At Fresh Tracks Canada, we are True Insiders helping you co-create your Canadian story. Here’s what you get:
- Insider knowledge of the best in Canada Know where to go and which areas are best during each time of the year
- person_pin Local support to help with planning your trip Talk to someone local who knows the area well to suggest trains, hotels, dining and tours
- beenhere Personal trip plan built around your ideas Get your whole trip organized for you to include everything you need in one single booking
- 5 Perks Of A Winter Train Vacation
- The Rocky Mountains
- The Prairies
- Weather Facts
- Plenty of Winter Activities To Discover
- Fun Ways To Celebrate Winter in Canada
- Enjoy A Magical Christmas in the Rockies
- Rockies Rail Winter Wonderland
- Trans Canada by Rail in Winter
- Canadian Rockies Winter Escape by Train
- 1. Give Yourself a Carrot
- 2. Wear the Right Shoes
- 3. Dress Like It’s Warmer
- Gear to Illuminate Your Run
- 5. Warm Up Prerun
- 6. Outsmart the Wind
- 7. Be Flexible With Pace and Mileage
- 8. Change Quickly Postrun
- 9. Run Well in Rain
- 10. Race Someplace Warm
- Смотрите видео: 9 Secrets to ACTUALLY Waking Up Early. morning person 101
5 Perks Of A Winter Train Vacation
- There are fewer crowds
Enjoy a more la >The scenery looks amazing
The Canadian Rocky Mountains are stunning at any time of the year, but they look particularly magical when they are covered in a blanket of shimmering snow.
- Cozy mountain lounges
After a day of exploring outs >You'll see the remote backcountry
Trains cut through the heart of the forest, where there are no roads or trails and the pristine snow is chest-deep. You'll get a chance to see parts of the frozen Canadian wilderness that are simply inaccessible any other way.
- It's a truly authentic taste of life in Canada
Sure, Canada is beautiful in the summertime. But it's the way that Canadians deal with the long, cold winter that really shapes their cultural identity. It's often said that you don't really understand Canada until you experience it in the winter.
The Rocky Mountains
Temperatures in the Rockies can drop to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit). However, due to the dryness of the air, even extreme temperatures feel bearable. The average temperature in Banff National Park during the winter months is around -12 degrees Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit).
Plus, as long as you are bundled up in boots, a scarf and a toque (that's Canadian for "wooly hat") you'll be just fine. After all, the locals say, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."
Keep in mind that the Rocky Mountains essentially make their own weather, as they create microclimates that can be very location specific. So the weather can sometimes differ from one valley to the next and can change quickly.
The winters in Quebec are freezing and snowy, but that doesn't stop the locals from celebrating with a full calendar of festivals. The coldest months of the year are January and February, when up to 30 inches of snow cover can fall.
Weather in Quebec is wetter than on the prairies, which means more storms and a damp kind of cold. Bring a water-and-windproof outer layer and make sure you schedule time in your day to warm up inside by a fire.
Compared to the wet cold and blustery winds of the Maritimes, the climate in the Canadian prairies is very dry — so even as the thermometer dips to low temperatures it doesn't feel as cold.
Plus, on many winter days in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba the sun will still be out and shining, warming the air and making the newly fallen snow sparkle. One thing to watch out for is that the dry winter air can wreak havoc on your skin — bring plenty of chapstick and lotion to combat "wind burn".
You can always count on plenty of snow in the Maritimes, the prairies and Rocky Mountains.
- Snow usually begins to fall in November and starts to melt in April. (However, some high altitude trails remain covered in snow until the peak of summer.)
- For every 200 meter increase in elevation, the temperature drops about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit)
- The Windchill Factor makes the temperature feel several degrees colder than it really is. However, sometimes a current of warm air, known as a Chinook, can bring spring-like temperatures even in the middle of winter.
Plenty of Winter Activities To Discover
When in Canada — do as the locals do. Rather than hide from the snow and cold, they embrace it by making the frozen wilderness their chilly playground. Your Vacation Advisor can help you to find activities that will add excitement to your Canadian winter train trip.
Glide swiftly across a frozen lake or through a silent, snow-laden forest pulled by a team of strong, beautiful huskies. Experiencing a dog sled ride is an essential part of your visit to Canada, as this mode of canine-powered transportation was how the First Nations people got across the snow thousands of years ago.
The indigenous people of Canada made wide wooden frame shoes with interlaced rawhide webbing so that they could walk lightly on the surface of the deep snow while hunting.
A brilliant idea, snowshoes were embraced by European settlers and are still used today. When you try them, you'll see why — it's so much easier to explore the remote winter backcountry when you can step nimbly across even the deepest drifts.
Go for a spin on the ice at Lake Louise, named by CNN Travel as the most beautiful skating rink in the world. You'll be surrounded on all sides by looming, snow covered mountain peaks as your blades make gentle swooping lines across the frozen lake surface.
Or wind through the heart of downtown Ottawa on the frozen Rideau Canal (the largest natural skating rink in the world).
There's nothing quite like a pristine slope of deep, fluffy powder — whether you are an experienced skier or you stick to the basic runs.
The Rocky Mountains attract skiing enthusiasts from all over the world and the snow and the views are simply superlative.
Ease yourself slowly into the steamy, sulphur-scented waters of Banff Hot Springs and let your muscles completely relax. Travellers have been drawn to the healing properties of these geothermally heated mineral baths for more than a century.
Maple Taffy Making
Maple taffy is a quintessential Quebec treat. It's made with real French Canadian maple syrup, drizzled into a bank of fresh snow (yes, really!).
The freezing snow makes the maple syrup harden, then you can dip a popsicle stick into the sweet taffy and roll it up into a delicious snack. It may just be the most Canadian thing you've ever eaten.
Fun Ways To Celebrate Winter in Canada
Canadians don't just tolerate their long, cold winters — they celebrate them! Canada comes alive at this time of year with many great festivals dedicated to the magic of the snowy season. Here are just a few of them.
Carnaval de Quebec
When the temperature dips in historic Quebec City, thousands hit the streets to enjoy one of the world's largest winter carnivals.
Watch the lights twinkle on the ice palace, dance until late to live music, see the elaborate floats in the night parade and cheer on the teams in the Ice Canoe Race as they cross the frigid waters of the St. Lawrence River.
Winterlude is one of the biggest events of the year in Ottawa… a joyous, bombastic celebration of winter that includes live music, dance performances and an ice-carving competition.
The entire city gets involved, with beer tastings at the Canadian Museum of History, a stew cook-off at ByWard Market and dog sledding at Jacques Cartier Park.
Don't miss the Winterlude Triathlon, an event where brave athletes skate, ski and run across Dows Lake.
Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival
Every year in Lake Louise expert chainsaw-wielding ice carvers gather to hew shimmering, translucent works of art from towering 300 lb blocks of solid ice.
Stroll through the winter wonderland and gaze in awe at these enormous, intricate, beautiful (and very cold) works of art.
World Ski and Snowboard Festival
The best skiers and snowboarders come from all over the world to compete in this 10 day festival in the alpine village of Whistler, BC. Plus, the event also includes fashion shows, art exhibitions, a dog parade and the largest free outdoor concert series in Canada.
Enjoy A Magical Christmas in the Rockies
Imagine getting into the Christmas spirit by riding in an actual one horse open sleigh.
Spending Christmas in the Rockies is simply magical — you'll be surrounded by twinkling lights, beautiful decorations and the pristine, snow-covered mountains.
Do your Christmas shopping in the independent boutiques of Banff or Jasper to find cute, one-of-a-kind local designs and artisan crafts. Then, take in one of the spectacular holiday shows that happen in Banff and Lake Louise, such as A Christmas Carol at the Fairmont Banff Springs and the Mountain Top Christmas celebration at the top of the Sulphur Mountain Gondola. (Don't miss a visit from Old St. Nick at the Banff Santa Claus Parade.)
It's not the real North Pole, but it feels pretty close.
Rockies Rail Winter Wonderland
starting from US $2,990per person
This is one of our most magical Canadian winter adventures. Imagine climbing aboard a train in Vancouver, sharing a glass of wine with fellow travelers, then being lulled to sleep as snow falls outside. Awakening in a Rockies winter wonderland. read more
Trans Canada by Rail in Winter
starting from US $3,990per person
Your Canadian rail vacation begins as you climb aboard the train in Vancouver for your overnight journey to the Canadian Rockies. Arrive in a Rockies winter wonderland – playing outside during the days and cozying up each night in a warm. read more
Canadian Rockies Winter Escape by Train
starting from US $2,490per person
Let the Canadian train whisk you to the tranquility of the Canadian Rocky Mountains in winter! Enjoy authentic Canadian winter activities like snowshoeing or icewalks into mysterious canyons. In the evening cozy up next to a crackling fire in. read more
Want to start planning your trip to Canada but don't know where to start?
- Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
- Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
- Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
All our trips can be personalized to match your dates, travel style, and budget.
Advice From Canadians
Make the most of your time in Canada with advice from our local Insiders.
Feel in control with all the details of your trip organized and booked for you.
1. Give Yourself a Carrot
Luring yourself out the door with the promise of a reward at the end—whether it be a catch-up with a friend or a sweet treat—works. “Set a date to meet someone for a run,” says Jean M., a reader in Colorado. “There’s no wimping out when someone is waiting.”
In January and February, the Running Room in Edmonton, Alberta hosts the Hypothermic Half Marathon, which attracts 3,500 runners in 14 cities across Canada—even at temps as low as -40°F. “There’s a big, free brunch afterward,” says John Stanton, the founder. “People will do anything for omelets and pancakes.” Solo? “Tell yourself that you can go back inside after five minutes if it’s really bad,” says Patti Finke, a coach in Portland, Oregon. “Usually, you stay out there.”
2. Wear the Right Shoes
To keep warmth in and slush out, run in shoes that have the least amount of mesh. If you have shoes with Gore-Tex uppers, all the better, says Mark Grandonico, pres >Maine Track Club in Portland. Wear socks that wick away wetness but keep your feet warm, like non-itchy SmartWool socks.
3. Dress Like It’s Warmer
You want to be warm without sweating so much you get a chill. “The rule of thumb is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer,” says Grandonico. “You should be slightly cool when you start.” Think layers of technical fabrics to wick sweat with zippers at the neck and underarm area to vent air as you heat up. The more you run outdoors, the more you’ll learn your own preferences, or you can use our handy What to Wear tool.
With limited daylight, chances are you’ll be running in the dark (Alaskans, sadly, get only a few hours of dim light per day). Tall snowbanks on plowed streets make you even harder to see. Wear reflective, fluorescent gear, and don’t be shy about lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree. Adam Feerst, a coach and trail-race director in Denver recommends using a headlamp or carrying a flashlight—less so you can see where you're going and more so people can see you.
Gear to Illuminate Your Run
Black Diamond Storm Headlamp
$35 | Amazon
Nathan Streak Reflective Vest
$27 | Amazon
Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips
DIY for runners
$10 | Amazon
Apace Vision LED Safety Lights
Strobe your path
$18 | Amazon
5. Warm Up Prerun
Move around inside enough to get the blood flowing without breaking a sweat. Run up and down your stairs, use a jump rope, or do a few yoga sun salutations. A speedy house-cleaning works, too, says D. A. Reng from Kentucky. “The cold doesn’t feel so cold when you’re warm,” adds Laura Salmon of Akron, Ohio. If you’re meeting a group of running buddies, don’t stand around in the cold chatting before you run. “We sit in our cars,” says Feerst, “waiting for one person to get out before we all get out.”
6. Outsmart the Wind
Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you’ve broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, try breaking it up: Run into the wind for about 10 minutes, turn around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeat. You can seek out man-made wind shields, too. “When we get wind, it can be like a hurricane,” says Chuck Bartlett, the team director of Seattle’s Club Northwest. “The buildings downtown block it.”
Exposed skin is especially vulnerable to chilly gusts. “I use BodyGlide on my nose and on my cheeks to prevent frostbite,” says the Canadian Stanton. If wind’s in the forecast, consider slathering up with Vaseline or opting for a face mask before heading out.
7. Be Flexible With Pace and Mileage
“Winter running is more about maintenance miles than speedwork,” says Feerst. In very cold weather, look for “inversions,” places that are elevated and where the air will be warmer. “Even 300 feet up, the air can be 20 degrees warmer, which makes a big difference,” says Steve Bainbridge, the trails liaison for the Fairbanks, Alaska-based Running Club North, the northernmost running club in the United States. Bainbridge’s coldest run took place in minus 50 degree weather. “My eyelashes were freezing together,” he says. If you can’t run in the middle of the day when the temperatures are warmest, run twice a day, says Stanton, three miles in the morning and three miles in the evening: “That’s better than doing one long six-mile run where you might get very cold toward the end.”
8. Change Quickly Postrun
Your core body temperature drops as soon as you stop running. To avoid a lingering case of the chills, change your clothes—head to toe—as soon as you can. Women need to get out of damp sports bras quickly. Put a warm, dry beenie over wet hair. And drink something hot—a steamy beverage is great, but a hearty soup does double duty by refueling your protein and sodium stores while also warming you up. “We go to a coffee shop after our runs and use the bathroom to change,” says Grandonico. “Then we all relax with coffee and bagels.” Driving to a run? Bring a thermos of green tea or hot chocolate in your car to savor afterward.
9. Run Well in Rain
Runners in Mobile, Alabama, one of the wettest cities in the United States, are always prepared for rain—67 inches per year, in fact. “In my car, at all times, I have a spare pair of sneakers, a running outfit, and three beach towels,” says Allyson Lamey, a member of the Port City Pacers club. “When it’s raining, I slip my feet into plastic baggies, then put on my running shoes,” says Darryl Dalcerri of Lompoc, California. “The baggies keep my feet dry even when I run through puddles.” If you have to dry shoes overnight, crumple up newspaper and cram it tightly into your shoes, with the insoles removed. The newspaper soaks up the moisture.
RELATED: Smash your goals with a Runner’s World Training Plan, designed for any speed and any distance.
10. Race Someplace Warm
Having a winter race to aim for is great for keeping you motivated to train through the fall. Even better motivation? Knowing race day will be free from snow and ice. Southern summers can be brutal for runners, but during the winter, temperatures are moderate enough to go after a personal record—which is part of the reason Florida alone offers many marathons in the colder months. Not up for 26.2 miles? There are plenty of half marathons, 10Ks, and 5Ks to pick from too. Visit the Race Finder to choose your own distance and destination.