Call of the wild: A revealing road trip through Canada’s Alberta

From the mighty Rocky Mountains to the Great Prairies, Alberta is a land of epic adventures. Best of all, Canada As You Like It can help you plan the trip of a lifetime there…

Team Wanderlust
03 February 2023
Promoted by

1. Reach for the peaks

Spanning Alberta and British Columbia, the Rockies are home to some of Canada’s finest national parks – Banff and Jasper – as well as some lesser-known provincial parks, including those of Alberta’s Kananaskis Country. In winter, the province’s slopes offer adventures beyond skiing, with more unusual pastimes, such as dog sledding, snowshoeing and glacier walking, opening up the wilderness. Summer is a prime time for hiking, biking, kayaking and wildlife watching, but if you want the trails to yourself, visit in spring and autumn. This is when the forests are awash with colour, the roads are quieter and there’s a huge choice of stays, whether you opt to sleep at a backcountry campground or at a luxury mountain lodge. Alberta has five Dark Sky preserves, so wherever you stay, you’ll see a sky studded with glittering stars.

2. Urban adventures

Alberta isn’t only about the great outdoors; there are plenty of big-city thrills, too, from world-class museums and fine-dining to must-see live events. Alberta’s capital, Edmonton, is home to some landmark institutions, including the Royal Alberta Museum, the Alberta Art Gallery and the Muttart Conservatory, while Calgary is best known for its annual rodeo-themed celebration, the Calgary Stampede, which is held every July and attracts more than 1.2 million visitors.

Alberta’s cities are also great for getting to grips with Canada’s Indigenous culture. Learn about how hunting played a role in First Nations history at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (around two hours south of Calgary), watch traditional dance and music performances at the Elbow River Camp and participate in guided cultural interpretive experiences at Métis Crossing (some 90 minutes north of Edmonton).

3. The road less travelled

The mountains may be unmissable, but more intrepid travellers are now making time for a road trip to southern Alberta, where you can discover its wild geology and landscapes as well as prehistoric remains. In the Badlands, Drumheller is a real-life Jurassic Park and one of the world’s richest sites for dinosaur fossils. You can take a guided tour of the dig areas, see incredible fossil finds and even watch archaeologists at work.

The Canadian Badlands sprawl an otherworldly terrain of canyons, plateaus and strange rock formations, known as hoodoos – it’s like driving on another planet. And for those who prefer to walk minus the crowds, Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta’s south offers a network of peaceful hiking trails, clear lakes and many wildlife-spotting sites where, if you’re lucky, you’ll spy moose, elk, beavers, eagles and grizzly bears.

Feeling inspired?

For more information and to start planning your dream road trip in Alberta, go to the official Canada As You Like It website.

Explore More

More Articles