A few weeks ago, we decided we wanted to go and check out the famous frozen bubbles at Abraham lake in Nordegg. We’d been out for the afternoon before, but with short winter days, we realised that perhaps a lengthier stay would give us a better experience.
We briefly considered camping in Nordegg, but quickly decided against it. We figured if we were going to drive 3 hours to rural Nordegg, we might as well do it properly and stay in a Cabin!
On first glance, Nordegg really does feel like the middle of nowhere, but we were pretty surprised to find that there are actually lots of places to stay along the David Thompson Highway. And while it may feel completely rural in Nordegg, it’s only actually 3 hours from Calgary, 3 hours from Edmonton and 2 hours from Red Deer. Perfect for a quick weekend vacation!
We hunted around and looked at various options before deciding on the quaintest option we could find. These were the “Expanse Cottages” just outside Nordegg; a family run business with four cozy little cottages to choose from (Spoolmak, Kutenai, The Rock, and White Goat). With a name like “The Rock”, it was an easy decision for us.
For us, Cabin vacations are all about escaping the shackles of daily life. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city; or getting away from technology and distractions and finding peace and solitude in nature. It’s certainly possible to do that with camping, but as winter closes in, it’s nice to have the same experience without having to worry about being cold!
I have to admit, that some of our cabin experiences in the past have been pretty basic, so the level of thoughtfulness, service and luxury provided at Expanse Cottages was pretty unexpected and it really made our trip a pleasure. Our cabin had all the luxuries one might expect from a normal hotel apartment; a fully equiped kitchen, super warm and cozy beds, and a big plasma tv for watching movies. No wifi, but let’s be honest, you didn’t go to a cabin in the woods to sit on the internet all night (and if you really can’t survive, don’t worry, there’s still good phone signal!).
Like most primitive men, I love playing around with fires, and happily for me, our cabin had its own fire pit, indoor wood burning furnace and even a barbecue. Don’t worry about chopping wood either, there’s more chopped wood than you can shake a stick at (no pun intended), complete with kindling and newspaper to get the fire started. It was such a pleasure to arrive at night and find out that we didn’t have to get the axe out and start chopping in the dark. That was a huge plus for us.
Once we’d got the fire going, we couldn’t resist spending a couple of hours warming ourselves and toasting an excessive number of marshmallows and smokies. If you’re going to make a fire, you can’t go without a few s’mores either!
Once we’d had enough of the outdoor fire, we headed inside to start our next fire! Again, we had more than enough firewood and equipment to get the fire started easily enough. There were a couple of times we thought we might burn the cabin down or smoke ourselves out, but hey, it’s all part of the experience!
When we arrived at the Expanse Cottages, we were handed a thick guidebook on the local area and a list of DVD’s to choose from if we wanted to settle down for a movie. Honestly, a lot can be said for google, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned guide book when it comes to finding hidden gems. The book was so great that instead of watching a movie, we spent the evening tucked into our super comfy bed combing through the book and planning our adventures around Nordegg that weekend.
Nordegg actually boasts quite a few sights worth seeing, aside from the frozen bubbles.
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area is Crescent Falls; which has a viewpoint from the top, and a rope to walk down and reach the bottom. How incredible are these??!
There’s also a beautiful short hike to Siffleur Falls, which takes you along a scenic boardwalk and a breathtaking suspension bridge.
And what about this famous look out spot along the Abraham Lake shores!
Just a couple of days in Nordegg and we quickly realised we were just scratching the surface. Now we know there are heaps of incredible hikes that we’ll definitely be coming back for in the near future.
Regardless of where you stay, Nordegg is a great place to get away and unwind, and there are tons of accommodation options if you’re looking to make a weekend trip of it. We were super happy with our decision to stay at Expanse Cottages, and would be more than happy to recommend them to our family and friends. We’ll definitely be making a return visit next time we’re in the area.
If you want to stay a bit closer to food and amenities, then Rocky Mountain House is also not too far away. Click here for a few hotel options in the area.
We recommend driving the less scenic route in winter via Rocky Mountain House and the David Thompson Highway. If you’re feeling more adventurous, then going the other way via Lake Louise is certainly more beautiful, but the roads can be more treacherous in Winter.
If you have any more questions about planning a trip to Nordegg then feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org