Alberta is Canada’s most stunning province. I could also be biased since I used to be born in Alberta and have returned numerous instances however 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 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 among 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 lots of Alberta throughout each season and might truthfully say, it’s an incredible year-round vacation spot and one of the vital stunning locations in the world! Whether you go to Alberta in winter, summer season, spring, or fall, you’re going to be surprised by its pure magnificence.
The finest method to get round Alberta is by automobile. You’ll need to have the option to cease on the scenic views, mountaineering trails, and points of interest all through the province. You can choose up your automobile 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 we’ve visited with footage 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 unbelievable 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 possibly can’t assist however gasp in awe on the scene of one of the vital stunning locations in Canada.
Banff National Park is huge with towering mountain peaks of the Canadian Rockies, turquoise lakes (moreover Lake Louise), and alpine meadows. The park can 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 the entire prime points of interest in the world, as a result of they simply so occur to be the most effective locations to go to in Alberta as nicely.
Lake Louise is among the most well-known vacationer points of interest in Alberta. A real Canadian bucket record exercise is to lease 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 possibly can 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 top-of-the-line 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 limitless 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 probability to ice skate at one in every of Canada’s most iconic locations.
Read extra about what to see and do in Lake Louise:
In the summer season, Lake Louise is astounding with mountaineering trails taking you out to Victoria Glacier and past. A well-liked 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 outdoors on the deck overlooking Lake Agnes.
This is among the hottest hikes in the nationwide park, so it’s beneficial 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 possibly can both retrace your steps again to Lake Louise alongside this in style hike or proceed on to the Little Beehive or Big Beehive trails for extra beautiful views of the world.
No go to to Lake Louise could 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 will not be 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 unquestionably at dawn. When the solar hits the Valley of the Ten Peaks and displays off of the mirror-like lake you recognize why this is among the most photographed areas in North America.
Note that there was a change in guidelines for 2023 and accessing Moraine Lake for dawn is 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 motorcycle or take an organized tour you possibly can 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 have to take a day to spend in these iconic waters. The scorching springs had been first found by staff on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883.
This is among the most beautiful areas of any scorching spring surrounded by the Canadian Rockies. The water temperature ranges from 37°C to 40°C (98°F to 104°F), making it the right place to calm down 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 reality, the most effective time to go to is in winter when the mountains are lined with snow. There are indoor change rooms the place you possibly can lease an old-timers bathing go well with if you happen to don’t have your personal, plus a café. There can 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 individuals, which means “Water of the Spirits” and there are many issues to do in the world. Visitors can take a scenic drive alongside the Minnewanka Loop, which provides a number of viewpoints and stops for mountaineering trails and picnic areas.
We extremely advocate taking one in every of its boat excursions through the summer season months. The guides are stuffed with information and also you’ll be taught concerning the legend of the Mermen that lived in Lake Minnewanka. In the winter, the lake freezes over and turns into a preferred spot for ice fishing and cross-country snowboarding. We have visited it in each winter and summer season 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 fortress. (therefore its title). The space provides alternatives for mountaineering and mountaineering. For these with out alpine abilities, the mountain will 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 stunning drives on earth. It really is among 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 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 among the prime out of doors actions and viewpoints alongside this iconic route.
Columbia Icefield Skywalk
The Columbia Icefields Skywalk has shortly turn 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 good cease about midway between Banff and Jasper city and right here you possibly can go to the museum, seize some lunch (meals is pricey although so be ready), and take in the views of the Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier. You can guide excursions right here as nicely.
You can view the glacier from the customer centre, however you may also guide a tour to get out onto it. If you don’t need to guide a tour, you possibly can stroll out on some trails for a more in-depth 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 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 equivalent to Peyto Lake, and the beautiful 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 positioned instantly on Bow Lake. It’s an excellent 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 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 attributable to the rock flour (wonderful sediment) that’s carried into the lake by melting glaciers.
It has spectacular views of the encircling mountains, there are a number of mountaineering trails with The Bow Summit Trail being a preferred cease. Make positive to maintain a watch out for elk, moose deer, and even bears. Peyto Lake is well accessible from the close by Icefields Parkway, making it one of the vital in style 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 positioned instantly on Bow Lake. It is among the most original locations to keep in Alberta and is positioned on the Glacier Parkway, it makes for an excellent 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 not miss visiting in Alberta. It is as stunning as Banff National Park if you happen to can consider 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 number of days up right here. It has an abundance of wildlife from grizzly bears to mountain goats, you possibly can 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 among 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 celebs twinkle in the sky.
We made our method 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 major constructing lodge rooms.
Maligne Canyon is a beautiful river canyon stroll that plunges 50 meters (154 toes) into the earth. Maligne Canyon is positioned 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 motive. 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 season 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 among 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 picture 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 embrace 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 attractive 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 stuffed 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 aren’t 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 aspect of the highway as you drive from Dinosaur Provincial Park to Drumheller. The hoodoos had been shaped over a whole bunch 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 arduous rock “hat” retains it from utterly eroding away. They are one of the vital distinctive locations in Alberta. If you need to know extra, take a look at 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 finest dinosaur museums in the world. We may have spent hours having fun with its shows. In reality, it homes the biggest and most various assortment of fossils in the world, with over 160,000 specimens on show. Visitors can see every little thing from dinosaur skeletons and fossils to historic marine creatures and prehistoric crops.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
While driving alongside the dinosaur path, you can not miss taking a tour of Dinosaur Provincial Park. Not solely is is totally stunning, however it is usually one of the vital fossil-rich locations on the planet and you’ll see actual fossils which have been dug from excavations.
The Centrosaurus Quarry Hike is the easiest way to see this big focus of dinosaur fossils. This was an precise excavation website, however scientists bought all they wanted from there and left the remainder for us to see. It’s an interactive tour and the information checks your information as you strive to bear in mind every little thing 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 an incredible place to go to in Alberta. It is positioned on the United States border and shares its land with Glacier National Park.
Together they’re the one nationwide parks in the world which are 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, pink 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 right 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 big bales of hay dot the panorama. It is the Quintessential Alberta journey vacation spot. It’s an excellent place to make a base to discover Crowsnest Pass for a number 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 record 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 record
Calgary is Alberta’s largest metropolis and no go to to Alberta could be full with out spending at the very least two days in the 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 using. Calgary hosted the 1988 Olympics and simply exterior the town is Canada Olympic Park the place you possibly can take pleasure in numerous out of doors actions in each winter and summer season. 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 is usually a classy city vacation spot with a unbelievable meals scene. Read extra: 21 Best Things to do in Calgary, Alberta
As proven above, we’ve a whole article devoted to all of the issues to do in Calgary, however we do want to contact on at the very least one in every of its prime points of interest. When you go to Calgary, the primary place you need to go is up the Calgary Tower is among the most recognizable buildings in the town, and going up the tower is as a lot part of the 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 provides guests among the finest views in Calgary.
We have a whole 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 unbelievable viewpoints of the Three Sisters. It’s an excellent spot for mountaineering in the summer season and mountaineering in the winter.
The Yamnuska Wolf Dog Sanctuary will not 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 stunning (if no more) in the winter as it’s in the summer season. In the winter it’s stuffed 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 usually overlook Kananaskis for Banff or Jasper however it is among the most stunning 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 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 classy and occurring metropolis to go to! If you like spending time outdoor admiring wildlife this can be a nice jumping-off level to go to Jasper National Park, however it additionally has an excellent 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 every little thing inside you possibly can think about. It is the scale of a small metropolis and makes for an excellent 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 accommodations 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, however it needs to be excessive in your record. 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 impressive 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 would like to provide you with your personal itinerary to comply with whenever you make your method to Canada’s most stunning province. We have a whole 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 positioned 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 positioned 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 around the globe. From the airport, you possibly can lease a automobile or take a taxi, shuttle, or public transit to your vacation spot. We extremely advocate renting a automobile.
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 gives bus service to varied cities in Alberta from different Canadian provinces and a few American cities. Other bus corporations additionally provide providers throughout the province. Both Dave and I’ve taken the bus throughout Canada via Alberta and let me inform you, it’s an journey.
By Train: Via Rail gives practice 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 in style possibility. The scenic practice experience via the Canadian Rockies that stops in Banff and Jasper.
Travel instances and distances in Alberta will be important so make certain to plan forward and determine wheter the bus, practice or automobile rental is best for you.
Alberta really is a dream vacation spot. With numerous picture alternatives and adventures to be had, it’s one of many biggest locations in Canada to go to. So get in your automobile and begin that Alberta highway journey as we speak!
Read More Alberta Travel Planning: