Alberta is filled with iconic places and experiences. People travel worldwide to see what this province has to offer and for a good reason. From the beautiful, rolling foothills and the endless skies of the prairies to the rugged Rockies and everywhere in between, there’s a whole lot to see. One of the province’s notable places is Abraham Lake. Beautiful in the summer and positively jaw-dropping in the winter, you need to add this place to your bucket list if you haven’t yet.
Abraham Lake (or Lake Abraham) is located in the North Saskatchewan River. It’s between the North Saskatchewan River Crossing and Nordegg in the Western part of the province. It’s a gorgeous area worth seeing any time of year, but we’re focusing on the winter today. Abraham Lake is the largest reservoir in the province. It’s man-made and over 3 km wide.
Now, this isn’t just a nice lake. It’s more of a phenomenon. When winter comes and the lake freezes, the deep blue ice becomes filled with frozen bubbles. It’s like nothing you’ve seen before. They are everywhere, spanning across the whole lake, but they are also layered deep down under the surface of the ice. It’s a work of art, and you need to see it with your own eyes.
If you’re wondering why this happens, it’s because of the decaying plants and trees at the bottom of the lake. The process releases bubbles, and those bubbles freeze for our viewing pleasure. Now that you know what it’s all about, let’s talk about how you can experience it yourself.
The ice is usually the best between December and February. The lake needs to be completely frozen for the best bubble viewing, and, of course, it needs to be frozen enough to walk and ice skate on if you feel so inclined. You’ll want to check ahead to ensure the conditions are safe. Beyond that, you’ll also want to check the weather to ensure it’s in perfect condition for an enjoyable day without freezing your butt off. Also, you can time your visit for the best possible photo opportunities.
Of course, safety comes first, so keep your eyes on the conditions. It’s a bit of a balancing act because you need to find the perfect window between the ice freezing and the ice being clear enough to skate on and see the bubbles. Later in the winter, snow will be piled up, and it won’t be as ideal.
If you’re looking for the perfect winter activity in Alberta, Abraham Lake is just the thing. Whether you’re taking a warm drink to watch the sunrise or lacing up the skates for the most beautiful pond hockey game, you’ll love it.
Britanny Burr is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the 2022/23 Cool Winter Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.