Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably seen photos of Abraham Lake in Alberta, Canada. During the winter months, Abraham Lake is well known for the dizzying amount of methane ice bubbles that are trapped in the lake’s clear ice. This man-made lake on the North Saskatchewan River in David Thompson Country is a popular summer and winter destination.
While Abraham Lake is not located in Banff or Jasper National Parks, it is close by and a must-see on any road trip along the Icefields Parkway or when traveling between Banff and Jasper. Here are all of the wonderful reasons why this lake is so special and why you should visit it at least once in your life!
This Lake is Home to the Ice Bubbles
If you come here between December and March, you will almost certainly see tons of frozen ice bubbles. These frozen ice bubbles can be found in many lakes throughout the Canadian Rockies, but Abraham Lake Canada is particularly notable.
The ice bubbles are caused by trapped methane, which is formed when organic matter sinks to the lake’s bottom, such as dead plants and animals. When this matter decomposes, methane gas is released and rises to the surface.
As the lake freezes, the bubbles become trapped and stack on top of one another. In the winter, this results in unusual ice bubble formations. When the ice melts in the spring, methane gas is released into the atmosphere.
People travel from all over the world to see this lake in the winter because of the sight of these frozen ice bubbles. I’ve seen them at other frozen lakes, such as Lake Minnewanka and Lac Des Arcs, but the “Abraham Lake ice bubbles” are the most popular.
If you come here early in the season, Preachers Point on the lake is the best place to see the ice bubbles. Preacher’s Point is one of the best places to photograph ice bubbles, and you can get some great shots of the bubbles and surrounding peaks from here.
Because it is so well-known, it frequently draws a crowd. Many sections of this area are shallow, which makes seeing grass in the ice enjoyable. Because of the shallowness, it’s a slightly safer place to skate because if you have an accident or fall through the ice, you won’t be completely submerged.
Ice skating in winter is the most enjoyable activity
Every winter, people inquire about ice skating on Abraham Lake. Abraham Lake is a popular spot in the Rockies for wild skating, and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Nordegg.
It is best to visit in January or later, when the ice has frozen. However, always wear your own safety equipment and ensure that the ice is thick enough to skate on.
Nothing beats wild ice skating on millions of frozen bubbles. If you want to skate on Abraham Lake, however, you must take extra precautions. To be honest, this lake isn’t the best place in the Rockies for wild ice skating because it’s a reservoir, which means the water levels are constantly changing, causing gaps in the ice. Because the water is always moving, falling in could result in you going under the ice and not being able to stop.
Abraham Lake is extremely windy.
While being one of the windiest places in Alberta isn’t ideal, the weather has some advantages at Abraham Lake Canada. The most notable features are the wild skating and ice bubbles. Many lakes, such as Lake Louise and Two Jack Lake, freeze in the winter, but once the lakes freeze and snow falls, they are essentially unskiable unless you shovel the snow off yourself. And forget about seeing the ice bubbles after this.
However, this unique Canadian lake is notoriously windy, resulting in ice that isn’t covered by snow even in February. The wind is so strong here that Abraham Lake is almost always clear during the winter.
Abraham Lake was created by humans.
The fact that this unique Canadian lake in Alberta is man-made is worth noting. The lake was formed in 1972 as a result of the construction of the Bighorn Dam. The lake was constructed along the upper course of the North Saskatchewan River and runs parallel to the David Thompson Highway.
This unique Canadian lake is Massive!
How big is it exactly? Abraham Lake has a surface area of 53.7 km2 and a length of 32 km, making it one of Alberta’s largest lakes and the province’s largest reservoir.
Abraham Lake Has Those Delightful Baby Blues
While most visitors associate Abraham Lake with the famous winter ice bubble lake, it is equally impressive in the summer. Despite being an artificial lake, it has the same deep blue color as the other glacial lakes in the Rockies.
Abraham Lake is located directly off the Icefields Parkway.
If you’re visiting the Rockies and intend to drive the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff or vice versa, this is the best time to visit Abraham Lake, Canada. Abraham Lake’s beginning is only 32 kilometers from the Saskatchewan River Crossing along the parkway, making it a short detour away from the Parkway.
Preachers Point is located off David Thompson Highway and is a wonderful place to visit along this unique Canadian lake. So, if you only have a few hours to spare on your journey, you can easily take a detour here.