Best time to travel to Banff & Jasper National Parks

Frozen Abraham Lake

The stunning bubbles under the surface of this frozen man-made lake could be rather dangerous

Frozen Abraham Lake in Banff & Jasper National Parks - Best Time
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© Vicki Mar

Abraham Lake, located in the province of Alberta, is not far from Banff National Park and is home to a curious winter phenomenon that attracts nature photographers from all over the world. Bubbles of gas rising to the surface create massive columns that are perfectly visible through the ice. Even though the lake seems utterly peaceful and beautiful, this phenomenon can actually be rather dangerous. The bubbles are nothing else than pockets of methane which are created from the decomposition of organic matter like plants and animals. If there is a crack in the ice, the methane is released, meaning you don't want to be holding a match or a lighter at this moment.

Frozen Abraham Lake in Banff & Jasper National Parks - Best Season

Abraham Lake is an artificial water reservoir that was created in 1972. It was built on the upper course of the North Saskatchewan River due to the construction of the Bighorn dam. Even though it's man-made, the lake has spectacular blue waters, resembling the famous lakes of Banff National Park. The phenomenon of frozen methane bubbles occurs in many lakes of the Arctic Region, but Abraham Lake is one of the most famous places where it can be seen.

Banff & Jasper National Parks
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Banff & Jasper National Parks