Alberta is Canada’s most lovely province. I could also be biased since I used to be born in Alberta and have returned numerous instances nevertheless it’s arduous to compete with the Rocky Mountains, the badlands, and the glistening glacier lakes. So since we love visiting Alberta a lot, we would like to share essentially the most lovely locations to go to in Alberta to allow you to be the decide. Home to the Canadian Rockies, Alberta boasts 5 nationwide parks with a few of the greatest surroundings in Western Canada. If you might be planning a visit to Alberta, don’t miss these lovely locations.
Best Places to Visit in Alberta
We have traveled lots of Alberta throughout each season and may actually say, it’s an incredible year-round vacation spot and probably the most lovely locations in the world! Whether you go to Alberta in winter, summer time, spring, or fall, you’re going to be surprised by its pure magnificence.
The greatest approach to get round Alberta is by automotive. You’ll need to have the ability to cease on the scenic views, mountain climbing trails, and sights all through the province. You can decide up your automotive rental on the Calgary Airport and set off for the journey of a lifetime. Check costs right here.
There are so many iconic locations to see in Alberta, it may be troublesome understanding the place to begin, however we’re right here to assist. These are essentially the most lovely locations in Alberta that we’ve got visited with photos to show it! Let’s get began.
Banff National Park
Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest nationwide park and has attracted guests since 1885. Located in the center of the Rocky Mountains there are unimaginable views, glacier lakes, and backcountry adventures to be had. When you set your eyes upon Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier regally reflecting into its turquoise waters you’ll be able to’t assist however gasp in awe on the scene of probably the most lovely locations in Canada.
Banff National Park is huge with towering mountain peaks of the Canadian Rockies, turquoise lakes (in addition to Lake Louise), and alpine meadows. The park can also be residence to quite a few waterfalls, glaciers, and wildlife, making it a nature lover’s paradise. So, earlier than we transfer away from Banff National Park, let’s check out all the high sights in the realm, as a result of they simply so occur to be one of the best locations to go to in Alberta as effectively.
Lake Louise is among the most well-known vacationer sights in Alberta. A real Canadian bucket checklist exercise is to hire a canoe and head out onto the lake. You can keep in Lake Louise Village which has loads of retailers and eating places or you’ll be able to keep on the world-famous Chateau Lake Louise for pure luxurious and decadence.
Where to Stay in Lake Louise:
Lake Louise in Winter
It can also be among the best locations in Alberta to go to in Winter. Lake Louise Ski Resort is a world-class resort that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics. In the winter there are infinite adventures to be had at Lake Louise Ski Resort and past the ski hill from cross-country snowboarding, canine sledding, skijoring, pond hockey, and snowshoeing.
In the winter Lake Louise freezes over making for essentially the most lovely out of doors skating rink settings on earth. Now is your likelihood to ice skate at considered one of Canada’s most iconic locations.
Read extra about what to see and do in Lake Louise:
In the summer time, Lake Louise is astounding with mountain climbing trails taking you out to Victoria Glacier and past. A preferred hike is the Lake Agnes Tea House Trek, the place you hike 3.5km (2.2 miles) to the historic tea home. Lake Agnes Tea House has been in operation since 1905 and has an enthralling rustic ambiance, with seating each inside and out of doors on the deck overlooking Lake Agnes.
This is among the hottest hikes in the nationwide park, so it’s really useful to arrive early to keep away from crowds and guarantee a spot on the tea home. After having fun with your tea and snacks on the tea home, you’ll be able to both retrace your steps again to Lake Louise alongside this widespread hike or proceed on to the Little Beehive or Big Beehive trails for extra beautiful views of the realm.
No go to to Lake Louise can be full with out mountain climbing out to Moraine Lake. It unforgettable scene is featured on the again of our outdated Canadian $20 invoice and has been attracting out of doors lovers for many years.
Moraine Lake shouldn’t be removed from Lake Louise and is simply an hour’s drive from the city of Banff. The greatest time to go to Moraine Lake is certainly at dawn. When the solar hits the Valley of the Ten Peaks and displays off of the mirror-like lake you understand why this is among the most photographed places in North America.
Note that there was a change in guidelines for 2023 and accessing Moraine Lake for dawn is not doable through the Parks Canada Shuttle. You can have to discover a tour that has entry to do that. If you journey a motorcycle or take an organized tour you’ll be able to nonetheless go to Lake Moraine for dawn.
The Moraine Lake Shoreline hike provides you a shot of ten towering peaks side-by-side, together with Mount Tuzo, Mount Bowlen, and Wenkchemna Peak. This is the well-known “Twenty Dollar View.” Read extra: 16 Best Banff Hikes To Discover
Banff Hot Springs
It was the Banff Hot Springs that first attracted vacationers to the nationwide park and when visiting Banff you will need to take a day to spend in these iconic waters. The sizzling springs have been first found by staff on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883.
This is among the most beautiful places of any sizzling spring surrounded by the Canadian Rockies. The water temperature ranges from 37°C to 40°C (98°F to 104°F), making it the proper place to chill out and unwind.
The Banff Upper Hot Springs is the most well-liked and accessible in Banff National Park making it a simple place to go to. The facility consists of a big out of doors pool that’s open year-round. In truth, one of the best time to go to is in winter when the mountains are coated with snow. There are indoor change rooms the place you’ll be able to hire an old-timers bathing swimsuit if you happen to don’t have your individual, plus a café. There can also be a present store the place you should buy souvenirs and different gadgets.
Lake Minnewanka is the biggest lake in Banff National Park stretching over 21 kilometers (13 miles) in size and reaching depths of up to 142 meters (466 toes). Like so lots of the lakes in the park, it’s surrounded by the Canadian Rockies.
The title “Minnewanka” comes from the Stoney Nakoda First Nations folks, that means “Water of the Spirits” and there are many issues to do in the realm. Visitors can take a scenic drive alongside the Minnewanka Loop, which affords a number of viewpoints and stops for mountain climbing trails and picnic areas.
We extremely suggest taking considered one of its boat excursions throughout the summer time months. The guides are full of information and also you’ll be taught in regards to the legend of the Mermen that lived in Lake Minnewanka. In the winter, the lake freezes over and turns into a well-liked spot for ice fishing and cross-country snowboarding. We have visited it in each winter and summer time and every season is gorgeous.
One of essentially the most recognizable Massifs is Castle Mountain. Located between Banff Town and Lake Louise, its distinctive form resembles a citadel. (therefore its title). The space affords alternatives for mountain climbing and mountaineering. For these with out alpine expertise, the mountain may be seen from the Trans Canada Highway at Castle Junction.
Where to keep in Banff:
The Icefields Parkway hyperlinks Banff and Jasper nationwide parks and is among the most lovely drives on earth. It actually is among the best street journeys in the world. There are so many issues to see alongside Icefields parkway you’ll need to take a few days to discover it. Don’t miss stopping on the Athabasca Glacier on the Columbia Icefields which is among the largest non-polar ice fields in the world and take in the view of the encircling mountains on the Icefields Skywalk.
You can learn extra at Driving the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper Alberta however we’re additionally going to spotlight a few of the high out of doors actions and viewpoints alongside this iconic route.
Columbia Icefield Skywalk
The Columbia Icefields Skywalk has rapidly change into essentially the most epic viewpoint in Alberta. Just a brief drive from the Columbia Icefield customer middle the Skywalk is a must-see attraction. The glass-bottomed walkway over the Columbia Icefields dangles 280m (918 toes) above the canyon surrounded by glaciers and mountains creating an superior view!
The Columbia Icefield is a good cease about midway between Banff and Jasper city and right here you’ll be able to go to the museum, seize some lunch (meals is dear although so be ready), and take in the views of the Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier. You can ebook excursions right here as effectively.
You can view the glacier from the customer centre, however you may as well ebook a tour to get out onto it. If you don’t need to ebook a tour, you’ll be able to stroll out on some trails for a better view of the glacier. But don’t go off the path and by no means enterprise out onto the glacier alone with no information. It is harmful and may be lethal, that is the scariest glacier we’ve ever been on with deep crevasses and we adopted our information’s directions to a tea.
Book this Columbia Icefield Half Day Tour right here from Jasper. It consists of transportation from Jasper, picture stops at Athabasca Falls and Stutfield Glacier, Ice Cat tour of the Athabasca Glacier and the Icefield Skywalk with lunch!
There are numerous pullovers and viewpoints on the Icefields Parkway to see iconic Alberta lakes similar to Peyto Lake, and the beautiful reflections of Bow Lake. Located on the foot of Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake has essentially the most lovely lake reflection in all of Alberta. You can hike across the lake or pause to keep at Num ti Jaw Lodge situated instantly on Bow Lake. It’s an incredible place to make a base.
There are so many lakes alongside the Icefields Parkway to cease and take in the views. From Two Jack Lake to Peyto Lake which we’ve got determined to function. Why? Because, Peyto Lake is a surprising glacier-fed lake that’s is understood for its vibrant blue-green shade, which is attributable to the rock flour (tremendous sediment) that’s carried into the lake by melting glaciers.
It has spectacular views of the encircling mountains, there are a number of mountain climbing trails with The Bow Summit Trail being a well-liked cease. Make certain to preserve an eye fixed out for elk, moose deer, and even bears. Peyto Lake is definitely accessible from the close by Icefields Parkway, making it probably the most widespread tops for folks touring from Banff to Jasper National Park.
Where to Stay on the Icefields Parkway
Num Ti Jah Lodge is a historic Lodge situated instantly on Bow Lake. It is among the most unusual locations to keep in Alberta and is situated on the Glacier Parkway, it makes for an incredible place to make a base whereas exploring each Banff and Jasper National Parks if you happen to don’t thoughts the drive.
Jasper National Park
After you’ve pushed the Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park is your subsequent cease and is a spot you can’t miss visiting in Alberta. It is as lovely as Banff National Park if you happen to can imagine it! In truth, we like Jasper National Park higher than banff as a result of it’s much less crowded and extra rustic.
There are so many locations to see in Jasper National Park that you simply want to spend a number of days up right here. It has an abundance of wildlife from grizzly bears to mountain goats, you’ll be able to see the aurora borealis and waterfalls. Plus, like so many different locations in Alberta, there are mountain climbing trails, turquoise lakes, and canyons. Read extra: Amazing Things to do in Jasper, Alberta
Northern Lights at Lake Annette
You can see the northern lights throughout Alberta however Jasper is understood for its darkish sky pageant and it is among the greatest locations to see the Aurora Borealis in Alberta. Winter is one of the best time to view the darkish skies as a result of the times or shorter and you’ve got lengthy darkish nights to see the celebs twinkle in the sky.
We made our approach out to Lake Annette from the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in the wee hours of the morning and noticed essentially the most extraordinary show of northern lights reflecting in the nonetheless waters. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is one of the best place to keep in Jasper with lovely views of Lac Beauvert and choices to keep in log cabins, large lake homes, and primary constructing resort rooms.
Maligne Canyon is a beautiful river canyon stroll that plunges 50 meters (154 toes) into the earth. Maligne Canyon is situated simply quarter-hour from downtown Jasper alongside the 46 km (miles) Maligne Lake Drive. This cease is among the hottest locations to go to in Jasper and for good cause. It is the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park and there are lovely mountain climbing trails alongside the canyon providing extraordinary views. Arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds!
In the summer time it’s a good spot for a hike to see the waterfalls cascading down the canyon, however in the winter it turns right into a wonderland with frozen waterfalls filling the scene. You can ebook ice stroll excursions to see the frozen waterfalls and ice caves.
Maligne Lake is among the most visited locations in Jasper National Park. There are mountain climbing trails and scenic lookouts however the high factor to do right here is to take a ship cruise to Spirit Island for a picture-perfect picture alternative.
Also, this gives you sufficient time to drive out to Maligne Lake. It is the longest pure lake in the Canadian Rockies. Read extra: 14 Best Hikes in Jasper National Park – Alberta Canada
Where to Stay in Jasper National Park
Other highlights of Jasper embody taking a meals tour of Jasper Town, a go to to Pyramid Lake at dawn, a hike to Sunwapta Falls, and stopping to view the beautiful Athabasca Falls. Check out: 14 Best Hikes in Jasper National Park – Alberta Canada
The Alberta Badlands are a stark distinction to the Rocky Mountains area. The lunar-like panorama is full of distinctive locations to see in Alberta. There can also be some lovely scenic lookouts like Horse Thief Canyon and Horseshoe Canyon. The Hoodoos of Drumheller will not be to be missed. Read extra: Things to do in Drumheller, Alberta
Hoodoos of Drumheller
These historic hoodoo rock formations are a tiny cluster on the facet of the street as you drive from Dinosaur Provincial Park to Drumheller. The hoodoos have been fashioned over tons of of years by erosion from freezing, frost, soften and wind.
Over time, the sandstone eroded into lengthy chimney-like formations that stay standing as a result of the arduous rock “hat” retains it from utterly eroding away. They are probably the most distinctive locations in Alberta. If you need to know extra, try our put up at The Hoodoos of Drumheller
Where to keep in the Alberta Badlands
Royal Tyrrell Museum
Located in the city of Drumheller, The Royal Tyrrell Museum is among the greatest dinosaur museums in the world. We might have spent hours having fun with its shows. In truth, it homes the biggest and most various assortment of fossils in the world, with over 160,000 specimens on show. Visitors can see every part from dinosaur skeletons and fossils to historic marine creatures and prehistoric crops.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
While driving alongside the dinosaur path, you can’t miss taking a tour of Dinosaur Provincial Park. Not solely is is completely lovely, however additionally it is probably the most fossil-rich locations on the planet and you may see actual fossils which have been dug from excavations.
The Centrosaurus Quarry Hike is one of the simplest ways to see this large focus of dinosaur fossils. This was an precise excavation web site, however scientists bought all they wanted from there and left the remaining for us to see. It’s an interactive tour and the information checks your information as you strive to bear in mind every part you discovered in faculty about dinosaurs. You can ebook excursions on the park customer middle. Read extra: A Visit to Dinosaur Provincial Park
Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park (also referred to as Waterton – Glacier International Peace Park) is an incredible place to go to in Alberta. It is situated on the United States border and shares its land with Glacier National Park.
Together they’re the one nationwide parks in the world which can be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Peace Park, and a Biosphere Reserve rolled all in one. You can see a herd of untamed buffalo, purple rocks canyon, and the Prince Albert Hotel. Plan your go to: The Wonders of Waterton Lakes National Park
Where to Stay in Waterton Lakes National Park
Prince of Wales Hotel is a National Historic Site that stands in the middle of Waterton National Park. It is among the most recognizable scenes from the park and is the proper luxurious escape.
Pincher Creek – Southern Alberta
Pincher Creek is a small city in Southern Alberta that could be a nice jumping-off level for Waterton Lakes National Park which is about one hour away.
It is a spot the place the prairies meet the Rocky Mountains and it’s a completely lovely setting. Wind farms line the plains with stark mountains filling in the backdrop and cattle graze in the fields and large bales of hay dot the panorama. It is the Quintessential Alberta journey vacation spot. It’s an incredible place to make a base to discover Crowsnest Pass for a number of days. Check out all of the sights at The Many Sights of Pincher Creek.
When I noticed The Burmis Tree in images, I had to be certain I put it on the high of my checklist of locations to go to in Alberta. Located at Crowsnest Pass (Another must-visit place in Alberta) the Burmis Tree is estimated to be 600 to 750 years outdated. It is an ominous sight,
Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump
Located simply quarter-hour from Fort MacLeod is the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. Dating again 6000 years, the early Aboriginal peoples would lure herds of buffalo over the sting of a cliff. Read: Famous Canada Landmarks to add to your bucket checklist
Calgary is Alberta’s largest metropolis and no go to to Alberta can be full with out spending at the least two days in town. It is residence to the annual Calgary Stampede however there’s a lot extra to do than simply watch chuck wagon races and bull driving. Calgary hosted the 1988 Olympics and simply outdoors town is Canada Olympic Park the place you’ll be able to get pleasure from numerous out of doors actions in each winter and summer time. Read extra: Canada Olympic Park – Fun in Calgary Alberta
There are so many issues to do in Calgary we suggest spending a few days. Located on the Bow River, Calgary has loads of out of doors sights, however additionally it is a classy city vacation spot with a incredible meals scene. Read extra: 21 Best Things to do in Calgary, Alberta
As proven above, we’ve got a complete article devoted to all of the issues to do in Calgary, however we do want to contact on at the least considered one of its high sights. When you go to Calgary, the primary place you need to go is up the Calgary Tower is among the most recognizable buildings in town, and going up the tower is as a lot part of town because the CN Tower is to Toronto.
Upon completion in 1968, the Calgary Tower was the tallest constructing in Calgary. Although it was dethroned in 1984, the tower nonetheless affords guests a few of the greatest views in Calgary.
We have a complete article devoted the Best Things to do in Calgary, Alberta
Where to keep in Calgary:
We can’t write about all of the locations to go to in Alberta with out mentioning Canmore. This former coal mining city is now an out of doors lover’s playground. Located between Calgary and Banff, it has heaps of mountain climbing, biking, and snowshoe trails in addition to incredible viewpoints of the Three Sisters. It’s an incredible spot for mountaineering in the summer time and mountaineering in the winter.
The Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary shouldn’t be to be missed and ensure to do some climbing to take in the birds-eye views. Read extra: The Best Things to do in Canmore, Alberta
The scenic Johnston Canyon Icewalk is as lovely (if no more) in the winter as it’s in the summer time. In the winter it’s full of frozen waterfalls. The sub-zero chill freezes the canyons, caves, and crevasses making for the bost lovely scene. Ice climbers climb the glistening canyon partitions whereas the remainder of us can take the ice stroll to discover ice caves and marvel on the frozen waterfalls. Read extra: The Best Things to do in Banff, Alberta
Where to Stay in Canmore
People typically overlook Kananaskis for Banff or Jasper nevertheless it is among the most lovely locations to go to in Alberta with simply as beautiful views. Located between Calgary and Banff, it’s a nice weekend getaway vacation spot. Be certain to go to the spa at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.
Edmonton is commonly missed when visiting Alberta, however it’s a funky city that has one of many youngest populations in Canada making for a stylish and occurring metropolis to go to! If you’re keen on spending time outdoor admiring wildlife it is a nice jumping-off level to go to Jasper National Park, nevertheless it additionally has an incredible meals scene, and loads of festivals, in truth, Edmonton hosts the second-largest Fringe Festival in the world.
In Edmonton, you’ll uncover a vibrant, cosmopolitan metropolis surrounded by wilderness. Check it out at: The Best Things to do in Edmonton, Alberta
West Edmonton Mall
The West Edmonton Mall is a high draw with every part inside you’ll be able to think about. It is the dimensions of a small metropolis and makes for an incredible year-round vacation spot. I generally really feel that folks go to Edmonton simpy to see this mall.
West Edmonton Mall is among the largest malls in the world, protecting an space of roughly 5.3 million sq. toes. Besides buying, it has an indoor amusement park, mini golf, ice skating, a bowling alley, a film theatre, and an aquarium.
The mall even has two motels together with the Fantasyland Hotel, which options rooms with distinctive themes such because the Polynesian Room and the Hollywood Room, and the West Edmonton Mall Inn.
Southern Alberta is commonly missed with planning a visit to the province, nevertheless it must be excessive in your checklist. This is the Rocky Mountains meet the prairies. It is cowboy nation is large ranches and horses. It was the place the buffalo roamed and the cattle graze-free. One of one of the best issues to do right here is to ebook an evening at a ranch and go on a path journey to discover the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.
The Cowboy Trail is an excellent Alberta street journey from Calgary to the Rocky Mountains, into the prairies, and out of the Badlands. It was one of many greatest street journeys we’ve ever taken and we would like to provide you with your individual itinerary to observe if you make your approach to Canada’s most lovely province. We have a complete itinerary for this loop and we’ll go away you right here to learn extra about The Cowboy Trail – A Southern Alberta Road Trip
How to Get to Alberta, Canada
Alberta is situated in Western Canada bordered by the provinces of British Columbia to the West, Saskatchewan to the East, and south of The Northwest Territories. It is situated on the American Border at Montana.
The easiest method to get to Alberta is by air. The province has two worldwide airports: Edmonton International Airport (YEG) and Calgary International Airport (YYC). Many main airways supply direct flights to these airports from cities world wide. From the airport, you’ll be able to hire a automotive or take a taxi, shuttle, or public transit to your vacation spot. We extremely suggest renting a automotive.
If you might be touring from inside Canada or the United States, driving is another choice. Alberta is accessible by a number of highways, together with the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1), which runs east-west by the province. You can enter the province from British Columbia to the west or Saskatchewan to the east.
By Bus: Greyhound Canada gives bus service to varied cities in Alberta from different Canadian provinces and a few American cities. Other bus corporations additionally supply providers inside the province. Both Dave and I’ve taken the bus throughout Canada by Alberta and let me inform you, it’s an journey.
By Train: Via Rail gives prepare service to varied cities in Alberta, together with Edmonton and Jasper, from different Canadian provinces. We’ve taken the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff and it’s a ver widespread possibility. The scenic prepare journey by the Canadian Rockies that stops in Banff and Jasper.
Travel instances and distances in Alberta may be important so be certain to plan forward and determine wheter the bus, prepare or automotive rental is best for you.
Alberta actually is a dream vacation spot. With numerous picture alternatives and adventures to be had, it’s one of many best locations in Canada to go to. So get in your automotive and begin that Alberta street journey at this time!
Read More Alberta Travel Planning: