Winter

Enjoy all the different trails that the Cypress Hills offer during winter time! From cross-country skiing to fat biking there are trails for all people to enjoy!

The Cross Country opportunities are diverse and with over 30km of groomed track and additional non-groomed backcountry trails, you won’t get bored. Beginners and Novice skiers can enjoy the Spring Creek Trail System up on the top of the plateau. If you are up for a more challenging route then heading east to the Spruce Coulee Cross-Country Ski Trail System. Cross-country ski rentals are available at Elkwater Visitor Centre - full-day and half-day rates. Find more about cross-country skiing in Cypress Hills by clicking here and searching “cross country ski”

Snowshoeing in the park is encouraged! Bring them from home or rent them from the Elkwater Visitor Centre, but get out and enjoy the snowshoeing trails. Snowshoeing is not permitted on the groomed cross-country ski trails, but there are 30+km of different trails to enjoy on the snowshoes. Find these trails by clicking here and searching “snowshoe”.

In the winter the trails are ready for Fat Bikes so you don’t have to stop riding. Information on trails can be found below or contact our Visitor Centre. Fat biking is permitted on all groomed and track-set trails EXCEPT Spring Creek Ski Trail System.Bikes with regular mountain bike tires are not permitted. Tires must be 3.7 inches or wider. Tire pressure should be 10 psi or lower.

Most activities are free and the Learning Centre provides a great place to warm-up if it is cold. But you won’t keep the kids inside for long! Especially with the Snow Luge track that is out on the lawn of the learning centre! Talk about a blast! After that you might be looking for the skating trail. Head west of the Elkwater Visitor Centre towards the Old Baldy Campground where you will find the skating trail. With a small hut to put your skates on, you will love this magical treed trail. 

Note that snowmobiles are not permitted in the park.

Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley is a unique Alpine Resort located next to Elkwater, Alberta. Nestled in the Cypress Hills Provincial Park the resort and is currently operated by Alberta Parks. The montane environment in which it is located provides stunning vistas looking over the prairies toward the city of Medicine Hat, 65 km to the North West and some 600m below. We have an extensive snow making system to assist with nature’s own so snow for your trip is not an issue even if there doesn’t seem much on the way out... remember we are 600m higher than Medicine Hat. Operating Days are Wednesday to Sunday with extended hours during vacation times. Lifts run from 9:30am to 4pm.

The townsite of Elkwater also has a number of activities to enjoy from. Snow Shoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Ice Skating Trails, Ice fishing, Backyard Luge Track and selected rental equipment are available. Check it out here.

Winter safety tips

- Extreme weather conditions can develop quickly, so be prepared for anything. Carry appropriate winter clothing, particularly a warm hat, even on pleasant days. 

- Carry high energy foods such as chocolate and/or dried fruit and plenty of water. 

- Be prepared. Consider duct tape or even spare parts in case of equipment failure. 

- Frostbite is the freezing of skin usually affecting the hands, feet, and face. The signs of frostbite are burning, tingling, itching, numbness or pain in the area. This skin may appear white and feel hard, and is cold to the touch. Warm the affected area using body heat.


Rentals 

Looking to try out a winter activity but don’t have the equipment? Cross-country ski, snowshoe, kicksled and ice skate rentals are available at the Visitor Centre.