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Ten Of The Most Canadian Activities You Need To Do In Alberta During Winter

COOL WINTER GUIDE: Stories and information for all things winter in Alberta. Today we’re highlighting some of the most authentic winter activities you can do to experience Canadian winter at its finest. Whether you’re born and bred Albertan, newly Canadian, or simply visiting this beautiful province, you’ll love checking out what Alberta offers during the coldest months of the year. Read on, we’ve got you covered.
Snowy Owl Sled Dog | Facebook

Winter in Alberta is a magical time when the landscape transforms into a dreamscape of snow-covered mountains, frozen lakes, and crisp, starry nights. For those of you seeking a truly Canadian experience, Alberta offers a wide range of activities that showcase the true spirit of the Great White North. From exhilarating outdoor adventures to serene moments under the northern skies, Alberta has something for everyone to enjoy during the brisk winter months.

Go on a Dog Sledding Tour

Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Canmore is the perfect basecamp for a dog sledding adventure. Feel the rush of the chilly winter air as you sled through the beautiful landscape, surrounded by towering pines and majestic peaks. Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours offers a variety of tours, ranging from short rides to full-day excursions, where you can experience the thrill of mushing through the snow with a team of beautiful huskies.

Chasing the Northern Lights & Stargazing


Alberta is one of the best places in the world to witness the magic of the Northern Lights. Escape the bright lights of the city and head just beyond the city limits where you can experience the wonders of the clear northern skies. Or venture a little further into the National Parks where you might get lucky enough to catch the Aurora Borealis dancing across the moonlit sky when the nights are cold, long and dark. There are tons of incredible places across the province that are known for having the best northern lights viewing opportunities, so choose wisely and get ready for a serious treat.

Wild Skating

Banff Lake Louise

Skating is a beloved Canadian pastime, and winter is the perfect time to lace up the skates and experience gliding across the ice on a frozen mountain lake surrounded by stunning beauty. Whether you prefer the full mountain experience, or simply a leisurely skate and game of shinney in the city, you’ll find plenty of outdoor opportunities around the province. Our favourites include the picture-perfect Lake Louise, Sylvan Lake, Pigeon Lake, Bowness Park in Calgary, and Hawrelak Park in Edmonton. You’ve likely seen a handful of photos of people skating amidst the mountains and you’ve probably thought “that should be me.” Well, we couldn’t agree more.

Exploring the Wonders of Abraham Lake


Located along the North Saskatchewan River, and close to Nordegg lies Abraham Lake, created from the construction of the Bighorn Dam. Although man-made, Abraham Lake is a glacial reservoir and its beauty possesses the same turquoise colour as other lakes in the Rockies. Renowned for its unique phenomenon known as “ice bubbles” as the temperatures drop, methane gas trapped beneath the surface of the lake forms captivating frozen bubbles, creating a mesmerizing landscape of natural artistry. Bundle up and take a stroll along the shores for a unique experience. Keep in mind this area is remote, the weather can be unpredictable and change quickly. Be prepared, dress warmly, and always check the weather and road conditions.

Chasing Frozen Falls

Winter transforms Alberta’s waterfalls into enchanting sculptures of ice, calling adventurers to discover their frozen beauty. Your options are essentially limitless. Venture to the stunning Lundbreck Falls, Troll Falls and Marmot Falls, Elbow Falls, Johnston Canyon, and Maligne Canyon to name a few. Strap on some good and grippy hikers and get ready to explore snow-covered trails to witness the stillness of water frozen in time.

Travel Alberta

Relaxing in Natural Hot Springs

After a day of adventure in the great outdoors, there might not be anything better than unwinding in some of Alberta’s natural hot springs. Nestled amidst the stunning mountain peaks lie Banff Upper Hot Springs in Banff National Park and Miette Hot Springs in Jasper National Park. These soothing springs offer the perfect retreat for soaking away the chill of winter. Immerse in the warm, mineral-rich waters while taking in the panoramic views of snow-capped peaks and mountain vistas. It’s the ideal way to relax and soothe tired muscles while embracing the beauty of nature.

Banff Lake Louise

Visiting Kananaskis Nordic Spa

For a whole new invigorating experience, be sure to check out Kananaski’s Nordic Spa. Located in the heart of K-country, this tranquil retreat offers a unique blend of traditional Scandinavian spa rituals paired with breathtaking mountain views and stunning mountain peaks. Immerse yourself in the rejuvenating cycle of hot, and cold pools, steam rooms, saunas, and spas. The Nordic Spa is a luxurious experience you don’t want to overlook. It’s a holistic wellness experience that nourishes the body, mind, and soul. Be sure to book early!

Experiencing the Wild Sport of Skijoring

Skijor Canada | Facebook

Perhaps one of the most interesting Canadian sports is the thrilling sport of Skijoring. Originating in Scandinavian countries as a sport that involves being pulled across the snowy trails by a team of enthusiastic dogs or horses has gained popularity in Alberta. Taking it one step further, equestrian professionals and gritty cowboys alike have evolved skijoring into an exhilarating outdoor experience with the fusion of skiing and rodeoing that showcase equestrian skills, speed, and style, all while pulling a skier. Whether you’re trying it yourself, watching and cheering on the riders, or checking out YouTube videos to get excited, it’s absolutely worth your time.

Trying Your Hand at Curling

No winter experience in Alberta would be complete without trying your hand at the sport of curling. It’s quite arguably one of the most quintessential Canadian activities of all! Gather your friends and family, plan a bonspiel and head to one of Alberta’s many curling clubs for a fun-filled game on the ice. Learn the basics of this strategic and social sport as you slide your rock down the sheet and sweep your way to victory. It’s sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.

Curling Alberta | Twitter

Sking, Snowshoeing, and Nordic Skiing

Let’s not overlook why winter in Alberta is especially famous. Alberta’s world-class ski resorts and backcountry terrain are renowned for their powdery slopes and beautiful surroundings. From the legendary slopes of Sunshine Village, Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Resort and to the charming ski towns of Jasper and Kananaskis Village, there’s no shortage of alpine adventure. Buckle on a pair of skis or snowshoes and explore the endless trails Alberta has to offer.

Banff Sunshine Village | Facebook

There you have it. Alberta’s winter landscape holds a treasure of Canadian activities for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking adventure on the slopes, relaxing in hot springs, or chasing the miracle of the Northern Lights, the choices are just the tip of the iceberg. Decide for yourself, because Alberta offers some of the most authentic and invigorating winter activities where the true spirit of Canada’s north shines strong, wild, and free.     

Remember, before heading out on any adventure, be winter-smart, dress appropriately, and always check the weather and road conditions.

Britanny Burr is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the 2023/24 Cool Winter Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.

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