The magic of frozen bubbles
Going looking for ice bubbles is a little like wildlife viewing. You never know how the conditions will change and while we can highlight some of the spots where you're most likely to find them there are no guarantees.
The lake typically freezes in mid to late December with the ice bubbles at their best from early-January to mid-February. The bubbles are still visible later in the winter but the ice starts to get cloudy and is more likely to be snow-covered in sections. Preacher's Point, at the south end of the lake, is a great option for those visiting the region early in the season with ice usually starting to form by mid-November.
Going to Abraham Lake to view the ice bubbles can be a fun and safe adventure. We do want to share a few words of caution before you head out, however, including the obvious one that you will be walking on a frozen lake that is not your typical frozen lake. Abraham Lake is a large reservoir, used by TransAlta to generate power. The water level drops throughout the winter, creating changing ice conditions which combined with the strong winds can make it an unforgiving place to explore.
To make your adventure safe, we recommend that you avoid the ice between the dam and Windy Point. In the areas we suggest below, only go on the ice where you can see that the ice is thick enough and avoid areas where creeks and rivers enter the lake. Bring ice cleats along and never go down a steep area that you may not be able to easily climb back up. Avoid snow-covered areas since they may be hiding weak ice underneath.
Also keep in mind that the area is remote, with limited services available locally throughout the winter. Weather changes quickly and is unpredictable so always travel with a well-stocked emergency kit.
Abraham Lake Ice Safety
We've put together a guide with a few things to consider when you plan your Abraham Lake ice walk to make it a safe adventure.
Conditions and Updates
We share updates on ice conditions to help you plan your adventure. Keep in mind that conditions change quickly and that weather forecasts are often unreliable in the Abraham Lake area.
Head Out With A Guide
Make the most of your adventure and head out with a guide. Nordegg Adventures offers ice walks on Abraham Lake from November to March. Snowshoes, ice cleats and kicksleds are also available to rent in Nordegg.
Head Out on Your Own
Sometimes you just want to head out on your own to explore the area. We get it. That's why we share guides like these. Keep in mind that these aren't the only options to see the ice bubbles but they are the most popular and easily accessible ones.