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12 Winter Sports That Are Far Superior In Alberta

Perfect snow, a stunning landscape, and ice and mountains galore. Whether extreme or more traditional, winter sports are just better in Alberta.

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1. Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding

Every skier and boarder dreams of carving through weightless powder, and powder is what Alberta slopes are known for. Banff and Jasper National Parks offer pristine conditions and terrain for every skill level.

2. Dog Sledding

Shazron (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: shazron

What was once an essential form of winter transportation is now a chance for you to speed across the snow while taking in the landscape and spending time with some incredible dogs. Learn to mush, or just be a willing passenger.

3. Ice Climbing

Pazit Polak (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: pazit

You need a little daredevil in you to strap on that harness, but ice climbing in Alberta is accessible to anyone. Sign up for guided instruction, or, if you're already a pro, dig in that ice ax and get ready for a new, awe-inspiring challenge.

4. Ice Walking


Want to hit the ice without testing your fear of heights? Meander through Johnston, Grotto, or Maligne Canyon on a guided tour, and take in the stunning frozen waterfalls from below.

5. Snowshoeing

Marko Stavric Photography / Marko Stavric Photography

Experience the exhilaration of walking atop snowdrifts, and explore Alberta's peaks or open plains in snowshoes. Did we mention you'll get a killer workout?

7. Ice Fishing


Give in to your competitive streak and join many native Albertans in fishing for whitefish, northern pike, perch, and more. And looking out across a frozen lake from the comfort of a heated hut? That's what we call therapeutic.

8. Cross-Country Skiing

Philip and Karen Smith / Philip and Karen Smith

Work up a sweat as you push across kilometer after kilometer of snowy ground, perhaps alongside a path of animal tracks. Head to Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park to ski on the trails of the pros.

9. Snowkiting

Hemera Viktor Senkov / Getty Images

You're gliding, you're gliding, and... liftoff! Let the wind be your guide as you take part in a snowkiting lesson across a frozen lake or tundra. Don't forget your skis or snowboard!

10. Ice Skating

Kennan Harvey / Getty Images

This timeless family activity gets a breathtaking boost when you slide across a frozen lake rimmed by glaciers. Take your pick from many natural rinks, including the renowned Lake Louise.

11. Tobogganing

Ambre Haller/Ambre Haller

Perhaps the first rush you experienced as a kid, careening down a snowy hill in a toboggan never, EVER gets old. The town of Banff has several designated toboggan and sledding areas, including smaller hills if you've got little ones in tow.

Go on. The thrills of Alberta's great outdoors are waiting.