Winter on Spray Lakes conjures images of ice fishing for lake trout and dogsleds whisking cozily bundled tourists through a magical wintery scene. Spray Lakes is actually a reservoir that was filled in 1950 and has flooded over the tiny Upper Spray Lake and Lower Spray Lake that previously dotted the valley. The area is evolving and while ice fishermen and dogsledders still abound, kite skiers and boarders have discovered the consistent valley breeze, and recently more people are exploring the stunning frozen landscape by fat bike.
At roughly 15km in length and almost perfectly flat, the frozen wonderland offers up spectacular vistas of dramatic peaks that surround the lake. Spray Lakes also present an easy opportunity to see incredible frozen methane bubbles that have been likened to jewels or jelly fish in the ice. There are lots of other wonderful ice formations to be found too. With studded tires now commonplace for winter fat biking, the flat surface of Spray Lakes becomes accessible to even novice riders.
Know before you go! Proper warm clothing for a day in the mountains is a must. Ensure that the ice is thick enough to safely travel on the lake. Studded tires are needed to safely travel over the ice and cleats on your feet are a bonus for when you put a foot down.
Fat biking the Spray is definitely a must do for anyone looking to try something easy and new a little off the beaten path.
About 25km south of Canmore, Spray Lakes is accessible at several points along the Smith Dorrien Trail (Hwy 742).
Interesting – The Old Goat Glacier on Mt. Nestor above the west shore of Spray Lakes may have been the site of the world’s first commercial heli-ski day led by CMH founder Hans Gmoser in 1963.