Best Winter Hikes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

Call of the wild.

Photo by Nico Babot.

Troll Falls

Kananaskis, Alberta

Despite the snow bringing an extra level of difficulty to any hike, this one is still family friendly and great for beginners. The 3.4-km loop takes about 30 minutes to complete. Some years, there is even a chance to explore behind the frozen waterfall, a truly unique experience. Exploring the cascading ice from this location is an afternoon activity anyone can enjoy.


Photo by Aly Rae.

Grassi Lakes

Kananaskis, Alberta

Choose the easy or difficult path through snow-covered evergreens to these majestic lakes. The beautiful colours of turquoise, blue, and green can still be seen in the winter months. The mountain range is visible along many areas of the path, and if it is a sunny day, the reflection on the water  is an amazing photo opportunity.


Photo by HikeBikeTravel.

Johnston Canyon

Banff, Alberta

This is one of the most popular hiking trails near Banff, but in the winter months it is much less crowded and just as spectacular. There are upper and lower falls on this hike. The lower falls have a view of not only the magnificent frozen waterfall but also the deep pool created from water continuing to fall behind the ice. The trail leads through a natural tunnel in the rock to a viewing platform right at the base of the falls. It then continues to the upper falls, with a view from above.

Photo by Paul Zizka.

Lake Louise

Banff, Alberta

Lake Louise is famous for its stunning turquoise water and beautiful mountain views. In the snowy months, the colours of the lake are still visible, and the surrounding mountain range is covered in snow, making it a postcard-worthy sight. The walk to the lookout point can be done quickly, but make it a whole-day adventure by skating on the lake as well.


Photo by Hello BC.

Wapta Falls

Yoho National Park, British Columbia

The 4.6-kilometre trail to these falls is well worth the trek. Depending on how cold the winter is, these falls will either freeze up entirely or flow into the river below, but both sights are equally stunning. If the falls weren’t enough, the picture-perfect mountain is a magnificent backdrop to enjoy a packed lunch.



Photo by Banff Jasper Collective.


Maligne Canyon

Jasper National Park, Alberta

The man-made catwalks and bridges on this trail make it easy and fun for the whole family, but they can get slippery in the winter so good shoes or even ice cleats are recommended. This beautiful hike takes you along a frozen river and through the canyons and caves where you will be surrounded by beautiful snow formations and icicles.


Photo by HikeBikeTravel.

Shirley Lake Trail

Elk Island National Park, Alberta

This national park is known for its sightings of wildlife such as deer, moose, bison, birds, and, as the name suggests, elk. The trails are ideal for snowshoeing, but walking and hiking are also doable and are best enjoyed if you have a whole day to explore. There are 11 different trails that meander through forested areas, open fields, and around lakes. Make sure to pack binoculars!


Photo by Dan Schykulski.

Crescent Falls

Nordegg, Alberta

There are two perspectives from which to view this magnificent frozen waterfall. Hikers can follow a trail along the top to a lookout where you will see not only the falls but the surrounding forest winter wonderland. It is recommended to have ice cleats to walk down the other trail to the base. Here you can explore the base of the falls and frozen pond. The view looking up will be captivating and a perfect spot for your photo.