"ALBERTA - CANADIAN MAGNIFICENCE" Top 5 Page for this destination Province of Alberta by mtncorg

Province of Alberta Travel Guide: 4,981 reviews and 10,553 photos

Canadian provinces are the size of countries anywhere else. The province stretches from the US border in the south to far into the sub arctic regions of the Canadian Shield to the north. Much of the south is devoted to vast wheat fields, looking similar to what you find across the border in Montana, only with a few more people. Plopped down out in the plains are two of Canada’s more pleasant cities - Edmonton and Calgary. Of the two, I have to admit a more fondness for the southern metropolitan area, if not for the simple fact that they are closer to Alberta’s gems - the Rockies. The Canadian Rockies are normally experienced by the tourist in Alberta for good reason. Here the mountains are simply glorious squared. The tourist can experience mile after mile of jaw opening alpine views when driving from Banff in the South towards Jasper along the Icefields Parkway. As glorious as the mountains look from the highway, the experience is multiplied exponentially as you walk away from the road. The season is fairly short. Weather can always be a factor in the Rockies. Preparation is essential for your visit. I especially like the ‘boot-tested’ trail guide written by Kathy and Craig Copeland, “Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, An Opinionated Hiking Guide”. There are so many trails to tread - and unless you are like MadamX living in nearby Calgary - your time here will not be unlimited. I have hiked more of the trails they have recommended in their similar book on the North Cascades of Washington State and have found their opinions to be right on for the most part. If they give a trail four boots (‘premier’), rest assured, it will be a grand experience. If they say don’t waste your time - ie The Teahouse Trail at Lake Louise - don’t waste your time! There is too much else out there. That said, even some of the hikes that rate two boots (‘worthwhile’) are superior to what you find in most of the rest of the World.

Gems to be looked towards? Valley of Ten Peaks, Plain of the Six Glaciers, Mt Assiniboine, Tonquin Valley and the Ramparts, Lake Annette/Paradise Valley and remember the outstanding options across the border in British Columbia: the Rockwall-Floe Lake, Lake O’Hara, and maybe one of the grandest in the entire region - Berg Lake and Mt Robson. But here we are talking BC, the trek to Assiniboine in Alberta will be almost as marvelous.

Alberta is a bit hockey-mad. They support their teams in a fervent fashion, whether it is the Flames of Calgary, Edmonton’s Oilers or the myriad of WHL junior teams. The Great One played his best years in Edmonton when they owned the NHL for much of the 80’s. There is plenty to keep one busy in Alberta’s cities, though for that I refer you to Calgary’s own MadamX.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Unbelievably glorious mountain ranges, grand plains with a couple of comfortable-sized cities thrown in
  • Cons:Crowds at the National Park hubs can take away a little of the Magic; What to do in Calgary/Edmonton without the NHL?
  • In a nutshell:Jann Arden would die for you here.
  • Intro Written Apr 30, 2005
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Reviews (16)

Comments (10)

  • Darby2's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2007 at 11:08 AM

    Do visit us again.

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2007 at 9:00 PM

    Amazing photos! I would give all of these hikes four boots. Unlike the hike we just took near Walla Walla, which I would give maybe 3 toes. Of course, the wines there get 4 cork screws.

  • girladventure's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2006 at 3:01 PM

    WOW! Awesome pics. I'm so jealous. I have relatives in Alberta...I should go one of these days. It's beautiful. Hope all is well.

  • KristaB's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2006 at 5:10 AM

    Wonderful, but looks like lots of walking, eh? I got a book about heli-hiking from someone who was heli-skiing in the Northern Selkirks a week ago - I loose my breath even while watching the videos!

  • Karolina01's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2006 at 6:36 AM

    Very good overview about the National Parks of Alberta. The pictures are excellent. I'll wait for your new Toronto page.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2005 at 2:09 PM

    A fantastic page, Mark! These mountains are truly among the best in the world! Your excellent tips are spot on!! Alberta is a province that should be fully explored!

  • mim95's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2005 at 6:31 PM

    The Rockies are on the top of my Canadian to go list! Great page...as usual! :)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2005 at 2:50 PM

    Another one of your great mountain pages! I stopped to click on each and every photo. Too bad the mosquitoes and bears don't need permits.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2005 at 8:38 AM

    You went to Alberta, hey?? You did not forget your tuque, did ya? Several years living in Canuck's land, and i never went to this province... seems I missed a lot there. BTW, great picts, great tips, great page as usual.

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2005 at 9:58 PM

    Did I hear someone mention my name? ;o) Very nice start! More please! Bow Lake is one of my favorite places; and IMHO I think Waterton is every bit as grand as Banff. Lovely page ~ Helen

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