Icefalls + Ice Bubbles Tour

Discover the Cline River Canyon and Abraham Lake
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Rocky Mountain House

  • Departure: 8:30
  • Return: 17:00

Nordegg

  • Departure: 9:30
  • Return: 16:00

Abraham Lake

  • Departure: 10:00
  • Return: 15:30

Lake Louise

  • Departure: 8:30 
  • Return: 17:00

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.

A picnic lunch, hiking poles, snowshoe rentals (if needed), ice cleats and a professional guide are all included. Due to COVID, we've made some changes to our transportation options. We offer transportation on this tour from Nordegg, Lake Louise or Rocky Mountain House. If you prefer to drive your own vehicle, you can choose to meet your guide in Nordegg or at Abraham Lake and convoy from there to each of the stops.

Highlights

  • 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.

Perfect for: Anybody looking for a fun day playing outside. No prior snowshoe or hiking experience required.

Tour Overview

  • Activity: Snowshoeing / Ice Walking
  • Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
  • Hiking Distance: 4-5 km
  • Elevation Gain: ~50m
  • Duration: 6+ hours

Departures from Nordegg, Abraham Lake, Rocky Mountain House and Lake Louise

Available daily from mid-November to mid-March. The early and late season tour follows a modified itinerary.

The Experience

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.

Snowshoeing

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 to 60 minutes each way, with lots of stops for pictures along the way.

When the snow levels are low we'll be putting on micro-spikes instead and heading out for a winter hike.

Abraham Lake Ice Walk

After lunch, we're heading out on Abraham Lake for an ice walk. With the methane bubbles under our feet and amazing peaks surrounding us, the afternoon goes by fast in a winter wonderland.

You'll wear ice cleats as we make our way onto the frozen lake with your guide taking you to some of the best and safest spots in the area.

The Food

You'll never leave hungry from one of our tours. Lunch and snacks vary based on the day but you'll find some delicious food from local producers as well as our own made-from-scratch baked goods, soups and more.

After the ice walk, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate along with housemade marshmallows and graham crackers.

Curious about the food? Stop by the Nordegg Canteen to find out more.

The Explorer Series

Looking to join a scheduled tour instead? The Explorer Series is a great option when you have 1 to 3 people looking to meet up with others for a fun adventure.

There are no upcoming departures at this time.

The Details

When and where does the tour start?

We offer departures from Nordegg, Abraham Lake, Rocky Mountain House and Lake Louise.

Nordegg - 9:30 am

  • The Nordegg Canteen. Get Directions >
  • Contact us to arrange pickup from a cabin or the hostel in Nordegg.

Abraham Lake / Cline River - 10:00 am

  • You will meet your guide at the entrance to David Thompson Resort (get directions). Please note that the resort is closed in the winter and that the nearest services are in Nordegg. The area has limited to no cell services.

Lake Louise - 8:30 am

  • Samson Mall.
  • Hotel pickup is available at the Chateau Lake Louise.

Rocky Mountain House - 8:30 am

Return time varies based on the group and conditions but you can expect to be back around:

  • Abraham Lake: 3:30 pm
  • Nordegg: 4:00 pm
  • Rocky Mountain House: 5:00 pm
  • Lake Louise: 5:00 pm

The itinerary may change without notice due to the weather and other factors. Our goal is to always provide the best possible experience.

COVID Procedures

Some of the precautions we are taking:

  • You'll be assigned snowshoes, ice cleats and hiking poles for the duration of the tour. All equipment is sanitized between tours.
  • On this tour, we can easily maintain physical distances at all times. The only exception is for tours that include transportation from Nordegg, Lake Louise or Rocky Mountain House. Masks must be worn at all times when inside our vehicles.
  • Hot chocolate and meals are served by your guide, no shared food offered this season.
  • Any guests must abstain from participating if they have any of the symptoms or exposure risks identified by Alberta Health Services. The same applies to all of our guides.

Due to COVID, we've made some changes to our transportation options. We offer transportation on this tour from Nordegg, Lake Louise or Rocky Mountain House. If you prefer to drive your own vehicle, you can choose to meet your guide in Nordegg or at Abraham Lake and convoy from there to each of the stops.

What do I need to bring?

Be prepared for the mountain weather. Conditions can change quickly and our winter tours run in anything from - 30C to +10C. Abraham Lake is a very windy place, bring an extra layer with you just in case.

Required Items

  • 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

Recommended Items

  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Comfy shoes for the drive home

We have a limited number of winter boots and snow pants available at no charge. Please let us know your size if you will need boots or pants.

What's Included?

  • 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.

We have a limited number of winter boots and snow pants available at no charge.

What's Not Included

  • Appropriate clothes and footwear for the weather conditions.
  • Water bottles, cameras, and a backpack.

 

What kind of lunch is included?

Lunch for this adventure is served picnic-style and include a hearty soup, bread, veggies and dips, juice, and dessert. Due to COVID restrictions, all items are served by the guide or individually packaged this season.

Hot chocolate is available with dairy or coconut 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?

Nordegg

You have the option to do this tour with transportation from Nordegg or to drive your own vehicle and convoy with your guide to each of the stops on the tour.

Abraham Lake / Cline River

This is a self-drive option. You will meet your guide at Abraham Lake and convoy to each of the trailheads.

Lake Louise and Rocky Mountain House

Transportation for groups of 4 or fewer guests will usually be offered in an SUV or minivan.

Transportation for groups of 5 to 12 guests will be provided in a full-size passenger van or 16 passenger bus.

What's the difference with the other ice bubble tours?

This tour includes a 60 to 90 minutes ice walk at of the best spots in the Abraham Lake area combined with a snowshoe or winter hike into the Cline River Canyon.

The Crescent Falls + Ice Bubbles tour includes similar afternoon ice walk on Abraham Lake but with a less strenuous walk.

The half-day Ice Bubbles tour includes a similar ice walk 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 on a shorter ice walk.

What's the group size?

This is a private tour available for groups of 1 to 12 guests. Contact us if you are planning for a group of 13 or more guests.

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 recommended for those 8 and older.

What are the terms and conditions?

Advance Booking

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.

Cancellation Policy

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.

Terms & Conditions

Waivers are required for all participants. You can review the waiver here.

Please review our complete terms & conditions prior to booking.

The itinerary may change without notice due to the weather and other factors. Our goal is to always provide the best possible experience.

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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 the Nordegg Canteen or give us a call at 403 986-6190.

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