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Grotto Canyon Icewalk, Banff

Explore frozen waterfalls and ancient pictographs on a guided hike along a frozen creek bed on the Grotto Canyon Icewalk. With an expert guide leading the way, experience a unique view of the canyon as you walk directly on the ice and creek bed floor.
Where:Banff, Alberta
Price for:1 Participant
Age restriction:Minimum age for participation - 8 years

Discover the frozen beauty of Grotto Canyon!

Grotto Canyon's frozen waterfalls are formed when the water from the creek that runs through the canyon freezes over and creates an incredible display of ice sculptures. The icefalls vary in shape and size with some reaching up to 30 meters (100 feet). 

Using special hiking crampons, you’ll walk directly on the icy surface of the creek bed floor past unusual rock formations, ancient Native rock art, and spectacular icefalls.

You may see ice climbers scaling the frozen waterfalls, but the highlight of the Grotto Canyon Icewalk are the ancient native pictographs, which were likely created by Hopi visitors from the Arizona region. Your guide will point out the stunted pine forest and hidden ancient native pictographs, easily missed by the general public.

This icewalk is considered easy to moderate, with a few small inclines. You will be provided ice cleats that will be attached to your boots that will prevent you from slipping on the ice, and hiking poles for extra stability.

Icewalk highlights:

  • Experience the spectacular, natural phenomenon of the Grotto Canyon Icefalls.
  • See a stunted forest and learn why are the trees so oddly shaped and small.
  • You’ll walk on the Grotto Canyon's frozen creek bed that winds through the narrow gorge.
  • See ancient pictographs,1500-year-old clues linking native culture in Canada to distant areas further south.
  • Get close to icefalls made from water trickling from the cliff faces.
  • Small group size (up to 12 guests per guide).

Duration:  4 hours

What's included: 

  • 2 - 2.5 hour walk on a frozen creek bed through Grotto Canyon
  • Professional certified guide
  • Use of hiking poles and ice cleats
  • Hot chocolate and maple cookie snack
  • Hotel drop off and pick-up in Banff and Canmore

Walking distance: 4.2 km (2.6 miles)

Season:  December – April  Tours Daily 8:30am

Need to know:

  • Grotto Canyon is approximately 30 minutes drive from Banff and 10 minutes from Canmore.
  • Minimum age for participation is 8 years.
  • Children aged 15 years and under must be accompanied by someone 18 years and older.
  • All adults must sign a waiver prior to the tour. A waiver must also be completed by the parent or guardian of any child under the age of 18.
  • Please be prepared for mountain weather and dress in full ski wear including snow pants, a winter jacket, thermals, a sweater, winter boots, gloves, and a hat.
  •  Maximum group size is 12 people. 

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

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

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