Credit: ACC Vancouver
Amazing adventures require proper planning!
If you wait until winter is in full swing to devise your cold-weather escape, well, it'll be too late.
So we're here to inspire you, with six incredible wintertime adventures in Canada.
Read—and Live Life Outdoors!
Ski-Tour the Spearhead (Pictured)
Of all the Coast Range ski tours, the Spearhead Traverse is the most iconic: a three-day, 35-kilometre horseshoe-shaped tour that meanders through the gorgeous alpine of Garibaldi Provincial Park. And the accessibility can’t be beat—skiers actually start from Blackcomb Glacier, meaning you’ll ride the Blackcomb chairlift to get a push into the alpine. Along the way, you’ll hit a high point of 2,600 metres, spot 13 glaciers, stay at a wonderful backcountry hut and generally enjoy some of the finest winter alpine environments in the country.
Ride the Ski Train
Start this train-trip in Terrace, British Columbia—once of the snowiest regions in the province—with a day or two at Shames Mountain. Deep snow, zero lift lines and friendly locals will make it hard to leave. But your next stop is Prince Rupert, to board the VIA Rail train toward Jasper, Alberta. Stopover at Prince George to ski a day at Powder King, then head to Hudson Bay Mountain the following day; both are located near the city. Re-board the train to Jasper and finish your trip with a day at Marmot Basin on the Alberta side.
Ice-Climb in a Canyon
When winter hits, Maligne Canyon reaches peak beauty. This deep slot canyon normally awash with whitewater in summer becomes an ethereal world of shaped ice, frozen waterfalls and steep cliffs. In short, it’s possibly the best place to ice climb in Canada. Ice climbing looks extreme, but it’s actually reasonably accessible—with the right guidance. If you’re a non-climber, local guides and schools will show you the ropes and have you scaling these frozen falls in no time.
Ski Like an Olympian
Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park has built nicely on its Olympic legacy. With 65 kilometres of groomed cross-country ski trails—including 6.5 kilometres of illuminated night skiing—XC skiers of all abilities will find a route to satisfy. Will you try an easy skate along the Banff Trail, a sweaty ski on the Lillehammer Trail or a lung-busting grind along the Rundle Trail? All are skate- and classic-compatible. Wax and warm-up on site.
Kite-Ski the Flatland
What Saskatchewan lacks in elevation change, it makes up with ingenuity. Without a hill to compete with the West and East’s best, our Prairie province still manages to dish up ski and snowboard thrills by harnessing the power of wind and making use of the wide open spaces that so typify the Land of Living Skies. This is kite-skiing and kite-boarding: outfitted with conventional downhill skis or a snowboard, you’ll learn to wrangle a kite that can propel you at eye-watering speeds overtop snow-blanketed farmland.
Skijor in Ontario’s Winter Wilds
Pack your pup and drive a couple hours’ north of Toronto to Arrowhead Provincial Park for a skijoring lesson with sports clinicians Lowell Greib and Katherine Ahokas of Huntsville’s The SportLab. Skijoring is like dogsledding—except on cross-country skis—and it’s a great workout for both you and Fido. Sunday afternoon clinics are held weekly during winter on Arrowhead’s three-kilometre-long cross-country trail. If you still have energy afterwards, trade skis for skates and finish your day with a few laps through the park’s forested skating trail.