What to Do in the Mountains in December

This month, take part in holiday activities in Banff, watch a World Cup skiing competition in Lake Louise or check out a new market in Canmore.

The Rimrock Hotel Lounge. Photograph by Noel Hendrickson, courtesy of Banff Lake Louise Tourism.

Sip a Drink on the Banff Hot Chocolate Trail

When: On now until January 1, 2023

For the next few weeks, you can try up to 29 special hot chocolate creations (including some boozy options) at one of the 19 eateries along Banff’s Hot Chocolate Trail. Among the offerings are the Backcountry Powder (featuring dark chocolate and hazelnut combined with maple and star anise) at the Banff Gondola; the vegan and gluten-free Chilli Chai Hot Chocolate from Nourish Bistro (featuring chocolate almond milk mixed with nutmeg, cinnamon and a house-made chilli chai tea blend from Banff Tea Co.); and the Tiramisu Hot Chocolate from Whitebark Cafe (with Whitebark’s signature hot chocolate, tiramisu syrup, homemade whipped cream and lady finger cookies).

Multiple locations, Banff, banfflakelouise.com


Attend Mountaintop Christmas at Sulphur Mountain

When: Saturdays and Sundays until December 18, then daily from December 19 to 30

Celebrate the holiday season on the summit of Sulphur Mountain with Mountaintop Christmas. The family-friendly event includes an opportunity to get a photo with Santa Claus, participate in Christmas craft-making and cookie-decorating, watch holiday movies and attend other festive events. All activities are free with admission to the Banff Gondola, and families that go before noon can receive one complimentary children’s admission for each paying adult.

100 Mountain Ave, Banff, 1-866-756-1904, banffjaspercollection.com


Watch the Lake Louise Alpine World Cup

When: November 25 to December 4

Cheer for the fastest alpine skiers at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Championships in the free fan-cheering zone in Lake Louise this month. While the men’s competitions starts in late November, both of the women’s events (downhill skiing and Super-G) kick off in early December.

Lake Louise Ski Resort, 1 Whitehorn Rd, Lake Louise, 403-522-3555, skilouise.com


Enjoy a Truffle Dinner at Post Hotel & Spa

When: November 26 to December 3

Celebrate truffle season with a four-course, truffle-forward dinner by Chef Hans Sauter and the team from the Post Hotel & Spa, the only Relais & Châteaux hotel in Alberta. Dishes include charred Brussels sprouts and king crab salad with a white truffle and blood-orange vinaigrette, a white truffle Champagne risotto, an AAAAA wagyu striploin steak with truffle-infused pomme fondant and a black truffle and tonka bean ice cream for dessert. Seating is $397 per person. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel.

P.O. Box 69, 200 Pipestone Road, Lake Louise, 403-522-3989, posthotel.com


Dine at Añejo in Banff

Calgary-based Añejo, known for authentic Mexican food and drinks (and the largest tequila selection in Canada), has a new location in Banff. Head there to dine on flavourful dishes like chili relleno or the popular pulled pork tacos after spending a day in the fresh mountain air.

101, 111 Banff Ave., Banff, 403-985-0084, anejo.ca


Shop the Banff Christmas Market

When: December 2 to 4

Shop for holiday gifts from more than 100 artisanal vendors at the annual Banff Christmas Market, held at the Warner Stables. This holiday market includes live music, an outdoor fire lounge, Christmas treats and more. Entry to the market is $10 and timed — tickets must be pre-purchased online.

Warner Stables, 138 Banff Ave., Banff, banffchristmasmarket.com


Hike the Maligne Canyon Ice Tour

When: December 17, 2022 to April 3, 2023

Bundle up for this guided tour through historical Maligne Canyon to see frozen waterfalls, ice caves and fossils in Jasper National Park’s deepest cave. The two-and-a-half-hour tour departs twice a day on Thursdays through Mondays at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and includes lunch at the Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen, as well as winter boots, a helmet and ice cleats. Tickets are $79.99 for adults and $49.99 for children.



Celebrate the New Year at the Torchlight Parade

When: December 31

On December 31 from 7 to 8 p.m., instructors from Mount Norquay will ski the North American run down from the chairlift with torches in hand to light up the night and kick off New Year’s Eve celebrations. The Torchlight Parade is best viewed from downtown Banff, where you can watch while enjoying one of the many seasonal hot chocolates from the cafés and eateries participating in the Hot Chocolate Trail.

2 Mt Norquay Rd., Banff, 403-762-4421, banffnorquay.com


Visit a New Canmore Market


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A post shared by Take A Hike Market (@takeahikemarket)

Foodies will be thrilled to hear that a new takeout/dine-in deli and café is officially open in Canmore. Take a Hike Market offers grocery items, charcuterie and a variety of grab-and-go options, such as pork baby back ribs, breakfast boards and freshly baked croissants. There are also a variety of cheeses on offer that you can sample before purchasing.

269, 187 Kananaskis Way (inside Solara Resort and Spa), Canmore, 587-361-5656, takeahikemarket.ca

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