Winter in David Thompson Country is magical. This tour takes you to two of our favourite spots: the ice bubbles of Abraham Lake and the narrow canyon of the Cline River.
First up is a snowshoe or winter hike (depending on snow conditions) through the lodgepole pine forest as we make our way to a viewpoint overlooking the Cline River Canyon. We'll then make our way down into the canyon, walking along a frozen creek, to enjoy a snack surrounded by icefalls. On most days you'll get to watch ice climbers work their way up the canyon walls.
The afternoon is spent on Abraham Lake, hunting for ice bubbles, quirky ice formations and taking in the views from the frozen lake.
Lunch, hiking poles, snowshoe rentals (if needed), ice cleats, a professional guide and transportation from Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Nordegg or Cline River are all included.
- Experience David Thompson Country in its most magical season.
- See the famous ice bubbles on Abraham Lake.
- Snowshoe on an easy trail in a scenic area.
- Enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains, away from the crowds.
- Learn about the natural and human history of the area.
Perfect for: Anybody looking for a fun day playing outside. No prior snowshoe or hiking experience required.
This day trip is open to all ability levels, whether you are a beginner and or an expert. You must be comfortable walking 4+ km in a variety of conditions. This tour is open to those 13 and older.
- Activity: Snowshoeing / Ice Walking
- Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
- Hiking Distance: 4-5 km
- Elevation Gain: ~50m
- Duration: 6+ hours
- Departure: Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Nordegg or Abraham Lake
The Cline River Canyon
After a walk through the forest with glimpses of Abraham Lake in the distance we come up to the edge of the narrow Cline River Canyon.
The dry climate in the area makes the icefalls on the edges of the canyon a popular ice climbing area and the views from the canyon floor particularly stunning. As one of our guests put it: "this is the place I didn't know was on my bucket list".
Fans of Mary Shaffer's writing will know this area by an older name, Cataract Creek. Officially the river is named after Michel Klyne, the postmaster at Jasper House in the 1820's, who used this route to trade fur on the Kootenay Plains.
The trail to the canyon is an easy to moderate snowshoe with 3 short but steeper hills along the way. The snowshoes you'll use are designed for trails and low snow or icy conditions, with crampons built into them. Your guide will share some tips on how to use the snowshoes along the way, making going up and down the hills a breeze.
We'll be snowshoeing for 45 minutes to an hour each way, with lots of stops for pictures along the way.
Preacher's Point Ice Walk
The methane bubbles are quite different in various parts of the Abraham Lake. Preacher's Point is a popular spot with Ex Coelis Mountain making a great background.
The bubbles here tend to be a little smaller, with the thinner ice resting on the rocky bottom of the North Saskatchewan River providing all kind of quirky ice features.
You'll wear ice cleats as we make our way onto the frozen lake with your guide taking you to same of the best and safest spots in the area.
Abraham Lake Ice Walk
Our next stop is on Abraham Lake, where the ice is deeper and stacks of bubbles are abundant. The bubbles here are larger with the deeper lake giving that dark turquoise backdrop to your pictures.
The bubbles in this location are usually visible from late December to mid-March with the best time to visit being January. Even when they are not visible, the area makes for a great stop with amazing views and quirky ice features.
You'll never leave hungry from one of our tour. Lunch and snacks vary based on the day but you'll find some delicious food from local producers like Big Bend Market, Viva-Deli, Sylvan Star Cheese, Humble Hummus, Beck Farms as well as our own Montreal style bagels and baked goods.
After the ice walk, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate along with housemade marshmallows and graham crackers.
Curious about the food? Stop by our Basecamp + Cafe in Red Deer to find out more.
- $110 per person - transportation included
Guides, snacks, snowshoes, ice cleats and activities are all included. Transportation is included from Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House or Nordegg.
Private and Custom Tours
Prefer to head out with just your friends on the tour? All our adventures are available as private tours and can be customized just for your group.
This itinerary is available on your schedule starting at $100 per person.
When and where does the tour start?
- Red Deer: 7:30 am at Pursuit Adventures' Basecamp + Cafe. Get Directions >
- Rocky Mountain House: 8:30 am at the Visitor Information Centre. Get Directions >
- Nordegg: 9:30 am at the Shell Gas Station. Get Directions >
Return time varies based on the group and conditions but expect to be back by:
- Nordegg: 4:00 pm
- Rocky Mountain House: 5:00 pm
- Red Deer: 6:00 pm
The itinerary may change without notice due to the weather and other factors. Our goal is to always provide the best possible experience.
What do I need to bring?
- Winter boots
- Appropriate clothing for the weather including long underwear
- A winter jacket and snow pants
- An extra sweater
- Tuque and gloves
- A water bottle
- A small backpack
- Comfy shoes for the drive home
- We provide hiking poles, ice cleats and snowshoes at no charge for this tour.
- A professional guide.
- Gourmet lunch and hot chocolate.
- Guides carry emergency equipment, including first aid kits and cell phone or satellite communicators on all tours.
What's Not Included
- Appropriate clothes and footwear for the weather conditions.
- Water bottles, camera and backpack.
What kind of lunch is included?
- Veggie sandwich (hummus, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and green pepper on a Montreal style bagel),
- Montreal Smoked Bison sandwich (Big Bend smoked bison, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and green pepper with BBQ sauce on a Montreal style bagel) or
- Honey maple turkey sandwich (honey maple turkey, Boursin cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber with deli mustard on a Montreal style bagel).
Lunches also include a juice box, veggies and dip, fruits and dessert.
Hot chocolate is available with dairy or soy milk. Tea is available as well.
Please make sure to mention any dietary requirements when you book your adventure and we will try to accommodate whenever possible.
What kind of transportation is provided?
Is transportation available from Lake Louise?
Transportation from Lake Louise only available on private tours. Find out more here.
What's the difference with the other ice bubble tours?
The Crescent Falls + Ice Bubbles tour includes similar afternoon stops on Abraham Lake.
The half day Ice Bubbles tour includes similar stops to the afternoon portion of this tour.
The Siffleur Falls Winter Hike is a great option for those looking for a more active adventure while still getting a chance to see the bubbles.
What's the group size?
This tour is recommended for those 8 or older.
What are the terms and conditions?
This tour requires bookings to be made at least 2 days prior to departure. Please contact us at (403) 986-6190 for a last minute booking.
All bookings are non-refundable but we will offer you a credit for a future adventure if you cancel a minimum of 72 hours prior to departure.
Waivers are required for all participants.You can review the waiver here.
A Few More Things To Know
We get to play outside on our tours and that means you’ll want to come prepared for the weather. Make sure to dress in layers and come prepared for the unpredictable weather we often get in Alberta. We rarely cancel tours due to weather, as long as we can have a safe adventure. You’ll be amazed at how warm we get snowshoeing at -20C or how much fun hiking in the rain can be!
Need help with your booking or have a few more questions? Stop by our Basecamp + Cafe or give us a call at 403 986-6190.
Come For A Visit
We're located in Capstone at Riverlands, near the trails of Waskasoo Park and Downtown Red Deer. Stop by to plan your next adventure, rent the gear you need and grab a bite with friends.
While you're in the neighbourhood make sure to check out some of our great neighbours like Wild Brewing Co, Purearth Organics, DOSE Coffee and Troubled Monk Brewery.
You'll find us at #10 5579 47 Street in Cronquist Business Park.
- Monday: 8 am to 4 pm
- Tuesday: 8 am to 4 pm
- Wednesday: 8 am to 4 pm
- Thursday: 8 am to 4 pm
- Friday: 8 am to 4 pm
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed
We're open for check-in 10 minutes prior to departure for all tours.