Winter is coming fast. Here are 8 must-do winter activities in the Canadian Rockies. It’s hard to narrow it down to just 8 activities. Winter time in the Canadian Rockies offers so many unique opportunities to get outside and explore the stunning landscapes. This list is made with the photographer in mind but you definitely don’t need to be photographically inclined to get the most out of this exciting list.
Jasper National Park has a number of Fat Bike rentals located right in town. From downtown you can access the extensive and scenic trail network. The trail network is great for first time riders. It’s easy to navigate and you’re never too far from town if you want to warm up with some hot chocolate. This is a staple for must-do winter activities in the Canadian Rockies.
Ice Skating on Lake Louise
Skating on frozen lakes during winter in the Canadian Rockies is always a highlight for me! The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise maintains the ice on Lake Louise all winter long. That means you can skate in front of Mount Victoria no matter how much snow falls!
Dog Sledding in Kananaskis Country
Dog sledding in Kananaskis Country will have you feeling like the star of your own Disney movie. The very dogs pulling your sled, are the same dogs starring in films like Togo. You’ll also recognize locations from other films like the Revenant. Snowy Owl Dog Sledding tours will take you across the frozen Spray Lakes high up in Kananaskis Country where you’ll enjoy some of the most epic winter scenery in all of the Canadian Rockies.
Find Methane Bubbles at Abraham Lake
Methane bubbles are a winter phenomenon and they’re one of my all time favourite subjects to photograph. Abraham lake boasts some of the best methane bubbles in the clearest ice. Every year the methane bubbles on Abraham Lake become a photographers paradise. If you’re not interested in taking photos, enjoy the epic scenery. Abraham Lake rarely disappoints.
Watch Life Outside Studio’s Getting The Shot EP 1 On Photographing Methane Bubbles
Site-Seeing Classic Locations
Vermillion Lakes is a good example of a “classic location” for sight-seeing. The view of Mount Rundle from the lakes is one of the Canadian Rockies most famous views. The winter months provide a completely new perspective. Enjoying views like this one in the winter lends itself to new discoveries, like the hot springs at the third lake where you can find open water all winter long. The open water creates great foreground for winter pictures! A list of 8 must-do winter activities in the Canadian Rockies would not be complete without a stop to Vermillion Lakes.
Astrophotography and Photographing the Aurora in Jasper
Jasper is four hours north of Calgary which positions the town perfectly for stunning displays of aurora. Not to Jasper National Park is one of the world’s largest dark sky reserves. That means there’s almost zero light pollution obstructing your views of the northern lights dancing across the skies. It’s hard to plan for aurora so try to maximize your time in Jasper. The more time you spend there, the better your odds. If all else fails, enjoy the dark skies and capitalize on some great astrophotography opportunities.
Explore Frozen Ice Canyons
During the deep freeze in winter you can gain access to canyons that you would otherwise never be able to explore during the summer months. There are a handful of canyons you can explore like Johnston Canyon, or Yoho Natural Bridge which isn’t technically a canyon, but in the winter it turns into a canyon. However, my all time favourite canyon to explore is Maligne Canyon in Jasper.
Discover Ice Caves Along the Icefields Parkway
Every year the icefields parkway boasts massive ice caves for adventure seeker’s who are bold enough to brave the elements. Of the 8 must-do winter activities in the Canadian Rockies, this one is the most ambitious. Ice caves are some of the most epic subjects you could ever dream to photograph. Ice caves are extremely dangerous. You need adequate winter safety training to access ice caves.
Search This Map for the Locations of the 8 Must-Do Winter Activities in the Canadian Rockies
Add to my list of 8 must-do winter activities in the Canadian Rockies
If you think I missed anything, let me know in the comments what you might add to my list!