12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff Nationwide Park

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Compiled by the Highway Journey Alberta crew

Final up to date on January 5, 2024

Gliding throughout a frozen lake on a pair of ice skates is one thing that each Canadian should do of their lifetime. With the epic mountain backdrops, ice skating in Banff Nationwide Park is such an incredible factor to do within the wintertime. And there are many prime spots to lace them up and spend a morning, afternoon or perhaps a full day skating away. Right here’s our record of the very best spots in Banff Nationwide Park for skating.

Ice Skating Banff National Park
Picture through Journey Alberta credit score Paul Zizka

12 Finest Locations for Ice Skating in Banff Nationwide Park

Lake Louise

There may be nothing like ice skating on the long-lasting Lake Louise. Maintained by the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, which incorporates day by day snow removing, the backdrop of this skating rink is likely one of the finest on this planet. Although it’s actually a busy ice rink – you’ll discover a number of vacationers right here – everybody ought to do that Lake Louise skating spot not less than as soon as.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise additionally erects ice sculptures and an ice fort yearly, which makes for beautiful picture alternatives. One other bonus: the ice is lit up at evening for evening skating!

Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge

Behind the Fairmont Banff Springs Lodge, you’ll discover the artifical Waldhaus rink. With views of the mountains and the beautiful resort, this is likely one of the most iconic locations to skate in Banff.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park
Photograph through Journey Alberta credit score Chris Amat

There’s normally a hearth pit or two to heat up in entrance of, too! Be aware that this rink is just for registered resort company.

Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre

Some of the lovely locations to go outside skating in Banff, the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre has over 16,000 sq. toes of ice to discover. Positioned behind the curling facility, the Fenlands outside rink is ideal for skating whereas surrounded by bushes and mountains. It’s additionally conveniently situated simply close to the Banff city signal, so it’s inside strolling distance from many resorts in Banff. You can too go contained in the recreation centre as there are indoor rinks obtainable for public use, too.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

One more reason we love this Banff ice skating spot? The Fenlands Recreation Centre has skate leases, skate sharpening, warming areas, concession, and washrooms throughout its working hours. 

Prepare Station

After the closing of the ice rink at Banff Neighborhood Excessive Faculty, locals and vacationers alike wished entry to outside ice skating rinks. Fortunately, a skating rink opened up on the Prepare Station on the town, the place you may take pleasure in 16,800 sq. toes of skating floor.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

There are additionally warming huts, benches, rubbish receptacles, and hearth pits in your use on the Prepare Station ice rink.

Lake Louise Recreation Centre

When you’re in search of an indoor rink, look no additional than the Lake Louise Recreation Centre. With an NHL-sized area, this rink is obtainable for drop-ins for $2.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

There are heated dressing rooms, hockey nets, and skate aids obtainable, amongst different facilities.

Wild Ice Skating in Banff

Wild skating in Banff Nationwide Park is completely unimaginable, nevertheless it does take some timing; there’s typically a really small window when you may really skate on the frozen lakes round Banff. It’s a must to discover the suitable circumstances, as there should be a very good degree of ice thickness, however there can’t be a whole lot of snow cowl.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

Lots of discovering the right spot for a wild ice skate is luck, however you can too ask round in both Banff or Lake Louise for the skating circumstances and ice thickness. Whereas ice skating on lakes is totally weather-dependent, it typically makes for the very best skating in Banff!

Bear in mind: not one of the following areas are maintained by Parks Canada, so skate on these frozen lakes at your individual danger. Extra on ice skating security in Banff is under.

Two Jack Lake

Discovered off of Minnewanka Highway, skating on Two Jack Lake is a once-in-a-lifetime expertise. This lovely spot is understood for its improbable skating, however you need to time it proper; varied elements have an effect on ice thickness and security, and there are sometimes spots that haven’t totally frozen over. However for those who skate right here on the proper time of yr, the frozen lake takes on the looks of easy glass, making for a skate to recollect.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

Security tip for skating on Two Jack Lake: keep not less than 100 metres from the dam on the east finish of the lake, as there’s at all times open water and dangerously skinny ice right here.

Lake Minnewanka

Discovered on Minnewanka Highway, Lake Minnewanka skating is known in Banff Nationwide Park. As a result of it’s such a big and deep lake, Lake Minnewanka normally takes a very long time to freeze over each winter. However when it does, it’s each ice skater’s dream!

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

The huge lake means that there’s tons of ice floor to cowl, however beware: excessive winds can typically push skaters out far onto the ice. It’s really useful to skate together with your boots in a backpack to be able to stroll again on windy days.

Bow River

Simply west of Bow Avenue within the city of Banff, there’s a small patch of ice that’s normally cleared on Bow River. Whereas it’s one of many closest pure ice surfaces to Banff for ice skating, skating alongside the river itself is just not really useful; the transferring water beneath makes it harmful.

Johnson Lake

Very talked-about for Banff ice skating, one other lake discovered on Minnewanka Highway is Johnson Lake. Usually one of many first lakes that freeze over each winter, this lake is an ideal place to check out wild skating in Banff.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

Security tip for skating on Johnson Lake: ice could also be thinner on the west finish of the lake close to the footbridge, as that is the place a stream exits the reservoir. 

Vermilion Lakes

Accessible from the Vermilion Lakes Drive, Vermilion Lakes has great skating in winter. Very talked-about with locals because the lakes are fairly near Banff townsite, you’ll typically discover skaters clearing the snow right here for the very best skating alternatives.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park
Picture through Journey Alberta credit score Noel Hendrickson

The primary two of the Vermilion Lakes are the very best for ice skating; take pleasure in views of Mount Rundle as you whip throughout the pure ice.

Cascade Ponds

One other spot off of Minnewanka Highway, Cascade Ponds has some nice skating in winter. Use warning when skating close to the streams, because the flowing water typically implies that the ice isn’t as thick right here.

Peyto Lake

When you’re in search of a frozen lake that doesn’t have a whole lot of skaters, take a look at Peyto Lake. Whereas it requires extra effort to get to – you’ll need to hike right down to the lake from the lake entry, not the viewing platform – Peyto Lake provides some superb skating alternatives with magnificent views.

Winter in Alberta Feature

What to Deliver for Ice Skating in Banff

Although you’ll be working up a sweat with all that ice skating, it’s nonetheless really useful to decorate warmly for any outside actions in Banff. That features a heat jacket, snow pants, thick socks, mittens, a shawl, and a toque (at minimal). It’s at all times higher to layer up and be capable of take away objects of clothes than to really feel too chilly whereas skating!

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park
Picture through Journey Alberta credit score Jake Dyson

And for those who don’t have your individual skates? There are many locations in Banff to hire ice skates.

The place to Lease Skates in Banff Nationwide Park

Fortunately, there are many locations in Banff and Lake Louise to hire ice skates. When you’re in Banff, you may hire skates from Banff Adventures, Chateau Mountain Sports activities on the Banff Springs Lodge, Final Sports activities, Snowtips-Bactrax, and Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre (for onsite use solely).

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

Headed to Lake Louise? You’ll be able to hire skates from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise; Chateau Ski and Snow Leases is discovered close to the resort foyer and provides ice skate leases. Wilson Mountain Sports activities in Lake Louise Village additionally provides skate leases.

Fast Ideas for Ice Skating Security

Staying protected whereas ice skating in Banff is extraordinarily essential, and everybody ought to take ice security critically. Parks Canada does NOT monitor pure ice surfaces in Banff Nationwide Park, so for those who select to go wild ice skating, you accomplish that at your individual danger.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park
Picture through Journey Alberta credit score Adam Greenberg

How thick does ice have to be to skate on? Parks Canada recommends that ice needs to be not less than 15 centimetres (roughly six inches) thick for strolling or skating alone, and the ice needs to be not less than 20 centimetres (roughly 7.5 inches) thick for video games or group skating. Nevertheless, by spring, a whole lot of ice could have melted after which frozen once more, making it unstable. We suggest ice skating in Banff in winter when the ice is at its thickest and strongest.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park
Picture through Journey Alberta credit score Sean Thonson

Clear blue ice is the strongest, whereas white ice is half as robust. Gray ice needs to be utterly averted as there’s a sign of water. Don’t go wild ice skating at evening; it’s almost unimaginable to see skinny ice or holes within the ice. For extra data on ice security, click on right here.

Ice Skating Close to Banff Nationwide Park

Are you keen to journey outdoors of the park for different skating alternatives? Abraham Lake is an notorious skating spot in Alberta because of the methane ice bubbles that change into trapped within the lake’s clear ice throughout winter, making for an unforgettable skate.

12 AMAZING Spots for Ice Skating in Banff National Park

There’s additionally ice skating on Spray Lake Reservoir, Pyramid Lake, in Kananaskis Village, Hole Lake, Lac des Arcs, Goat Pond, and a number of spots round Canmore, together with the city pond.


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