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Travel Bloggers Reveal Canada’s Best Winter Adventures

Canada is famous for having a long winter and Canadians have shown extreme creativity in devising activities to help them pass the long, dark winter months. We’ve come up with some interesting ideas, some of which are of slightly insane (like ice swimming) and have questionable entertainment value (I’m looking at you curling).

Despite this creativity, like all people we Canadians tend get into ruts stick to activities we’re comfortable doing. Sometimes we get so stuck in our ways it’s hard for us to think of new things to try when we are looking for something different.

So, to remind us of all the rad things out there to do right now, I asked a 12 travel bloggers what to tell me about their favorite adventures in the Great White North.

Here’s what they told me.

Get Topless at the Quebec Winter Carnival

Quebec Winter Carnival Snow Bath

By Will Tang

Quebec City’s Winter Carnival is a 62 year old tradition in Quebec City that brings the city to life during some of the coldest weeks of winter.  Spanning 3 weeks, The Plains of Abraham are transformed into a giant carnival filled with activities, shows, games, and food.  One of those activities is the Snow Bath, where 50 or so crazy people strip down to their bathing suits and run outside to below 0 temperatures and dance to music in front of an entertained crowd.

Will TangAbout The Contributor
Will is the Chief of Awesome over at Going Awesome Places which is focused on his off-the-beaten-path and experiential travel. His true passion lies in telling stories and inspiring others to travel.

Sleep in an Ice Hotel in Quebec

quebec ice hotel

By Sophie Couwenbergh

A visit to the Hôtel de Glace or Ice Hotel in Quebec City is an absolute must. Each year, tons of ice are turned into beautiful sculptures to create a winter wonderland you can actually spend the night in.

It’s the only hotel in America that is made entirely out of ice and snow. 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow, to be precise. For that the builders don’t use regular snow, but snow from snow blowers as that is more humid and dense than regular snow, which allows it to become icy and ‘tight’ much quicker.

When it’s finished, the Ice Hotel measures 3000 square meters, taking up more space than two Olympic swimming pools.

bio-sophieAbout The Contributor
Sofie is a Belgian girl who quit her job to go in search of cultural and culinary adventures across the world. She blogs about her travels at Wonderful Wanderings.

Hang Out With Polar Bears

polar bears

By Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Viewing the polar bears way up in the remote, tiny town of Churchill, Manitoba is a stellar wildlife experience.  It is best done with a tour company because there are so many items that need to be coordinated. The area is reachable only by train or plane and both lodging and restaurants are simple and minimal.  Participants ride in a tundra buggy (like a school bus on tractor treads) and get very close to the bears.  The best time to schedule this satisfying trip is for October and November, because the polar bears, which are the world’s largest land carnivore, are done fasting then and out looking for food.

caroleAbout The Contributor
Carole Terwilliger Meyers operates the Berkeley and Beyond website and blogs at Travels with Carole.  She is also the author of Miles of Smiles:  101 Car Games & Activities.

Go Dogsledding in the Yukon

dogsledding yukon

By Leigh McAdam

Just like the Yukon itself, dogsledding here feels larger than life. It’s a combination of factors – from the weather, which can test the hardiest of souls, to the fact that even if you’re new to the sport, you’re the one in charge of the dogs from the moment you release the brake. It’s exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.

The scenery too – a sinuous frozen river, a mere drop in the expanse of Canada’s North — feels both lonely and beautiful. This dogsledding experience is like no other – a real adventure and one that by day’s end will leave you feeling at one with the dogs. Magnificent.

bio-leigh-mcadamAbout The Contributor
Leigh is a Calgary based travel blogger at Hike Bike Travel, a social media enthusiast, an adrenaline junkie, and author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures. In love with Alberta’s big skies and wild places, she’s always ready for the next adventure.

Or Dogsledding in Banff

Dogsledding in Banff

By Karissa Klee

If you’re headed to Alberta, Canada during the wintertime, dogsledding in Banff is one activity you can’t leave without experiencing.  Dogsledding has been my favorite winter travel activity to date, despite it being positively freezing the morning of our mid-January adventure (at the coldest point the temperature dropped down to -25 C or -13 F)!

I chose a route that was slightly over ten miles from Banff National Park through Kicking Horse Pass at the Continental Divide.  The two hour route is well-known for the natural beauty you’ll zip by as the dogs quickly pull your sled through evergreen forests and past dramatic mountain peaks.  The scenery was absolutely stunning and I found myself enamored with how the newly fallen snow glistened when the early morning sun reflected off of it.  On the ride back, our guide taught me some basic dogsledding skills and I was able to try my hand at “mushing” the sled – an experience I won’t soon forget!

bio-karisaAbout The Contributor
Karisa Klee is a midwestern transplant working as an attorney in Atlanta with a serious case of wanderlust. The author of Flirting with the Globe is a full-time attorney and part-time adventuress.

Try Heli-Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies

Heli-Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies

By Sue Slaght

Soaring above the glistening peaks of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, keeping one’s jaw from hitting the helicopter floor becomes a challenge.  Having lifted off from Alberta’s Kananaskis valley headed on our snowshoe adventure, the beauty of Canada’s winter wonderland was all around with stunning 360 degree views.

After landing in a remote area we put on our snowshoes as the crisp mountain air nipped at our faces. With sun rays weaving through trees we crunched through sparkling white snow blankets of the Canadian forest. Heli-snowshoeing brings Canadian winter adventure to anyone able to walk on a flat surface. The thrill of hovering over snow covered peaks and exploring remote areas of the Canadian Rockies will leave adventurers of all abilities with a memory of a lifetime.

bio-sue-slaghtAbout The Contributor
Living in Calgary, Alberta Canada, Sue and Dave have been best friends and married for over 30 years. Their adventurous spirits keep them living the theme of ‘never too old to explore’.  Hoping to inspire others, they share their stories of adventure travel at Travel Tales of Life.

Climb A Tower of Ice

lifetime. Ice Climbing

By Claudia Laroye

While most visitors come to ski the dry, champagne powder at Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia’s Okanagan valley, there’s another outdoor pursuit that shouldn’t be overlooked by the adventure lover. Ice climbing the 60 ft tall tower at Big White is a true Best Of, one-of-a-kind adventure that can’t be found anywhere else in British Columbia. Whether you’re a newbie or an advanced climber, everyone is welcome to take a turn conquering the tower in a safe and accessible way.

The hulking ice tower is constructed out of four telephone poles, with ice walls three feet thick. Whether you’re 4 or 94 years old, you can suit up in a harness, strap on crampons, and grab ice picks to assist you in your ascent up the tower. A friendly, trained Adventure Park staff member will hold your safety lines and shout encouragement when your arms and legs feel like they’re about to fail. The sweet sound of your ice pick hitting the cowbell at the top of the tower will echo all the way to Happy Valley Lodge, signaling your successful tower ascent to the world. Celebrating by the fire with a tasty après and a nice hot tub soak is highly recommended.

bio-claudia-laroyeAbout The Contributor
Claudia Laroye is a travel writer based in Vancouver, Canada. She blogs at The Travelling Mom, and also freelances for many online and print publications. In addition to ice climbing, she loves hiking, chocolate, and pineapple margaritas.

Go Skiing or Snowboarding in Fernie

Skiing and Snowboarding in Fernie

By Mike Cotton

Fernie isn’t your typical ski town. It started life as a coal town, with immigrants drawn from far and wide to work the nearby mines at Coal Creek. Yet, over the years it has evolved and while coal is still king in this part of the world, Fernie is now even more famous for it’s powder. And boy, what delightful champagne powder it can produce. Up to 37 feet of snow can fall each year filling the five bowls which make up the ski hill.

I know every small ski town in British Columbia claims to have the best snow, for me however, it is Fernie which rules the roost. Fernie seems to have it’s own little micro-climate, where a systems of wet moisture from the Pacific will meet an Arctic blast from the north and create those dream conditions. The result is the lightest, fluffiest snow imaginable.

bio-mike-cottonAbout The Contributor
As a wannabe mountain man Mike’s travels have taken him from the French Alps to the beautiful Rockies of southern British Columbia, via stints in Colorado and New Zealand. John Muir sums up Mike’s love for the mountains when he said: “The mountains are calling and I must go.” Follow him at Nomads On The Road.

Or Do Laps at Sunshine Village

Snowboard Sunshine Village Ski Resort, Banff, Alberta, Canada

By Jen Quante

Sunshine Village Ski Resort is one of my favourite places to snowboard in Canada. It’s known for its champagne powder which is smooth, dry and fluffy snow – a skier and snowboarders dream. With a 7 month long season, Sunshine Village has one of the longest ski seasons in North America which gives you more opportunity to hit the slopes.

The terrain has plenty of variety to suit all styles and abilities. I spent an entire season there and didn’t get bored once. Aside from the nice and wide groomed runs, there is plenty of well spaced tree runs to play in and find powder stashes. For those who like to hit the park, there are great progressive features to suit beginners and the advanced. One of my favourite parts of Sunshine Village is access to the Delirium Dive. This is an extreme terrain area which was voted 15th out of 100 top ski runs in the world and is only open during certain times of year. Avalanche gear is compulsory so don’t attempt it unless you are a confident skier or snowboarder.

The food options on mountain are fantastic and affordable. I also love that the mountain provides facilities like microwaves and hot water so that you have the option of bringing your own food.

bio-jenni-quanteAbout The Contributor
Jen is a snowboarding addict and travel blogger at The Snow Chasers. Part of a husband and wife team from the Gold Coast in Australia, she aims to inspire others to follow their passions, dreams and find new adventures. Her goal is to travel the world, snowboard at as many ski resorts as possible, and to always step outside her comfort zone.

Of Course, We Can’t Forget Whistler

Whistler Blackcomb

By Carrick Buss

There are virtually unlimited things to do in Whistler Blackcomb for families which is why it’s consistently voted the #1 ski resort by Ski Magazine. As the largest ski resort in North America, they deliver an incredible amount of family-friendly terrain that keeps everyone from getting bored, and keeps the fun going all day long. Great ski-in ski-out accommodation, an excellent village with a myriad of food choices, and breathtaking scenery puts Whistler is in a league of its own.

loved being able to roam freely around both peaks without worrying about getting stuck on terrain that was too difficult. Many resorts are tricky for beginners or children, but at Whistler, there is always a green run nearby.


bio-carrickAbout The Contributor
Carrie and Carrick Buss, and their two children, offer advice for travelling better with kids on their blog Along for the Trip: teach, inspire, take the kids.

Try Your Hand At Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing

By Mary Chong

Ice Fishing is one of those “rights of passage” for any Canadian, and I highly encourage this unique adventure at least once in your life whether you are male or female!

There is something about the entire ice fishing experience, from riding out onto the frozen lake in a Bombardier, to the first moment you step into your private ice hut, to that rush of adrenaline when you catch something.

That time spent hanging out with your friends as you patiently watch over your fishing line for the slightest hint of movement is priceless whether you catch a fish or not. It’s a chance to bond with friends over drinks, food and a big hole in the ice.


bio-mary-chongAbout The Contributor
Mary Chong is a travel writer, world cruiser, social media influencer, and founder of Calculated Traveller Magazine based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association and is Marketing Manager of FWT Magazine | Food Wine Travel.

Bomb The Former Olympic Bobsled Track

The Former Olympic Bobsled Track

By Matt Bailey

Riding in an Olympic bobsleigh was one of the most exhilarating and rough things I’ve ever done. They make it look so smooth on TV but when you’re soaring down an ice track at 120 km/h pulling 5 G-forces, every turn is felt abruptly.

I felt like a turtle soaring down the ice track at 120 km/h with my head tucked deep into my shoulders, bracing for the impact of 5 G-forces at each and every turn.

Adrenaline junkies and those looking for a unique experience will relish at the chance to join an Olympic athlete for a 120 km/h ride down a 1500-meter ice track in a 4-person bobsleigh. Talk about a rush!

If you’re a fan of the winter Olympics or have always wondered what it’s like to be a speeding bullet, experiencing the exhilaration of an Olympic bobsleigh should be high on your list.

Located at Canada Olympic Park, where local Olympians train, you can take a ride in an Olympic bobsleigh down a 1500-meter ice track with an Olympic athlete as your driver.

At 120 Km/h and 5 G-forces of pressure, experience a thrill like no other.

As you twist and turn around the track at 120 km/h, you’ll pull an incredible 5 G-forces and will ultimately feel like a turtle with its head stuck deep into its shoulders.

Not for the faint-hearted, riding an Olympic bobsleigh down a 1500-meter ice track is a rare opportunity for a sheer adrenaline kick.

Riding down a 1500-meter ice track in an Olympic bobsleigh is as close as you can come to feeling like a speeding bullet.

Editor’s Note: I’ve done this too, but in the summer. Check out the video and story here

bio-matt-baileyAbout The Contributor
Matt Bailey is a world travelling writer and photographer who loves combining adventure, thrills and education into each and every journey. He writes about travel, travel hacking, and personal development at LiveLimitless.net as well as the best things to do in Canada at MustDoCanada.com.

Hike the Ice-Encased Maligne Canyon near JasperThe Continental Divide In Maligne Canyon

By XpatMatt

Maligne Canyon is a brilliant geographic wonder. It’s a narrow canyon near Jasper, Alberta that’s filled to the brim with a rushing river during the summer months. But in the winter the water that feeds the river all freezes and the water level drops dramatically, allowing visitors to walk along the shallow strip of ice remaining at the bottom of the canyon.

The river is normally fed party by cracks all along the sides of the canyon that constantly leak water. In the winter this water freezes creating spectacular walls of amazing ice formations. It’s one of the most beautiful natural phenomenons I’ve ever seen.

Check out all my photos from the hike here.

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9 Responses to Travel Bloggers Reveal Canada’s Best Winter Adventures

  1. Sofie January 12, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    All that pretty white 🙂

    Thanks for letting me share my tip!

  2. Claudia January 12, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

    So many awesome winter adventures in Canada. Thanks for allowing me to share the fun of ice climbing!

  3. JenQ January 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm #

    Wow, what a great list. I feel like I need to get back there and work my way through this list. Thanks for letting me share my love of Sunshine Village!

  4. Cez of eTramping February 23, 2017 at 11:06 pm #

    Hahaha, some of these ideas are certainly better than others for getting through a long winter! Loved the post.

  5. Asmita Nepal March 10, 2017 at 12:38 am #

    Awesome photos of winter adventures in Canada, looks super enjoying! I’ll certainly add it to my list!

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