Winter comes with its own special beauty, and nowhere is that more evident than in the natural ice caves, waterfalls, and unique ice formations that dot Canada’s rugged landscape. A great adventure to add to your list of must-do winter activities, a visit to one of these stunning natural wonders is sure to make the colder months much more bearable. From Ontario to Alberta and British Columbia, here are our recommendations on where to find ice caves to trek to this season.
Ice caves in British Columbia
Blackcomb Glacier, B.C.
The famous sister mountain to Whistler is also home to this beautiful cave, accessible by strapping on a pair of skis. While many head to Blackcomb to hit the slopes, don’t miss this natural wonder that makes Whistler yet another top-notch destination.
Outside of the Whistler area near Pemberton, B.C., is a stunning natural ice cave that requires a guided tour to get to. If you’re intent on seeing one of the most incredible winter wonders in Canada, the fee for a tour is certainly worth it!
Ice caves in Alberta
Big Bend/Athabasca Glacier on the Icefields Parkway, Alta.
Of course, the world-renowned Icefields Parkway near Jasper, Alta., delivers when it comes to crystal caves. Most tourists will be familiar with the Athabasca Glacier or Columbia Icefields, but be sure to stick around for the stunning caves in the Athabasca Glacier region. Some may require a separate tour or a hike from one of the tourist stops, so be sure you have the right equipment and route planned beforehand.
Booming Ice Chasm, Crowsnest Pass, Alta.
Near this small town on the Alberta-British Columbia border is a stunning natural phenomenon known as the Booming Ice Chasm. Climbers with experience traversing ice can actually hike in and around the chasm, but it’s important to have proper gear, including a headlamp and crampons. For dedicated adventurers, this ice cave should definitely be on the list.
Fish Creek ice falls and caves, Alta.
Ice waterfalls and caves within an urban setting seem unheard of, but right in Calgary’s Fish Creek Park, there are some formations that come up each year and make for an easy day activity if you live in the area. Fish Creek is one of the city’s biggest parks, and you can explore them at your own pace.
Ice caves in Ontario
Lake Superior, Alona Bay, Ont.
Each year, waves that crash against the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior form a series of impressive caves once things freeze over. You can see the caves along many parts of the shoreline, but many tourists start at Alona Bay. Be sure to dress warmly—the wind can be rough—and stay cautious when walking on or around the ice.
Ice caves in Quebec
Not far outside of the Ottawa area, these ice caves contain interesting formations that make it feel like you’re on a whole other planet. You can explore the ice cave with the company Arbraska Lafleche, which runs adventure tours in the region.