The Very best Ice Hikes in Kananaskis and Banff


Hike by way of a canyon on a strong ice creek bed to view massive towering frozen waterfalls. Crawl behind curtains of ice, climb about on the ice, or even bring your skates when circumstances are proper. These are the prime 4 ice walks close to Calgary and they are all family members-friendly.

Learn magical Troll Falls this winter in Kananaskis 

Jura Creek, Kananaskis

Though there are other fantastic hikes in Kananaskis that can be performed in winter, Jura Creek is one thing particular since it is a hike that can not truly be performed in summer season.  The canyon by way of Jura Creek can only be tackled in winter when the water is properly frozen below a layer of ice and snow.

The Jura Creek Canyon is also 1 of the tightest canyons in the location. There are sections exactly where you can location 1 hand on each and every side of the canyon wall as you stroll.  It really is totally great and fantastic for little ones chasing each and every other about the tight twists and turns.

Magical ice stroll by way of the Jura Creek Canyon 

Add ice slides and a frozen creek bed if the ground is not covered with snow, and you have a magical adventure for little ones. Very best of all, this is a quick half-day outing and much less than an hour away from the west side of Calgary.

Hiking by way of the narrow Jura Creek canyon in Kananaskis

Study: Jura Creek – The Very best Winter Hike in Kananaskis

Study: Ice, Ice, Child – Winter Canyon Hiking 

Study: The Wildest Winter Family members Hike in Kananaskis 

Family members-friendly hiking in the Jura Creek canyon 

Troll Falls and beyond to the Upper Falls, Kananaskis

Troll Falls at Kananaskis Village just could be the greatest winter hike close to Calgary for households. It really is 1 of the easiest winter hiking solutions for our location, and is a assured crowd pleaser for all ages. We’ve performed this outing dozens of instances, and have under no circumstances had a poor day.

Frozen Troll Falls, Kananaskis Village

Troll Falls is blessedly quick with much less than a four km round trip distance if you start out from the Stoney Trailhead close to Kananaskis Village.

Study: Five Motives Households Adore Going to Troll Falls in the Winter 

Playing behind curtains of ice at Troll Falls

Want to go additional with older little ones and have a strong spirit of adventure? Attempt going beyond Troll Falls to the Upper Falls. Along the way you will pass quite a few diverse ice falls and you can even stroll behind frozen Marmot Falls.

Marmot Falls which you can hike behind

Know that this is not a hike to the prime of Troll Falls, which is one thing I do not advise attempting. You are going to be going to diverse waterfalls and will go nowhere close to the prime of Troll Falls. If you comply with my directions in the story beneath, there is quite tiny exposure.

Study: Chasing Frozen Waterfalls in Kananaskis! Troll Falls and beyond to the Upper Falls 

Upper Falls above Troll Falls, Kananaskis 

Grotto Canyon, Kananaskis 

Households will adore hiking on the strong ice creek bed right here with ice slides everywhere and a organic skating rink if you time your take a look at proper.
It really is roughly a two km hike to attain the set of twin waterfalls at the finish of the “entertaining portion” of the Grotto Canyon hike. Soon after this point, the canyon opens up and it is much more just flat walking up a creek bed.

One particular of the frozen waterfalls on the Grotto Canyon hike

At the waterfalls you can watch ice climbers placing on a show and little ones will have entertaining on the giant ice slide. Note that if you hike up the ice slide (with spikes,) you will obtain a third hidden waterfall (ordinarily with much more climbers on it.)

Playing on organic ice slides in Grotto Creek

Study: Grotto Canyon Ice Stroll – five Motives We Adore this Hike

I timed my take a look at completely as soon as to skate a portion of the canyon

Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park 

There have to be images of Banff’s Johnston Canyon hiking trail on billboards across the planet marketing the Canadian Rockies.  Come summer season, you’d be tough pressed to get a photo on this common trail devoid of at least two dozen vacationers in the shot, and you could be parking a mile down  the road in order to get close to the location.

Hike Johnston Canyon in winter even though and you will obtain solitude in abundance, you will get your quiet moments on the trail, and you could even have the complete location to your self if you take a look at on a cold day.

Christmas hiking at Johnston Canyon in Banff

The highlight of this hike is the Reduce and the Upper Falls which can each be reached in a return hike of five.four km. In the previous we’ve also enjoyed descending down into the canyon close to the upper falls exactly where there is a entertaining cave and a lovely frozen waterfall (shown in the photo above)

There is at present a restriction against leaving the official trail to drop down into the canyon but the most current bulletin says it should really finish mid-November. Verify for essential closures and restrictions right here just before you take a look at. 

Please study the stories beneath for much more data but obey all indicators that you see on the trail. I’ve talked about dropping down into the canyon off the official trail in each stories beneath – one thing that could not be permitted based on when you take a look at.

You utilized to be capable to drop down into the canyon proper at the Upper Falls as properly for close-up images, but this could be restricted as properly now that new fencing has been placed about the viewpoint.

Frozen waterfall from inside the cave off the official trail

Study: The Most Well known Hike in Banff devoid of the Crowds 

Study: Ice Caves and Frozen Waterfalls in Banff National Park 

Upper Falls at Johnston Canyon 

Advisable Gear and Security Strategies for Ice Hiking 

Please know that hiking in icy canyons can be quite harmful and you will want to be sufficiently ready should really you make a decision to take your family members on an ice hike.


Troll Falls, Kananaskis 

  • You are going to want a fantastic pair of ice cleats or micro spikes for each and every member of your family members. We use Kahtoola Microspikes which can be bought at most outside shops. We’ve also been fortunate to obtain XS microspikes for kids at the Switching Gear shop in Canmore.
  • Spikes function a great deal greater than snowshoes, but in a pinch, you could use snowshoes if hiking trails like Jura Creek.
  • We’ve usually utilized helmets for the kids when hiking on ice. We evaluate it to ice skating and like to be added cautious.
  • Physical exercise caution when hiking underneath ice, inside ice caves, or when  attempting to climb on ice. Ice breaks and you do not want to be on or underneath a waterfall if a massive chunk falls off.
  • Be quite cautious with kids who like “sliding” on ice. I’ve noticed little ones attempt to slide down frozen waterfalls, only to choose up speed and finish up almost landing on their heads. 


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