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  • M Vignati

Canada's Banff and Lake Louise Comes Alive in Winter

Banff and Lake Louise has a rich heritage as one of the world's most awe-inspiring mountain destinations. Full of adventure and wonder, surrounded by beautiful and rugged mountains. Visitors have opportunities to experience truly unforgettable moments.

Culinary Scene: Banff and Lake Louise have made a name for themselves in the culinary scene. Canadian Rocky Mountain cuisine, features seasonal produce as well as beef and bison from Alberta. The foodie culture celebrates through annual events and festivals such as Taste for Adventure, where chefs at more than 30 restaurants prep unique menus during the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival from late October to early November; the Banff Craft Beer Festival in late November and Banff's Big Taste event in January.

Sightseeing Gondolas at Sulphur Mountain allows visitors to see a unique side of Sulphur Mountain and the Canadian Rockies, plus it's home to new restaurants and interactive exhibits as well as multi-sensory theater and a 360 degree rooftop observations deck.

Places to Stay: There is a variety f accommodations to choose from-ranging from luxurious hotels, family friendly chalets and condos, to B&B's, and budget friendly hotels. a couple of unique options include Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, surrounded by mountain peaks, the Victoria Glacier, and the most scenic natural skating rink on the planet; and the Fairmont Banff Springs-The Castle in the Rockies, with stunning view over Banff.

Dog Sledding: This isn't just a pastime for Canadians, as historically it was the basic transportation for the people of the Canadian Arctic. You can take part in this tradition on the snowy slopes of the Canadian Rockies. Beginning with each ride you begin by meeting the dogs and helping the musher get dogs ready for the tour by harnessing and hooking up the teams up to the sled. Then it's off into the frozen wilderness where the team of huskies lead the way leaving you to snuggle in your blanket and enjoy the views. Tours range from half-hour to full-day excursions, and some include lunch or a hot beverage.

Snowshoeing: This is doable when it is white outside and you have snowshoes. Easy to learn and inexpensive along with being a great activity for all ages, fitness levels and experience. There are many route options to choose from, ranging from short, easy walks around town to lengthy and more challenging backcountry hikes. Prime season is December through early April.

Skiing and Snowboarding: The rugged terrain in Banff and Lake Louise offers jagged and twisted shapes with glaciers plunging to the valley floor. There are 3 world class ski resorts for any level from the steep and deep to perfectly groomed runs. To experience all three the SkiBig3 Tri-Area Lift Ticket give access to all. The adrenaline addict will go for the heli-skiing and snowboarding option. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding is available in Banff National Park with single day and multi-day tour options that take you through glacier bows to steep alpine lines, all which are easily accessible from the ski resorts.

Ice Skating: There are several indoor and outdoor skating rinks open in the winter in Lake Louise and Banff. All rinks are free unless otherwise noted, and skate rental are available. Head to The Waldhaus Rink in the Spray Meadow behind Fairmont Banff Springs. Lake Louise has been named one of the 10 most beautiful rinks in the world.

Cross Country Skiing: In Banff you can enjoy the trails from dusk to dawn with lit tracks and they venture through the dense forest to Brewster Creek Junction or you can enjoy night skiing under the stars at the Tunnel Mountain Campground Trailer Court. In Lake Louise the scenic trails rang from novice to advance and takes you through picturesque Moraine Lake Road to ski across frozen Lake Louise. Two trails along the Bow Valley Parkway, a scenic road that connect Banff and Lake Louise, takes skiers alongside the original auto-route through Banff National Park.

Ice Walks: Experience frozen waterfalls while touring Johnston and Grotto Canyons. It is suitable for all fitness levels and families. In Johnston Canyon, you can take a guided interpretative tour as they explore the lower and upper frozen waterfalls while crossing suspended catwalks. When touring Grotto Canyon, guides lead visitors along a frozen creek bed to spots where they can see ancient native pictographs. Also, while enjoying ice walks, visitors might even encounter travelers taking on a ice climbing excursion. tours can be booked through Banff Adventures, Discover Banff Tours and White Mountain Adventure.

Visit Canada to feel totally immersed in nature.

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