8+
Riders
Dec-Mar
Season

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

Included: Grotto Canyon Icewalk (8:30am – 12:30pm)

This tour is operating as a small group public tour, and masks and one of either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test result are mandatory for all guests and guides.

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 and maple cookies.

Included: Sleigh Ride (various times available)

All guests will need to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, and wear face masks while indoors. All bookings require a minimum of two paid guests, and will sit in their own row. Read Our Commitment to Safety for more detail on our current health and safety measures.

Take a 40 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 to 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

Enjoy spectacular views of the valley and surrounding mountains.
2

Hot drinks by the fire

Warm up by the fire after the ride 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.
Guests staying in or near Canmore will meet at the Coast Canmore Hotel & Conference Centre. You are welcome to meet us at any of our pick up locations in Banff to join the tour, and there is free parking at the Banff Train Station in Banff for up to nine hours. Guests parking here can select their pickup location as the Banff Train Station (in front of Main Entrance).

Most guests choose to self-drive into Banff, although please note that you will need to find parking in Banff that exceeds the duration of the tour. Please refer to the Town of Banff website for general parking information, or the banffparking.ca website for live parking availability. For guests staying in Canmore, you can also use the Roam bus service and disembark at the Banff High School. The closest pick up point to the Banff High School is across the road at the Elk and Avenue 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:

  • Photo ID for each adult (18+) for waiver verification.
  • 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 40 minutes, including time by the campfire after the ride.
The sleigh ride travels through mountain meadows as you look for wildlife with your friendly guide. Then, enjoy a fireside warmup stop after the ride where you can enjoy a warm drink back at the stables (weather permitting). Blankets and s’mores kits are not included, but can be purchased.
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 may want to bring your own blanket.
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 9 seater and 16 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 24 hour cancellation policy, which allows you to change/cancel or refund your booking up to 24 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 minors under 18 years old must have a parent or legal guardian with them.
  • All adults must sign a waiver prior to the tours, the icewalk waiver will be sent through upon booking. A waiver must also be completed by the parent or legal guardian of any child under the age of 18 (documentation may be required to confirm the signatory’s authority).
  • Photo ID may be required for identity verification.
  • 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 snowy sleigh ride in the Canadian Rockies with Banff Trail Riders
Sleigh ride mountain views with Banff Trail Riders
Family Banff sleigh ride with Banff Trail Riders
Hot chocolate by the fire after a sleigh ride with Banff Trail Riders