/ Hibernate in the Canadian Rockies

Hibernate in the Canadian Rockies

Aug 09, 2013

Embrace the winter this year and snuggle up to your loved ones in the majestic beauty of the glistening snow-capped Rockies situated in Banff, Alberta. The yearlong playground, which has attracted millions of visitors from around the world, is known for its breathtaking scenery and warm hospitality. Read on to find out more about this winter wonderland that is indeed a magical place that promises new discoveries each visit.

How to Get There

Fly into Banff’s closest airport, the Calgary International, and drive approximately 90 minutes on the Trans-Canada Highway. Transportation to Banff is also available by airport shuttle, rental car, bus or limousine.

There is also shuttle service available between Banff & Lake Louise (less than an hour’s drive apart).

All visitors to Banff National Park pay an entry fee of CDN$7 per person or CDN$14 per group/family per day.

Things to Do

  • Experience the thrill of all outdoor activities such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and wildlife viewing.
  • Take a horse drawn sleigh ride along the lakeside trail beginning in front of the spectacular Chateau Lake Louise. Blankets are provided and private romantic rides for two can also be arranged through tour operators.
  • Enjoy ice-skating during the holiday season on Lake Louise as music, hot chocolate, ice sculptures and an outdoor fire set the scene.
  • Indulge in powder skiing or snowboarding at world-class resorts such as Sunshine (between Lake Louise & Banff), Lake Louise, Norquay and Marmot Basin (near Jasper).
  • After a day on the slopes, relax by soaking in the Upper Hot Spring Baths, which have an outside water temperature of 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Take in the panoramic views with a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain.
  • Escape into luxury at the world-renowned Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
  • End each day sipping hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire.

Where to Eat

Enjoy fine culinary cuisine at the Banff Springs Hotel, Chateau Lake Louise and the Post Hotel. Saltlik and Earl’s restaurants serve up great Alberta steak. Try Maple Leaf Grill for a truly Canadian experience and Giorgio’s for wholesome Italian fare. The Grizzly House is a great spot for the adventurous, offering fondue and hot rock selections in buffalo, rattlesnake, alligator and shark to name a few.


There is plenty of sunshine and blue skies even in winter despite the cold temperature. The warm Chinook winds can sometimes bring spring-like conditions. The climate is very dry so lather on the moisturizer. The ‘’champagne’’ powder snow in the Rockies is dry and light with a moisture content of only seven percent compared to European resorts where the average is ten percent.

What to Wear

Bring sunscreen and warm clothing. Dress in layers. Ski clothes and equipment may be rented or bought locally. Dress is casual as with any ski resort.

Where to Stay

Accommodations are available to suit any style and budget. The Banff Springs Hotel is a world-famous castle hotel where you can spend a day or two just wandering the hallways. Other luxury hotels include the Rimrock, Chateau Lake Louise and the Post Hotel. There are also plenty of cozy cabins and intimate inns in the Banff and surrounding area. Some of the best romantic hideaways include Moraine Lake Lodge and Emerald Lake Lodge. Advance reservations are strongly recommended everywhere.

Where to Shop

The main street, Banff Avenue, has a variety of stores ranging from cafes, fine boutiques, galleries and confectioneries. Listen to the multitude of languages that can be heard along the way reflecting the influx of visitors from around the world. Stop at the Cascade Shopping Centre, which houses approximately 50 shops, a food court and atrium. Alberta is a shopper’s paradise with no provincial sales tax as with other provinces, only the 7 percent goods and services tax.

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