Calling all adventure travel lovers: 2019 is the perfect year to visit the neighbor to the north. Head to Canada in the winter for a number of incredible outdoor adventures.
If you’re hoping to have a bit of an outdoor adventure this winter, you don’t have to travel far. It’s just a quick flight (or drive) up north from the United States to Canada—one of 2019’s hottest destinations. There, snow, ice, and endless landscapes to await. Don’t stay home and hibernate—from Quebec to British Columbia, there’s a lot to explore. Pack your warmest clothing in your versatile backpack and get ready to try dog sledding, see polar bears, or just chill out in a ski lodge in Whistler. (Your warmest winter clothes can be notoriously bulky, but use a compression packing cubes so you can fit more sweaters.) Here are a few trip ideas that shouldn’t be missed.
1. Dog Sledding Outside Quebec City
Does your dream vacation include anything involving puppies? Then you’ll love dogsledding. Just 15 minutes outside of beautiful Quebec City, you’ll find Chenil La Poursuite, 250 husky sled dogs call it home. Book the half-day package, which includes a two-and-a-half hour ride that you’ll take in teams of two. One of you will drive and steer while the other rides in the sled, and you can switch several times during the trip. (Don’t worry, lessons are also included.)
Half way through, you’ll head out to a tepee with a log fire for hot cocoa and cookies are waiting before returning to the kennel. Kids are welcome, too, they just must be over 10 years old to drive, so bring the whole family.
When to visit : Usually open December-March. Call to confirm there’s enough snow to sled.
2. Backcountry Skiing in Whistler, BC
If you ski or snowboard every winter and are ready for a new challenge, but aren’t sure if backcountry skiing is for you, a guided tour in Whistler might be the best chance to try it out. Guided, full-day trips are offered on select dates from December to March and you can book with Canada West Mountain School, where you’ll get avalanche safety training, an equipment tutorial, learn to choose a route, and of course, plenty of skiing on a full day trip. (Note that no prior backcountry experience is required, but you should have a good grasp of downhill skiing and be in relatively good physical shape before trying this outdoor adventure.)
3. Northern Lights Tour in the Yukon
No need to go all the way to Iceland or Norway to check out the mystical aurora borealis. If you go far enough north, you can check them out in Canada, too. One option is to head to Whitehouse, the capital city of the Yukon Territories. (You can fly there via a connection from Vancouver or Edmonton.)
For the full experience, book a five day tour with Northern Tales, which includes a two night stay at the Boreal Ranch, a modern adventure lodge with prime nighttime viewing of the Northern Lights. You can even request a “winter clothing” package, where you’ll rent clothing that will keep you warm in the areas sometimes -40° temperatures. (Pack a blanket, too, just for extra warmth.)
When to visit
: August to April are the best months for a chance to see
the Northern Lights.
4. Relaxing Springs Near Banff
If adventure sports are not for you, you can still enjoy the great outdoors, just at a more relaxing pace. Nestled into the winter scenery, you can find the Banff Upper Hot Springs in Banff National Park, which are open year round.. It’s naturally around 102°F, so even in the winter the water is warm enough to enjoy. There’s also a café on site for a warm beverage when you’re done.
Canada has no shortage of outdoor winter activities, so make 2019 the year you cross something off of your adventure travel bucket list.
Pack-It Storage Compression Cube
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
Packing and More: Tips for Winter Camping
What to Pack: The Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist
By Jane Chertoff
Jane Chertoff is a freelance lifestyle writer who enjoys traveling and exploring with her Chihuahua, Cesar. Follow her adventures on Instagram.