Dec-Mar
Season
8+
Riders

Combo Package; chill with an ice walk into Grotto Canyon and then cuddle up on a snowy sleigh ride.

Included: Grotto Canyon Icewalk (AM)

Hike along a frozen creek bed on a small-group tour through a narrow canyon, past unusual rock formations and spectacular icefalls. This is a unique experience to walk directly on the ice, and walking on the creek bed floor gives you a unique view of the canyon. Includes Banff hotel pickup, hot chocolate to warm you up, maple cookies.

Included: Sleigh Ride

Take a 45 minute sleigh ride with family and friends through Banff’s mountain meadows as you enjoy the spectacular views and keep your eyes peeled for elk and deer. Your memorable excursion includes a friendly guide and a fireside warmup stop after the ride where you can toast a marshmallow and enjoy a warm drink back at the stables (weather and snow conditions permitting).

The best parts of the Grotto Canyon Icewalk Tour for most people include the following:

1

A stunted forest

Why are the trees so small and oddly shaped?
2

Grotto Creek

You will walk on the frozen creek bed in Grotto Canyon winding through the narrow gorge.
3

Rockies geology

Witness unusual rock formations and ancient ocean floors around you, the result of mountain building processes.
4

Pictographs

The ancient Native rock art provides 1,500 year old clues linking native culture in Canada to distant areas further south.
5

Icefalls

Get close to icefalls seeping from the cliff face, and if you’re lucky watch ice climbers performing their craft.

The best parts of the Sleigh Ride for most people include the following:

1

Sleigh ride through the mountain meadows

Snuggle down under warm wool blankets and enjoy spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains.
2

Hot apple cider and roast marshmallows

Warm up by the fire after the ride and toast a marshmallow with a warm drink back at the stables.
The tour commences at 8:30am and runs for 4 hours, which includes  2 – 2.5 hours for the icewalk. The tour returns to Canmore around 12pm and to Banff at 12:30pm.
The tour includes transport from Banff and Canmore, and a 2 – 2.5 hour walk on a frozen creek through Grotto Canyon past unusual rock formations, ancient Native rock art, and icefalls.

You’ll be provided with ice cleats that will be attached to your boots that will prevent you from slipping on the ice. There are also hiking poles for extra stability if you would like to use them.

This tour can pick up from most hotels in Banff, and you can select your preferred pick-up location during the booking process. Guests in Canmore will be picked up at 8:45am from the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre. For drop offs in Banff, your guide will ask you on the way back where you would like to be dropped off either in town or at your hotel.
Yes! This is a unique opportunity to walk directly on a frozen creek bed. In the summer Grotto Creek flows through the canyon and then freezes solid in the winter. Being able to walk on the creek bed at the bottom of Grotto Canyon gives you a unique view of the canyon.
The Grotto Canyon Icewalk is 4.2km (2.6 miles) and has an elevation of 100 metres (328 feet), with a total walking time of 2 – 2.5 hours. This icewalk is considered easy, with a few small inclines. You’ll be provided with ice cleats that will be attached to your boots that will prevent you from slipping on the ice. There are also hiking poles for extra stability if you would like to use them.
Please be prepared for the mountain weather, it changes quickly and our winter tours run in anything from -27C (-17F) to +10C (+50F). Wind chill can change the temperature dramatically and you will be outside for the majority of your tour.

To ensure that you enjoy the tour, please wear/bring:

  • Thermals/base layers/long johns.
  • Snow pants are recommended for this tour and are mandatory if it is below -16C (3F). Otherwise on warmer days, jeans/regular pants over long johns are okay. Snow pants can be rented from stores in Banff such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A warm sweater.
  • A warm jacket. Ski jackets can be rented from stores in Banff such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A hat and mitts.
  • A neck warmer or scarf.
  • Sturdy warm shoes, ideally winter boots or hiking boots. They do not have to be waterproof, but they must be warm. No heels, ugg boots, flip flops or sandals. If you do not have warm shoes, please contact our Reservations Team and we will check our stock levels or recommend a rental store such as Snowtips-Bactrax.
  • A water bottle.

Please note that safety is our first priority. If the guide thinks your attire or footwear isn’t appropriate and compromises your safety on the tour, you may not be able to participate.

It does get icy during the winter season which is why we provide ice cleats during the tour to give you extra grip while you are doing your ice walk on the frozen creek. The tour is cancelled around -30 degrees Celsius or -22 Fahrenheit, and you would be offered to reschedule or refund your tour if this occured,
The tour runs for approximately 45 minutes, including time by the campfire after the ride.
The sleigh ride travels through mountain meadows as you look for wildlife under a warm wool blanket. Then, enjoy a fireside warmup stop after the ride where you can toast a marshmallow and enjoy a warm drink back at the stables (weather permitting).
Please meet at Warner Stables, the big red stables located at the end of Sundance Road in Banff. When you arrive, please check-in for your ride at the office in the east barn which has signs for ‘Warner Stables’ and ‘office’. There is plenty of free parking at the site.
We recommend that you get to the Warner Stables 15 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.
The sleigh is “open top” so we recommend that everyone dresses warm with multiple layers, mitts, hats, a thick winter jacket and boots. You are provided with a blanket, but if you are concerned about being cold you can bring one along for yourself as well.
The sleigh is a traditional wood construction style, with wooden bench seats. You do not sit on hay.
Typically there are two horses pulling the sleigh. The horses are a variety of heavy horse breeds, including Percheron horses. There are two different sleigh sizes, a 12 seater and 18 seater. The sleigh may or may not be full on your tour.
Unfortunately you cannot feed the horses but you certainly can pet them if you wish. They love a good scratch on the cheek. While you cannot ride the horses as part of this tour but we do offer horse-riding tours in the summer.
There is a 48 hour cancellation policy, which allows you to change/cancel or refund your booking up to 48 hours outside your booked tour (up to 7 days for group bookings).
Tips are not expected, but are certainly appreciated. If you think your guide did a wonderful job and would like to indicate that with a tip, it will be graciously accepted.
  • The minimum age for this package is 8 years.
  • All children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by someone 18 years and older on both tours.
  • All adults must sign a waiver prior to the tours. A waiver must also be completed by the parent or guardian of any child under the age of 18. The waiver for the sleigh ride must be signed by the child’s parent or legal guardian and documentation may be required to confirm the signatory’s authority.
  • Please note that the Grotto Canyon Icewalk tour requires a minimum of 4 participants, please call the day prior to confirm the tour.
Grotto Canyon Icewalk
See frozen falls on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk
Take a guided hike on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk
Enjoy maple cookies and hot chocolate on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk
Wear ice cleats on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk
Banff Sleigh Ride
Sleigh Ride Campfire in Banff, Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders
Take a Banff sleigh ride with Banff Trail Riders
Take a Banff winter sleigh ride through the mountain meadows with Banff Trail Riders