21 photos that will inspire you to visit the Canadian Rockies

WARNING: The following post may induce immediate wanderlust.

When awe-inspiring scenery, champagne powder snow and truly expansive ski areas come together, beautiful moments happen. In Banff & Lake Louise, this beauty doesn’t fade throughout the year – it morphs into a new incarnation of awe with the coming of each season.

So whether you’re travelling across borders, or you already call Canada home, these Instagram photos, captured under Banff National Park’s winter spell, will inspire you to visit this snow season.

Groomers are going off at The Shine today!

A photo posted by Les (@lescrawley) on

The lakes are starting to freeze in the Canadian Rockies and the bubble craze (and skating season!) is just around the corner. I get a lot of emails in the winter about the methane bubbles, so I thought I'd provide a bit of info so more people can hopefully benefit. :) The bubbles can occur in many lakes. I've shot them in 6 or 7 lakes in and around Banff National Park. However, the lakes eventually get snow-covered and the majority of them won't show ice again until the spring, when the bubbles are gone. Some of bodies of water though are exposed to chinook winds and will frequently, and quickly, shed all their snow to reveal the bubbles again in the middle of winter. Abraham Lake, Lake Minnewanka and Vermilion Lakes come to mind. Abraham Lake is by far the most popular location to document the phenomenon, as its surface is very easily accessible, and it gets far less snow then other parts of the Rockies. It's a busy place though when the bubbles do occur. People come from all over the world to shoot here. If you're willing to walk/skate a little, you can find solitude still. The Vermilion Lakes sometimes offer very short windows where the winds will blow the lakes free of snow and reveal small pockets of methane bubbles. Don't expect wide vast swaths of them, though. Lake Minnewanka has the best bubbles I've ever seen, but they're at the far end of the lake, 20+ km from the road. For that reason I expect it'll always be quiet there. There are sometimes pockets of bubbles near the road, too. As far as when to shoot them, I've found it really depends. The window of opportunity is usually short, a few weeks at best. When we get a warm weather spell, like essentially all of last winter, then that window can narrow down to just a few days. Warm weather creates a film of water on the lakes and the bubbles get "buried" deeper in the ice. I've found overall that the best time of the year to shoot them is mid-January to late February. It goes without saying: Be safe, and always test the ice before getting onto it! Happy shooting out there everyone. Might see you on the lakes this winter! #WildlyCreative #shotoncanon @manfrottoimaginemore #ExploreCanada

A photo posted by Paul Zizka • Banff, AB (@paulzizkaphoto) on

We love to play in the snow! 🏂: @mstastook #sunshinevillage #springriding #shredssv #snowboarding

A photo posted by Banff Sunshine Village (@sunshinevillage) on

Sometimes, it's good to take time off to visit an old friend. @travelalberta #explorealberta

A photo posted by Jeff Bartlett (@photojbartlett) on

Snow people, in their natural habitat.... ❄️🏔🌨🏂 #SkiLakeLouise

A photo posted by Katarina (@kkatterr) on

Hideaway in Banff.

A photo posted by Jake Dyson (@jakedyson) on

In case you missed it, this happened yesterday. This was mid-mountain at lunch time.

A photo posted by Lake Louise Ski Resort (@skilouise) on

Deep Powder! photo: @qsthomas | @dinosaurs_will_die @rudeboysgirlsshop #shredssv #sunshinevillage #snowboarding

A photo posted by Luke Sudermann (@lukesudermann) on

Feeling inspired? Ready for an adventure?

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Showing 6 comments
  • Beth Walser

    No fat biking pics?!

    • Beth Walser

      I mean the rest of these pics are incredible but that is primarily what I would go there in the winter for

      • Bonnie Harrison

        Hi Beth,

        Thanks for your feedback – good point! This time we focused on the most stand-out winter photos we could find, but we love fat biking and would love to include a shot of the action next time we do a similar blog!

        Here’s to a great winter!


  • Ian

    Bonnie Harrison,
    You realize theres a certain level pf cruelty in sharing this with people who live in Ontario, right? ;)

    • Bonnie Harrison

      Hi Ian,

      I think the only solution might be a visit – Banff and Lake Louise are even more beautiful in real life!

      We hope you have a great winter, wherever you will be!


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