In the social circles of powderhounds around the world, Banff and Lake Louise are discussed with near-religious reverence. The Canadian Rockies are collectively a world-renowned ski destination, and the Ski Big 3 ski resorts in Banff National Park — Lake Louise Ski Resort, Banff Sunshine Village, and Mt. Norquay — are in a league of their own and have the devout fan base to prove it.
But the snow dumped there every winter is manna from Heaven, and you don’t have to be a powderhound to appreciate it. There are many ways to enjoy this area in the winter that don’t require a lift pass and allow you to experience the national park in a different light. From traditional winter pastimes like ice skating or tobogganing to unexpected thrills like descending into the icy heart of the Canadian Rockies, these are the best winter activities you can do in Banff — that aren’t skiing.