The temperature may be cool and snow is piled up on the ground, but Albertans enjoys many sunny days in winter, which are ideal for getting out and doing some snow sports. Below is some information about some winter activities you might like to try.
- Skiing and snowboarding
- Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing
- Ice fishing
- Ice walks
- Ice skating
For more ideas for winter activities, see Travel Alberta’s winter activities page.
The skiing and riding in the Albertan Canadian Rockies is up with the best in the world. Lake Louise, Sunshine, Norquay, Nakiska, Castle Mountain and Marmot, Alberta’s main mountain resorts usually open by November and the conditions remain good into April. There are an additional 66 smaller ski hills throughout the province.
If you are new to skiing or snowboarding, one of the best things to do is to try it out at one of the local ski hills before heading to the mountains. You can often get inexpensive beginner packages for adults and children which include lift tickets, equipment rental and a lesson. View a list of Alberta ski areas to find one near you.
Cross-country skiing (also known as Nordic skiing) and snowshoeing are excellent forms of exercise to enjoy in Alberta in the winter. In addition to being a great aerobic workout, they tend to be much less expensive than downhill skiing or snowboarding. Many walking and hiking trails in the summer become tracks in the winter so the possibilities of where to go are almost unlimited.
Some popular areas for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing include:
- Strathcona Wilderness Centre, Edmonton region
- Iron Horse Trail, near St. Paul
- Canmore Nordic Centre
- Silver Summit, Edson
There is no need to wait for the ice to melt to go fishing. You can sit on a frozen lake or river in a heated hut and watch the fish come up to take your hook. Many companies offer tours to introduce you to the sport.
See Travel Alberta for more information on ice fishing.
Want to see a wondrous world of natural ice sculptures? Take a guided tour of a river canyon where moving water has been transformed into a cold and glassy work of art. Two great places to do this are Johnson Canyon in Banff or Maligne Canyon in Jasper. Several companies offer guided tours and provide you with cleats to wear over your shoes so that you can walk safely on the ice.
Most Alberta communities have outdoor rinks and many have indoor ice arenas for ice skating and many will include ice skating as part of winter festivals. One well-known event is the Silver Skate Festival held at Hawrelak Park, Edmonton each February.
Tobogganing can be fun for the whole family. It’s great exercise, inexpensive and doesn’t require much planning, travel or specialized gear. See the sledding page on Travel Alberta’s website for suggested locations.
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Date Updated: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 04:55:34