Siffleur Falls Winter Hike

Explore the Kootenay Plains
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Rocky Mountain House

  • Departure: 8:30
  • Return: 17:00

Nordegg

  • Departure: 9:30
  • Return: 16:00

Siffleur Falls Staging Area

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

Lake Louise

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

The most popular summer hike in David Thompson Country and it's even better in the winter! Hike along the Siffleur River with canyons, waterfalls and great views of the Canadian Rockies.

The hike starts on the Kootenay Plains along the North Saskatchewan River before taking us along the Siffleur River. A short uphill section takes us to the top of the canyon where platforms allow us to get great views of mount Ernest Ross and the first set of falls on the Siffleur River. The area is particularly dry, making it a great option for a winter hike.

After the hike, we're heading out to Preacher's Point out for a short ice walk on Abraham Lake. The now-famous methane bubbles make the perfect spot to end the day, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate surrounded by the snow-covered mountains.

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.
  • Discover one of the most popular waterfalls and canyons in the area.
  • See the famous ice bubbles on Abraham Lake.
  • 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: Winter Hiking / Snowshoeing / Ice Walking
  • Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
  • Hiking Distance: 8+ km
  • Elevation Gain: ~70m
  • Duration: 6+ hours

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

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

The Experience

The Kootenay Plains

The unique warm and dry climate found in this section of the North Saskatchewan River valley makes this a very special place.

Very little snow falls here compared to the nearby Icefields Parkway, making the area a very attractive winter habitat for elks, deers and other animals. Indigenous groups and David Thompson have wintered in the area. In the early 1900s, Tom Wilson used his ranch on the plains to winter the horses used for tourists in Banff during the summer months.

Today the area's fragile ecosystem is protected as an ecological reserve, the second-highest level of environmental protection in the province.

Winter Hiking

The lack of snow, great scenery, and minimal elevation gain make the Siffleur Falls trail a great option for those looking to extend their hiking season into the winter months.

Depending on the conditions, you'll be using snowshoes or ice cleats for this adventure. Either option will give you great traction on the trail.

Your guide will share a few tips along the way to help you fall in love with winter.

The Canyon, Frozen Waterfalls and Scenery

Hiking between the Front Range and the Main Range of the Canadian Rockies means enjoying the sights of mountains resembling the Banff area on one side of the valley and Lake Louise on the other side.

Closer to us, the deep canyon with viewing platforms takes your breath away.  The first glance comes as the trail meanders from the forest to the edge of a V-shaped canyon. From there the canyon narrows and the edges more ragged as we make our way from one viewing platform to another.

At the end of the canyon rest the frozen waterfalls and our destination for a lunch break.

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 Ice Bubbles

Our last stop of the day is Abraham Lake for a short icewalk to see the famous methane bubbles.

Using the same ice cleats you used on the hike, you'll get to explore the area, hunting for bubbles. Don't worry, your guide knows the best and safest spots to check out.

The bubbles are usually visible from late November 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 of the surrounding mountains and quirky ice features.

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.

Siffleur Falls Staging Area - 10:30 am

  • You will meet your guide at the Siffleur Falls Staging Area (get directions). The area has 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 the Siffleur Falls Staging Area 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, camera and backpack.

 

What kind of lunch is included?

Lunch for this adventure is a bagged lunch we will be eating on the trail. The lunch includes a sandwich, snacks, juice, and dessert.

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.

Siffleur Falls Staging Area

This is a self-drive option. You will meet your guide at the Siffleur Falls Staging Area 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 8+ 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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