Snow. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s intrusive. Many people hunker down during the winter, waiting out the cold months with a book and a mug of hot chocolate. But with Calgary being so close to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, its people have an excellent opportunity to embrace the snow, its beauty, and the fun winter activities that comes with it. The Canadian Rocky Mountains, the true gem of Canada, are a mecca for a wide variety of winter activities, from soaking in the hot springs to downhill snowboarding; there is something for every age group and every skill level.
There are many dog sledding opportunities near Calgary, ranging from a 30 minute introductory session, to a full day back country tour. Snow Owl Sled Dog Tours, operating out of Canmore just an hour’s drive from Calgary, give families a chance to enjoy the mountain landscape, the snow, and the friendly snow dogs.
It is a strange feeling to be walking softly on feet of freshly fallen snow; snowshoeing gives you the chance to wander in and among the trees, up and around the mountains and across frozen lakes. You can bring your own shoes and explore on your own, or spend a day with one of the many qualified guides around Banff and Lake Louise.
Hot springs are the perfect way to unwind after a cold, busy day on the slopes. The Banff Upper Hot Springs are the highest hot springs in Canada and the place to soak in the steamy mineral water while enjoying an unparalleled view of the surrounding mountains.
There are so many places to go skiing/snowboarding in and around Calgary. The Calgary Olympic Park, Sunshine Village, and the Lake Louise Ski Resort are world renowned locations where you can learn to ski, shred up the black diamond courses on the side of the mountains, or sit and enjoy a hot cider inside the chalet, whatever your preference.
Some of the best places to go ice climbing are located in Calgary’s very own backyard. A physically taxing, exhilarating adventure, there really is nothing like the feeling of reaching the top of a frozen, powerful waterfall. Whether you have your own gear and scale Johnston Canyon’s Upper Falls, or you join one of the many beginner learn-to-climb groups like the C.O.E out of Nordegg, ice climbing is a fantastic, adrenaline fueled activity only available during the winter months.
There are many activities for everyone to partake in during the winter months; one does not have to simply wait and let them pass by. Take the short drive past Calgary and you will discover a true winter wonderland in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.