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Things to do in Alberta

420 contributors

The top 145 attractions in Alberta

Lakes in Banff
Lake Louise
You can see a video http://www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=ZBPnAo_CB1g about Lake Louise in Alberta and get to know some activities you can do there like skiing, get to know Banff, stay in luxury hotels and enjoy beautiful landscapes. Other activities you can do are boating, rock climbing, go for walks, etc.. Also you can see the Banff Atr Centre which is a place where artists from around the world are given the chanve to create and display their works, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes that inspire them. You can find more about this mexperienciacanadiense.Com
Nature Reserves in Jasper
Jasper National Park
There are many ways to see these parks, but we chose to go in a camper for the freedom that you have to stop where you want, eat when you want, and sleep in the wilderness. I was actually pretty surprised by the campsites at Jasper National Park; they are really integrated into the landscape, with only a few amenities for ecological reasons. It serves to make your experience in nature a lot more, well, natural. When we visited, a couple of bears passed through our campsite only a few feet from the motorhome. You can rent motorhomes in Calgary to go see Jasper, Yoho and Banff, but you can also like us, rent in Seattle to see the city and Vancouver we well.
Nature Reserves in Banff
Banff National Park
Banff is the oldest and probably the best known of Canada's National Parks, and it's where you can find the two postcard-perfect images of the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise and the Lake Moraine. Banff is also the most-visited National Park in Canada and some of the more popular hiking trails can seem a bit crowded, especially in the peak summer months. But remember, Banff is much more than its two most famous's a massive park where you can really get away from it all. Just leave the car and walk out into the forest and you'll find natural areas that are virtually untouched. If you get off the beaten track you can you find areas like Shadow Lake, which I believe represents the true spirit of the Rockies better than any other. The usual thing to do is to combine a visit to Banff National Park with a visit to the neighboring Jasper National Park and, perhaps, the less-visited but equally interesting Yoho National Park. Admission is $9.80 per day for adults, but you can purchase multiple passes for several days and family passes ideal for groups.
Roads in Banff
Icefields Parkway
The Icefields parkway is certainly an exceptionally scenic drive, however almost all roads in the Rockies have areas of jaw-dropping beauty. For a lunch stop Bow Lake is the perfect place for lakeside picnic and extremely photogenic. Allow bit of extra time to take look round Simpson's Num-ti-jah lodge which is packed with period furnishings and has a restaurant, cafe and tasteful gift shop. Between Sunwapta falls and Athabasca falls keep an eye out for Goat lookout. There are salt licks at the side of the road and as a consequence the is a high probability of seeing mountain goats. Other cars parked on the roadside are a good indication of their presence. In the summer they look pretty scruffy as they are moulting but they will grow a beautiful white coat for the winter.
Lakes in Banff
Peyto Lake
A beautiful lake that I could only see from above at a road viewpoint. It has beautiful glacial blue tones that contrast with the surrounding vegetation. It's certainly a place that you have to visit.
Lakes in Banff
Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake is one of the most famous lakes in Canada (it even appears on the $20 bills). It's located in Banff National Park in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, only a few miles from Lake Louise. The attention-grabbing blue color is caused by rock flour in the water and is characteristic of many lakes in the region. There's a small hill nearby that you can scale to get a great panoramic view of the lake.
Nature Reserves in Banff
The Canadian Rockies
The National Parks of the Rockies are one of the biggest attractions in Canada. They are spread between the states of Alberta and British Columbia, although the best known and visited parks are Banff and Jasper, which belong to the former. In BC you can find the Yoho NP. The first thing to say that, given the quality of infrastructure and the distances in Canada, it is best to have your own vehicle. The most common entry points are Calgary, about 90 kms from the Banff or Vancouver. You can also get there via Edmonton and Jasper, but the road is not in such good condition. Acting as the umbilical cord of the park is the majestic Icefileds Parkway, the highway between Jasper and Banff. The route between Lake Louise and Jasper is particularly spectacular, with many glaciers and towering mountains. The Canadian Rockies can be explored in a few days if you stick to the most popular routes including Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and the Athabasca Glacier. In any case, I think it is best to spend at least 10 days. It is really worth it.
Nature Reserves in Banff
Yoho National Park
We spent two nights at the Laughing Falls back country campsite in the heart of Yoho national park. The trail to the campsite starts from the Takakkaw Falls car park. Before starting off, the falls are well worth a visit. The 254m falls are a 'magnificent' explosion of tumbling white water and spray and only a 15 minute walk across a bridge from the car park. It is a 5km hike along a well maintained forest trail to the campsite. The camp facilities include 8 tent pads, 4 picnic tables, 1 outhouse with a long drop toilet and no toilet roll, 1 bear pole, a fast running mountain stream for water, an icy cold waterfall for showers and foot baths, cheeky, chattering squirrels and serenity. Since there are bears in the park all food smelling items need to be packed into bags and hung on the bear pole and you should pack bear spray. From the campsite there are a number of hiking options. Twin falls chalet: is just over an hours walk one way from laughing falls campsite. The chalet offers lovely views of twin falls from the upper storey, but was closed when we arrived. The chalet was also constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway to lure tourists to the Canadian Rockies. Interestingly the railway company felt the symmetry of the twin channels were not sufficiently aesthetically pleasing and dynamited one of the channels in order to even them up. Iceline trail: this is in the top ten day hikes in the Rockies and deserves this reputation. The route described differs from the normal route due to laughing falls being the start and endpoint. Leave the campsite following signs to the Stanley Spencer hut. The trail climbs up above laughing falls through towering, straight-limbed Engelmann spruce. The trail levels out as you proceed along Little Yoho Valley and you get your first views of the President Range and Whaleback mountain. After around 5km the valley opens out and you arrive at the Stanley Spencer hut and Little Yoho campground. It was here that we had our first encounter with the antics of the golden mantled ground squirrels. This point is the start of the Iceline trail which is largely above the tree line and zig-zags amongst the erratics, moraine and lakes left behind as the glaciers retreat. When you reach the 2230m Iceline summit you are treated to 360 degree views of ice fields, glaciers, waterfalls, rivers and mountains. From here continue along the trail beneath the Emerald Glacier until you reach a vantage point from which you can see the Waputnik Icefield and the Daly Glacier that feed the mighty Takakkaw falls. To return to laughing falls we followed the trail which passes beside Lake Celeste. On a hot day a dip in the lake is possible however the lake is fed by glaciers and the insects are carnivorous. In good weather this a fine day out!
Unusual Places in Jasper
Athabasca Glacier
The Athabasca Glacier is the most accessible glacier in the Canadian Rockies. It's about 100 kilometers south of Jasper, in the area of the Columbia Icefield. It is not anywhere close to the most impressive or biggest glacier you can see in the Canadian Rockies, but as it is next to the motorway, it's one of the most comfortable to visit. There is a tiny walkway that lets you access to the base of the glacier, and a specialized vehicle takes you to the central area which is interesting. Access to the ice is restricted to the use of special shoes and should be done with expert guides since it is a treacherous area and there are many tricky areas. The glacier is also a sad reminder of the effects that climate change is having on our planet because it has been decreasing over the years 40.
Lakes in Banff
Maligne Lake
This lake is one of the most famous places in Canada. You can take a boat to the small island in the middle of the lake, where a famous photo was taken (I don't know the photographer) of the island with the mountain in the background, the glacier, lake, and trees in the foreground. The photographer named the island as he did, because he thought it epitomized the spirit of Canada. Not to be missed. It's the deepest lake in the Rockies, and one interesting fact is that the photographer waited three days for the best conditions to take his famous picture.
Viewpoints in Banff
Sulphur Mountain
Located just five minutes from downtown Banff in the Canadian Rockies, cable cars climb the 2300 meters to Sulphur mountain in eight minutes. From this viewpoint you can see the whole Bow River valley, the town of Banff and its surroundings. The gondolas seem expensive, but the views from the top are breathtaking.
Lakes in Banff
Shadow Lake
Even in the busy summer months, it is relatively easy to get completely lost in the vastness of the the Canadian Rockies national parks, especially if you are willing to leave the beaten path behind and avoid the highway. In fact, most of Banff National Park's territory is only accessible to those who are willing to do it by foot, and probably spend the night camping. Shadow Lake is one of these areas located within the Banff National Park , close to the Alberta and British Colombia border. The easy way is a 14 kilometre hike (one way), but the journey is worth it for the chance to enjoy nature that hardly seems touched by man.
Lakes in Jasper
Medicine Lake
On the way to Maligne Lake (it is the most famous to be found in Jasper National Park), we stumbled upon this beautiful lake. You have to admire its beauty from a couple of viewpoints, there no tables to eat, there are no sailing boats, the rocky mountains surround it, and the reflections you can see in the water.
Nature Reserves in Jasper
Angel Glacier
Next to Mount Edith Cavell Glacier, we can see the other glacier, in my opinion less spectacular, not just in a lake. What is worth seeing is the glacier in the past, the gap is between what was and what is now.
Hiking in Banff
Johnston Canyon
The road that runs parallel to Johnston Canyon is a highly recommended stop in the outskirts of Banff. Starting from Johnston Canyon Lodge, there are two sections: the lower falls, that you can reach in less than half an hour, and the upper falls, which add an extra hour (round-trip) to the walk but are certainly worth it for the height of the falls. The trail is clearly marked and has spectacular wooden walkways that at some points can be dozens of feet above the river.
Canyons in Jasper
Maligne Canyon
The waters that come from [poi = 530471] Medicine Lake [/ poi] create one of the most spectacular canyons in the region. If my memory serves me correctly there are at least six bridges connecting both sides of the canyon. The canyon is very narrow and deep. Width wise in some places it may be less than two meters but it can be up to 20 meters deep more or less.
Lakes in Banff
Lake O' Hara
This is the "crown jewel" off the Canadian Rockies. Lake O'Hara and the surrounding areas aer some of the best-conserved areas anywhere in the Canadian Rockies. It's found within Yoho National Park and, although it's less-visited than more popular Banff and Jasper, it is without a doubt the richest in terms of pure nature.7 In fact, Lake O'Hara is only a few miles from the world-famous Lake Louise, an iconic place in the Canadian Rockies. It's hard to believe that the crowded trails of Lake Louise are just on the other side of the mountain from the practically virgin wilderness surrounding Lake O'Hara. Part of the reason for this is that access to Lake O'Hara is restricted for motor vehicles. If you want to arrive, you either need to make the 5 miles hike or use one of the few (4 in summer) daily buses which operate from the office of Alberta National Parks. Once you arrive, the best plan is to spend at least one night there and explore the system of trails surrounding the lake. There's a campsite and a lodge with cabins right on the water which are just perfect. If you're planning on visiting in summer, it's necessary to reserve the bus and the cabin a few weeks ahead of time. If you can't find a place to stay, it's worth a day-trip. There's a mountain lodge near the lake where you can also have a hot coffee, chat with other hikers, and find out more about the available routes. The people that run the cafe and really nice and they even lent me walking sticks for my hike.
Roads in Canmore
The 40 of Alberta
It may seem odd that when you come to visit Banff (in any of its national parks), you notice that the best place to see wildlife is actually outside of the parks. And so, about 15 km south of Canmore (about 30 km outside the park), there is a road where you can see many elk, deer, goats and if you are lucky, you might even come across a bear. Advisable to go in the evening and if the day is hot, the better.