11 road trip worthy things to do and see this winter in Alberta

Jan 6 2022, 6:36 pm

Winter in Alberta can be a little stale, but we have rounded up some road-trip-worthy things to do and see this winter across the province.

From frozen waterfalls to ice walks and a picturesque main street in a town in central Alberta, hit the road and explore your province this winter.

Sylvan Lake’s Winter Activities

Christmas lights Alberta

@visitsylanlake/Instagram, VisitSylvanLake.ca

A town in central Alberta is leaning into the spirit of winter with a massive skating rink that lights up at night and 300,000 Christmas lights to marvel at. The Winter Village in Sylvan Lake is lit up nightly from now until March, with activities that include skating, ice fishing, tobogganing, and more.

Where: Sylvan Lake, Alberta

Crescent Falls 

 

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Winter in Alberta offers true beauty, and we strongly suggest checking out these frozen waterfalls nestled in the Rockies. The roaring Crescent Falls plummet 30 metres over two ledges and offer breathtaking views of the Bighorn River Valley. It’s one of the most breathtaking frozen waterfalls in the Rockies.

Where: Crescent Falls, Alberta T0M 2H0

Drumheller

Butler Stock Photography/Shutterstock

A staple tourist destination in the summer time, there’s something unique and special about seeing the hoodoos and landscape of Drumheller draped in some snow. Have a snowball fight and then go see some Guinness World Record-holding dinosaur bones at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

Where: Drumheller

Lacombe’s Main Street

Lacombe

@cityoflacombe/Instagram

A tucked-away street in a town in central Alberta will provide you with that perfect vintage Instagram post, boasting a look that almost mirrors classic New York City vibes. The Flatiron Building is the crown jewel of Lacombe’s main street. Once you are done admiring the gorgeous architecture, wander along the streets and pose in front of a flurry of murals. The town touts itself as “Alberta’s Mural Capital,” with murals detailing its lengthy history.

Where: 5104 50 Avenue, Lacombe

Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles

ice bubbles Alberta

CoolPhoto2/Shutterstock,Shawna and Damien Richard/Shutterstock

Ice bubbles that form in a lake in Alberta are a must-visit this winter. The ice bubbles bloom under Abraham Lake like flowers, making for a stunning sight. You can pack your skates and hit the lake, gliding over the bubbles while surrounded by the Rockies. It’s a wonderful experience, but it can be pretty windy some days, so check the forecast before you head out. It’s one of the most beautiful things you can see this winter in Alberta.

Where: 18032 David Thompson Highway #17562

The Donut Mill

The Donut Mill

@peyody/Instagram | @jisookangg/Instagram

It can be hard to find that perfect donut, but a shop in Red Deer has perfected the craft, making it a must-hit destination. The Mills menu has dozens of donut flavours, with fan favourites like Oreo, Rolo, Apple Pie, and Rainbow Dip, just to name a few.

Where: 123 Leva Avenue, Red Deer County

SnowDays in Banff

winter banff

Ice sculpture at Lake Louise during SnowDays (Elle McLean/Daily Hive)

SnowDays, Banff and Lake Louise’s annual winter celebration, returns this January, bringing the national park to life with a wide array of activities, sights, and events. Check out giant snow sculptures throughout the streets of downtown Banff and then head to Lake Louise to lace up your skates and take a whirl around the lake for an iconic Canadian experience. Once you’ve worked up a thirst, visit a number of select bars and restaurants in Banff, where you’ll find special cocktail menus from January 19 to 30. For some family friendly festivities, hit up the SnowDays Play Zone on weekday evenings and weekends, where you’ll find exhilarating activities and hands-on fun for all ages.

SnowDays runs from January 19 to 30, with plenty of frosty sights, free activities, and unique events to warm up the year’s chilliest season.

Where: Various locations in Banff and Lake Louise

Grotto Canyon

grotto canyon

Grotto Canyon (Shutterstock)

This is one part of Alberta that is only accessible after a deep freeze. Thankfully, Alberta is no stranger to below-freezing temperatures, which means that the ice walk at Grotto Canyon is accessible for a good chunk of the year. Strolling over the frozen river will make you wish you’d brought your ice skates, but it makes for a surreal experience nonetheless.

Where: East of Canmore along Bow Valley Trail. It is located beside aptly named Grotto Canyon pond.

Maligne Canyon

things winter Alberta

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There aren’t enough adjectives to describe Jasper National Park’s deepest canyon, Maligne Canyon. While “majestic, marvellous, and memorable” first come to mind, this geological wonder is also known as one of Jasper’s most famous natural landmarks.

As temperatures drop, the rushing waters of Maligne River transform into awe-inspiring icy formations and ice walks to keep ice climbers and tourists enraptured.

Where: Jasper National Park

Big Rock – Okotoks Erratic

Ray Yang/Shutterstock

Check out this glacial erratic, aptly named the “Big Rock,” which seems to rise out of nowhere in the middle of the Alberta prairies. While you’re in the area, pay a visit to the towns of Okotoks and High River for boutique shopping and awesome local eateries, filming locations for the TV show Heartland, and tons of parks and trails to explore.

Where: Alberta Highway 7, Black Diamond

Lundbreck Falls

Globe Guide Media Inc/Shutterstock

Located 20 minutes outside the town of Pincher Creek, Lundbreck Falls offers picture-perfect views, a spectacular bridge, and a great spot to take a refreshing dip this summer (just don’t get too close to the rushing waterfalls).

Where: Range Road 24B, Lundbreck

Elle McLeanElle McLean
Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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