An Alberta Winter Wonderland
Collected by Jeff Bartlett, AFAR Local Expert
Alberta endures some of the Great White North’s longest winters, so there is no shortage of fun in this natural winter wonderland. When Calgary and Edmonton’s National Hockey League teams faceoff, it’s known as the battle of Alberta, but Canada’s game is just one way to celebrate winter. From skiing in the Canadian Rockies to exploring canyon ice walks, winter in Alberta is about embracing the weather and playing outside.
1 Marmot Rd, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
As the only ski area in Jasper National Park, Ski Marmot Basin is surrounded by pristine wilderness. And the mountain, with plenty of above-treeline skiing, offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Canadian Rockies from the top of every...
1 Whitehorn Rd, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada
Lake Louise Ski Resort isn’t just the largest in the Canadian Rockies. With 4200 acres, it’s also one of the biggest in North America. Located smack-dab in the middle of Banff National Park, skiing in Lake Louise often seems equal parts sport and...
1 Sunshine access Rd, Banff, AB T1L 1J5, Canada
Most people travel to Canada in the winter to ski the famous big resorts like Whistler and Lake Louise. But 20 minutes from downtown Banff is a little "hill"—as the Canadians like to call their mountains—called Sunshine Village. The resort,...
1505 17TH AVE SW, Kananaskis, AB T0L, Canada
Between Calgary and Banff you’ll find Kananaskis Country, a giant park in the foothills where in-the-know locals come with their skis and snowshoes to escape the city. There is one downhill ski area, Nakiska resort, as well as the Canmore Nordic...
1988 Olympic Way, Canmore, AB T0L, Canada
Regardless of how well you ski, you can get a sense of what it's like to be an Olympian at the Canmore Nordic Centre, about an hour west of Calgary. The vast facility—with nearly 45 miles of trails to suit all levels—was created to host...
There’s something romantic about a horse-drawn sleigh ride, but it’s even more special when it traces the shores of historic Lake Louise. Imagine snuggling beneath a fleece blanket on an old-fashioned sleigh as two mighty horses pull you away from...
Johnson Creek, III, WV, USA
Roaring waterfalls are frozen in place along the Johnson Canyon Ice Walk, providing one of the most unique hikes in Banff National Park. Picture towering pillars of ice, rushing waterfalls frozen still, and walls of ice stretching in all...
632 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, Canada
Slide into your warmest winter boots, strap on a pair of ice cleats, and bundle on an extra layer before descending into the Maligne Canyon for a unique Jasper experience. Curving rock walls create the perfect labyrinth to explore the depths of...
120 1st Ave, Dead Man's Flats, AB T1W 2W4, Canada
Skijoring is a little-practiced winter sport in which cross-country skiers are pulled by either a sled dog or a horse. Although the sport originated in Norway, it has now arrived in the Canadian Rockies thanks to Mad Dogs & Englishmen. The company...
88 Canada Olympic Rd SW, Calgary, AB T3B 5R5, Canada
One of the best things about Calgary is the winter playground in the center of town. Canada Olympic Park, on the western edge of the city, features a ski hill, snowboard park, cross-country trails, an Olympic luge track, Canada's Sports Hall of...
Lake Louise, AB, Canada
When you enter Banff National Park, you are immediately struck by its vastness. In the winter, the mountains tower above with their snow-covered peaks and the snowy pines go on like an endless, seemingly impenetrable sea. During my visit to Lake...
7424 118 Ave, Edmonton, AB T5J 2N5, Canada
They are one of the youngest and most exciting teams in the NHL, and the city of Edmonton is in love with them. Nothing screams Edmonton louder than an Oilers game. So if you're in town during the winter, do your best to make it to Rexall Place to...
Mount Norquay, Improvement District No. 9, AB T0L, Canada
Built for kids but beloved by nearly everyone, tubing at Mt Norquay is an entertaining alternative to skiing or snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies. Not satisfied with simply being the fastest tubing park around, Mt Norquay staff are also trained...
- 1 Travel News This Tiny Country Is Europe’s Fastest Growing Destination
- 2 Exceptional Travel Experiences Thailand Wants to Pay You to Travel the Country Like a Local
- 3 Where to Go in Winter The Sweetest Small Towns in the U.S. to Visit This Winter
- 4 Air Travel AFAR Readers Reveal Their Favorite U.S. Airports
- 5 History + Culture 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites You Need to Visit This Winter