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Banff and the surrounding areas are an outdoor adventure playground in winter! From hiking, snow tubing and gondola rides, to hot springs, ice climbing and helicopter tours, there are plenty of great things to do in Banff, even for non-skiers who still fancy a winter holiday in Alberta, Canada.
What an epic trip! I used the E word a lot during my week in Alberta, Canada, but I can’t think of a better word to describe the scenery. Just before we arrived, around 3ft of snow had fallen, making it a winter wonderland dressed in a blanket of white powder. We assumed this was normal! But no, even the locals were surprised by how deep it was. Resorts in the area said it was the coldest winter and the most snow they’d seen in 60 years! We decided we were lucky. After all, we wanted a snowy road trip with days full of fun activities, and cosy evenings in local restaurants and hotels.
Alberta is famous for its skiing and snowboarding. There’s the SkiBig3 – three resorts (Sunshine, Norquay and Lake Louise near Banff) which offer some of the best slopes in the country. But what if, like me, you’re not a natural snow bunny, shoop shoop shooping down the slopes with ease – is there still enough to fill a week’s holiday?
YES! Absolutely loads in fact! Over seven days we road tripped around the region, finding some of the best views, ice climbing our way up frozen waterfalls, travelling on gondolas and chair lifts, getting our adrenaline fix with high speed snow tubing, and snowshoeing through untouched parts of the national parks. If you’re considering a trip, and don’t ski, or at least don’t want to spend ALL of your time on the slopes, here’s a guide to what else you can do in beautiful Alberta in the winter.
What To Do In Alberta, Canada In The Winter
The views from the viewing platforms at the top of the Banff Gondola are some of the best I saw during my time in Alberta. The gondola ride takes around ten minutes and once at the top of Sulphur Mountain you can wander the picturesque walkways. At an elevation of 2281m, the views really are spectacular, looking onto the town of Banff and beyond to frozen lakes and snow-covered mountains. There’s a café and restaurant, plus an exhibition and shop. I loved taking a peek into the café and seeing people there with their laptops working. I decided it must be one of the best ‘office’ views in the world!