Traveling to Calgary This Winter? Here’s Our List of the Top 10 Outdoor Winter Activities You Have to Try.
To say Calgary offers its winter visitors a wide assortment of things to try, is still an understatement. When winter comes a-knocking, Calgary opens its door wide. Whether you’re traveling with your partner, family, or even alone, these are our favourite outdoor activities to do in and around Calgary this winter.
1. Snowboard Down the Rockies
Whether you snowboard or ski, the Rockies are just a short drive away. Take a day trip to Banff and hit the slopes, or head to Lake Louis and take in the views. For skiers that crave ultra-fine powdery snow and a bit of a challenge, check out Castle Mountain Resort, the ski resort owned by skiers.
But if you can’t leave the city, don’t worry! Calgary has you covered. Head over to WinSport, home of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, to go skiing, snowboarding, and more all winter long!
2. Try Cross-Country Skiing
If you’ve never tried cross-country skiing, you’re missing out. With that said, there’s no better place to start than the world class trails around Calgary. Beginners and experts alike will love the fresh air and majestic landscapes of Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park.
But there are plenty of places to ski inside the city too. The city grooms most of its parks, so you can cross-country ski for free. And if you want to try something else, bust out the snowshoes—these parks are great for them too!
3. Hike Through an Ice Canyon
If you really want to see some majestic landscapes, head over to Johnston Canyon, where what were once waterfalls are now beautiful, glittering icicles dripping from the canyon walls.
Don’t worry about slipping as you hike this icy trail, you’ll be provided with your own pair of rivet shoes so you can take in the sparkling splendor (…without pulling a rear-ender!)
4. Meet the Local Wildlife
Go no further than Inglewood Bird Sanctuary to see the lovely fauna that toughs Alberta out all winter long. Operating since 1970, volunteers and staff have recorded 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals and 347 species of plants living within the sanctuary. Check out this awesome guide to help you get the most from your visit!
And if you want to get even closer to the wild, pet a wolf at Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. Okay, technically these are still domesticated dogs, but they’re remarkable nonetheless. Learn about their conservation efforts and history and join the wolfdog pack!
5. Dash Through the Snow in a Horse Drawn Sleigh
There’s no better way to experience a snowy winter forest than cuddled up under a blanket upon a horse-drawn sleigh. That’s exactly what you get at Boundary Ranch complete with a warm cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows at the end. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of a buffalo!
For a sleigh ride that’s closer to the city, head over to the wonderfully named, Horsin’ Around. And don’t worry, this Christmas sleigh ride comes to an end with a cup of hot chocolate too!
6. Lead Your Pack and Try Dog Sledding
If a horse-drawn sled doesn’t quench your thirst for adrenaline, how about a pack of husky heroes? At the locally owned Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, man’s best friend will lead you on a tour of Alberta’s breathtaking backcountry.
Not only will you learn the art of dog sledding, but you’ll learn what goes into keeping the sled dog safe, and how they ethically take care of them.
7. For Some Family Fun, Go Ice Skating
No trip to a frozen wonderland is complete without shredding up the ice rink! With 7 public skating rinks maintained by the city, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. We recommend Bowness Park Lagoon which even offers skate rentals.
This massive lagoon will give you all the ice you need. The best part is, when you’re done skating, you can head back to the plaza and warm up by a fire pit.
8. Try Your Hand at Ice Fishing
But skating isn’t the only thing ice has to offer. Head on over to Chain Lakes Reservoir and fish its many species of trout. Though the trout here aren’t the largest in the area, they are certainly the most abundant—With over 100,000 rainbow trout released back in 2016.
For fishers looking for more of a challenge, make your way to Ghost Reservoir. Believed to home nine species of trout, these waters can yield quite the bounty for those brave enough to tackle the reservoir’s strong westerly winds.
9. Catch a Flames Game
If those westerly winds sound too cold for your liking, how about Flames? The Calgary Flames that is! No matter who your team is at home, the energy inside the Saddledome during one of this team’s games is an experience to behold.
After all, when in Calgary, do as the Calgarians do!
10. Soak up a Hot Spring
Finally, if the Flames aren’t hot enough for you, take a plunge into an authentic hot spring. It’s a very surreal feeling to swim in the warmth of a naturally heated pool amidst a freezing winter wonderland.
And when you get too hot, take a cold plunge! Then simply rinse and repeat. We promise you’ll feel refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on the rest of winter!
We’ve only scratched the icy surface of everything this city has to offer. When it comes to the perfect winter getaway, few cities compete with Calgary. But just because you’ll have a great outdoor experience, doesn’t mean you should sacrifice a comfortable indoor experience!
Your daily adventures should end in a plush, warm bed—our signature sheets literally have you covered. Not to mention our fully-equipped kitchens, so you never have to break the bank constantly eating out.
Read more about our trendy, fully-furnished suites in Calgary, and book your next Calgary vacation before the winter comes to an end!
Don’t Wait to Book You Next Winter Vacation—give Us a Shout and Find Your Very Own Home Away From Home!
At OBASA / Six Three Suites, our fully-furnished apartments will give you all the space and privacy you need with all the amenities of a hotel. With our incredible dedication to cleanliness, staying in one of our suites means keeping you and your family safe.
Book with our experts to find the perfect suite for a perfect winter getaway.