Day 1: Calgary
Visit the Calgary Zoo and stroll 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.
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.
Day 2: Drumheller
Drive north on Hwy 2, then east on Hwy 72, which turns into Hwy 9 taking you to Drumheller. En route stop at the Horseshoe Canyon scenic viewpoint, just outside Drumheller. Continue on to the World’s Largest Dinosaur, located at the town’s visitor centre. Climb up and peer out from its jaws for a sweeping view of the badlands. Calgary to Drumheller: 135 km (84 mi)
Head north on the Dinosaur Trail (Hwy 838), through Midland Provincial Park to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. It’s considered one of the world’s finest dinosaur museums and features fascinating galleries and skeletons from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Return to Calgary and step out onto the world’s highest 360-degree observation deck at the Calgary Tower, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline and Canadian Rockies.
Day 3: Dinosaur Provincial Park
Drive east on the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) to Dinosaur Provincial Park in the Canadian Badlands, where you’ll discover a unique otherworldly landscape of high stone cliffs, deep windswept grooves and towering hoodoos. The park is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the richest bone beds in the world. Explore the lunar-like landscape on a guided fossil hunt, a bus tour or by hiking one of the rocky trails. Return to Calgary and explore the restaurants and nightlife found along the historic Stephen Avenue Walk. Calgary to Dinosaur Provincial Park: 219 km (136 mi)
Day 4: Canmore-Kananaskis
Drive west on the Trans-Canada (Hwy1) to Kananaskis Country. Just outside of Canmore, stop in at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary for an experiential tour. You’ll observe wolf behaviour firsthand and gain a better understanding of how these mysterious animals live in the wild. Once in Canmore drop by the Visitor Information Centre to learn about the area’s many recreational activities and exceptional restaurants. Calgary to Canmore-Kananaskis: 109 km (130 mi)
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 hoodoos and a sparkling waterfall. After, rent bikes at the Canmore Nordic Centre to explore the surrounding 100 km of trails and experience some of the best mountain biking in the Canadian Rockies.
Day 5: Banff
Take the short drive 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 of the Canadian Rockies, ride the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. Complete your morning with a relaxing soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs mineral pools. Canmore to Banff: 28 km (17 mi)
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 spotting Banff National Park’s animals, like deer, elk and bear.
Day 6: 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.)
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.
Day 7: Calgary
Return to Calgary via the Trans-Canada (Hwy 1) and try the mountain bike trails and zipline at WinSport Olympic Park to get your adrenaline pumping. And, if you’re feeling adventurous the 1.8 km (5905 ft) long Skyline Luge offers fantastic city views. Lake Louise to Calgary city limits: 170 km (106 mi)
Explore where modern Calgary began at Fort Calgary, a National Historic Site. You will also learn about the Royal Mounted Canadian Police and the impact that the railway had on the Calgary community.