Best Winter Road Trip Destinations in Canada According to Top Travel Bloggers
One of the best places to visit in winter is Canada because of its magnificent mountain views and exciting outdoor activities. Read what these experienced travellers have to say about their favourite winter road trip destinations.
Jasper National Park, Alberta - Rhonda Krause of Travel? Yes Please
I always feel relaxed when surrounded by Jasper's snow-blanketed scenery, but the best part is being able to enjoy Jasper's most popular tourist spots like Athabasca Falls, Pyramid Island and Maligne Lake without any crowds. Whether I'm snowshoeing in the Rocky Mountain backcountry, skating on a frozen lake, skiing at Marmot Basin, or walking through the icicle draped Maligne Canyon, it's always comforting to return to a cozy mountain lodge at the end of the day. The winter adventures don't end after dark though. Jasper National Park is one of the world's largest dark sky preserves, so it's a great place to do some stargazing. If you're lucky, you may even witness the Northern Lights dancing above the mountain peaks. Without fail, I always return home from Jasper refreshed and ready to tackle another few months of winter.
The Blue Mountains, Ontario – Liliane Fawzy of My Toronto, My World
Blue Mountains is a ski village located about 2.5 hours north of Toronto. It's a great drive because it's mostly local roads and you get to take in such great landscapes on the way there. Once you arrive you've got lots of options for how to spend the day/weekend. You can of course ski/snowboard down multiple hills/mountains or you can also just take the ski lift up and enjoy a great view. If that isn't your thing, there's a gorgeous spa with outdoor thermal pools called Scandinave Spa that offers great packages. You, of course, have to spend some time in the village itself. With classics like the Canadian Beavertail (an epic dessert you have to try) and hot chocolate you can stroll along the restaurants and shops for many hours and lose yourself in this very charming little ski village.
Icefields Parkway, Alberta - Cherri Megasko of Bucket List Travel Club
Roadtripping the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada, is one of the most gorgeous winter drives in the world. Starting at Lake Louise, it continues west for 232 kilometers. From its beginning at this iconic lake to its end in Jasper National Park, there are endless opportunities for magnificent scenery, breathtaking glaciers and majestic wildlife viewing. Seventy-nine kilometers into your drive (starting at Lake Louise) you will come across the Saskatchewan River Crossing. This is the only place along the drive where you'll find basic services such as restrooms, gasoline and food. It is here that you can also take a guided tour along the Columbia Icefield. Thirty kilometers south of Jasper you'll find Athabasca Falls, a gorgeous set of water falls renowned for their power and water volume. In between these two wonders of nature you will have gorgeous views of the Canadian Rockies and the opportunity to spot some of Canada's most iconic wildlife.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia - Maya Steiningerova of Travel with the Smile
The Western part of Canada with a road trip on Vancouver Island is a great idea in winter. Temperatures are more bearable, tourists are almost non-existent and you can find having forests and beaches to yourself. Imagine standing on an empty beach where the only thing you hear are crashing waves and you're gazing at the ocean and smelling the salty air. All of a sudden a whale appears above the surface and breaches in the air, what an experience. Have I convinced you to go road tripping on Vancouver Island? I sincerely hope so.
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia - Alix Mahe of Bisous des Caribous
If you're looking for that hidden gem winter road trip destination, BC's Okanagan Valley is it! First of all there's the landscape. Picturesque snowcapped mountains line several stunning lakes up and down the valley - perfect road trip eye candy. Then, for those seeking mountaintop adventures, the powdery slopes at Big White and SilverStar are both just short drives away from Kelowna. I'd highly recommend checking out the snowshoe trails in the area too - you may even get them all to yourself! Finally, what's a trip to the Okanagan without stopping in at a few wineries. They tend to be less busy during the winter, which makes for a relaxing and easygoing visit. Just make sure to check their hours before you go, as some may shift to winter hours.
Banff National Park, Alberta - Ashlee Brindley of White Petal Travels
No Canadian road trip is complete without going through Banff and Jasper National Park. There are so many amazing things to see and do along the way which makes it one of my favourite drives to date. Make sure one of your stops is Johnston Canyon, the easy hike takes you past beautiful frozen waterfalls and thick forest. The suspended metal path takes you down into the canyon above the rushing creek where you can marvel at the impressive height of the canyon walls, it allows you to explore the base of the falls and canyon floor. If you want to continue further, you can hike to the ink pots behind the mountains in a stunning open field. A little tip, wear some ice cleats as this path can get very slippery!
Fredericton, New Brunswick - Dr. Jessie Voigts of Wandering Educators
Besides having extraordinary culinary options, a slew of art galleries and museums, a rich history, a quirky bookstore, and a beautiful landscape right on the river, Fredericton has…Frostival! Atlantic Canada's largest winter celebration, Frostival is packed with over 100 events, festivals, and cultural experiences scheduled over three weekends in January and February each year (!!). Whether your winter travel vibe is indoor or outdoor, you'll find theatre and comedy, film festivals, music festivals, snowshoeing in the moonlight, SnowGa (yoga in the snow!), craft beer (it's very popular here), outdoor skating, outdoor campfires, and curling. I bet you'll keep coming back all year to this lovely, friendly town – we do.