.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Scenes from Banff National Park in Winter

06 Banff area winter

While the cold weather and especially the long winters can be a drag in Canada, there are some days when the beauty of the scenery almost makes it worth while.
Banff National Park is one of my favorite places in the world. My wife and I headed out there with our dogs a few weeks back (dogs on leashes are welcome in Canadian National Parks), and were rewarded with beautiful mountain landscapes.
Most of these photos were taken around Lake Minnewanka, the largest lake in the park, which was frozen sold. Lots of people were walking on the ice and, it being Canada, a hockey game was being played on the lake. The building in the middle of the ice is the …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 8, 2021. A January Drive down the Cowboy Trail

05 Cowboy Trail in January (10)

One of the most underrated scenic drives in Canada is Alberta’s Cowboy Trail, highway 22X.  The 100-or-so mile stretch from the Crowsnest Pass to Longview contains nothing but an expanse of prairie rolling over the foothills and abutting the lovely Rocky Mountains.  It’s especially scenic in late spring/early summer, when the prairie grass is lush and green and there’s still some snow on the mountain peaks, but winter has its own charm.

These photos were a few years ago, a winter which had been pretty mild up to that point, with little snow on the ground.  The winter daylight so far north is soft, especially in the afternoon.  Lots of cattle grazing, a few ranches here and there, including the …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 5, 2018: Prairie Sunrise, Alberta

00 Prairie sunrise

One of the things I enjoy about prairie winters is the soft diffused quality of the sunlight.  The sun is far to the south during the winter months and with cloud cover over the Rockies and its foothills the light is often filtered. 

Recently while making an early trip down the Cowboy Trail highway I enjoyed this lovely sunrise, which I thought I’d share with you today.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, January 13. 2017: A Frosty Morning in Calgary

08 frost

The Canadian prairies are rather dry, especially during the winter months.  There’s not much precipitation and humidity is often very low, cracking skin and boosting the sale of epidermal moisturizers.  It’s so dry that at times snow actually evaporates — not melts, evaporates.  There are rare occasions when it’s a little more humid and even rarer occasions when everything works together to give you the amazing spectacle of Hoar frost.

Hoar frost (aka hoarfrost or radiation frost) refers to white ice crystals, deposited on objects such as branches, leaves and wires. These crystals form by condensation of water vapor to ice on cold, clear nights.  Sometimes the hoar frost is so heavy it resembles snow, except that when you look at carefully, these …

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