As far as outdoor activities go you really cannot do much better than Alberta. Regardless of the season Alberta offers plenty of options for tourists and locals looking to enjoy the great outdoors. Even in winter you are spoilt for choice. For most people the first thing that comes to mind is hitting the slopes along the Rockies but there are many attractions even for the non-skier. Check out our list of the top 10 winter activities in Alberta:
Festivals and Attractions
Visit Alberta in January or February and you are almost guaranteed to find a local outdoor festival in full swing. Some of the biggest festivals include:
Jasper in January – an annual two-week festival in Jasper National Park that offers sporting competitions live music food drink a street party and outdoor activities including skating and dog sledding.
Edmonton’s Silver Skate Festival – this February family-friendly festival has been run by the city of Edmonton for the last 25 years. It offers sporting events including a winter triathlon FatBike Fest skate and snowshoe races. Feel like relaxing? You can see winter sculptures take a sleigh ride cook on an open fire or take in a live music or theatre show.
Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival – visit Banff and Lake Louise in late January for a romantic getaway and attend the Ice Magic Festival. You will be tucked into the Rockies while professional carvers sculpt amazing ice sculptures from massive ice blocks. Skate along the Lake and take in the view then enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride and unwind with one of many food and drink options.
Wherever you are in Alberta you can always find an accessible outdoor sport whether you want to visit a resort and focus on the slopes or take a day trip from a major city or even go winter camping (ensure you’re prepared).
Cross-Country Skiing in Chester Lake – Kananaskis Country’s Chester Lake offers magnificent views and accessible skiing for everyone no matter what skill level. The Lake is just a couple of hours west of Calgary and makes a great day trip. The picture above was captured along the trail to the lake in early October 2017.
Skiing and Snowboarding in Sunshine Village – While there are a number of ski runs across the province to choose from Sunshine Village offers a fun environment with lessons and slopes for beginners. If someone in your party is more advanced the resort offers black diamond trails and non-skiers can relax in the lodge with quality food and drinks.
Advanced Skiing and Snowboarding at Wapta Traverse – if you are a well-seasoned skier get away from ski resorts and head into the backcountry. Wapta Traverse located in Banff National Park offers challenging terrain and multiday trips where you can stay overnight in a series of huts run by the Alpine Club of Canada.
Ice Climbing in Jasper National Park – Feeling adventurous? Take a guided ice climbing tour in Jasper and scale a frozen waterfall.
Need a break from the cold? Head indoors and check out some of Alberta’s museums and galleries or take in a performance.
Royal Tyrrell Museum – if you are in the Drumheller region this museum is a must-see with its’ impressive dinosaur skeleton and fossil collections.
Gasoline Alley Museum – Filled with colourful displays of vintage automobiles dating back to pre-World War II this Calgary museum is for the history lover.
Muttart Conservatory – At Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory a great place for the nature lover you will find impressive botanical garden displays housed inside glass pyramids.
It doesn’t matter what kinds of activities you love there is a winter attraction for everyone in Alberta. As the white stuff starts to fall gear up and prepare to experience the most exhilarating winter ever! Don’t forget to check out our top 10 family-friendly campgrounds to start planning for your summer adventures.