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Grotto Canyon Icewalk, Banff

Where: Banff, Alberta
Price for: 1 Participant
Age restriction: Minimum age for participation - 8 years
Hike on a frozen creek bed, through a narrow canyon, past unusual rock formations and spectacular icefalls on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk.

Hike along a frozen creek to explore indigenous wall art and surreal rock formations.

A short drive just outside Banff National Park, inside the Grotto Canyon, you’ll walk on a frozen creek, past unusual rock formations, ancient Native rock art, and icefalls. The history of the rock art and the geology of the mountains will be at your fingertips as your guide explains their mysteries.

You might see ice climbers scaling the frozen waterfall, but the highlight of the Grotto Canyon Icewalk is the ancient native pictographs, easily missed by the general public. There is a theory that one of the symbols could be a Kokapelli, a flute player painted in ochre, used only by the Hopi people, some 500 - 1300 years ago. The symbols have many possible meanings and origins and you will learn more about First Nation's history in the Bow Valley


Icewalk highlights:

  • A stunted forest:  Why are the trees so small and oddly shaped?
  • You’ll walk on the frozen creek bed, winding through the narrow gorge.
  • Witness ancient ocean floors around you, the result of mountain building processes.
  • Pictographs:  500-year-old clues linking native culture in Canada to distant areas further south.
  • Get close to icefalls seeping from the cliff face, and if lucky watch ice climbers performing their craft.

Duration:  4 hours

Walking distance: 4.2 km

Season:  December – March


What’s included:

  • Certified guide
  • Hiking poles
  • Ice cleats
  • Hot Chocolate and a light snack
  • Pick up and drop off can be made from most hotels in Banff.


Need to know:

  • Grotto Canyon is approximately 30 minutes driving from Banff, just east of Canmore.
  • Minimum age for this tour is 8 years.
  • Guests should dress in skiwear for this trip including hats, mitts and warm boots. 
  •  Maximum group size: 12 people.
  • Don't forget your camera!


Whether you are looking for a unique gift idea or fun things to do in Banff, the Grotto Canyon Icewalk is the ticket.

The Grotto Canyon Icewalk takes place at Banff, Alberta. VIEW MAP

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