Top Winter Hiking Trails in the Canadian Rockies

We have endless options for incredible trails to hike throughout the Canadian Rockies in winter. However, if you’re only visiting the Canadian Rockies for a short vacation, you’re going to want to hike the best of the best winter trails.

In this guide, we cover trails throughout Kananaskis, Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, and Yoho National Park.

Explore the suggestions below, and you’ll find yourself hiking through beautiful snowy meadows on your way to alpine lakes and backcountry cirques. Discover frozen waterfalls as you walk through ice-filled canyons. Alternatively, climb a mountain where a coffee shop waits for you on the summit (along with a free gondola ride down!)

Spend a night or two near your chosen trailhead and discover unique accommodations and après-hike experiences that include visiting a Nordic Spa, glamping in a rustic canvas tent, or ice skating on one of the most beautiful outdoor rinks in the world.

three people snowshoeing in distance to Wapta Falls, Canada

Wapta Falls is one of the great hiking and snowshoeing trails in the Canadian Rockies. Photo: Tanya Koob

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Winter Hiking & Snowshoeing Trails in Kananaskis

1. Troll Falls & Upper Falls, Kananaskis Village

Length: 4 km (2.5 mi) to Troll Falls, 6 km (3.7 mi) to Upper Falls round trip

Difficulty: Easy

Troll Falls is the perfect family-friendly hiking trail. Most of the time, you won’t need anything other than a pair of winter boots unless the trail is especially icy. For icy conditions, bring along a pair of Kahtoola microspikes.

Additionally, you’ll share the trail with cross-country skiers, so it’s requested that you stay out of the ski tracks. Make sure you step to the side if you see a skier coming down a hill towards you. The trail also sees fat bike use and is a popular outing for those wanting to get a feel for their snowshoes on a wide gentle trail.

The waterfalls are absolutely spectacular in winter, and if you have ice cleats or spikes, you can climb up behind them. Children will enjoy crawling behind ice curtains near the ground, and you’ll often get to watch ice climbers in action.

Read More: Winter Trail Etiquette for Snowshoeing & Hiking

Additional trail tips

Also, you can extend your hike with a trip to the Upper Falls. Backtrack a short distance from Troll Falls, heading back the way you came, until you reach a signed junction for the Upper Falls.

You’ll cross a small bridge and climb steeply uphill where you’ll want spikes or ice cleats until you reach a beautiful set of two-tiered waterfalls, the Upper Falls. Unless you know the area well, return the same way that you came once you’ve reached a sign signifying the end of the trail.

For more information on all trails in the Kananaskis Village area, stop in at the Barrier Lake Information Centre, which you’ll pass driving out to the Village. Here you can pick up maps and find out what would be suitable for your group.

Read More: 10 Snowshoe Adventures to Try this Winter in the Canadian Rockies

child with arms extended on Troll Falls, Kananaskis

Children can have a fun time playing by ice curtains near the ground. Photo: Tanya Koob

person standing with arms outstretched near top of Upper Falls, Kananaskis

You can extend your trip from Troll Falls to reach Upper Falls. Photo: Tanya Koob

Make it an apres experience

Spend the night at Kananaskis Village! Book a room for a night or two at the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. Here you’ll find a Nordic Spa for the adults 18+, an indoor waterpark for the children, several restaurants, and a wide assortment of on-site activities. There are many hiking trails around the Village, and you can also enjoy a beautiful skate under the stars on the Village ice skating pond.

Whether you spend the night or not near Troll Falls, I highly recommend finishing your day at the Nordic Spa at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. At the lodge, you can spend hours alternating between outdoor hot, warm, and cold pools, saunas, and steam rooms. Or, relax in their heated hammocks.

Reservations are not needed unless you want to book a treatment while there. Weekends can be busy, though, and there may be wait times. Visit their website for more information.

If you’re hiking with children or youth under 18, I recommend stopping at the village to warm up at the Market Café. You can also take a spin around the ice skating pond, visit the sledding hill, or take a walk on any of the trails around the lodge. We finish most of our hikes in this area in front of the big fireplace inside the Mountain Lodge. There, we can relax with cups of coffee and cookies from the café.

Read More: Celebrate a Mountain Christmas in the Canadian Rockies

Pomeroy Lodge at night with frozen pond and Christmas lights

After your hike to Troll Falls or Upper Falls, stay at Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge for an apres experience. Photo: Tanya Koob

Nordic spa at Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge during daylight

If you don’t stay the night, you can still relax in the spa at the lodge after your hike. Photo: Tanya Koob

2. Rawson Lake and Upper Kananaskis Lake, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Length: 8 km (5 mi) round trip

Difficulty: Moderate

Further along Highway 40, you’ll come to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, where there are dozens of snowshoe trails. Stop in at the PLPP Visitor Centre to pick up a trail brochure and to get suggestions for the current conditions.

Of all the trails around the Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes, Rawson Lake Trail is my favourite. Plus, you can reach the lake in an 8 km (5 miles) round-trip hike.

You’ll gain 320 metres (1050 feet) of height, but the trail never feels overly steep. The trail gets well packed down and is always wide enough that you shouldn’t fear getting lost in the snow.

The first 1.2 km (0.7 miles) takes you along the shore of Upper Kananaskis Lake on the scenic Lakeshore Trail, where you’ll pass by Sarrail Falls on a wooden bridge.  Once you get to the junction of Rawson Lake, the trail begins to climb for the final 2.7 km (1.7 miles.)

Read More: Winter Exploring in Alberta’s Provincial Parks

Additional trail tips

Enjoy the stunning scenery at Rawson Lake, but don’t go any further once you reach the lake, or you’ll be in avalanche terrain. If you have eyes on Sarrail Ridge, plan to return in the summer.

I recommend bringing snowshoes for this hike, and if you don’t need them, you can strap them to your backpack. You’ll definitely want them once you arrive at the lake if you step off the main trail.

Read More:
Why All Snowshoers Should Be Avalanche Aware (Even Beginners)
How to Choose the Best Trail: Tips for Learning When You Need Snowshoes

mother and son on snowshoes with arms outstretched at Rawson Lake, Kananaskis

The Rawson Lake area is perfect for snowshoeing! Just be wary that if you go past the lake, you’ll be in avalanche terrain. Photo: Tanya Koob

3. Chester Lake, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Length: 9.2 km (5.7 mi) round-trip

Difficulty: Moderate

Chester Lake is a multi-use winter area with a designated snowshoe trail and a separate backcountry ski trail. Please use the snowshoe trail if hiking, even if the ski trail appears to be more packed down.

The hike to the lake is 9.2 km round-trip (5.7 miles) with 300 metres of height gain (984 feet.) To reach Chester Lake, from the Upper Kananaskis Lake area, turn on to the Spray Lakes Road, Highway 742, which will take you into the Spray Valley. You can also access this highway from Canmore.

I honestly believe this is one of the most beautiful snowshoe trails in all of Kananaskis and Banff combined. The distance is doable, even with children, and the trail grade is never overly steep. You’ll get a workout climbing to the lake, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re climbing a mountain.

Before you reach the lake, you’ll be rewarded with an amazingly scenic walk through alpine meadows. This beautiful walk is the highlight of the trip, and even if you only get this far, it’s still worth it.

Read More: Escape to Snow Paradise in Kananaskis, Alberta

Additional trail tips

If you go the full distance to the lake, make sure you don’t start climbing slopes beyond the lake, or you’ll be in avalanche terrain. Stay on the lakeshore, and you’re fine.

Make the trip more comfortable with children and bring a sled. We towed a sled behind us when our son was younger and told him that if he made it to the meadows, we’d let him ride down. My husband guided the sled from behind,  driving it in front of him with a rope. I’d recommend helmets for this wild ride through tight trees.

Also, you’ll want snowshoes for this trail. The Spray Valley receives a tremendous amount of snow in winter.

Read More: 10 Tips for Making Snowshoeing Fun with Kids

snowshoer in distance on Chester Lake Trail in Alberta

The Chester Lake Trail is one of my favorite hikes in the Canadian Rockies on a clear day. Photo: Tanya Koob

man holding child on sled while snowshoeing

Using a sled is a fun way to descend the Chester Lake trail with children. Photo: Tanya Koob

4. Rummel Lake, Spray Valley Provincial Park

Length: 10 km (6.2 mi round-trip)

Difficulty: Moderate

Further along Highway 742, you’ll come to the turn off for Mount Engadine Lodge. Park on the right-hand side of the highway if coming from the south, and you’ll be able to see a well-packed trail climbing up the bank.

This unofficial trail takes you to a beautiful bench looking over the Spray Valley. Beyond, you can access Rummel Lake, where there is a backcountry campground for winter use.

You’ll hike 1.8 km (1.1 miles) to reach the bench, gaining half of your total height. The total height for the entire trail is 421 metres (1381 feet). From the bench, turn left on the High Rockies Trail until you come to the junction with the Rummel Lake Trail. The trail is more gradual from this point on.

Additional trail tips

If you’re staying at Mount Engadine Lodge, this is the closest and best hike you can do from the lodge, returning in time for afternoon tea. I also love the views from the bench looking over the valley, and the trail is much less crowded than the ones to Rawson or Chester Lake.

If you want a more remote/backcountry hike, this is your trail!

Stop hiking when you reach the lake to stay out of avalanche terrain. Snowshoes are highly recommended. If the trail is well packed down, you can always strap your snowshoes to your backpack.

person on snowshoes looking at lake and mountains with arms outstretched

This scenic bench is a highlight of the hike to Rummel Lake. Photo: Tanya Koob

person on snowshoes and poles admiring view at Rummel Lake, Kananaskis

For a backcountry hike, Rummel Lake is your trail! Photo: Tanya Koob

Make it an apres experience

Spend the night in the Spray Valley! If you’re hiking anywhere in the Spray Valley, I recommend a night or two at Mount Engadine Lodge. Here, you can choose from cozy lodge rooms, pet-friendly suites, or one or two-bedroom cabins. For a glamping experience, stay in one of their new canvas wall glamping tents. There’s also an affordable yurt on-site if you want to keep costs low and enjoy winter camping.

All stays at Mount Engadine Lodge include afternoon tea with a charcuterie board and desserts once you arrive. Plus, you’ll receive a gourmet dinner that evening, breakfast the next day, and a packed lunch for your adventures.

Whether you stay overnight at Mount Engadine Lodge or not, you can still pop in for afternoon tea after your hike. The cost is CAD 17.50 per person, and it’s well worth planning a walk near the lodge so that you can finish your outing here. You can find more information on their website.

Read More:
Mount Engadine Lodge: Alberta’s Front Country Lodge With Backcountry Charm 
Choose Your Overnight Adventure in the Canadian Rockies this Spring

glamping tent at Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis in winter

The new glamping tents at Mount Engadine Lodge are decadent, and a stay includes all meals! Photo: Tanya Koob

Winter Hiking & Snowshoeing Trails Around Canmore

1. Ha Ling Peak

Length: 8 km (5 mi) round-trip

Difficulty: Moderate- Difficult

The newly redesigned and improved Ha Ling Peak Trail in Canmore climbs 800 metres (2600 feet). Bring good ice cleats or microspikes with you for this one. I also highly recommend a pair of trekking poles to help with balance on the final scramble to the summit.

The Ha Ling trail is well-maintained for the first 3.5 km (2.2 miles) to the saddle where you can look down over the Town of Canmore. Challenging sections have had wooden staircases built to make the ascent more manageable and to prevent your bum from sliding on the descent.

However, the final 400 metres of distance (0.2 miles) climbs 100 metres of height in a rough scramble through uneven, loose rock. Either turn around at the saddle or carry on if you have spikes and experience on rough terrain.

Additional trail tips

Ha Ling Peak is a classic “first summit” that many people tackle when they visit the Canadian Rockies. It is a local favorite as well, and many people hike or run this trail regularly year-round. It is always well packed down, and there’s little chance of getting lost.

The views from the top are spectacular, and you don’t have to reach the summit for great views. Plus, the newly re-designed trail has several viewpoints along the way if you have an energy crash part way up or realize the trail is too challenging.

Read More:
Why to Use Snowshoes on Your Next Mountaineering Adventure
Are Two Poles Better Than One?

two women posing on top of Ha Ling Peak in microspikes

Ha Ling Peak is an excellent summit for year-round hiking in Canmore. Photo: Tanya Koob

two people on saddle of Ha Ling Trail, Canmore, Alberta

Canmore is a fabulous destination to visit in winter (photo: the saddle on the Ha Ling Trail)

2. Grotto Canyon Or Grassi Lakes

Length: 7 km (4.4 mi) round-trip for Grotto Canyon or 4.3 km (2.7 mi) for Grassi Lakes

Difficulty: Moderate for Grotto Canyon, Easy for Grassi Lakes

If you’re staying in Canmore and want to get out for a walk, but don’t quite feel like climbing a mountain, there are other great hiking options.

Try out the popular Grotto Canyon or Grassi Lakes trails as an alternative. You’ll want ice cleats or spikes for both trails, and they will be well-packed down, so you should not need snowshoes.

Highlights of the Grotto Canyon Trail include frozen waterfalls and the opportunity to hike on a frozen canyon floor of solid ice. If hiking to Grassi Lakes, make sure you choose the “easy trail” which is a wide road. The harder trail is for use in summer only.

Read More: Frozen Waterfalls and Ice Walks In Banff National Park

child walking on ice near waterfall at Grotto Canyon, Canmore

Grotto Creek Canyon is an excellent hike for the family near Canmore. Photo: Tanya Koob

Make it an apres experience

Spend the night in Canmore! There are many options for accommodations in this mountain town. Alternately, hike one of the trails near Canmore on your way out from Calgary. Then, keep driving up the Spray Lakes Road past the Ha Ling Trailhead, Highway 742, towards Mount Engadine Lodge for the night.

There is no shortage of cafés, pubs, or cozy restaurants where you can warm up at the end of your hike in town. My personal favourite place is the Grizzly Paw Pub and Brewing Company on the main street. Here you’ll find a wide assortment of locally brewed craft beer and a menu with delicious food. The pub is also family-friendly.

Read More: Apres Snowshoe Recipes: A First-Timer’s Guide

Winter Hiking & Snowshoeing through Banff

1. Sulphur Mountain and the Banff Gondola

Length: 5 km (3.1 mi) one-way

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Moving west towards Banff, I love hiking to the top of Sulphur Mountain in winter because you can ride down on the Banff Gondola for free if you’ve hiked up.

You’ll definitely want ice cleats or spikes for this hike. Also, make sure you bring some money along for coffee or lunch on top of Sulpher Mountain at the café. In addition to the cafe, there’s an incredible interpretive museum up top that children will love.

The hike up Sulphur Mountain is approximately 5 km (3.1 miles) one way with around 700 metres (2297 feet) of height gain. The trail is well switchbacked and never overly steep. Most parties should be able to make the hike up in 2.5 hours at most, which is in time for a nice lunch at the summit.

How often do you climb a mountain and get a free ride down without having to hike back to the bottom? I also don’t know too many hiking trails with a coffee shop on top.

Additional trail tips

Check the Banff trail report before you drive out to the trailhead for this one. If conditions are exceptionally high for avalanche risk, they may close the trail. Usually, though, it is open through the winter.

Read More: Winter Guide to the Best of Lake Louise, Banff National Park

winter hike Sulphur Mountain, Banff

Children love the Banff Gondola! Hike up and get a free ride down!

child with arms up after riding Banff Gondola

Sulphur Mountain is an excellent hike to the top of the Banff Gondola. Photo: Tanya Koob

2. Johnston Canyon

Length: 5 km (3 mi) round-trip

Difficulty: Easy

The trailhead for Johnston Canyon is half an hour west of the Town of Banff on the Highway 1A. It’s easiest to take the TransCanada Highway to Castle Junction and then backtrack on the 1A. There is a large parking lot here, and this is one of the most popular trails in Banff! You won’t be alone on this trail unless you choose a day when it’s -30C (-22F) – which I have done, and it was very peaceful.

The trail visits two sets of gorgeous waterfalls for a quick trip. You can reach the Upper Falls in just over 5 km (3 miles) round trip, and the elevation gain is only 200 metres (700 feet). Thus, this is an excellent hike for the whole family, or for an outing with friends who don’t hike a lot in winter.

Read More: A Winter Explorers Guide To The Best of Banff National Park

Additional trail tips

This hike is a popular choice, and my only complaint with it is that it often feels quite busy. Go early in the day if you want to get a jump on the crowds. The waterfalls are spectacular, and you get to crawl through a small cave to view the first set of falls. The creek is also quite beautiful with many smaller frozen cascades.

You’ll definitely want ice cleats or spikes because the trail gets very packed down and icy. Don’t try to wear snowshoes because there are several metal catwalks that you’ll have to cross, and they are more accessible with the ice cleats.

Read More:
Frozen Waterfalls and Ice walks in Banff National Park 
Yaktrax Review: The Ascent and Summit for Slippery Climbs

close up of Upper Fall -Johnston Canyon Banff

The Upper Falls of Johnston Canyon is beautiful in winter! Photo: Tanya Koob

view of lower falls and walkways at Johnston's Canyon, Banff

Metal catwalks, frozen waterfalls, and a cave make the  Johnston Canyon Trail a crowd-pleaser! Photo: Tanya Koob

3. Rock Isle Lake at Sunshine Meadows

Length: varies

Difficulty: Easy

If you’d like to join a guided snowshoe hike, I highly recommend the outing to Sunshine Meadows at the Sunshine Village Ski Resort.

You’ll enjoy both a scenic gondola and chairlift ride to reach a viewpoint above Rock Isle Lake. Then, you can have an easy hike down to the lake and back to the Village. The tour that I took finished with cheese fondue in the hotel lounge in the upper village.

For more information, visit the White Mountain Adventures website.

Read More:
Snowshoe and Ski Vacations for the whole family at Sunshine Village Resort
Winter Apres Snowshoe Tours Across Southern Alberta and British Columbia

Make it an apres experience

Spend the night in Banff! There are many options for accommodations in this mountain town, and you should be able to find something for any budget. Last winter, we stayed at the Canalta Lodge in town and loved the outdoor patio with hot tubs, a sauna, and fire pits.  We’ve also enjoyed stays at the Douglas Fir Resort, where children will love the indoor swimming pool with waterslides.

For a nice apres outing, take a walk along the main street of Banff, and you’ll find no shortage of fantastic pubs, restaurants, or cafés where you can warm up. We especially love the Banff Ave Brewing Company and the St. James Gate Irish Pub (both family-friendly pubs.)

Families will find a couple of ice rinks in town (one on the main street and one near Bow Falls), and there is also a sledding hill by the Bow Falls rink. There’s often an oval cleared off for skating on the Bow River in town as well, which is fun.

Read More:
A Winter Explorer’s Guide to the Best of Banff National Park

Top 10 Snowshoe Adventures for Families
Explore the Vastness of Banff National Park

person snowshoeing in powder at Sunshine Village, Banff

Snowshoeing on top of the world at Sunshine Meadows in Banff! Photo: Tanya Koob

Winter Hiking & Snowshoeing Around Lake Louise

1.Lake Louise Lakeshore Trail (Hike + Skate Combo)

Length: 4 km (2.5 mi) round-trip

Difficulty: Easy

Bring your snowshoes and your ice skates for a rare opportunity at Lake Louise Lakeshore Trail! Skate on a gorgeous mountain lake, then hike to the far end of the lake to see frozen waterfalls 100 metres (328 feet) tall. The hike is completely flat as you walk across the snow-covered lake.

You can also cross-country ski across the lake, and there’s a fun sledding hill beside the lake for the children.

Additional trail tips

There’s a reason Lake Louise is a major tourist destination. On a bluebird day, you’ll be awe-struck by the views of Mt. Victoria and the glacier at the far end of the lake. The lake only gets a few hours of sunshine in the winter, so make sure you time your visit to arrive mid-morning before the lake falls into shadow by afternoon. I took most of my best photos around 11 am.

Parks Canada lists a plethora of other trails in the area that are popular for snowshoeing and winter hiking. Some of the trails have avalanche danger when conditions are high, so it’s always a good idea to stop in at the Visitor Centre in the Village for up to date information.

waterfalls near Lake Louise, AB

Hike across snow-covered Lake Louise to see this beautiful set of frozen waterfalls. Photo: Tanya Koob

child ice skating on Lake Louise AB

Enjoy skating on one of the world’s most beautiful ice rinks at Lake Louise. Photo: Tanya Koob

Make it an apres experience

Spend the night at Lake Louise! If budget is no option, you’ll want to stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise situated right on the lakeshore with the best views.

For most folks, though, you’ll need to find something a tad more affordable, and for my family, that means staying at the HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre, a comfortable hostel with private rooms and cooking facilities. Alternatively, if you’d like something in between decadence and hosteling, there are several other hotels and resorts in the area.

Depending on where you finish your hike, there are several delicious options in the area for beverages and snacks after your hike too. At the lake, take a walk around inside the Chateau Lake Louise. If you want to splurge, I highly recommend the traditional afternoon tea where you’ll find tea, pastries, and finger sandwiches. Furthermore, you can relax in a beautiful dining room with huge picture windows overlooking the lake.

For something more casual, we love Laggan’s Coffee Shop down in the Village (the baking is to die for) or the Outpost, a great family-friendly pub in the basement of the Post Hotel. The Outpost is a personal favourite where you can warm up with drinks and appetizers in front of their fireplace while sitting on comfy sofas.

Read More:
Winter Activity Guide to the Best of Lake Louise 
Romantic North America Snowshoe Getaways at Snow Resorts

winter trail etiquette: two skiers on ski tracks with snowshoe tracks next to them (multi-use trail)

Hike or ski across Lake Louise with views of Mount Victoria and glaciers all around you. Then, warm up in one of the apres spots near Lake Louise.

Winter Hiking in Yoho National Park

1.Emerald Lake Trail & Hamilton Falls

Length: 5.3 km (3.3 miles) total for Emerald Lake, 2 km (1.2 mi) round-trip for Hamilton Falls

Difficulty: Easy

From Lake Louise, it’s only a 30-minute drive to Emerald Lake Trail in Yoho National Park. This beautiful lake is an excellent destination for a leisurely snowshoe hike. The loop around the lake is only 5.3 km (3.3 miles) with no height gain.

Additional trail tips

After you’ve hiked around the lake, you can also hike up to Hamilton Falls in a 2 km (1.2 miles) round trip. If you consult the map, you’ll also see a short trail leading across a bridge to “Peaceful Pond” behind the Emerald Lake Lodge. Peaceful Pond is a short trail, but you’ll get lovely photos on the bridge where it’s a true winter wonderland.

I especially love Emerald Lake because you get all the scenery of Lake Louise with only a third of the crowds. For example, hike up to Hamilton Falls or start walking around the lake, and you’ll likely only see a few other small groups of hikers.

Also, there’s a fantastic lodge here that you should consider spending at least a night at if possible. The lodge offers a luxurious stay in one of their cabins with gourmet meals in the dining room (not included in the price.)

Read More: Winter Guide To Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada

woman and child standing underneath natural bridge at Emerald Lake BC

Make sure you stop in at the Natural Bridge on your drive up to Emerald Lake. Photo: Tanya Koob

adult and child snowshoe across Emerald Lake hand in hand

Snowshoeing across Emerald Lake is an easy hike for the whole family. Photo: Tanya Koob

2. Wapta Falls

Length: 8.7 km (5.4 mi)

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

From Lake Louise, it’s about a 45-minute drive to the turn off for Wapta Falls as you head towards the Town of Golden.

In the winter, you can only drive as far as the side road that leads to the trailhead. Thus, you have to hike an extra 2 km (1.2 miles)  to reach the trailhead for a total distance of 8.7 km (5.4 miles) round trip from the highway.

When you park at the entrance to the turnoff for Wapta Falls, there’s only space for a few vehicles. The start of the hike is easy, and the broad road is flat. Once you reach the official trailhead, you’ll begin to climb a bit.

However, the trail is never steep until you reach the final descent down to the river and the waterfalls. In total, there are only 126 metres of height gain (413 feet), so this is an excellent hike for the whole family.

Wapta Falls are seriously gorgeous, the hike is easy, and you can walk right up to the falls when they’re frozen. The snowy mound in front is also a lot of fun to play around on. All in all, this is one of my favorite hikes in the Canadian Rockies for a relaxed, fun day.

Additional trail tips

Snowshoes are recommended unless the trail is well-packed down when it may be easier to wear ice cleats or spikes. Furthermore, you’ll want a grip on your feet on the final hill down to the river. Consider bringing a rolled-up crazy carpet as well if you’re going to play around on the big snowy hill in front of the falls.

two winter hikers with crampons hiking to Wapta Falls, Canadian Rockies

It’s an easy hike on the summer road to the trailhead for Wapta Falls. Photo: Tanya Koob

person standing beneath Wapta Falls in Yoho National Park in winter

Wapta Falls is a gorgeous destination for a winter hike in Yoho National Park. Photo: Tanya Koob

Make it an apres experience

Spend the night in Yoho National Park! The Emerald Lake Lodge is one of my favorite resorts in the Canadian Rockies for ski or snowshoe-in/out accommodations. Walk out the door of your cabin, and you’re immediately on the Lakeshore Trail. Additionally, there’s a great outdoor hot tub here for warming up after your hikes.

Whether you stay overnight at Emerald Lake or visit for the day, make sure you stop in at the lodge after your hike to warm up in front of the fireplace in the lounge with a hot drink or two. If you’re spending the night here, I recommend borrowing a board game or deck of cards to enjoy in front of the fireplace as well.

Read More:
Snowshoeing Paradise at Emerald Lake Lodge 

Winter Apres Snowshoe Tours Across Southern Alberta and British Columbia

Emerald Lake Lodge with mountains in background

Spend a night or two at Emerald Lake Lodge if you’re in Yoho National Park. Photo: Tanya Koob

Other Areas to Explore in the Canadian Rockies this Winter

Explore the Icefields Parkway – there are many beautiful hikes along the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper National Park. My favourite stops include Mosquito Creek, Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, Panther Falls, the Columbia Icefields Centre, and Tangle Falls.

Head south to Waterton Lakes National Park, where you’ll find solitude for days!

Drive north to Jasper National Park, where you’ll find beautiful snowshoe and ski trails in a quieter town that’s more off the beaten path than Banff.

Head west to the Kootenay Rockies of British Columbia and Radium Hot Springs for a few days of soaking and hiking.

Would you snowshoe any of these winter trails? What are your favorite trails in these areas of the Canadian Rockies? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

This article was originally published on Dec 27. 2019. It was updated to include additional information on Feb 11, 2021.

Read Next:
Snowshoeing for Beginners: The First Timer’s Guide
10 Snowshoe Adventures to Try this Winter in the Canadian Rockies
Canyon Hiking & Snowshoeing in the Northern Canadian Rockies
10 Ways to Get Outside and Explore Your Local Backyard this Winter

About the author

Tanya Koob

I am the mom of a spunky 10-year-old boy and I live in Calgary, Canada at the doorstep to the fabulous Rocky Mountains. Our family makes it a priority to get out to the mountains most weekends for big adventures from hiking, camping, biking, and paddling in summer to skiing and snowshoeing in winter. I am the author of the blog, Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies,

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