The frozen methane bubbles of Abraham Lake are the coolest phenomenon that happens each winter in Alberta, Canada. Decaying plant matter under the surface release methane bubbles as they break down, and in the winter when Abraham Lake freezes over, these bubbles are captured in the ice layers below! The frozen bubbles create such a fun experience at Abraham Lake, and not to mention incredible pictures to capture the memories! Keep reading to find out how to see the frozen methane bubbles of Abraham Lake!
How to Get to the Frozen Methane Bubbles
Abraham Lake’s frozen methane bubbles are located along Highway 11 (David Thompson Highway) close to the rocky mountains in Alberta, Canada. The David Thompson Highway connects to the Icefields Parkway, which is one of Canada’s most beautiful drives. The Icefields Parkway is the road between Jasper and Banff – two of the most popular places in the Canadian Rockies! This makes Abraham Lake so easy to work into your itinerary if you’re visiting this area.
FROM EDMONTON –
The drive to Abraham Lake’s frozen bubbles takes around 3.5 hours from Edmonton. Edmonton has an International Airport so if you are flying into Alberta, this may be where your adventure starts!
You can drive Highway 2 South, then start heading West along Highway 12, a brief section of Highway 22, and then Highway 11 all the way to Abraham Lake.
FROM CALGARY –
Calgary also has an international airport, so it is just as likely that this city is where your adventure will begin. The drive is roughly 3.5 hours as well and is roughly the same route as from Edmonton.
You can drive Highway 2 North, then take a small detour on Highway 54 and Highway 781, until you get to Highway 11 which you will take all the way to Abraham Lake.
WORK IT INTO YOUR ITINERARY ON THE ICEFIELDS PARKWAY –
Because Highway 11 connects to the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93), this is an amazing detour to take if you already traveling the Parkway between Banff and Jasper. The drive down the David Thompson Highway from Highway 93 to Abraham Lake is only around 35 minutes, so it is a perfect add-on to your itinerary.
Best Time to Visit Abraham Lake’s Frozen Methane Bubbles
The best time to visit Abraham Lake in the winter is late January and throughout February. This gives the bubbles enough time to freeze and it just seems to be when they are at their best! If it is a different month (winter usually lasts November – around March in the rockies), you can still check out the bubbles, but just be careful because the lake may not be as frozen and conditions may not be as safe.
Where are Abraham Lakes Frozen Bubbles?
The frozen methane bubbles can be found all over Abraham Lake. There are multiple roadside turn outs to stop at along the David Thompson Highway (highway 11), so if you have time, check out each stop! The ice bubbles are a natural phenomenon so they can be unpredictable, but you should have luck at any of the viewpoints along this highway.
If you’re short on time, I would check out: “Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles Viewpoint” on google maps, or Preacher’s Point!
Other Tips on How to See the Frozen Methane Bubbles
DRESS WARM –
Abraham Lake can get quite windy! And the temperature in the mountains can be unpredictable. Pack layers so you have them handy to put on if it is super cold, and definitely don’t forget your gloves!
BRING ICE CLEATS IF YOU HAVE THEM –
When I visited Abraham Lake the first time it was SO WINDY. I thought I was going to blow into the middle of the lake! If you have ice cleats bring them just in case, and this might help make your experience slightly more enjoyable! If you don’t have them though, don’t worry! You don’t NEED them in order to visit.
PACK YOUR SKATES –
If you get lucky and it’s not a super windy day, Abraham Lake is an awesome place to ice skate! Just make sure to skate with caution as the lake is not maintained – don’t skate if it’s too windy, make sure the ice is thick enough, and use your best judgment.
If you are in the Canadian Rockies or visiting Alberta in the wintertime, I highly recommend adding the frozen methane bubbles of Abraham Lake to your itinerary. It is so cool ad such a unique sight to see!
Hopefully, these tips on how to see the frozen methane bubbles at Abraham Lake helped you plan your trip, or gave you inspiration for your future trip! Stay safe and have fun!
Feel free to send me an email or leave a comment if you have any other tips, suggestions, or just want to stay hi!
*Always use your best judgment, you are responsible for your own safety*