A great option when the ice is clear
Cline Landing is one of our favourite December spots but it is often snow-covered later in the season, making it harder to find bubbles.
The sheltered bay is both a curse and a blessing. Because it’s less windy here than the rest of the lake, we often see ice form one to two weeks before the rest of the lake, with the exception of Preacher’s Point. The ice is usually smooth and clear, making it a great spot especially if you happen to be there within the 10 days or so after freeze-up. On a cold day, it makes for a great option to get out of the strong winds that are common on the lake.
On the other side, the lack of wind means that the area tends to get snow-covered and to stay that way. We sometimes see it clear back up after a snowstorm but in most cases, once it’s covered in snow it stays that way for a few weeks.
The easy access to this area and smooth ice make it popular but it is easy to get away from the crowd by exploring a little further.
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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.
Accessing the Ice
There is an access road providing easy access from the lake to the ice at this location. You’ll find ice bubbles as soon as you get to the ice here but keep in mind that as the winter goes on you’ll need to walk further to find clear ice. See the safety considerations below before you decide to drive down to the lake.
Ice Bubbles and Ice Features
This is one of our favourite spots as the ice starts to form, usually in mid-December. The shallow water with clear ice makes for some great views that can easily be accessed. As the winter goes on the ice lays on the ground, creating cracks and features with the ground visible below.
The area is relatively shallow and sheltered, reducing many of the risks we find in other sections of the lake. The main things to be aware of are the access road and the nearby Cline River.
The access road gets slippery and we see many visitors drive down each winter only to find out that their vehicle isn’t equipped for the adventure. Being stuck at the bottom of the hill means waiting for a tow truck to come from Rocky Mountain House, an hour and a half away. We recommend parking at the nearby Pinto Lake Staging Area unless you are confident you will be able to drive back up.
Exploring north from this access takes you to the area where the Cline River enters Abraham Lake. That area has ice conditions that can change quickly and where ice thickness can vary greatly over only a few metres. In general, we recommend that you avoid areas like this.
Through the Season
The ice sits on the ground by mid-January here so expect to find whiter ice than in areas like Belly of Abraham or Abraham Slabs. The sheltered bay protects from the winds but that also means that in some years the ice is snow-covered for most of the season.
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.