Finding Frozen Methane Bubbles on Abraham Lake

By now, you’ve probably already seen the photos making their rounds on social media of frozen methane bubbles that look like jellyfish caught underneath the ice at Abraham Lake.

Where is Abraham Lake, exactly?

This lesser known spot now has people pouring in from all over the province of Alberta to catch a glimpse of this amazing natural phenomenon.

The crowds are nowhere near as crazy as Lake Louise, because let’s face it, people are less willing to brave the cold just for a good Instagram photo (this may have been true in 2016, not so sure about 2020).

You can access Abraham Lake from two directions: (1) by driving up the Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise and turning right at Saskatchewan Crossing or (2) taking Highway 2 from Edmonton or Calgary and turning onto Highway 22 along the David Thompson highway. (Google maps is your friend)

Staying in Nordegg

Instead of doing the 6 hour round trip drive from Calgary, we decided to stay the night in the area.

Nordegg has an abundance of adorable mountain cottages, but while browsing through the options we instantly fell in love with Expanse Cottages (only a 30 minute drive from Abraham Lake).

This place was just perfect – from the pre-chopped wood and kindling, to the full kitchen and cozy fireplace indoors.

I immediately felt right at home and the family that runs the place are just fantastic. We spent an enjoyable night sipping coffee by the roaring fire in front of our cottage and toasting way too many marshmallows for just 2 people.

Back to the frozen bubbles

Now about those frozen bubbles… which, by the way, are frozen METHANE bubbles that can be set on fire (but that’s another story for another day).

It had previously snowed the night before we went looking for the bubbles, which obviously made things a bit more difficult. But we never shy away from a challenge! and besides, the harder you have to work for it, the more you appreciate the end result, right?

Ideally, the best time to visit the bubbles are when there hasn’t been any recent snow, but of course, for many of people weekends are the only option.

Preacher’s Point

By doing some rigorous research on Instagram, we found out that the place we wanted to park our car was called Preacher’s Point (Thank you, Paul Zizka).

Preacher’s Point is easy enough to find and well signposted from the road (it’ll be on your right hand side if you’re driving from the Icefields Parkway).

When we arrived there wasn’t another soul in sight and we had no clue where to start. The lake was COMPLETELY covered in snow.

We paused and looked a bit closer and could actually see little pathways which had obviously been swept off by someone else. It was a start!

We grabbed our mitts and ran down to the ice and starting sweeping with our car brush. I honestly hadn’t been this excited about something for a while… because as I swept LITTLE FROZEN BUBBLES started appearing underneath me!

Lots and lots and lots of them!

I’ll let the rest of our photos do the talking but if you’re visiting any part of Alberta this winter, make sure you take the time to drive out there and check Abraham Lake and the frozen methane bubbles out. Aside from the bubbles it’s also an insanely beautiful area with plenty to see. (See pics below) Happy adventuring!

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Finding Frozen Methane Bubbles on Abraham Lake

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