Snowshoeing in Canada is a can’t miss winter activity. Check out these snowshoe trails in the Rockies for gorgeous scenery and adventure.
If you are looking for epic snowshoeing in Canada, the Canadian Rockies is where you’ll find the best trails. The Rockies are vast and full of winter adventures for every level of snowshoer.
From interesting lodge hikes to backcountry paths and guided moonlit trails, there is so much to discover. A visit in winter is never dull.
Be sure to aslo check out the Best Winter Hikes in Banff, since, depending on the time of year and snow conditions, you might end up doing more of a winter hike than a snowshoe hike.
You’ll also want to check out our guide that teaches you how to snowshoe and our guide to winter hiking, which includes many tips relevant to snowshoeing and to help prevent frostbite.
Tips for Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies
Make sure to wear appropriate gear when snowshoeing in Canada. If you’re not sure what you should be wearing, check out our guide on winter hiking gear.
Of special mention is ensuring you have an emergency thermal blanket, which can save your life.
In addition, I also recommend packing microspikes, since there will likely be parts of the trail where you don’t need snowshoes, but it will be slippery, which is where microspikes come in.
Snowshoes are not easy to carry around, especially if you are travelling a distance. Consider hiring them from one of the local stores near you.
There are plenty to choose from, and if you aren’t a seasoned snowshoer, hiring your snowshoes will ensure you have the right size and type for the trail you’ll be
Once you’ve fallen in love with snowshoeing (which I know you will), why not get yourself your own. Check out our guide to the best snowshoes and how to pick the right ones for you.
Always make sure to check whether you’re snowshoeing in an avalanche area. If you are, please check the current conditions beforehand. If the weather conditions are not good, then please choose another trail. I can’t stress this enough.
Wherever you plan on snowshoeing in Canada, make sure that you pack all the necessities. If you’re not sure what to take, check out this day hike packing list for ideas.
If you are snowshoeing in an area that does not have well-marked trails, always take a GPS device. You can even take a GPS-enabled watch. Just for good measure, always keep a map and compass handy.
Best Snowshoeing in Banff National Park
Length: 15.8km round trip
Elevation Gain: 755m
Starting Point: The trailhead is well-signed and located between Castle Junction and Lake Louise on the west side of Highway 1.
This trail is wide and well-graded, perfect for snowshoeing. Make a detour to Panorama Meadows for spectacular views before continuing to Taylor Lake. Keep your eyes and ear open for skiers, especially on the downhills.
Recommended Reading: Best Snowshoes and Our Guide to Choosing the Right Ones
Skoki Lodge, Banff National Park
Length: 11km one way
Elevation Gain: 500m
Starting Point: Lake Louise Ski Resort
The trail to Skoki Lodge is a unique way to experience snowshoeing in Canada. Follow the well-maintained path that has a moderate elevation until you reach Deception Pass, where it becomes steeper. The lodge offers gourmet meals and a comfortable stay that makes this snowshoeing trail well-worth it.
Length: 3.3km round trip
Elevation Gain: 40m
Starting Point: Sunshine Village Ski Resort
On a clear day, the Sunshine Meadows snowshoeing trail has the most amazing views. Make your way up to the Standish viewing deck, and then make your way down to Rock Isle Lake. Be on the lookout for skiers when making your way across ski runs.
This beginner trail is not to be missed when snowshoeing in Canada. This trail also makes our list of the Best Easy Hikes in Banff, so do it in summer as well. It’s fun seeing how different the same landscape looks at different times of the year.
Where to Stay near the Banff National Park
Be sure to check out our guide to the Best Hotels in Banff, but at a glance, here are two top choices.
Top Pick: Fairmont Château Lake Louise
Enjoy luxury and perfect views of Lake Louise and the Victoria Glacier at the Fairmont Château. The resort offers you gourmet dining, beautiful rooms, a full-service spa and winter sports.
Top Pick: Banff Boutique Inn
Enjoy a rustic setting at the Banff Boutique Inn. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, the inn offers you cozy rooms with a fireplace and Wi-Fi. It’s the perfect place to stay while snowshoeing in Canada.
Related Reading: Snowshoeing in Whistler, Canada: The 9 Best Trails
Snowshoeing on the Icefields Parkway
Peyto Lake Viewpoint
Length: 2.3km round trip
Elevation Gain: 45m
Starting Point: Follow the Peyto Lake Viewpoint trail from the Bow Summit parking lot.
Try this easy trail while snowshoeing in Canada. It takes you down to two separate viewing decks where you can take in the spectacular sights. This path is well-packed and easy to traverse. Make sure to plan your trip on a clear day for the best views.
Recommended Reading: 42 Gifts for Outdoorsy People: Outdoor Gift Ideas for Every Adventurer
Length: 16km round trip
Elevation Gain: 376m
Starting Point: Nigel Creek parking lot near the trailhead kiosk
Don’t miss out on scenic snowshoeing in Canada on the Nigel Pass trail. This beautiful trail takes you along the Wonder Road, the original Icefields Parkway and over Nigel and Hilda Creek. You’ll pass through fir forest and enjoy great views as you continue. Be sure to make noise on the trail as this is bear country.
Where to Stay near the Icefields Parkway
Top Pick: Bear Cub Lodging
Enjoy the perfect stay at the Bear Cub Lodging. Each suite has rustic decor and an en-suite bathroom. The rooms also have a coffee maker, tea and hot chocolate.
Top Pick: Mount Robson Inn
The Mount Robson Inn offers you simple yet comfortable accommodation. Each of the rooms has free wi-fi, a refrigerator and a coffee maker. You can enjoy beautiful views from each of the guest rooms.
Related Reading: Things To Do in Jasper: The Top Attractions Not to be Missed
Snowshoeing in Jasper National Park
Length: 6km round trip
Elevation Gain: 309m
Starting Point: Final parking lot along the Pyramid Lake Road
Enjoy the perfect views while snowshoeing in Canada. This trail is easy and well-travelled. Make your way to the overlook, where you’ll have stunning views of Pyramid Mountain. The path ends at Pyramid Lake, which is majestic in winter when it’s frozen.
Virl, Dorothy and Christine Lakes
Length: 8.6km round trip
Elevation Gain: 250m
Starting Point: The parking lot after Meadow Creek bridge.
This scenic trail has great views of Virl, Dorothy and Christine lakes. There is a constant incline throughout this snowshoeing trail, but it’s never too steep or difficult. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and admire your surroundings.
Where to Stay in Jasper National Park
Top Pick: Pyramid Lake Resort
The Pyramid Lake Resort offers you all the comfort and luxury you can expect in the Rocky Mountains. It’s the perfect base for adventures in Jasper National Park. Each of the rooms is equipped with a gas fireplace.
Top Pick: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is located on the shores of Beauvert Lake. The property has eight restaurants and a great spa. It’s the perfect place to stay while enjoying epic snowshoeing in Canada.
Related Reading: Things to Do in Yoho National Park: Why You Should Visit this Canadian Gem
Snowshoeing in Kananaskis Country
Length: 7 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 680m
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Starting Point: The trail starts from a pull out on the side of the road on the way to Rummel Creek on Highway 742.
A great snowshoeing trail in the Canadian Rockies, Rummel Creek offers you close up views of Mount Galatea. This trail is dog-friendly and has a relatively low avalanche risk, but can get a little steep in some sections. There’s no route signage, so make sure to bring a GPS.
Elevation Gain: Varies
Starting Point: Kananaskis Village
Explore snowshoeing in Canada with a twist; under the moonlight! This tour is a unique way to explore beautiful Kananaskis County. It includes all the necessary equipment and a warm snack after.
Length: 6.8km round trip
Elevation Gain: 287m
Starting Point: The trailhead parking lot is located on Highway 742, 41km from the Nordic Centre and 20km from Kananaskis Lakes.
Chester Lakes is a moderate trail that is dog and family friendly. You’ll enjoy great scenery with views of the surrounding mountains. There is no avalanche risk on this trail but make sure to keep an eye out for skiers.
Length: 10.5km round trip
Elevation Gain: 385m
Starting Point: The trail starts on Highway 742, just after the Mount Engadine Lodge.
Enjoy brilliant scenery on this moderate snowshoeing trail. The ascent is not too steep and offers you exceptional views of Spray Valley. This is a quieter trail and does not have signage, so make sure to bring a GPS.
Where to Stay in Kananaskis Country
Top Pick: Mount Engadine Lodge
You’ll have great mountain views from Mount Engadine Lodge. This remote lodge offers you daily meals, a sauna and rustic decor in the rooms. This is the perfect place to stay when snowshoeing in Canada.
Top Pick: Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection
The Kananaskis Mountain Lodge is modern yet charming. The property offers a spa, an indoor pool and rooms with bay windows. This is a great place to stay for couples and families.
Related Reading: Georgian Bay Islands NP: why you need to visit this part of Canada
Snowshoeing in Waterton National Park
Crandell Lake and Loop
Length: 3.8km round trip
Elevation Gain: 75m
Starting Point: First trail on the Akamina Parkway.
This easy snowshoeing trail in Canada is the perfect day trip. You can make your way to Cameron Lake and back or complete the Crandell Loop. The Akamina Parkway offers you a great selection of paths to Cameron Lake.
Where to Stay in Waterton National Park
Top Pick: Northland Lodge
The Northland Lodge offers a refrigerator and electric kettle in the rooms. Guests can enjoy a great locally sourced breakfast and relax in the cozy common lounge.
Top Pick: Rocky Ridge Country Lodge
The Rocky Ridge Country Lodge is a quaint bed and breakfast that offers you mountain charm. This simple and cozy property is the perfect place to stay when snowshoeing in Canada.
Related Reading: Yoho-Iceline Basecamp Hiking Tour
Snowshoeing in Yoho National Park
Lake O’Hara Lodge
Length: 11km one way
Elevation Gain: 440m
Starting Point: Parking at the base of Lake O’Hara road.
Make your way over a moderate trail up to the Lake O’Hara Lodge for a unique experience. Once at the lodge, you can enjoy a gourmet meal, excellent accommodation and a relaxing sauna. The lodge also offers snowshoeing tours, which are perfect for exploring the surrounding area.
Emerald Lake Loop
Length: 5.1km round trip
Elevation Gain: 215m
Starting Point: Emerald Lake Parking Lot
This moderate out-and-back trail takes you past Dream Lake to Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is an alpine lake nestled between towering peaks. The views here are unrivalled. This path is well-maintained with ample signs. This is a local favourite and a must-see when snowshoeing in Canada.
Length: 22km round trip
Elevation Gain: 440m one way
Starting Point: Parking at the base of Lake O’Hara road
This is the same path that you would take up to Lake O’Hara Lodge. The trail is not easy to complete in one day. But you can make a stop at the Elizabeth Parker Hut for the night. You’ll have more time to explore Lake O’Hara. After all, it’s the Lake that really carries the wow-factor on this snowshoeing trail.
Where to Stay in Yoho National Park
Top Pick: Emerald Lake Lodge
Surrounded by mountains, the Emerald Lake Lodge is the perfect place to stay when snowshoeing in Canada. The rooms each have a wood-burning fireplace and balcony.
Top Pick: Cathedral Mountain Lodge
Stay in the perfect rustic cabins at the Cathedral Mountain Lodge. Each cabin offers a stone fireplace and rustic decor. You can enjoy great views from the rooms, and the onsite restaurant serves delicious organic meals.