If you are looking for a snowshoeing option during this cold snap in the short days of December, you may want to try the trails at Sibbald Lake. It is less than 60 km from the west side of Calgary to the Sibbald trailhead and the drive is much easier now that Highway #68 has been paved to the Kananaskis Country boundary. This area is not known for a lot of snowfall, but right now you’ll find 25 to 40 cm of snow on the trails. The area offers a selection of trails that wander through a pleasing mixture of meadows, aspen groves, pine and spruce forest. There are views of ridges, moose ponds, and peaks such as Moose Mountain. There is enough shelter to minimize wind-chill, yet it is open enough to let the winter sun shine through.
Right now, the Eagle Hill trail is a great option. Take advantage of the morning sun by starting your loop on the Camp Adventure trail along Sibbald Lake and warm up by climbing up a short hill to a low ridge-top. After 1 km, you’ll come to a trail junction. Continue straight ahead to follow the Eagle Hill trail as far as you wish to go. On your way back, take the other branch of the Eagle Hill trail to enjoy the afternoon sun on the west side of the low ridge, on your way back to the parking lot. It is a 2.5 km loop if you just return from the trail junction and the trek can be as long as 10 km, if you go all the way to the Eagle Hill viewpoint. Be aware that the last kilometer to the viewpoint can be much more wind exposed than the rest of the trail.
The snow may disappear from these trails with a strong Chinook, but while there is snow in this area, it is well worth a visit to the Sibbald Trails.