Sunrise at Preacher's Point

Preacher’s Point

Sunrise at Preacher's Point

Preacher’s Point

The wonders of ice and mountains

Preacher’s Point, at the south end of the lake, is where the North Saskatchewan River enters Abraham Lake. It is the first place to freeze on the lake, making it a great option for early season adventures.

We can usually get on the ice to see the bubbles in this area by mid-November, some years as early as late October. That makes it a great early season option but also means that by mid-January the ice is usually cloudy without great bubbles.

It’s a popular spot that can get busy. The area most people visit is fairly small, making it quite crowded at times.

This is where the North Saskatchewan River enters Abraham Lake. It has a different feel than the rest of the lake, with shallow water below the ice exposing grass under the ice bubbles. Located at the edge of the front range and main range of the Rockies on the Kootenay Plains, the mountains surrounding the area give a different backdrop than what you see on the main lake.

It’s also a popular spot for sunrises from November to January when the sun bursts behind the peaks of Ex Coelis mountain.

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Head Out On Your Own


Sometimes you just want to head out on your own to explore the area. We get it. That’s why we share guides like these. Keep in mind that these aren’t the only options to see the ice bubbles but they are the most popular and easily accessible ones.

You’ll find our guides to other ice bubble locations on Abraham Lake here.

Accessing the Ice

The lake can easily be accessed from the main parking area by walking down the rocky shore. The ice in the area to the right of the main access is typically on the ground by early December, making it a safer option for those who do not want to venture over water.

Keep in mind that the parking lot is not maintained in the winter. We’ve seen a lot of vehicles get stuck over the years with the nearest tow truck over 1.5 hours away.

Ice Bubbles and Ice Features

Preacher’s Point offers something a little different than the big ice bubble stacks we see in areas like Abraham Slabs. The bubbles here are usually smaller but in larger quantities. The shallow water usually means we see grass and rocks at the bottom of the ice, giving us clear ice but without the turquoise colour we see elsewhere on the lake (except in the early season when the water level is higher).

Sunrise and Sunset

This is a great spot for sunrise. One of the most popular shots is of the sunburst behind Ex Coelis mountain, which happens from November to January. It’s a great location to catch the morning alpenglow colours and often has great sunrise colours.

Sunset colours can be great here, as long as there are enough clouds in the sky to reflect them. On those days the ice lights up in oranges, reds, pinks and purples, accentuating the blue-green colour of the ice, as the area is filled with indirect light. Mount Ernest Ross and Sentinel Mountain are directly to the west, blocking the views of the actual sunset. That’s why on days without sufficient clouds the light here tends to be flat in the late afternoon.

Safety and the North Saskatchewan River

Preacher’s Point is where the North Saskatchewan River enters Abraham Lake. This does mean that there are a few more things you should consider about ice conditions before you head out.

The river channel has variable ice that can be eroded from below. Always check ice conditions as you go, since one area can be thick and just a few metres away you may not have enough ice to support you. The river does run under the ice throughout the winter which can make it harder to get out in the event that someone falls through. The area near the point is on the river channel. Some sections near the shore in that area can be open water throughout the winter.

Once the water level drops, the ice in this area is on the ground except for the river channel. This leads to great ice features but also to uneven grounds as you walk around on the ice.

Venturing Further Down the Lake

Accessing the area north of the point, between Preacher’s Point and Peskett/BATUS Canyon, provides some great views of Elliott’s Peak, turquoise ice and deeper stacks of bubbles.

It is a more challenging approach, however, and it should only be undertaken if you have a good understanding of ice safety and the area.

Through the Season

This area changes a lot, from the high water level of November to the ice features of December and cloudier ice later in the season.

October
November
December
January

CONDITIONS AND UPDATES


We share updates on ice conditions to help you plan your adventure. Keep in mind that conditions change quickly and that weather forecasts are often unreliable in the Abraham Lake area.

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You can find us at the Nordegg Canteen:
4 Stuart Sreet, Nordegg, AB, T0M 2H0


We acknowledge that the land on which we gather, explore and adventure is home to the Îyârhe Nakoda First Nation and the Smallboy Mountain Cree, part of the Treaty 6 and Treaty 8 Territories, part of the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3, and has been the traditional meeting ground for many Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial. We are grateful for the stewardship of these lands along with the knowledge, traditions, and teachings that have been passed down through generations.

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