Skating on a frozen lake or river is a classic Canadian experience and the dramatic mountain backdrops of Banff National Park only add to the magic. The perfect ‘wild ice’ season here in Banff is relatively short – just a few weeks between the water freezing over and the first snowfall covering the surface. These dates vary each year but are usually from late October until mid-November. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a sunny day to enjoy the sparkling ice, or even witness the frozen bubbles caused by escaping methane.

Whether you’re an experienced skater or venturing out on the ice for the first time, we should all remember that safety comes first! Natural ice surfaces may not be as stable as they appear and everyone skates at their own risk.

Like any outdoor activity, you should:

  • Check the conditions before you go
  • Enjoy with a buddy whenever possible
  • Let someone know where you’re going
  • Be prepared to self-rescue or contact emergency services


Banff offers several options for ice skating on local lakes and even the Bow River. Explore the closest options on the map below, or find more information from Parks Canada.

Affordable skate rentals, plus lots more winter gear, are available from our partners at Banff Adventures.

If you don’t feel confident venturing out on natural ice surfaces, you can also find outdoor rinks in Banff during the winter season. Learn more here.

Seniors Discount

Savvy seniors 65+ can save 15% off our Best Available Rate! Book direct with us using code SEN22 and be ready to provide your ID at check-in (because you know you look younger than your years!)

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Valid for stays until February 16th, 2023. Proof of age is required at check-in: blackout dates may apply.

Advanced Purchase Rate

Plan ahead and save! Get 20% off stays this winter when you book 14 days ahead with our Advanced Purchase rate. 

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Payment is due at time of booking: AP reservations are non-refundable but credit may be transferred to alternative dates. New nightly room rates will apply. Subject to availability.