Historic Photos of Skijoring from Banff and Jasper

Skijoring, a winter sport with roots tracing back to Scandinavia, has a rich history as a method of transportation during harsh winter months. Its name, roughly translating to “ski driving,” aptly captures its essence as an efficient means of traversing snowy terrains. Traditionally, wooden skis were towed by reindeer, but in North America, the practice has evolved to involve horses and even dogs.

People ski-joring with horses on Patricia Lake, Jasper Winter Carnival, Jasper National Park, Alberta, 1928. Reference Code: CA JAS jas-1405-is-jas-993.37.17.5

Skijoring has gained significant popularity in North America, with Skijor Canada rating it as the fastest growing winter sport in the region. Each year, thrilling competitions are held, wherein champion equestrians and accomplished skiers come together to entertain spectators in a historical celebration with a modern twist. For those seeking to experience this exciting sport, the Snow Days Festival in Banff provides an excellent opportunity.

We invite you to immerse yourself in this captivating collection of historical skijoring photos from Banff and Jasper. Many of these remarkable images were captured during Winter Carnival celebrations in these picturesque mountain towns, showcasing the enduring charm and significance of this winter pastime. These images have been sourced from notable archives such as Archives Canada, Whyte Museum, and Jasper Museum and Archives.

Join us as we delve into the captivating world of skijoring, where tradition meets modern excitement, and discover the beauty and exhilaration this unique winter sport brings to the Canadian Rockies.

Jasper Ski Club ski-joring on lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, 1928. Reference Code: CA JAS jas-1405-is-jas-993.37.17.9
Getting the horses ready for ski-joring on lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, 1928. Reference Code: CA JAS jas-1405-is-jas-993.37.17.12
Joan and Leonard Robson, Ted Mares, Alex Gray, Florence Driscolland Doris Kensit ski-joring, 1926. Reference Code: CA JAS jas-1405-is-jas-993.37.40.3
Group ski-joring, Jasper National Park, Alberta, 1925. Reference Code: CA JAS jas-1405-is-jas-993.37.40.6
A winter picnic at a ski-joring ski club outing at Pyramid Lake, 1927. Reference Code: CA JAS jas-2612-is-jas-69248
The Jasper Ski Club at Patricia Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, 1927. Reference Code: CA JAS jas-2562-is-jas-pa 43-30
Banff Winter Carnival, ski joring, 1903-1942. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-272-is-whyte-5655
Banff Winter Carnival, pony ski-joring race, 1903-1942. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-272-is-whyte-5682
Ski-joring on Bow River at Banff, 1925. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-13512
A Jasper ski club ski-joring outing at Pyramid Lake, 1927. Reference Code: CA JAS jas-2612-is-jas-69246
Ski joring on Lynx Street, Banff, 1925-1935. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-12646
Ski-joring on Bow River at Banff, 1925-1935. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-12651
Ski-joring in Banff, 1925-1935. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-12653
Ski joring, Banff, Alberta, 1925. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-13504
Ski joring, Banff, Alberta, 1925. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-13510
Ski joring, Banff, Alberta, 1925. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-13511
Ski joring, Banff, Alberta, 1920-1940. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-13514
Ski joring, Banff, Alberta, 1920-1940. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-13516

For similar posts, please visit my previous stories including Vintage Photos of a Horse Drawn Sleigh, Vintage Photographs of Skiing from Across Alberta, and Wild Jobs: Horse Rancher.

Ski joring. Banff Winter Carnival. Women in Hudson Bay blanket coats, 1924. Reference Code: CA WHYTE whyte-519-is-whyte-13083


The photos above were collected from Archives Canada. If you’re interested, additional information can be found for each photograph on the Archives Canada website by searching the reference code that is included in the caption of each photo. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from across Alberta and western Canada. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.

Some images are from The Jasper-Yellowhead Museum & Archives , a valuable institution dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history and heritage of the Jasper and Yellowhead region. With their extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents, they offer an immersive experience that takes visitors on a journey through time. However, maintaining and expanding these collections requires community support. There are numerous ways you can contribute to their efforts. Consider becoming a museum member and enjoy exclusive benefits such as free admission and access to special events. Additionally, financial contributions through donations or sponsorships play a vital role in sustaining the museum’s programs and exhibitions. If you have historical items related to the area, consider donating them to the museum to ensure their preservation and availability for future generations. By supporting the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum & Archives, you are contributing to the conservation and celebration of our local history, enabling others to learn and appreciate the unique heritage of the region.

Some images are from the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies , a prominent institution located in Banff, Alberta. It serves as a comprehensive resource for exploring the rich history and culture of the Canadian Rockies. The museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts and exhibits, including lantern slides, indigenous engagement displays, and an extensive digital library. In addition to preserving the region’s heritage, the Whyte Museum also offers educational programs, school initiatives, and tours for visitors of all ages. Furthermore, the museum’s archives provide valuable research opportunities, but appointments are necessary to access the collections. The Whyte Museum is a beloved cultural hub in Banff, welcoming visitors daily and fostering a sense of community through its exhibitions, programs, and events.


About Tyler Dixon 217 Articles
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years. He is a teacher working at a wilderness- based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction. Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks. During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.