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Head North: Why You Should Explore Alberta In The Winter

Explore the Canadian Rockies all year long.

By: Tiffany Nguyen + Save to a List

Alberta is one of those rare places that needs to be seen during every season of the year to truly appreciate its splendor. There’s something about seeing the iconic Canadian Rockies completely blanketed in snow that makes it a wondrous place to explore. Temperatures may be below freezing throughout most of the season, but that didn’t stop me from visiting this one of a kind winter wonderland. Whether you’re catching an epic sunrise in Banff, snowboarding some of the world's most grand mountains, or watching auroras light up the sky, you definitely don’t want to miss out on one of the best winter destinations this world has to offer. Here are the top 8 reasons you need to get to Alberta in the winter time.

1. Explore the Ice Caves at Columbia Icefields

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

The Icefields Parkway is without a doubt one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Just off the road, you’ll find one of Jasper’s hidden gems where you can explore this stunning ice cave. Venture inside (with extreme caution) to marvel at the brilliant blue walls and admire epic views of the Canadian Rockies perfectly framed by the cave's opening. Learn more.

2. Ski Banff Canada’s Big 3

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Whether you decide to spend the day riding at Norquay, Lake Louise, or Sunshine Village, you’ll find some incredible conditions here. With sweeping views in nearly every direction, you can’t go wrong with any of these world-class ski resorts. Learn more.

3. Spend the Morning at Vermilion Lakes

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Vermilion Lakes is Banff's go-to spot for photographers looking to catch an incredible sunrise. It’s not uncommon for the sky to catch fire as the sun makes its way above the horizon. Get there early to claim your spot! Learn more.

4. Hang Out Under the Stars at Peyto Lake

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Peyto Lake is gorgeous during the day, but it’s even more special at night. You might be lucky enough to catch the Milky Way or possibly even the Northern Lights out here. Learn more.

5. Catch the Alpenglow at Jasper Lake

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Jasper Lake is the perfect spot to watch the morning alpenglow light up Pyramid Mountain. Don't forget to spend some quality time reflecting here. Learn more.

6. Chase the Many Frozen Waterfalls

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Alberta has tons of frozen waterfalls to admire during the winter time. The bright turquoise water flowing beneath the frozen falls makes for an incredible contrast with the surrounding snow. Learn more.

7. Photograph the Iconic Emerald Lake

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

As one of the most photographed spots in Yoho National Park, I’m sure you’ve all seen a photo of Emerald Lake by now. The snow-covered trees surrounding the lodge reflected on the water makes for an idyllic winter scene. Learn more.

8. Get Up Close and Personal with Alberta’s Finest Residents

Photo: Tiffany Nguyen

Be very careful when driving in Alberta as you sometimes have to share the road with some of the province's wildlife. They can be quite the photogenic group if you’re lucky. Learn more.

Cover photo: Tiffany Nguyen

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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