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Alberta Adventures

This adventure will take you approximately 14 days

Published

Day 1: Calgary

Check out the Mavericks exhibit at the Glenbow Museum to learn about the risky adventures of Alberta’s infamous founders through hands-on activities and over 700 artifacts. After, head to the world’s highest 360-degree observation deck where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline and Canadian Rockies.

Calgary Tower

101 9th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta

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Glenbow Museum

130 9th Ave SE, Calgary, Alberta

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Try the mountain bike trails and zip line at WinSport Olympic Park to get your adrenaline pumping. And, if you’re feeling adventurous the 5,905 ft (1.8 km) long Skyline Luge offers fantastic city views.

Canada Olympic Park

88 Canada Olympic Road SW, Calgary, Alberta

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Day 2: Calgary

Visit the Calgary Zoo and walk through the Canadian Wilds and Prehistoric Park exhibits to view some of Alberta’s famous wildlife up close – from grizzlies, cougars and wolves to life-sized animatronic dinosaurs.

Calgary Zoo

1300 Zoo Road NE, Calgary, Alberta

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Spend the afternoon at the country’s largest living history museum, where costumed interpreters populate streets and buildings depicting life in Western Canada between 1850 and 1950. Ride the steam train or take a spin on a paddle wheeler on the reservoir.

Heritage Park Historical Village

1900 Heritage Drive SW, Calgary, Alberta

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Day 3: Fort McLeod

The drive south to Fort MacLeod on Hwy 2 takes you through open prairie and rolling foothills, with the peaks of the Canadian Rockies on the western horizon. At the Fort Macleod Museum, the history of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) and First Nations (Native Canadians) is preserved through lively programming, including the famous Red Serge VIP Groom-a-Horse Program and NWMP Musical Ride. Calgary to Fort MacLeod: 107 mi (173 km)

Take a short drive to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, where you’ll learn about the history, culture and geology of this ancient bison hunting ground. After, head south on Hwy 2 to Waterton Lakes National Park. Check out the Visitor Information Center to find out about this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s interpretive programs. Fort MacLeod to Waterton: 65 mi (105 km).

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site

P.O. Box 1977, Fort Macleod, Alberta

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Day 4: Waterton

From the Waterton town site take a short walk to the impressive Cameron Falls to see the powerful water cascading over billion year old pre-Cambrian rock. Then drive to the red and green banded limestone walls of Red Rock Canyon and walk the topside loop alongside a paved path through the forest with the water bubbling along below.

Cameron Falls

Waterton, Alberta

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Schedule a scenic cruise along the shoreline of Upper Waterton Lake to watch for wildlife and learn about the area’s geology and history from a local guide. Then visit the historic Prince of Wales Hotel for afternoon tea with sweeping views of Upper Waterton Lake and the Canadian Rockies.

Waterton Inter-Nation Shoreline Cruise Co. Ltd.

Waterton, Alberta

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Prince of Wales Hotel

Waterton, Alberta

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Day 5: Bar U Ranch, Canmore, Kananaskis

On the way out of town, drive by the buffalo corral to see the park’s protected herd of wild bison. Next, head north on the famed Cowboy Trail (Hwy 22) to the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site – a working ranch that once employed the notorious Sundance Kid. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride and tour the outbuildings in a place that stands in tribute to the ranching history of western Canada. Waterton to Bar U Ranch: 135 mi (218 km).

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site

Box 168, Longview, Alberta

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Continue north to the Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley to sample small-batch premium spirits from Alberta’s first independent craft distillery. Just outside of Cochrane, stop off at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary for an experiential tour. You’ll observe wolf behavior firsthand and gain a better understanding of how these elusive animals live in the wild. Head west on the Trans-Canada (Hwy1) to Canmore and drop by the Visitor Information Center to learn about the area’s many recreational activities and exceptional restaurants. Bar U Ranch to Canmore-Kananaskis: 130 mi (109 km).

Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

263156 Range Road 53, Cochrane, Alberta

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Travel Alberta Canmore Visitor Information Center

2801 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, Alberta

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Day 6: Canmore-Kananaskis

Bird's-eye views of mountain peaks, silver lakes, rich evergreen forests and the edge of a shimmering glacier are spectacular on a Kananaskis area helicopter tour. After, rent bikes at the Canmore Nordic Center to explore the surrounding 62 mi (100 km) of trails and experience some of the best mountain biking in the Canadian Rockies.

Alpine Helicopters Inc.

91 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, Alberta

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Canmore Nordic Centre

1988 Olympic Way, Canmore, Alberta

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Kananaskis Country offers an abundance of hiking options with varying difficulty levels. For a gentle hike that’s suitable for all ages, try the Grassi Lakes trail or drive to Grotto Canyon and walk along the narrow creek bed to see the unusual rock formations known as hoodoos and a sparkling waterfall.

Grassi Lakes Trail

Canmore, Alberta

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Grotto Canyon

Canmore, Alberta

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Day 7: Banff

Take the short drive west along the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) to Banff and explore the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. This restored landmark commemorates the 1883 discovery of the hot springs that led to the creation of Canada’s first national park. For panoramic views, ride the Banff Gondola up Sulfur Mountain. Complete your morning with a relaxing soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs mineral pools. Canmore to Banff: 17 mi (28 km).

Cave and Basin National Historic Site

311 Cave Avenue, Banff, Alberta

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Banff Gondola

1 Mountain Avenue, Banff, Alberta

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Banff Upper Hot Springs

1 Mountain Ave, Banff, Alberta

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Learn about local wildlife, native folklore, early mountaineers and ancient glaciers, while cruising on a crystal blue mountain lake, just 15 minutes from the town of Banff. End the day with an early evening wildlife tour, which is the prime time for sighting Banff National Park’s animals, such as deer, elk and bears.

Lake Minnewanka Cruise

Lake Minnewanka Loop, Banff, Alberta

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Discover Banff Tours

215 Banff Ave, Banff, Alberta

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Day 8: Banff

Take a ride on Mt. Norquay ski resort’s chairlift and stop for lunch at the historic Cliffhouse Bistro. The views are spectacular. If you’re feeling adventurous, try climbing on the new Via Ferrata, led by a certified guide – no previous climbing experience necessary.

Mt Norquay, Banff

Banff, Alberta

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Saddle up for a horseback riding trip along the scenic Bow River or through the Spray River Valley. For an authentic western experience, complete with hearty barbecue steak supper, try the Cowboy Cookout Dinner trail ride.

Banff Trail Riders

132 Banff Ave, Banff, Alberta

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Day 9: Lake Louise

Set off on the scenic Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A) to the hamlet of Lake Louise and watch for wildlife along the way. En route explore the amazing Johnston Canyon along catwalks high above the waterway below. Or enjoy an easy morning hike around the shoreline of the famous glacier fed Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Then, head to the Lake Louise Gondola where you’ll experience some of the best grizzly bear viewing opportunities in the Canadian Rockies. Banff to Lake Louise: 48 km (30 mi.)

Johnston Canyon

Banff, Alberta

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Moraine Lake

Lake Louise, Alberta

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The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Gondola

1 Whitehorn Rd, Lake Louise, Alberta

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Take a 7 km (4.4 mi) round trip hike to the historic Lake Agnes Tea House for afternoon tea and scones in a spectacular alpine valley. After, rent a canoe from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and paddle across the lake to the base of Victoria Glacier, or take an easy stroll around the lakeshore.

Lake Agnes Tea House

Lake Louise, Alberta

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The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

111 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise, Alberta

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Day 10: Icefields Parkway - Jasper

From Lake Louise drive north to the Glacier Discovery Centre along the scenic Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93). Here, you can board an Ice Explorer bus that will take you onto the Athabasca Glacier, where you can walk on ice up to 360 m (1,180 ft) thick. Then take the shuttle to the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk, suspended 280 m (919 ft) over the Sunwapta Valley, for stunning aerial views of glittering glaciers and rugged mountain peaks. Lake Louise to Glacier Discovery Centre: 135 km (84 mi)

Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure

Lake Louise, Alberta

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Glacier Skywalk

Jasper, Alberta

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Back on the Icefields Parkway plan to stop at Sunwapta Falls and then again at Athabsaca Falls, Jasper National Park’s most powerful waterfall. Once you’re in the town of Jasper, pop by the Visitor Information Centre to learn about the area’s attractions and guided tours, award-winning restaurants and shops. Glacier Discovery Centre to Jasper: 106 km (66 mi).

Sunwapta Falls

Jasper, Alberta

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Athabasca Falls

Jasper, Alberta

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Jasper Park Information Centre National Historic Site

500 Connaught Drive, Jasper, Alberta

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Day 11: Jasper

Ride the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada for sweeping views of six mountain ranges, glacial fed lakes, the Athabasca River and town of Jasper far below. After, head to Maligne Canyon to explore what is considered to be one the most spectacular gorges in the Canadian Rockies.

Maligne Canyon

Jasper, Alberta

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Enjoy a scenic cruise on Maligne Lake, with a stop at Spirit Island – one the world’s most photographed scenes. End the day by exploring the Maligne Valley on a wildlife discovery tour. Keep a lookout for osprey, bald eagles, bighorn sheep, elk, deer and bears.

SunDog Tour Co.

414 Connaught Drive, Jasper, Alberta

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Day 12: Edmonton

From Jasper the Yellowhead Highway stretches east from the rugged Canadian Rockies through forested foothills and golden prairie farmland. On your way out of Jasper National Park, stop for a relaxing soak in Miette Hot Springs.

Continue on to West Edmonton Mall, which is the size of a small city and features over 800 shops, services, accommodation, indoor waterpark and amusement park. Jasper to Edmonton: 358 km (222 mi.).

West Edmonton Mall

8888 170 Street, Edmonton, Alberta

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Day 13: Edmonton

Visit the protected aspen parkland of Elk Island National Park for wildlife viewing. Watch for deer, moose, and herds of free roaming bison on a self-guided driving safari. Edmonton to Elk Island National Park: 40 km (25 mi).

Elk Island National Park

1-54401 Range Road 203, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

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Step back in time to the original Edmonton at Fort Edmonton Park. You’ll experience four eras in the city’s past as you walk through the 1846 Hudson’s Bay Fort, 1885 Street, 1905 Street and 1920 Street.

Fort Edmonton Park

7000 143 Street, Edmonton, Alberta

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Day 14: Edmonton

Hop on a beautifully restored vintage streetcar for a scenic historic tour that crosses over the High Level Bridge, above the North Saskatchewan River. Then venture into the lush Edmonton River Valley for a guided Segway tour to explore some of the 145 km (90 mi) of trails and 22 continuous city parks.

High Level Bridge Streetcar

Edmonton, Alberta

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River Valley Adventure Company

9735 Grierson Hill NW, Edmonton, Alberta

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Wander through original contemporary and historical art exhibits at the Art Gallery of Alberta in the heart of the city’s arts district. You’ll marvel at the gallery’s impressive architecture, which features a 190 m (623 ft) steel ribbon that swerves through the building’s interior and exterior.

Art Gallery of Alberta

2 Sir Winston Churchill Sq, Edmonton, Alberta

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