Alberta is Canada’s most stunning province. I could also be biased since I used to be born in Alberta and have returned numerous occasions nevertheless it’s laborious to compete with the Rocky Mountains, the badlands, and the glistening glacier lakes. So since we love visiting Alberta a lot, we wish to share probably the most stunning locations to go to in Alberta to allow you to be the choose. Home to the Canadian Rockies, Alberta boasts 5 nationwide parks with a number of the finest surroundings in Western Canada. If you’re planning a visit to Alberta, don’t miss these stunning locations.
Best Places to Visit in Alberta
We have traveled loads of Alberta throughout each season and might truthfully say, it’s a tremendous year-round vacation spot and one of the stunning locations in the world! Whether you go to Alberta in winter, summer time, spring, or fall, you’re going to be shocked by its pure magnificence.
The finest means to get round Alberta is by automotive. You’ll need to find a way to cease on the scenic views, mountaineering trails, and points of interest 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 tough understanding the place to begin, however we’re right here to assist. These are probably the most stunning locations in Alberta that now we have 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 one of the stunning 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 be dwelling 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 prime points of interest in the realm, as a result of they only so occur to be the most effective locations to go to in Alberta as effectively.
Lake Louise is without doubt one of the most well-known vacationer points of interest in Alberta. A real Canadian bucket checklist exercise is to lease a canoe and head out onto the lake. You can keep in Lake Louise Village which has loads of outlets 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 be the most effective 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 probably the most stunning 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 mountaineering 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 a captivating rustic ambiance, with seating each inside and outdoors on the deck overlooking Lake Agnes.
This is without doubt one of the hottest hikes in the nationwide park, so it’s really helpful 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 gorgeous views of the realm.
No go to to Lake Louise can be full with out mountaineering out to Moraine Lake. It unforgettable scene is featured on the again of our previous Canadian $20 invoice and has been attracting out of doors lovers for many years.
Moraine Lake isn’t removed from Lake Louise and is simply an hour’s drive from the city of Banff. The finest 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 realize why this is without doubt one of the most photographed areas in North America.
Note that there was a change in guidelines for 2023 and accessing Moraine Lake for dawn is now not potential by way of the Parks Canada Shuttle. You could have to discover a tour that has entry to do that. If you experience a motorbike 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 it’s essential to take a day to spend in these iconic waters. The sizzling springs have been first found by employees on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883.
This is without doubt one of the most gorgeous areas 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 loosen up and unwind.
The Banff Upper Hot Springs is the preferred and accessible in Banff National Park making it a simple place to go to. The facility contains a big out of doors pool that’s open year-round. In reality, the most effective 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 lease an old-timers bathing go well with when you don’t have your individual, plus a café. There can be a present store the place you should buy souvenirs and different objects.
Lake Minnewanka is the most important 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 identify “Minnewanka” comes from the Stoney Nakoda First Nations individuals, 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 presents a number of viewpoints and stops for mountaineering trails and picnic areas.
We extremely advocate taking considered one of its boat excursions throughout the summer time months. The guides are crammed with data and also you’ll study concerning 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 probably the most recognizable Massifs is Castle Mountain. Located between Banff Town and Lake Louise, its distinctive form resembles a fort. (therefore its identify). The space presents alternatives for mountaineering and mountaineering. For these with out alpine abilities, the mountain will be considered from the Trans Canada Highway at Castle Junction.
Where to keep in Banff:
The Icefields Parkway hyperlinks Banff and Jasper nationwide parks and is without doubt one of the most stunning drives on earth. It really is without doubt one of the biggest highway 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 without doubt one of the largest non-polar ice fields in the world and take in the view of the encompassing 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 number of the prime out of doors actions and viewpoints alongside this iconic route.
Columbia Icefield Skywalk
The Columbia Icefields Skywalk has shortly change into probably 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 superb 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 guide excursions right here as effectively.
You can view the glacier from the customer centre, however you can too guide a tour to get out onto it. If you don’t need to guide 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 out a information. It is harmful and will 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 contains transportation from Jasper, photograph 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 corresponding to Peyto Lake, and the gorgeous reflections of Bow Lake. Located on the foot of Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake has probably the most stunning 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 a terrific 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 now we have determined to function. Why? Because, Peyto Lake is a surprising glacier-fed lake that’s is thought for its vibrant blue-green shade, which is brought on by the rock flour (wonderful sediment) that’s carried into the lake by melting glaciers.
It has spectacular views of the encompassing mountains, there are a number of mountaineering trails with The Bow Summit Trail being a well-liked cease. Make positive to maintain an eye fixed out for elk, moose deer, and even bears. Peyto Lake is well accessible from the close by Icefields Parkway, making it one of the widespread tops for individuals 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 without doubt one of the most original locations to keep in Alberta and is situated on the Glacier Parkway, it makes for a terrific place to make a base whereas exploring each Banff and Jasper National Parks when you 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 stunning as Banff National Park when you can imagine it! In reality, 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 couple 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 mountaineering 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 thought for its darkish sky competition and it is without doubt one of the finest locations to see the Aurora Borealis in Alberta. Winter is the most effective time to view the darkish skies as a result of the times or shorter and you’ve got lengthy darkish nights to see the celebrities twinkle in the sky.
We made our means out to Lake Annette from the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in the wee hours of the morning and noticed probably the most extraordinary show of northern lights reflecting in the nonetheless waters. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is the most effective place to keep in Jasper with stunning views of Lac Beauvert and choices to keep in log cabins, big lake homes, and fundamental constructing lodge 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 without doubt one of the hottest locations to go to in Jasper and for good purpose. It is the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park and there are stunning mountaineering trails alongside the canyon providing extraordinary views. Arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds!
In the summer time it’s a excellent 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 guide ice stroll excursions to see the frozen waterfalls and ice caves.
Maligne Lake is without doubt one of the most visited locations in Jasper National Park. There are mountaineering trails and scenic lookouts however the prime factor to do right here is to take a ship cruise to Spirit Island for a picture-perfect photograph alternative.
Also, this provides you with 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 crammed with distinctive locations to see in Alberta. There can be some stunning scenic lookouts like Horse Thief Canyon and Horseshoe Canyon. The Hoodoos of Drumheller usually are not to be missed. Read extra: Things to do in Drumheller, Alberta
Hoodoos of Drumheller
These historical hoodoo rock formations are a tiny cluster on the aspect of the highway as you drive from Dinosaur Provincial Park to Drumheller. The hoodoos have been fashioned over a whole lot of years via 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 laborious rock “hat” retains it from fully eroding away. They are one of the distinctive locations in Alberta. If you need to know extra, take a look at our publish 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 without doubt one of the finest dinosaur museums in the world. We might have spent hours having fun with its shows. In reality, it homes the most important and most various assortment of fossils in the world, with over 160,000 specimens on show. Visitors can see all the pieces from dinosaur skeletons and fossils to historical 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 stunning, however it’s also one of the fossil-rich locations on the planet and you may see actual fossils which were dug from excavations.
The Centrosaurus Quarry Hike is the easiest way to see this big focus of dinosaur fossils. This was an precise excavation web site, however scientists received all they wanted from there and left the remainder for us to see. It’s an interactive tour and the information checks your data as you strive to bear in mind all the pieces you discovered in faculty about dinosaurs. You can guide excursions on the park customer middle. Read extra: A Visit to Dinosaur Provincial Park
Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park (also called Waterton – Glacier International Peace Park) is a tremendous 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, crimson 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 without doubt one of 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 may 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 stunning 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 a terrific place to make a base to discover Crowsnest Pass for a couple of days. Check out all of the points of interest at The Many Sights of Pincher Creek.
When I noticed The Burmis Tree in images, I had to make certain I put it on the prime 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 previous. 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 not less than two days in town. It is dwelling to the annual Calgary Stampede however there may be a lot extra to do than simply watch chuck wagon races and bull driving. Calgary hosted the 1988 Olympics and simply exterior 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 advocate spending a few days. Located on the Bow River, Calgary has loads of out of doors points of interest, however it’s also a classy city vacation spot with a improbable meals scene. Read extra: 21 Best Things to do in Calgary, Alberta
As proven above, now we have a complete article devoted to all of the issues to do in Calgary, however we do want to contact on not less than considered one of its prime points of interest. When you go to Calgary, the primary place it is best to go is up the Calgary Tower is without doubt one of 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 presents guests a number of the finest 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 outside lover’s playground. Located between Calgary and Banff, it has heaps of mountaineering, biking, and snowshoe trails in addition to improbable viewpoints of the Three Sisters. It’s a terrific spot for mountaineering in the summer time and mountaineering in the winter.
The Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary isn’t 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 stunning (if no more) in the winter as it’s in the summer time. In the winter it’s crammed with frozen waterfalls. The sub-zero chill freezes the canyons, caves, and crevasses making for the bost stunning 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 without doubt one of the most stunning locations to go to in Alberta with simply as gorgeous views. Located between Calgary and Banff, it’s a nice weekend getaway vacation spot. Be positive to go to the spa at Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.
Edmonton is commonly neglected 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 a terrific meals scene, and loads of festivals, in reality, 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 prime draw with all the pieces inside you’ll be able to think about. It is the scale of a small metropolis and makes for a terrific year-round vacation spot. I typically really feel that folks go to Edmonton simpy to see this mall.
West Edmonton Mall is without doubt one of the largest malls in the world, overlaying an space of roughly 5.3 million sq. toes. Besides purchasing, it has an indoor amusement park, mini golf, ice skating, a bowling alley, a film theatre, and an aquarium.
The mall even has two lodges 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 neglected with planning a visit to the province, nevertheless it needs to 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 the most effective issues to do right here is to guide an evening at a ranch and go on a path experience to discover the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.
The Cowboy Trail is an excellent Alberta highway journey from Calgary to the Rocky Mountains, into the prairies, and out of the Badlands. It was one of many finest highway journeys we’ve ever taken and we wish to provide you with your individual itinerary to comply with if you make your means to Canada’s most stunning province. We have a complete itinerary for this loop and we are going to 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 provide direct flights to these airports from cities world wide. From the airport, you’ll be able to lease a automotive or take a taxi, shuttle, or public transit to your vacation spot. We extremely advocate renting a automotive.
If you’re 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 via the province. You can enter the province from British Columbia to the west or Saskatchewan to the east.
By Bus: Greyhound Canada supplies bus service to numerous cities in Alberta from different Canadian provinces and a few American cities. Other bus corporations additionally provide providers inside the province. Both Dave and I’ve taken the bus throughout Canada via Alberta and let me let you know, it’s an journey.
By Train: Via Rail supplies prepare service to numerous 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 choice. The scenic prepare experience via the Canadian Rockies that stops in Banff and Jasper.
Travel occasions and distances in Alberta will be important so make certain to plan forward and determine wheter the bus, prepare or automotive rental is best for you.
Alberta really is a dream vacation spot. With numerous photograph alternatives and adventures to be had, it’s one of many biggest locations in Canada to go to. So get in your automotive and begin that Alberta highway journey right now!
Read More Alberta Travel Planning: