Alberta: Where the Prairies Meet the Rocky Mountains
Alberta: From rolling ranchlands to the rugged Rockies, this is Canada’s Wild West
Anyone who’s been to the Calgary Stampede knows that this rodeo competition is more than just “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. It represents everything that the Wild West – and Alberta – conjures up in the imagination: cowboys, expansive ranchlands, big sky country and to the west, the majestic Rocky Mountains.
While Calgary may host this annual festival of all things cowboy, there is more to Alberta than chaps and Stetsons. A rich oil industry has helped to fuel (pun intended) development in the province and the two largest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, boast modern architecture, a vibrant culture and booming culinary scenes.
Geologically, it’s not just fossil fuels that put Alberta on the map: fossils have as well. Dinosaur lovers will find one of the richest deposits of fossils in Drumheller, the ‘Dinosaur Capital of the World’. Here, every child’s fascination with these prehistoric giants comes to life in the Royal Tyrell Museum with its displays of impressive original skeletons. How famous is this deposit? Well, two dinosaurs found here have been named Albertosaurus and Edmontosaurus, to give you an idea.
To the west, though, is the feature that attracts millions of visitors to Alberta from around the globe: the Rocky Mountains and the 5 National Parks that lie within. Waterton, Banff, Jasper, Elk Island and Wood Buffalo Parks are each uniquely beautiful, with jewel-coloured glacial lakes, spectacular mountain passes and the chance to see Canada’s iconic wildlife. And if you want to take one of the most scenic drives in the world, head up the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper.
Just remember one thing: whatever brings you to Alberta, be sure to bring your camera!
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If your idea of the perfect road trip is one that takes you through snow-capped mountains and beautiful valleys with stunning sights along the way, you’ll probably agree that the Icefields Parkway in Alberta is one of THE most scenic drives in Canada.
Disappointment after booking a trip to Alberta ‘too early’ in June turned to delight at what became an unplanned – but amazing – Canadian safari!
The Prince of Wales Hotel, an iconic symbol of 1920’s wilderness luxury, may be what first greeted us on our arrival in Waterton Lakes National Park. But this much-photographed landmark turned out to be only the beginning of what impressed us about Waterton. Here’s more about why you should put this hidden gem in Alberta on your bucket list.