Backpackers flock to our Banff hostel year round, but there is something special about the spring season. Here’s our top 7 reasons to get your little snow bunny behinds up to Banff, get a spring riding pass and weekly rate at our Banff hostel, and make the most of spring in the Rockies!
1. The weather is finally bearable again! After nearly 5 months below freezing and hitting -40 a few times, 0 degrees now feels tropical. (If you’re wondering how one survives such temperatures, check out our Winter Survival Guide). One of the best sites is seeing the Aussie’s come out of our hostel in Banff in t-shirts and flip-flops at a high of 5 degrees. It may seem strange to be excited over a high of 5 degrees but just think, that’s 20 degrees warmer than the average winter day! Big difference!
2. Sunshine Village release their spring riding passes which are $200 for students, $300 mid week and $400 full week. Sunshine Village has the longest season in North America which is why our Banff hostel is buzzing with snow bunnies right through until the end of May. We highly suggest grabbing a mid week (or full week) spring pass to enjoy epic spring conditions from March 15th – May 29th. That’s 67 days of riding for $400 (full week pass) divided by 67 = $6 per day!!!
3. Banff feels just like Narnia when Aslan is coming, or maybe that’s just me. After what feels like an eternity of ice-frozen lakes, rivers and waterfalls, the sound of dripping water outside is musical. The first birdcall of the season is like magic, and you know that something is on the move.
4. “It’s the vibe!” There is nothing quite like the building vibe that comes with warmer temperatures whilst knowing there’s still months of great snowboarding left. It’s the communal, and sometimes unsaid, celebration of being on the home stretch after surviving a long, cold winter. You notice the extra spring in people’s steps as they walk down the street. You can share a smile with a stranger that you wouldn’t have seen in December because your faces were hidden beneath 15 layers of scarves, toques and jackets (see: how to dress for a Canadian winter).
5. The illustrious goggle tans. As the sun gets brighter you squint to see your friend walking down the street and you think, “gee, you really need to wash your face it looks like you slept in the dirt…. oh wait, that’s just your goggle tan!” This is an easy way to tell who has been out riding everyday.
6. Over the next few months the hiking trails start opening up as the snow melts and avalanche warnings diminish. Visit Parks Canada for more information on which trails to do in the spring. (Keep in mind there is something else waking up, bears! Be bear aware before setting out on any trails in the Rocky Mountains). Banff’s local Tunnel Mountain is a winner in all seasons, so you can go hiking one day, snowboarding or snowshoeing the next, and maybe even get the skateboard or bike out too! An adventure wonderland at its best!
7. Patio beers! That’s right, après ski pints outside! Our Banff hostel has its own backpacker bar with a street front patio. So grab a super cheap happy hour jug, catch the afternoon sun and work on your goggle tan.
After living 2.5 years in the Rockies and loving every minute of it (yes, even minus 40 has its charm) there is no other time quite like spring. My personal recommendation to friends and travelers is save your money and plan for 3 months off work to enjoy spring in the mountains. Samesun Backpackers hostel in Banff is your perfect long-term base camp with great weekly rates and a fun family vibe.