Four winter adventures in Canada

Whether skiing, dog sledding, ice skating or bear tracking, Canada is the perfect destination for active winter holidays.

Canada is a great destination for winter sports. But, unlike some European countries, it has a lot more to offer than just skiing trips. Here are four adventure holidays that will also let you enjoy Canada's fabulous scenery.

Winter holidays: horse riding

There are few better ways to explore the Canadian countryside than on horseback. For a back-to-nature holiday with a touch of luxury, head to Siwash Lake Ranch in British Columbia. Upon arrival, you will be assigned your own horse, and given unlimited riding in the 80,000 acres of wilderness surrounding the ranch and there will be "definitely no rigidly structured nose-to-tail riding", as the brochure puts it. If you find you're getting saddle sore, other activites include angling, canoeing, or swimming in the lakes and rivers surrounding the ranch.

The spruce log house has a welcoming 30ft fireplace, library, convivial dining room and "country-cosy" suites, says The Independent.

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Double rooms cost from £585 full board. Call 00 1 250 395 6541 or visit

Winter holidays: ice skating

Apex is a ski resort in British Columbia that goes that extra mile. Apex offers day and night skiing, 'tubing' (shooting downhill on an inner tube) and a hockey rink. But best of all is its kilometre-long illuminated adventure skating loop that runs through the local forest. Some of the trees on the route are draped in fairy lights and the resort organises bonfires with marshmallows and hot chocolate in the forest clearings, says The Guardian. "A wonderful place for a family holiday, especially if you have hyperactive kids."

Ski Dream offers ten-day, two-centre holidays to Apex and the larger Big White ski resort costing from £1,150 adults, £550 children. Call 0845-277 3333 or visit to find out more.

Winter holidays: dog sledding

Head to Canmore for a great dog-sledding experience, says the Daily Express. Snowy Owl Tours is one of the best dog-sledding companies in Canada. It offers a variety of treks including the Ghosts of Fortune Mountain package, which is an overnight trek with two days of sledding and a night in a heated tipi. Six dogs will pull you through "picture postcard country" at full speed.

Call 00 1 403 678 4369 or visit

Winter holidays: bear tracking

Canada's most famous wildlife can be hard to track down, but head to the Grizzly Bear Ranch in British Columbia's Selkirk range and you should see a few. The ranch consists of "four wooden cabins in a beautiful meadow by the shimmering, glacier-fed flow of the Lardeau river", says Patrick Barkham in The Guardian.

What you will see depends on the time of year you visit. Spring is best for black bears, who will be emerging from hibernation, but if it's a grizzly you want to see, autumn is the best time to go, as the bears come down from the mountains to fish for spawning salmon in the rivers. The ranch's British owner, Julius Strauss, is a former war correspondent and a top bear-spotter.

Guests get their own cabin with balconies; two have wood-burning stoves. A four-night stay costs from C$1,100 per person including all meals and tracking excursions. Call 00 1 250 275 4856 or visit

Ruth Jackson-Kirby

Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance. 

Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.

Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.