding views of the President Range and beyond. This evening we return to our cozy home-away-from-home where we soak our tired legs in a warm hot tub. Breakfast & lunch included; dinner on your own.

Hiking or snowshoeing: 5-6 miles depending on trail conditions, Elevation gain/loss: 1,000'-1,230'; Van transfer: 2.3 hours

Day 4

Hike or snowshoe to stunning Lake Agnes and witness world-famous Lake Louise

As one of the most photographed outdoor destinations on the planet, Lake Louise also holds the honor of being Canada's highest village. Our destination for the day is Lake Agnes, which sits high above Lake Louise and offers jaw-dropping views of Mt. Whyte, Mt. Niblock and the surrounding Bow Valley. On the shores of the high alpine lake sits the world-famous Lake Agnes Tea House. Established in 1901 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the refuge was built in honor of Lady Agnes MacDonald, the wife of Canada's first Prime Minister. While the tea house is closed in the winter, its stunning surroundings make for a magical winter picnic destination. All meals included.

Hiking or snowshoeing: 4.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,330'; Van transfer: 1.5 hours

Day 5

Wander spectacular Johnston Canyon en route to the Ink Pots

A winter adventure to Banff National Park would not be complete without a visit to beautiful Johnston Canyon. Shaped by centuries of erosion, the canyon's soaring walls hide a treasure trove of frozen waterfalls, deep tunnels, and clear blue pools. With several coveted ice climbing routes available in Johnston Canyon, visitors are often treated to a front-row seat of brave climbers navigating frozen crags and waterfalls. We'll continue our journey through snow-covered forests and powdery sub-alpine meadows before reaching a series of geothermal pools. Surrounded by soaring peaks we'll enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back to Banff for a celebratory last dinner together. All meals included.

Hiking or snowshoeing: 7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,889'; Van transfer: 1 hour

Day 6

Tunnel Mountain and Stewart Canyon

Tunnel Mountain, one of Banff "smallest" mountains but oh so famous for its access to some of the best views of the Bow Valley and it's surrounding peaks. The trail to the summit of Tunnel Mountain meanders through a forest of Douglas Fir which makes for great photo options. Arriving at the summit ridge, we are met with dramatic views of Mt Rundle, the Hoodoos and the Fairholme Range. We'll also be looking down on one of Banff's most famous historical landmarks, the Fairmont Banff Springs Luxury Hotel. After our morning hike, we head to Cascade Pond for a picnic lunch under the dramatic East face of Cascade mountain, keep your eyes open for Elk and deer! We finish the day with a stroll to Stewart Canyon bridge at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park's largest lake, enjoying this easy hike to cap off an amazing week of exploring and adventuring in the Canadian Rockies. We expect to arrive back in Banff by the late afternoon where we say goodbye to the beautiful Bow Valley. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking or snowshoeing: Tunnel Mountain: 3 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 860'. Stewart Canyon: 2 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 200'. 7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,889'; Van transfer: 1 hour

Itinerary map for Banff & Beyond Winter Adventure - Lodge Based

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Already booked this trip? Sign into your online traveler profile for a more detailed list of what you'll need.

REI members can shop for gently used gear online or at most REI stores. Members can also trade in pre-loved used gear online or at any REI store in exchange for REI gift card credit. Check out Re/Supply at REI to learn more.

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (800) 426-4840 ) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Trip specifics may change over time. Reviews reflect the version of the trip that was active at the time the reviewer took it. Please review the itinerary as described above and call our team for any additional details.