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Outdoor Ice Skating
SkatingThere are several places to skate in Banff, from our stunning
recreation centre, The Fenlands, to man-made and natural outdoor rinks, all with uniquely spectacular vistas. Ice skate rentals are available in town.

  • The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre offers indoor and outdoor ice in the winter for both public skating and shinny. Visit banff.ca/skating details, or call 403.762.1235 for recorded information on times and cost. Skate rentals are available. 
  • The Waldhaus Rink, located behind the Banff Springs Hotel.
  • Snow Days Ice Rink on Banff Avenue at the Banff High School field. (Typically opens mid-December)
  • Lake Louise behind the Chateau Lake Louise.
  • When conditions permit, an oval is cleared for skating on the Bow River. Note that this is not a maintained rink, and that river flow may impact the ice's thickness from day to day. 
  • Other natural outdoor ice surfaces include 40 Mile Creek to Vermilion Lakes, Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka.

Natural ice skating areas are not maintained or patrolled. Skate at your own risk. Visit the Parks Canada website for info on skating on ponds, lakes and rivers.

Measure ice thickness in several locations
Local conditions such as currents and water depths can affect ice thickness. Consult knowledgeable local individuals. White ice has air or snow within it and should be considered suspect for recreational use.

Recommendations for ice thickness are based on clear, blue or green ice:
3" (7cm) or less STAY OFF
4" (10cm) ice fishing, walking, cross country skiing
5" (12cm) one snowmobile or ATV
8"-12" (20-30cm) one car or small pickup truck
12"-15" (30-38cm) one medium truck (pickup or van)

Avoid traveling on ice at night
At night it is very difficult to see open holes in the ice. This is a frequent cause of snowmobile drownings.

Never go onto ice alone
A buddy may be able to rescue you or go for help if you get into difficulty. Before you leave shore, tell someone where you are going and expected time of return.

Avoid alcohol
Alcohol impairs your judgment and speeds up the development of hypothermia.

Always supervise children playing on or near ice
Insist that they wear a lifejacket/PFD or thermal protection buoyant suit.

Get more safety tips from the Canadian Red Cross