Canada might be cold in the winter but it sure is beautiful. You’ve probably contemplated going into hibernation already but you’ll probably reconsider after seeing this list. If you’re visiting from abroad you might be wondering if it’s possible to enjoy yourselves fully without breaking the bank, but we’re here to tell you that there are loads of options that you can find for little or even no money.
Whether you’re on a budget or not, there are loads of things to do in winter besides curling up by the fireplace and sipping hot cocoa (although, that is a really nice option). We’d like to reintroduce you to our favourite season with the Top 10 Winter Wonders in Alberta and BC:
1) Johnston Canyon Ice Walk
I’m sure you’ve done this famous hike in the summer but in the winter it’s a whole different world. A paved boardwalk that takes you deep inside a canyon where you can marvel at not one, but two, gigantic frozen waterfalls. To learn more about it, click here.
2) Ice Castles – Edmonton:
Ever since Frozen came out, I’m sure playing around in an enormous castle made of ice has definitely made it onto your bucket list. Even if the thought has never crossed your mind, this place is way too fun. A company aptly named Ice Castles creates these stunning works of art in cities around North America and lucky for us, there’s one right in Edmonton! To learn more about it, click here.
3) Frozen Bubbles:
Social media went crazy when this phenomenon was recently discovered. Methane bubbles trapped under ice sure make for some surreal photos and an even better skating surface. Check out our post on finding frozen methane bubbles here
4) Lake Louise skating and Ice Castle:
Every single year Lake Louise upholds their tradition of creating an ice castle in the middle of the frozen lake and inviting guests to skate around in one of the most beautiful and iconic settings in Canada.
5) Athabasca Ice Cave:
While incredibly beautiful, take caution when exploring this natural wonder. Hidden near the Columbia Icefield, it’s a mission to get to but worth every snowy step.
I do not recommend visiting this unless you are experienced with winter hiking and glacier rescue.
6) Toonie Days at Norquay aka $2 Skiing:
No need to break the bank to go skiing, Mount Norquay hosts $2 ski days for Alberta residents. Not only that, but weekend night skiing passes are on sale for cheap as well. To find out more about night skiing, click here.
7) Natural hot springs:
Winter is arguably the best time to visit hot springs because who really wants to sit in a steaming hot pool in 30 degree weather. Western Canada has an abundance of natural springs to choose from but our favorites are Lussier Hot Springs and Keyhole Hot Springs (pictured below). Check out our post on natural Canadian hot springs here:
8) Northern Lights:
One of the best parts of living up North is, well… the Northern Lights. When a good show is on, you don’t have to drive far from the city to see it. Those greens and purples are other worldly to say the least. To find out more about seeing the Northern Lights in Alberta, click here.
9) “Snow Ghosts”:
Snow ghosts are made when ice and snow encrusted pine trees start to look just like ghosts. We found these ones at Big White Ski Resort in the Okanagan.
10) Frozen Lake Skating in Prince’s Island Park:
So there you have it! 10 incredible natural wonders you can find in the Rockies without breaking the bank!