Fantastic Things to Do in Alberta in the Winter

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Whilst many people visit Alberta in the warmer months, it’s also a place that’s worth visiting in the winter too. During this time of year it can be incredibly scenic when the lakes freeze and the snow falls. The province is located in western Canada and includes part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains as well as five National Parks. This packs it with adventure activities and is a place worthy of anyone’s bucket list.

Below you will find some of the awesome things to do during the winter when visiting Alberta.

1. Ski at Lake Louise

There are various ski resorts in the Canadian Rocky Mountains with the biggest being Lake Louise. The resort offers a fantastic selection of runs across 4,200 acres of ski area. These suit all abilities, so perfect for beginner skiers and snowboarders through to the more advanced. Other highlights of this resort include the incredible views you’ll get of the Canadian Rockies, as well as the delicious food you’ll find at the restaurants.

Location: Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Website, prices and more info:

Have you never been skiing before? If not then read our top reasons why you should take up skiing or snowboarding.
Tree runs at Lake Louise Ski Resort, Canada
Tree runs at Lake Louise Ski Resort

2. See the Ice Castles in Edmonton

The Ice Castles are a winter highlight in Edmonton. They are exactly what the name says, a castle, fortress made of ice. These are fantastic to see, photograph and take the family. Kids should find this particular attraction enjoyable due to the caves, slides, ice throne and other unique features.

Location: Hawrelak Park, 9330 Groat Rd NW, Edmonton
Website, prices and more info:

Ice Castles Edmonton
Ice Castles Edmonton

3. Go on a helicopter ride

For epic views of the Rocky Mountains then go on a Heli Ride. There are various tours available including a Six Glacier Tour, Epic Summit and Icefield Tour, Columbia Icefield Tour, as well as private tours.

In the winter one of the best tours to go on is the Bubbles Tour which includes a 20-minute flight, 1-hour snowshoe hike, followed by a guided visit to see Methane Bubbles on Abraham Lake. What better way to see Alberta in the winter?

Location: 20 Cline River Heliport Highway #11 Clearwater County, Alberta
Website, prices and more info:

Helicopters in the Rockies
Helicopters in the Rockies

4. Try dog sledding

Dog sledding is an incredible winter experience in Alberta with tours possible through Kingmik Dog Sled Tours. There are various tours ranging from 1/2 hour to 2 hours and these take you on a scenic ride between trees with huskies pulling you along the snow. If you are worried about the happiness of the dogs then don’t worry as the dogs seem extremely happy running through the snow and there is enough of them pulling you to make it easy work for them.

Location: Lake Louise – Although pick up from Banff is possible.
Website and more info:

5. Head up the Banff Gondola

The Banff Gondola takes you to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Banff National Park, how it was formed, as well as enjoy the panoramic views covering six mountain ranges and Bow Valley. As well as this there are fun activities such as comparing your hand to a Grizzly paw print, lifting typical hiking rucksacks and much more, making it a fantastic place to take the kids.

Location: 100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B2 – Also accessible by Bow Valley Roam Transit Services (bus)
Website, prices and more info:

Views from the Banff Gondola
Views from the Banff Gondola

6. Skate on Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of Canada’s many beautiful lakes and in the winter months it freezes over. This makes it perfect to skate on whilst enjoying the incredible scenery all around. During our visit there was various sections such as a family area and also where you could try ice hockey. Some hotels nearby such as the Fairmont will allow you to borrow skates for free, or lower down in Lake Louise it’s possible to hire from various sports shops.

Location: Lake Louise

For the ultimate Lake Louise experience consider staying at the beautiful Fairmont Château Lake Louise. This is located at the edge of the lake.
Winter Skating at Lake Louise
Winter Skating at Lake Louise

7. Enjoy a horse sleigh ride

Also available in the winter at Lake Louise is a horse sledge ride. This takes you on a 45-60 minute ride along a track at the side of the lake allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. This experience would be great for families.

Location: Lake Louise
Website, prices and more info:

Horse Sleigh Rides, Lake Louise Canada
Horse Sleigh Rides, Lake Louise

8. Drive the Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway is one of the world’s most scenic drives and runs between Jasper and Lake Louise. As you drive you’ll probably find yourself frequently stopping to take pictures and in the winter you’ll get to enjoy some of the stunning natural scenery, including glaciers, frozen lakes, waterfalls and maybe even wildlife.

Snowy landscapes along the Icefields Parkway, Alberta
Snowy landscapes along the Icefields Parkway | By @mikecleggphoto

9. Try Ice Canyon walking

In Jasper National Park it’s possible to go Ice Canyon walking with Sundog Tours. This unique experience is a top winter activity to do in Alberta. During the tour, you’ll explore the canyon and walk along the frozen river that runs through it. As well as this you’ll see waterfalls that appear frozen in time. This area is perfect for photographers and adventure travellers.

Location: Jasper National Park
Website, prices and more info:

Ice Walks at Maligne Canyon in the winter
Ice Walks at Maligne Canyon in the winter

10. Explore on a snowshoe hike

Hiking doesn’t just have to be done in the warmer months, you can also enjoy during the winter too. Although hiking in boots in deep snow will be far from easy. That’s where snowshoes come in. These attach to your boots and provide a larger surface area as well as spikes that provide more grip. Along with the snowshoes, you’ll often get poles allowing you to use your arms for extra stability and power.

Location: Lake Louise
Website and more info: visit…snowshoeing

Snowshoe hikes with Rockies Heli, Canada
Snowshoe hikes with Rockies Heli

11. Ski at Marmot Basin

Another fantastic ski resort is Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park. As can be expected from the Canadian Rockies, this resort is also pretty darn beautiful. The resort is packed with tree runs and you’ll have 1720 acres of scenic ski area to play with, which includes 91 runs.

Location: Jasper National Park
Website, prices and more info:

Snowboarding-at-Marmot-Basin in Jasper National Park, Canada
Image by @mikecleggphoto

12. See an ice hockey game

When visiting Alberta (or Canada) then consider checking out an ice hockey game. This high action sport will have you gripped to your seat as the players move with incredible skills along the ice. You’ll also get to enjoy an incredible atmosphere whilst doing so, complete with lots of entertainment during the intervals.

Ice Hockey in Canada
Image by @mikecleggphoto


So there you have it, some of the most incredible things to do in Alberta during the winter months. There are of course lots more you could consider doing, from visiting some of the other ski resorts, ice climbing, chasing the northern lights to name a few other things. However, one thing for sure is that a visit to Alberta in the winter will be a trip you’ll treasure and should be full of incredible experiences.

Tours and activities for Alberta

Written by

Mike Clegg

Mike is a traveller, photographer, WordPress developer and the creator of He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website... [Read full bio]

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Article main photographs by TravelAndDestinations team. Read more about where we source images.

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