Ready for Alberta? Insta-worthy views, heart-stopping adventures and, oh yeah, the people are awesome too. Seriously, you're going to love it.
Wondering about those jaw-dropping locations in the Ready video? Here are some details. The time stamps on the items below correspond to the run time of the video.
The Cowboy Trail is a highway through the foothills of southern Alberta, but that description doesn’t quite do it justice. The scenery is next-level: Rolling foothills of green backstopped by the Canadian Rockies. If Alberta was a computer, this would be the screen-saver image. Added bonus: You might spot a working rancher corralling cattle by horseback.
This is just one of Alberta’s magical road trips. There are plenty more worth your driving time. Here are a few:
Deh Cho Trail
See more road trips here.
Ditch roughing it and comfort camp at Dinosaur Provincial Park instead. Why? All the essentials are covered: A comfortable bed, fridge, barbeque and your own private deck, to name a few. The bonus: less time spent on setting up means more time for play. And there’s a ton to do in Dinosaur Provincial Park. Go it alone on the interpretive trails, or earn some real bragging rights on a guided fossil safari.
Camp in style throughout the province:
Banff National Park oTENTik Sites
Jasper National Park oTENTik Sites
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site
Provincial Parks throughout Alberta
Learn more about camping in Alberta.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is intense. For almost 6,000 years this UNESCO World Heritage Site was used by Blackfoot hunters. What to expect: Mind-blowing scenery, dramatic tales and vibrant displays of traditional indigenous arts and culture. And bring your appetite. The café’s buffalo stew and bannock is a must.
Learn more about Alberta’s indigenous history and culture:
Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park
Historic Dunvegan Provincial Historic Site
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
Learn more about Indigenous culture in Alberta.
Crazy, magical beauty. That’s what you can expect on a winter ice walk. In sunlight, Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park is a shimmering spectacle. Towering frozen walls glisten above. A sheet of slick ice below. Good thing that steel cleats come standard on all guided tours. Next level: Take a trek at night.
Edmonton does winter right, and much of the fun takes place outside. Picture outdoor skating rinks and winter festivals. Snowshoeing and fat tire biking. City-wide snowball fights and massive ice castles. Oh, and hockey. Edmonton loves hockey. The city also has a killer dining scene, with some restaurants that offer year-round patios. Now that’s dedication.
The mighty Peace River in northern Alberta cuts through a vast untamed wilderness. Get out on the water with a local guide for the best experience. What to expect: A cool mashup of history, meditation and one serious upper body workout. There’s also a ton of wildlife and the scenery’s awesome as well.
There’s #nofilter needed at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Catch the light right and your shot will be epic. Think snow-capped mountains reflected in crystal turquoise water. Alberta’s Rockies are famous for those green, glacier-fed lakes.
You’ll find many other Insta-worthy alpine lakes in the province, including:
Lake Louise (you can see this lake in the video at 1:05)
Abraham Lake (you can see this lake in the video at 2:14)
Bike along Calgary’s riverfront for urban parks, public art, coffee houses, retail shops and dining. Check out one of the city’s festivals at Prince’s Island Park, many are free. Grab some dim sum in Chinatown. Or pop over to East Village for a bite and a brew on a rooftop patio. Save some energy for Calgary’s nightlife. You’re going to need it.
Fly across Spray Lakes on a dog sledding tour in the Rockies. A meet and greet with your canine crew and quick lesson is all that’s needed. Then it’s go time. A team of beautiful huskies tearing through a frozen snow-draped landscape, with you in tow.
Head to the southern tip of the province to explore Alberta’s smallest national park in the Rockies. Waterton Lakes is worth a visit in every season. Looking for wildlife? Spring and fall are your best bet. There’s even a festival in September to celebrate the park’s wild creatures. Hit the trails and you’ll soon discover Insta-perfect shots wherever you turn. Make sure to check the conditions before you go, wildfires hit the park during the summer of 2017.
Alberta’s snow-caked runs are world-class. Light, feathery Canadian Rockies powder. It’s better than gold dust, and what Alberta skiing and snowboarding are known for, including the runs at Lake Louise Ski Resort. Added bonus: Killer views with every run.
Take throwback to the next level on a road trip to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller. Boasting the largest display of full dinosaur skeletons in the world, on-site scientists working on their finds, and trails for hiking the nearby hoodoos.
Heli experiences are all about finding the pristine and untouched. Looking for winter’s next big bucket-list moment? A helicopter will get you there faster and the scenes are top shelf -- think crystalized evergreens and shimmering mounds of thigh-high powder, like the snow laden canvas of Marvel Pass, near Banff National Park.
A leisurely hike offers a big reward at Crescent Falls, outside of Nordegg in the Bighorn River Valley. Follow the short trail to the viewing platform suspended over the upper section of the two-tiered waterfall. It’s a picture-perfect scene.
Test your mettle on a hike to Abbott Pass Hut, outside of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. At an elevation of 2,926 metres, the historic stone building on the Continental Divide is the second highest permanent structure in all of Canada. Sound like a tough climb? Yup, it sure is. But just think about the bragging rights.
There are hikes of varying levels that lead to historic landmarks in Alberta, including:
For one cool shot, snap a selfie on a 10,000-year-old glacier in the Columbia Icefields of Jasper National Park. Choose a guided three-hour trek or catch the bus. Wait, what? Yup, the Ice Explorer is a gigantic bus with colossal glacier gripping tires. Afterwards, step out on the glass viewing platform of the Glacier Skywalk. It’s suspended 280 m above the Sunwapta Valley.
Learn more about glacier walks in Alberta.
Jasper National Park is one of the world’s most accessible dark sky preserves. The lack of artificial light in the park creates the ultimate backdrop for stargazing. It’s also the perfect stage for the northern lights.
The 2,683 metre limestone spire of Mount Louise in Banff National Park is awe-inspiring. It’s also one of Banff National Park’s most iconic and formidable climbs, conquered only by top mountaineers over the last 100 years.
There are mountain climbs for all level of climbers in Alberta, including:
Via Ferrata at Mount Norquay
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures
Rockaboo Mountain Adventures
Alpine Club of Canada
Learn more about mountaineering in Alberta.