Travel Alberta 2010 Vacation Guide

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Travel Alberta 2010 Vacation Guide Powered By Docstoc
					2010 OFFICIAL

From peaks to plains, Alberta has one of the finest settings ever handed to
a province. The snow spackled Rocky Mountains. Shimmering wheatfields.
Northern lights. The Calgary Stampede. West Edmonton Mall. Guest
ranches. Sunny skies. Canadian Badlands. Powder-perfect ski resorts.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration, action or relaxation – explore Alberta
your own way by delving into this Vacation Guide. Tailor your holiday
according to interest or region – each comes with its own unique feast of
holiday ideas. Scenic road trips, a massive festival guide, a handy map,
cost-saving tips and local wisdom – everything you need to design an
extraordinary holiday.

                                                                                 Cattle drive, south of Calgary
                                                In this guide you will discover a host of holiday ideas in our six regions.

                                                Each one captures particular experiences and adventures across Alberta.

                       Edmonton & Area

      Known as Canada’s Festival City, this

                                                                                                                                                 & AREA
        bustling metropolis has always put
       its arts and culture on centre stage.


                          Calgary & Area
     Home of the Calgary Stampede, this

                                                                                                                                                 & AREA
 cosmopolitan dynamo is also the natural
       gateway to the Canadian Rockies.

                                                Calgary Stampede
                      Canadian Rockies
      The Canadian Rockies are legendary
             for their breathtaking beauty,

           charming villages, backcountry
                 lodges and alpine castles.

                                                Herbert Lake, Banff National Park
                            Alberta South
        Loaded with natural and cultural
     wonders, southern Alberta is famous

      for the Canadian Badlands, buffalo
         jumps and dinosaur bone beds.

                                                Hoodoos, near Drumheller
                          Alberta Central
   Checkered with golden prairies, grassy
       foothills, shimmering lakes, sandy

     beaches and rural charms, Alberta’s
      heartland is a naturalist’s paradise.

                                                Crimson Lake

                            Alberta North
Can’t decide between remote lakes and the
   comforts of home? Have both, as well as
  the longest daylight hours in the summer,
     prime birdwatching and historical sites.
                                                Golden Eagle Resort, Fort McMurray

      Wonders of Alberta .............2–3
      Natural Discoveries............ 4–5
      Outdoor Adventures ......... 6–7
      Western Ways .................... 8–9
      Families Matter .............10–11
      Cities & Towns ...............12–13
      Dining & Shopping ........14–15
      Golf Getaways ...............16–17
      Waterways .....................18–19
      Spas & Wellness ............20–21
      Winter Escapes ..............22–23
      Resort to Perfection ......24–25
      Festivals & Events ..........26–27
      Travel Essentials ................. 82

                                                                                                          Official Alberta Vacation Guide   1
wonders of alberta
    Waterpark, West Edmonton Mall

                                                                                                                  Columbia Icefields, Jasper
                                                                       Calgary Stampede

                                                                                                                  National Park
Edmonton & Area                                                       Calgary & Area                            Canadian Rockies

You weigh your options carefully. Swim                                It’s early July and the Calgary           Begin your day with a hefty feed of
with sea lions. Bungy jump over the                                   Stampede has revamped its streets         bison sausages and free range eggs in
world’s largest indoor wave pool.                                     with hay bales, wooden fences and         Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper and then
Watch hockey under a glass dome.                                      free pancake breakfasts. After you        head out to the Icefields Parkway, one
Barrel down a 14-storey, triple loop                                  scarf that freebie down, you’ll realize   of the most scenic drives on Earth.
roller coaster. They all sound like a gas.                            you’ve got to look the part so hustle     Tumbling glaciers, lacy waterfalls,
                                                                      off to Alberta Boot for the right         meadows, saddles, cirques and tarns
And that’s before you discover there
                                                                      footwear, Smithbilt Hats for an           – this drive alone comes with its own
are 800 stores and services, 13 movie
                                                                      authentic cowboy hat and Lammle’s         distinct alpine language. You’ll learn
theatres, a casino and a colony of
                                                                      for some serious western duds. Now        these terms at the Columbia Icefield
African penguins at West Edmonton
                                                                      that you’re geared up, swagger down       Centre, located at the toe of North
Mall (WEM). And now you can explore
                                                                      to Stampede Park, nab some rodeo          America’s most accessible “living”
this mammoth place by hopping on a
                                                                      tickets and head for the midway.          glacier, the Athabasca. A specially
nifty battery-operated Segway. In a
                                                                                                                designed all-terrain coach, the Ice
flash, you’re weaving and bobbing                                     Cap off the day with a feast of prime
                                                                                                                Explorer, takes you on a guided tour
between the throngs of faces trying to                                Alberta beef in a suite at the Lazy S
                                                                                                                up the glacier’s belly as it slowly and
decide where to start. And then you                                   club or join the masses for Beef on a
                                                                                                                imperceptibly recedes into history.
hear it ... duelling keyboards at the                                 Bun on the midway. Then it’s back to
                                                                                                                Snow that fell thousands of years ago
new Red Piano Cajun Bistro where                                      the stands for the No. 1 crowd-
                                                                                                                crunches beneath your feet, at times
you must order a lobster Po’Boy and                                   pleaser, the chuckwagon races, before
                                                                                                                300 m (984 ft) thick. You’ll see miles
some Louisiana Crab Cakes.                                            the fireworks that end every
                                                                                                                of snowy icefields, recessional
Sometimes you just have to indulge                                    Stampede evening with a literal bang.
                                                                                                                moraines, a few of its 30,000
every urban need and there is no                                      Still want more of our western ways?
                                                                                                                crevasses and the dramatic effects
better place than at WEM. Would you                                   Join the cowboys headin’ to
                                                                                                                of global warming.
expect anything less from North                                       Ranchman’s and two-step until the
America’s largest shopping and                                        cows come home.
entertainment complex?

2                          1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                                                                                                                                    Jasper National Park
                                                                                                                                                                                    Northern Lights, Assumption Reserve
                                        Hoodoos, near Drumheller

                                                                                                         Elk Island National Park
Alberta South                                                      Alberta Central                                                  Alberta North

Leave the arid, lunar-like landscape of                            We’re not suggesting you paddle the                              Cuddle up next to the other star
today’s Canadian Badlands and tiptoe                               66-day voyageur route from Rocky                                 gazers in your party and blow snow
back 75 million years to the land the                              Mountain House to Old Fort William                               rings into the frosty night air. Ah yes,
dinosaurs once roamed. Time travel                                 that David Thompson did some 200                                 there’s one. No, that’s two explosions
is what you get on a hike or an                                    years ago – but you wouldn’t be the                              you see. Everyone is spellbound as
archaeological dig at either the Royal                             first! Canoeing in these parts is still an                       that taut, black Alberta sky bends
Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in                                 ideal way to see vast stretches of                               and stretches with strings of colour
Drumheller or Dinosaur Provincial                                  untrameled wilderness. Independent                               that dance across the largest screen
Park. However unlikely it seems,                                   paddlers can canoe many stretches                                you’ll ever find. Gold, red, purple,
guides will convince you that today’s                              of the North Saskatchewan River                                  green – the entire night sky glows
swirl of canyons, coulees and hoodoos                              (Nordegg to Rocky Mountain House                                 with the mesmerizing brilliance of
was once a lush tropical Eden for                                  is very popular) or you can join a                               pulsing light. Think of yourself at
dinosaurs, crocodiles, sharks and                                  voyageur canoe outfitter for a                                   Mother Nature’s drive-in movie
turtles. Sit on the lip of Horseshoe                               multi-day paddle on this historic                                theatre … that’s what a northern
Canyon today and marvel at the                                     waterway. When you’re in the bow of                              lights blockbuster looks like. Except
history of this place – it’s all laid out for                      your boat and round the leafy corner                             that you’ll likely get hot chocolate
you in stripes of bedrock, reminding us                            of the river to see the peak of the fort,                        instead of popcorn and your guides
of the last ice age that ended some                                known as Rocky Mountain House, it’s                              will come with telescopes, binoculars,
13,000 years ago. While you can hike                               an emotional moment for it’s a sight                             extra toques and loads of local lore.
independently through some of the                                  that hasn’t shifted much since the                               Wild, electrifying, otherworldly these
badlands your appreciation for fossils,                            days of Thompson. Be sure to stop in                             lights in Alberta’s northern skies will
the ways of the dinosaurs and these                                at the interpretive centre for a cup of                          dazzle you with one of nature’s most
peculiar land formations will only be                              lavender tea, some Métis fiddling                                glorious performances.
heightened by a guide on a day dig or                              and jigging. Learn the ways of some
a week-long field experience.                                      of our First Nations people, just as
                                                                   Thompson did.

               Look for this green symbol throughout this year’s Vacation Guide and you’ll discover
               bargains galore – from free museum passes to pancake breakfasts.
                                                                                                                                                  Official Alberta Vacation Guide                                     3
    In Alberta, sustainable tourism is about protecting our five UNESCO World
    Heritage Sites and our network of 500 parks and protected areas. It’s
    about seeking the delicate balance between wildlife demands and tourism
    needs in Banff, Canada’s first national park.

    It’s about inviting visitors to dig up our   of thousands of boreal birds. It’s about
    past in dinosaur beds in a manner that       being culturally sensitive to spiritual
    follows rigorous environmental               sites run by our First Nations people. It’s
    principles. It’s about conserving habitat    about being a responsible traveller with
    for massive flyways used by hundreds         every step you tread. Go softly.

                                                                                               Big Horn Sheep, Kananaskis Country

4 1-800-ALBERTA
Banff, Waterton Lakes and Jasper National Parks First established as
sanctuaries for wildlife, these parks are crisscrossed with hiking paths and

                                                                                    Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park
horse-packing trails allowing visitors unparalleled accessibility. You’ll often
see elk, deer, mountain goats and bighorn sheep. All three parks surround
charming alpine villages, home to many of Alberta’s most luxurious resorts
and innovative restaurants.

Wood Buffalo National Park From a bush plane, zoom in on the largest
herd of free-roaming wood bison in the world – and discover other
conservation projects such as the remarkable return of the whooping crane.

Elk Island National Park Less than an hour from Edmonton, this park is
home to 250 species of birds and herds of free-roaming plains bison, wood

bison, moose, deer and elk. The park protects aspen parkland, one of the
most endangered habitats in Canada.

Provincial Parks With more than 500 protected sites and parks throughout

                                                                                          Bruce Bembridge
Alberta, the list is too lengthy to repeat. Some of Alberta’s signature parks
include: Dinosaur Provincial Park, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Cypress
Hills Interprovincial Park and Kananaskis Country, which cradles nine
provincial parks. Want to loll about in powdery sand and bask in warm                                                       “I get to work at Lake
water? Head north to Cold Lake or Moose Lake provincial parks.                                                              Louise – what many say is
                                                                                                                            the most romantic place in
HooDoo You Believe? For centuries, the Canadian Badlands provided protection                                                Canada. This is the place
for Aboriginal peoples as well as for gangs of outlaws – mostly renegade horse                                              that artists, poets and
thieves. Blackfoot and Cree thought the huge pillars of wind-blasted sandstone                                              writers describe as having the
(hoodoos) were petrified giants who came alive after dark. These oddly capped                                               perfect composition. When
and twisted pillars are scattered all over the badlands with some of the finest                                             people talk about getting
examples along Highway 10 South (a.k.a. the Hoodoo Trail).                                                                  gripped by Rocky Mountain
                                                                                                                            fever, they’re talking about
Hiking How-To Parks Canada provides interpreters who run programs throughout                                                being love struck with the
the summer, ranging from lakeside strolls to full day hikes. Private guides and                                             place. Be warned – it’s a
knowledgeable tour operators span the province offering bird watching (Grande                                               contagious condition.”
Prairie, Lesser Slave Lake and the Lakeland area are birding bonanzas), wildlife
safaris, full moon night hikes and other nature-related activities. Eco-adventure
guides can add an Aboriginal angle to an adventure and are found in the north.
                                                                                    Banff National Park

From food foraging to animal tracking – in places such as Fort McMurray, the
Peace River area, Lesser Slave Lake and Lac La Biche.

Mother Nature’s Frequent Flyers Hold a trained falcon, owl or eagle,
and discover the rehabilitation work at the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre in
Coaldale. An estimated 27,000 shorebirds and 250,000 waterfowl pass
                                                                                    Jasper National Park

over the tiny northern town of McLennan at the confluence of three major
                                                                                    Mountain Goat,

migration paths – the Mississippi, Pacific and Central. Every June, the
shores of Lesser Slave Lake twitter with thousands of songbirds that the
townspeople celebrate in a weekend Songbird Festival. While you’re in this
neck of the woods, visit the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, the only
place on Earth that studies boreal birds exclusively. Birders also flock to many
of the 250 lakes found in Alberta’s Lakeland region – prime habitat for more
than 230 resident and migratory birds, including warblers, woodpeckers,
ospreys, owls, turkey vultures and bald eagles.

head to a national park on Canada day, July 1, and
                                                                                    Grizzly Bear

you’ll get in for free! All gate entrance fees are waived.

                                                                                                                                      Official Alberta Vacation Guide   5
                                      If you can walk, you can hike. And one of the best ways to experience our
                                      parks is to abandon our highways for the tranquillity of our backcountry.
                                      From a mellow natural history hike with a park interpreter (available for
                                      free at many of our national and provincial parks) to a teahouse tromp in
                                      the Rockies, Alberta has a vast network of hiking trails.

                                      Independent hikers can just lace up          (2,485 mi) of trails in our Canadian
                                      their boots and trek along classic, multi-   Rockies. Or, history buffs can follow the
                                      day backpacking routes such as Jasper’s      era of steam train travel in northeastern
                                      Skyline Trail, Banff’s Nigel-Jonas Pass      Alberta, by hiking, cycling or horseback
                                      Trail and Waterton’s Tamarack Trail.         riding along the Iron Horse Trail, once
                                      Ridge walks, high alpine meadows full        used extensively by homesteaders and
                                      of wildflowers and above-treeline            European explorers.
                                      rambles can be found on the 4,000 km

                                                                                                                               Rock Lake, near Hinton

6 1-800-ALBERTA
Gear Up Riders of all levels will find the perfect mountain bike ride amidst
thousands of trails zigzagging through the mountains. There are about 600
km (373 mi) of designated trails – including fire roads or old logging roads –

                                                                                 Lake Louise, Banff National Park
in the mountain parks. The Canmore Nordic Centre, built for the XV Winter
Olympics, boasts an exhilarating 70 km (43 mi) tumble of trails. Kananaskis
Country, Waterton Lakes National Park, Crowsnest Pass, Canada Olympic Park
in Calgary and Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area near
Edmonton are other places with extensive mountain bike trails.

Fly High Get a bird’s-eye view of icefields, alpine lakes, wildlife and the
majestic Canadian Rockies by helicopter. Whether you use Canmore, Grande
Cache or the area around Nordegg, you’ll find helicopter operators equipped
to transport you to a world where you can heli-ski, heli-fish, heli-hike, or,
even do heli-yoga or heli-paint. If they can use a chopper to get you to some
remote wedge of wilderness, they will.

                                                                                 Rat’s Nest Cave, Canmore
Where the Sun Never Shines Explore 14 fragile caves in the Crowsnest Pass

                                                                                                                                          Cox Hill, near Canmore
area, also home to the second longest, deepest cave in Canada (Yorkshire
Pot). Or venture into the many chambers in Cadomin Cave, 75 minutes
southwest of Edson, the Canmore Caverns, and nearby Rat’s Nest Cave.
However, the granddaddy of the lot is the Castleguard Cave, the longest in
Canada at 20.2 km (12.5 mi). But it’s best explored in the winter as the cave
often floods during summer. Be forewarned: many of these caves require
technical rock climbing skills, a guide and permission from the Alberta
Speleological Society.                                                                Will Gadd ICE CLIMBER         “Alberta is home – it’s
                                                                                                                    where I feel the most
Hostel to Hostel Road Trips On what is considered one of the world’s                                                comfortable. Where the
most scenic drives – the Icefields Parkway – you’ll see many international                                          light is right, the vibe
bike touring companies guiding cyclists along its wide shoulders, with                                              familiar and the mountains
stays at charming lodges and resorts along the way. Independent cyclists                                            always welcoming. Within
can do the same and bed down at numerous hostels that operate between                                               a 30-minute walk from my
Banff and Jasper.                                                                                                   door in Canmore, I can
                                                                                                                    hike, climb, kayak, ski and
Columbia Icefield Glacier Experience On a 6 km (3.7 mi) long chunk of ice                                           throw rocks in
known as the Athabasca Glacier, a specially designed all-terrain coach glides                                       Quarry Lake
you up the glacier’s belly.                                                                                         with my
                                                                                                                    daughter. Yet
Blaze New Trails Hop on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a 4X4 and take                                              I can be at an
advantage of some of the most spectacular landscapes in Alberta. Operators                                          international
are equipped to rent or guide multi-day trips to prime fishing spots, wildlife                                      airport within
viewing areas, waterfalls – even sand dunes – from the Rockies to the Red                                           90 minutes.”
Deer River, St. Paul up to Fort McMurray and beyond.

Grab the Roof of the World Climbers can scale dozens of routes at the
Wasootch Slabs, the Weeping Wall, the backside of Lake Louise and Mt.
Athabasca. Hire a qualified mountain guide (through the Association of
Canadian Mountain Guides) who will help you summit a peak in the Rockies.
                                                                                 Devils Thumb, Lake Louise

       don’t be shy – if you see a Parks Canada interpreter
       out on a trail, ask them a question. dubbed “rovers,” these
       experts will regale you with local legends, lore and the park’s
       unique history. And don’t forget how cheap camping is!

                                                                                                                             Official Alberta Vacation Guide       7
    After a long day in the saddle, when you’re swapping yarns around a
    crackling fire, you’ll realize you’re enjoying one of the most authentic
    sustainable tourism experiences you can have in Alberta – a stay at a
    working ranch. You’ll ride lonesome trails, round up cattle and learn about
    the cowboy way of life from local families. Discover more at Alberta
    Country Vacations Association.

    Or, if you just can’t get enough of our   are part of the worldwide Willing
                                                                                     Driftpile Powwow

    western ways, volunteer at a farm         Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
    where you’ll gain free food and lodging   organization that matches volunteers
    for labour. More than 30 Alberta farms    with farm vacation experiences.

8 1-800-ALBERTA
Calgary Stampede Don’t miss this 10 day summer whoop-up, known as the
“The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” where you can pony up to the bar
with rootin’, tootin’ cowboys or two-step till the cows come home.

                                                                                   Bow Falls, Banff National Park
The Cowboy Trail From Mayerthorpe to Cardston, drive this 700 km (435 mi)
scenic route and you’re guaranteed to spot cowboys ropin’ cattle, a country
fair or two, western art shops and small-town rodeos. The proximity to the
Canadian Rockies means you’ll also witness a great diversity of wildlife and
scenery. Superb historical sites such as Rocky Mountain House Museum,
Bar-U Ranch National Historic Site, the Remington Carriage Museum and
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village also line this route.

Farm Tours If you thought Stampede grub such as cotton candy, corn dogs

                                                                                   Alberta Central
and Tom Thumb donuts were the foods that settled the West, you definitely
need to go on a farm tour. Daylong trips organized by the Calgary Stampede,
include a visit to a berry farm, a Hutterite colony, ranch and dairy farm,
where you learn about the origins of good food.

                                                                                   Chuckwagon Racing,
Aboriginal Adventures Tipi sleepovers are popular in the summer at
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Elk Island Retreat and Blackfoot Crossing

Historical Park. The latter, an award-winning First Nations interpretive centre,
features a museum, dozens of medicine wheels, a tipi village and numerous
programs run by the Siksika people. Authentic Aboriginal programs offered in
the north are spots such as Métis Crossing, the Narrows Cultural Resort on
Lesser Slave Lake, O’Kimaw Peya ‘sew skwao traditional cultural camp near
                                                                                                hOMEPLACE RANCh
Lac La Biche – plus there’s a fascinating network of museums known as the
Spirit of the Peace.

Home on the Range For real western hospitality, book a night at a guest
ranch. Some stays include guided trail riding through secluded canyons and
                                                                                        Mac Makenny

over mountain-top ridges and lodging in heritage log cabins. In the north, on
                                                                                                                    “My favourite time is
the shores of Whitefish Lake, you’ll find the Kikino Ranch, home to a herd of
                                                                                                                    springtime in the foothills.
bison and a cluster of log cabins. In the south, you’ll find the classic western
                                                                                                                    Feeding horses at 6:30 in the
movie ranch experience. The Rockies are known for their multi-day camps                                             morning, saddling and grooming
that combine lodge stays with base camps. Certain expeditions are co-guided                                         until breakfast. And then
by professionals who may be grizzly bear experts, professional photographers                                        breakfast – coffee, eggs,
or botanists – depending on the theme of the trip.                                                                  pancakes, bacon, toast, fruit
                                                                                                                    and more coffee. Then I like
Rootin’ Tootin’ Rodeos Sometimes it’s best to lean back and watch how the
                                                                                                                    to go riding in the sunshine
pros do it. Almost every small town in Alberta hosts a summer weekend rodeo.                                        when the grass is turning
Watch real cowboys wrestle snorting steers into the mud, rope lightning-fast                                        green and the crocuses are
calves and hold on for life atop buckin’ broncs. And remember – there’s also the                                    starting to come up. Summer
Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton each November and the Ponoka Stampede,                                            is in front of us and life is
Alberta’s second largest outdoor rodeo and chuckwagon event.                                                        going on ... “

The Lowdown on our Western Ways
Alberta’s Forts                           Remington Carriage Museum          
Big Valley Jamboree                       Royal Alberta Museum
                                                                                   North Peace Stampede, Grimshaw           
Calgary Stampede                          Spirit of the Peace             
Glenbow Museum                            experiences                               The Galt Museum
Heritage Park Historical Village                           Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village             Wild West Shooting Centre
                                                                                                                              Official Alberta Vacation Guide   9
     In many families, certain holidays are like yardsticks, marks on a
     doorjamb as the children grow. Perhaps you start off on a half-kilometer
     ramble or a sleepover at the Calgary Zoo. Next, when they’re old enough to
     sit on a horse, you might go on a multi-day horsepacking expedition.

     Or take them to Alberta’s equivalent of   things are common, and children can
     Disneyland, a stay at West Edmonton       learn firsthand about animals and
     Mall. For family togetherness, try        places they otherwise might only see
     camping in a tipi at one of our five      on TV or in zoos – and you don’t even
     UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In           need to charter a bush plane. Although
     Alberta, intimate encounters with wild    you could do that too!

                                                                                        Sleepover, Calgary Zoo

10 1-800-ALBERTA
Teen Awakenings Fly off the 90 meter (295 ft) ski jump tower at Calgary’s
Canada Olympic Park, just like elite ski jumpers, and experience an
adrenaline rush that will knock your breath away. North America’s fastest
zipline rockets you through the air up to 140 km/h (86 mph). Also new is
the 3.3 m (10 ft) Z-pod, a giant bubble-like contraption (a.k.a. a Zorb) that

                                                                                    Hoodoos, Drumheller
lets you roll down the slopes like an insect in a cocoon.

West Edmonton Mall Bounce upside down on a bungy cord over a massive
indoor waterpark, scream down the Mindbender roller coaster, a ride that
brags of having the highest G-force on the planet, or jump on the spinning
roller coaster, Galaxy Orbiter. Meet the Pirates of Hollywood at Sea Lions’ Rock
where daily interactive shows feature the antics of California sea lions and take
an underwater Sea Life Cavern tour in the world’s largest indoor lake.                                                                               “When our four

                                                                                                   MINISTER, ALBERTA TOuRISM, PARkS ANd RECREATION
Wet and Wild Wonders Besides West Edmonton Mall’s World Waterpark and                                                                                boys were little
                                                                                                                                                     we camped a
Sherwood Park’s Millennium Place, visit the Wild Rapids Waterslide in Sylvan
                                                                                                                                                     lot as a family
Lake (home to 16 slides including the zero-gravity Sidewinder). Sylvan Lake
                                                                                                                                                     – usually on
is also a great place to windsurf, sail or make sand castles on one of Alberta’s                                                                     lakes where
best beaches. The Collicutt Centre in Red Deer, leisure centres in Calgary, the                                                                      they could
Douglas Fir Resort in Banff (romp around its new four-level indoor play                                                                              waterski. Last
structure) and the TransAlta TriLeisure Centre in Spruce Grove are other                                                                             summer, my
popular bets with kids. Young fishers should make a beeline to Cold Lake,                                                                            boys joined
home to some of the best trout fishing around as well as sailing,                                                                                    me on our
windsurfing, jet skiing, water skiing and diving.                                                                                                    Parks Tour in northern
                                                                                                                                                     Alberta where we discovered
Family Friendly Stays Hotels, motels and Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs)                                                                                   a fantastic seven-lake canoe
throughout Alberta offer family plans, babysitting services, kids’ check-ins and                                                                     loop in the Lakeland area and
                                                                                          Cindy Ady

menus, plus welcome packages. But the ultimate family-friendly dream                                                                                 the thrill of quadding. The
lodging goes to the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton for its theme rooms such                                                                           days still end around a
as the Truck Rooms, Sports Rooms, Igloo Rooms, and so forth. Other unique                                                                            campfire where everyone
stays include family camps, where activities and guides arrange the works,                                                                           now roasts Mom, and
available at the YMCA’s Camp Chief Hector and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of                                                                            fewer marshmallows!”
Palaeontology. Or, fall asleep in a tipi while listening to the coyotes howl at
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park or at Elk
Island Retreat.

Boredom Busters Starlabs, rooms of LEGO, hands-on galleries, special
                                                                                    Sea Lions’ Rock, West Edmonton Mall

exhibits – the TELUS World of Science in both Edmonton and Calgary has fun
down to a science. Find five interactive galleries in Edmonton’s science centre
plus an Imax theatre. In Calgary, exhibits that are part of the 2011 Project
Prototype Lab are now rolling out.

Sleep with the Wild Things Sleep next to an elephant or a giraffe in the
Destination Africa pavilion – at one of the Calgary Zoo’s popular sleepovers.
No time? Then just marvel at the 1,000-plus animals that inhabit the various
ecosystems on display. Whether you find yourself eye to eye with a giant
hippo, feeding an elephant or giggling over a gorilla – try to tear away from
Africa for a peek at the Canadian Wilds, a safari-type area devoted to many
of the mammals that call Alberta home.
                                                                                    Royal Tyrrell Museum,

                                                                                                                                                                            Canada Olympic Park

If you’ve got a junior naturalist (aged 6-10) on your
hands check out the free program at the Whistlers
Campground, operated by the Friends of Jasper.
                                                                                                                                                               Official Alberta Vacation Guide    11
     Our cities and towns may not have appeared on road maps before the
     19th century but our First Nations people left carvings and indicators of
     settlements as far back as 11,000 years. Discover our rich Aboriginal culture
     at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton and then complete your history
     lesson with afternoon tea at the handsome Rutherford House – a stunning
     Edwardian home that hosts special events throughout the summer.

     In Calgary, take a trek through the      you’ll stumble on life in Alberta,
     Glenbow Museum – western Canada’s        pre-1914. From wagon rides to
     largest museum with over one million     Gasoline Alley to a lesson in a
     objects or visit the newly expanded      one-room schoolhouse – this is a
     Heritage Park Historical Village where   family favourite.

                                                                                     Alberta Legislature Building, Edmonton

12 1-800-ALBERTA
Olympic Legacy If you didn’t nab tickets to the 2010 Olympic Games – you

                                                                                   Calgary Flames, Pengrowth Saddledome
can enjoy Olympic history any time in Calgary. Grab hold of the spirit that
rocked this city in 1988 when it hosted the Winter Games by starting at the
Olympic Hall of Fame at Canada Olympic Park, on the western fringes of
Calgary. Jump on a bobsleigh and barrel down the very track Olympians train
on, or get an icy blast on a skeleton run at the Ice House.

Cultural Capital Edmonton’s renowned as Canada’s Festival City. The biggest
events include the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the Edmonton International
Fringe Theatre Festival, the Heritage Festival and the Edmonton International
Street Performers Festival. But for flat-out massive, you must head to Capital
EX and Edfest for one of the country’s largest summer fairs.

The Play’s the Thing Prime time for dance and theatre performances is
typically October through May, but the season doesn’t stop then – it just
moves outside and takes on a different beat. During the fall and winter you’ll

                                                                                         dean Stanton
find the Alberta Ballet and both Calgary and Edmonton’s opera companies
perform at the Jubilee Auditoria in both cities. The Calgary Philharmonic
Orchestra, one of Canada’s top orchestras performs at the Jack Singer Concert
Hall. The province’s large resident theatre companies perform at the EPCOR                                                “I’ve lived in
CENTRE in Calgary (home to four theatres) and Edmonton’s Citadel (with five
                                                                                                                          Calgary all my life and I
                                                                                                                          love city life, even when it
halls), the TransAlta Arts Barns and the Francis Winspear Centre. Described as
                                                                                                                          gets hectic. We’re lucky
one of the most acoustically perfect concert halls in Canada, the Winspear
                                                                                                                          because we can take detours
Centre is home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and hosts a wide                                                        to mountains, badlands and
variety of shows every year. It houses the $3 million Davis Concert Organ,                                                beautiful landscapes. It’s no
the largest concert organ in Canada.                                                                                      wonder people come here to
                                                                                                                          see what I have! I’m
Exit, Stage Left Step outside our main urban hubs and you’ll also find
                                                                                                                          interested in pop culture,
top-notch facilities at The Banff Centre (don’t miss its summer-long,
                                                                                                                          current events and things that
international arts festival and Mountain Film and Book Fest in the fall) and on                                           are playful. You’ll find
a smaller scale, Drumheller’s Rosebud Theatre, the Centre for the Arts in                                                 cowboys, horses, rockets and
Lethbridge and the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod.                                                                       astronauts in my art.”
Come spring and summer, theatre buffs will find Shakespeare in the Park (in both
major cities), the International Children’s Festival (every May, in Calgary and
Edmonton/St. Albert), Edmonton’s Fringe Festival (North America’s biggest), Fort
McMurray’s Interplay Festival and the unique Passion Play in the badlands.
                                                                                   Shakespeare in the Mountains, Banff

                                                                                                                                                 Grande Prairie Provincial Building,

From Whimsy to World-Class If you want to see just how big visual arts
projects can get, visit Edmonton’s Art Gallery of Alberta (slated to open its
$88-million renovation in early 2010), Calgary’s Glenbow Museum and the
Art Gallery of Calgary, all internationally recognized galleries renowned for
                                                                                                                                                 Grande Prairie

their western art collections as well as contemporary exhibits.

Hockey Night in Alberta Streak your face with red paint and you’ll be
baptised into the Calgary Flames club. Do the same with blue and you’ll be an
instant Oilers fan – the point is to attend a hockey game, in either Calgary (at
the Pengrowth Saddledome) or Edmonton (Rexall Place). Canada has only six
National Hockey League teams so both cities are wildly passionate about their
players, always evident at the post-game recaps which take over bars, pubs
                                                                                   2008 Ballet Prefigured Effect,

– and certain streets (The Red Mile in Calgary/The Blue Mile in Edmonton).
                                                                                   The Banff Centre

         Buy an Experience Alberta’s history Pass and receive
         unlimited admission to 18 provincial historic sites and
         museums in Alberta for one year!
                                                                                                                                    Official Alberta Vacation Guide                    13
                                       Alberta is a province that knows how to eat – and more than just the
                                       regular cowboy fare of beef, flapjacks and beans. Today you’re as likely
                                       to find fresh-from-the-field produce as you are creamy goat cheeses and
                                       award-winning homemade Belgian chocolate, as well as locally raised
                                       succulent game.

                                       Such exotic fare is served in equally      towers. In Calgary, amble down historic
                                       eclectic spots, from hip martini bars to   Stephen Avenue Walk, known as
                                       casual bistros and classic steakhouses.    Restaurant Row, where handsome
                                                                                                                            17 Avenue SW, Calgary

                                       In Edmonton, you’ll find more than 60      100-year-old sandstone banks and
                                       restaurants in the funky neighbourhood     hotels have become home to the
                                       of Old Strathcona plus more highbrow       hottest young chefs and über creative
                                       treats in the downtown forest of glass     restaurant concepts.

14 1-800-ALBERTA
Made in Alberta More than 70 per cent of Canada’s $15 billion beef industry
comes from this province and half of the cattle are exported to nearly 70
markets world wide. Remember, beef in Alberta is linked to pride. Albertans

                                                                                    Enjoying the Fountain, City Hall,
don’t want to serve a beef dish that’s anything less than magnificent,
whether it’s sliced or skewered or tucked into pita bread. Barley-fed
porterhouse steaks, silky filet mignon, marinated bison steaks, locally
ranched caribou and elk – people travel from afar just for a taste of what’s
grown among the wheat fields in the shadow of our Rocky Mountains.

For samples of Alberta’s freshest fare and a chance to meet locals, pop by
our farmers’ markets in Calgary and Edmonton. Both have hundreds of
booths, little food stands, artisan wares, buskers and are great spots for
food-for-the-road and Made in Alberta gifts.                                                                                        “I step out of my door

                                                                                                     FOOd ACTIVIST ANd CONSuLTANT
In the Canadian Rockies, you’ll find all-star chefs galore – with recent awards                                                     and into Alberta’s oldest
                                                                                                                                    farmers’ market, now in
piling up at The Bison in Banff, the Post Hotel in Lake Louise and the Trough
                                                                                                                                    downtown Edmonton. I run
in Canmore.
                                                                                                                                    cooking classes up in the
Graze Around Alberta Regional specialties can be sampled anywhere in                                                                loft and we start by shopping
Alberta – but loyal foodies still love the sizzle of Dine Alberta, an annual                                                        at the market which is so
event held every fall that toasts what we grow. Other culinary events include                                                       full of fantastic Alberta
                                                                                                                                    produce – from award-
the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, held every October in Banff,
                                                                                                                                    winning cheeses

                                                                                          Gail hall
Calgary and Edmonton; and Banff’s über-swanky International Wine & Food
                                                                                                                                    to Alberta
Festival, also in October.                                                                                                          beef. Now,
Retail Therapy Nothing will yank you out of the doldrums faster than a day                                                          because of the
at West Edmonton Mall (WEM). Imagine a space with 58 entrances, 100                                                                 move toward
                                                                                                                                    nurturing local
eateries, 13 movie theatres, three postal codes, the world’s largest car park
                                                                                                                                    producers, it
(holds 20,000 vehicles), wave pools and water parks, penguins and of
                                                                                                                                    is a very
course, more than 800 stores and services plus two hotels. In keeping with                                                          exciting time
“big,” visit the newest covered mall to be built in Alberta in the past 20                                                          to be involved
years – the massive CrossIron Mills in Balzac.                                                                                      in food.”
Go Beyond “the” Mall After you’ve shopped at WEM, hit Edmonton’s
bohemian, boutique-laced Whyte Avenue in the neighbourhood of Old
Strathcona, packed with one-of-a-kind shops that sell everything from
                                                                                    The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Edmonton

handmade shoes to Aboriginal art. If you’re hunting for an enormous bargain
bin head to South Edmonton Common. When fully developed, it will span
213,676 m2 (2.3 million sq ft) of retail space, making it the largest open-air
retail development in North America.

Many of Calgary’s shopping malls have been themed, from food to furniture to
fashion with the latter ruling at Southcentre, Chinook, Market Mall and the
Calgary Eaton Centre. Boutiques and art galleries line 17 Avenue SW, Kensington
Road and the Mission area. Calgary is also a great spot to pick up unique western
goods from cowboy boots to Stetsons, belt buckles, bolo ties and blue jeans.

Antique buffs should make a beeline to Inglewood, Calgary’s oldest
neighbourhood, or Edmonton’s Old Strathcona area. For a day trip to a town
that’s been revived around its antique finds, head south from Calgary to
Nanton where you can pick up an Antique and Art Walk map of the area.
                                                                                    Melrose Cafe & Bar, Calgary

                                                                                                                                                           Calgary Farmers’ Market

             Adventurous foodies can sample dozens of tasty morsels
             from more than 30 restaurants during summer festivals
             such as A Taste of Calgary or A Taste of Edmonton.
             Entrance is free. Samples are cheap.
                                                                                                                                             Official Alberta Vacation Guide         15
                                                                                           Devil’s Cauldron, The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course

     Albertans know that when it comes to golf, far-away greens aren’t
     necessarily greener. Wedged between Waterton Lakes Golf Club in the
     south and the Athabasca Golf & Country Club in the north are more than
     350 courses – more per capita than any other province in Canada.

     Alberta golf burst onto the world stage       relaxing atmosphere. Fairmont Hotels
     in the 1920s when the Jasper Park             & Resorts operates Jasper and its
     Lodge Golf Club opened for business.          famous cousin, The Banff Springs Golf
     Today, it’s billed as the No.1 golf resort    Club. Combined, these two Stanley
     in Canada, by Score Golf. Players             Thompson masterpieces provide
     praise Jasper for its scenery, playability,   players with a formidable one-two
     and most importantly, its fun and             punch in the world of golf.

16 1-800-ALBERTA
Fairways to Heaven Golfing at a historic Stanley Thompson creation goes
beyond the game. Be sure to lunch at The Fairmont Banff Springs’
charming clubhouse with spectacular views of the castle-like hotel that
looms over the 14th hole. The par 3 Devil’s Cauldron (#4) is considered one
of the best golf holes in the world. Photographers say the 14th tee box at

                                                                                                                                                      Shaganappi, Calgary
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s course rivals Pebble Beach for natural

                                                                                  Silvertip, Canmore
golfing beauty. Another Thompson work of art is Waterton Lakes Golf
Course, which is fun, not too tough and brags of mountain vistas, trees and
abundant wildlife. Designed in 1929, this course has recently been restored
to its original splendour.

With a backdrop of Rocky Mountain peaks, Silvertip is another big hitter,
ranked as one of North America’s most challenging courses. This carts-only

                                                                                                     GOLF dIRECTOR
course exploits the site’s dramatic elevation changes, nearly 183 m (600 ft),
to create epic tee shots. While you’re in Canmore, golf Stewart Creek, loaded
with par 4s and a thoroughly modern design. Other notables like the
Kananaskis Country Golf Course include two 18-hole Robert Trent Jones

                                                                                         Ryan Vold
designed courses – Mount Lorette and Mount Kidd – named for the 3,048 m
(10,000 ft) peaks behind them.                                                                                                 “Purists say a links course,
                                                                                                                               where sand is the base, is
City Greens In preparation for the 2007 CN Women’s Open, the Royal Mayfair
                                                                                                                               where the grass grows best
in Edmonton sunk $3.5 million into its course, installing a waterfall, a pro                                                   and what you can do the
shop and upgrading its landscaping. The Links of GlenEagles, on the outskirts                                                  most with in terms of design.
of Calgary, was another stop on the circuit in 2003 when the Professional                                                      That’s what Rod Whitman did
Golf Association’s Nationwide Tour was held here. Two other new favourites                                                     on my father’s land when he
in the Calgary golf scene include the River Spirit Golf Club, which last year                                                  designed Wolf Creek – built
earned the reputation of having the best and truest greens in the city and                                                     entirely on a natural sand belt.
the Sirocco Golf Club, which just opened a swanky new restaurant.                                                              But Alberta has so many
                                                                                                                               different land masses that
RedTail Landing Golf Club in the Edmonton area is a high-end links-style                                                       golf experiences here are
public course designed for all levels of players. Blackhawk Golf Club is                                                       incredibly varied, we blow many
tucked along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River just 10 minutes                                                         U.S. visitors away.”
west of Edmonton. Jagare Ridge Golf Club has bumped up the golfing
landscape of Edmonton to that of the Canadian Rockies. Northern Bear Golf
Club, southeast of Edmonton, is the only Jack Nicklaus signature golf course
in Alberta. Stop in at the clubhouse, constructed of glass and featuring a
seven m (23 ft) waterfall.
                                                                                  Dinosaur Trail Golf & Country Club,

The Wolf Creek Golf Resort 27 hole course, on the skirts of Ponoka, was
designed by Rod Whitman and has aptly transplanted Scottish traditions into
a stunning and surprising prairie landscape. Or, try your clubs at the St. Paul
Golf Club, home of long ball champ, Jamie Sadlowski.

On Par with Palace on Wheels On the roster of the ultra-luxurious railway
line, the Royal Canadian Pacific is the ever-popular Royal Clubhouse Golf
Excursion. This six day, high-end, golf trip includes daily rounds at some of
Alberta and B.C.’s top courses, with nights spent on board a most unique
                                                                                  Kananaskis Golf Course, Kananaskis Country

“clubhouse” that’s hosted the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, King George VI,
William Lyon Mackenzie King, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

Want to squeeze as many rounds of golf into a long
summer’s day? head north where you can tee off as
late as 9 PM.
                                                                                                                                         Official Alberta Vacation Guide    17
                                       Our waters run deep in Alberta. For thousands of years Canada was traversed
                                       by our First Nations people and French-Canadian voyageurs via birch-bark
                                       canoes and so we have well developed “voyageur highways” in Alberta.

                                       But if canoeing isn’t your thing, rent a   245 rivers and 315 creeks to choose
                                       cottage on a northern lake, a cabin on     from – this province is a water-fed
                                       an alpine pond or check into a fishing     dream. Whatever your fancy, fancy
                                       lodge. Want to water ski, jet boat or      our waterways.
                                       go whitewater rafting? With 600 lakes,

                                                                                                                        Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park

18 1-800-ALBERTA
Hooked on Alberta For a world-class fishing holiday, circle Alberta on your
map – it attracts both novice and expert with its waterways. If you love
fishing, this province is a dream. Rated as one of North America’s top 10

                                                                                   Margaret Lake, northern Alberta
trout streams, the world-famous Bow River is loaded with brown and
rainbow trout. In central Alberta – on numerous lakes such as Gull, Buck,
Moose and Pinehurst – catch pike, walleye, perch and lake whitefish. Most of
Alberta’s fly-in fishing lodges are in the north, on lakes full of back-snapping
pike, perch, walleye, lake trout and Arctic grayling.

Northern lakes such as Colin, Cornwall, Burstall and Charles are famous for
their lake trout, lake whitefish and northern pike (in the 9-13 kg/20-30 lb
range). Prime walleye pickings can be found at McLelland, Ryan and Barrow
lakes. Easy spots to haul in trout, burbot, emerald shiner and yellow perch                                                   “The Lake of Kastyn Stone

                                                                                                  WORLd ChAMPION WATERSkIER
are in the south – the Crowsnest River, the Oldman, Travers Reservoir and                                                     is one of the finest places I
West Castle River.                                                                                                            have ever skied. My perfect day
                                                                                                                              is waking up early and having a
Paddle Power For a northern wilderness venture, join a guide for either a sea
                                                                                                                              cup of hot chocolate on the
kayak or canoe expedition down spectacular rivers such as the Clearwater                                                      deck of my parents’ house
(Alberta’s first “heritage” river), the Peace or on Lesser Slave Lake (Alberta’s                                              that overlooks Dodd’s Lake.
largest auto-accessible lake). To access rivers such as the Clearwater, you can                                               Then I like to go for a ski
use a jet boat or a float plane to deposit you at the put-in.                                                                 when the water is like glass.

                                                                                        Jaret Llewellyn
                                                                                                                              After that I often go golfing
Mellow canoe excursions can be arranged at some of the most photographed
                                                                                                                              with friends, then for a
lakes in North America – namely Moraine and Lake Louise. Other top                                                            bike ride over the ski hill and
mountain lakes to paddle include Two Jack, Minnewanka and Vermilion in                                                        back to my parents for a
Banff plus Pyramid, Patricia and Maligne lakes in Jasper National Park.                                                       barbeque.”
Cruise Control If you love the leisurely days of bygone paddlewheels, slip
onto the S.S. Moyie in Calgary or the Edmonton Queen Riverboat and enjoy
the gracious elegance of another age. The leisurely three hour Miss Mermaid
Cruise on Sylvan Lake combines cruising and dining on a 40 seat houseboat
as you glide from the Sylvan Lake marina to Honeymoon Bay and back. To
view the Rockies by boat, you can cruise among the towering peaks on
Waterton Lake, Lake Minnewanka in Banff or to Spirit Island on Maligne Lake
in Jasper, winner of the “Best Cruise in Canada 2007” award, by Reader’s
Digest magazine.
                                                                                   Waterton Lakes
                                                                                   National Park

Wind/Kitesurfing Legendary winds can whip across Alberta’s all-star lakes
– Keho, the Oldman Reservoir, Lake Newell, Beauvais, Waterton, Abraham
and Cold Lake – up to 100 km/h (62 mph), luring windsurfers and
kitesurfers galore.

Wild and Woolly Whitewater Enjoy white-knuckle river rafting on the
                                                                                   Red Deer River

mighty Smoky, Sheep Creek and Kakwa Rivers or tone it down a notch on the
still-roiling waters of the Athabasca, the Maligne, Red Deer, Kananaskis and
Slave. For a lazy canoe trip, float down the Milk River through the badlands
to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, home of North America’s largest
collection of ancient, mysterious petroglyphs. Or, paddle the Lower Red Deer
River to Dinosaur Provincial Park, where you can go on a guided hike through
                                                                                   Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park

ancient fossil beds amidst the hoodoos.

             Tightwads know the cheapest dip in Banff is at the Banff
             Centre’s never-crowded, glass-roofed pool in the Sally
             Borden Building. Massages are also available.
                                                                                                                                        Official Alberta Vacation Guide   19
     Medi-spas. Organic spas. Day spas. Destination spas. Urban spas. Alpine
     spas. Hammams. Be prepared to be dazzled by the sort of spa experience
     you can have in Alberta. As for treatments, they’re equally as dizzying.
     Wildrose scrubs. Thalassotherapy wraps. Photofacials. Reiki. Rolfing.

     From our bike paths and yoga studios       Alberta will refresh your spirit and
     to our gyms galore, Alberta is a healthy   nurture your soul. For a higher state of
     place. Whether you’re at a spa or on a     consciousness, consider a heli-yoga
     fitness retreat, a wellness getaway in     holiday in the Rockies.

                                                                                           Willow Stream, The Fairmont Banff Springs

20 1-800-ALBERTA
Canada’s First Spa So historic are Alberta’s hot springs that most Canadians
know precisely the link between our natural hot pools and how Banff
National Park was established. It was in the late 1800s that three railway

                                                                                    Bow Lake, Banff National Park
workers (near the present-day townsite of Banff) spotted a plume of steam
curling out of some rocks and discovered a cave bubbling with hot springs.

                                                                                                                                          Spa, Grande Prairie
Today, you can slip back to those steamy days in the historic Upper Hot
Springs in Banff or Jasper’s newly renovated Miette Hot Springs, both of
which have spawned a huge spa industry in Alberta.

Destination Spas We mean overnight indulgences when we use this term,
knowing you’ll find many “destination” spas in hotels or resorts. You’ll find
spas in the North, such as those in Grande Prairie’s Podollan Inn and Holiday

                                                                                                 yOGA INSTRuCTOR
Inn as well as others in Fort McMurray. In central Alberta, discover The Inn &
Spa at Heartwood Manor in Drumheller that boasts of body polishes,
wellness soaks, hot stone therapy and numerous facials. The Rocky Mountain
towns of Canmore, Banff and Jasper are other spa hubs. At The Fairmont
Banff Springs is one of Canada’s largest spas, still partially fed with the

                                                                                         kim Wiebe
natural mineral waters that first put this town on the map. Be sure to test the                                     “Alberta
waters, so to speak, at Banff’s Red Earth Spa, which uses natural ingredients                                       is a great place to
in their Essence of Canada treatment. If you’re visiting Banff in the winter,                                       be in the health and wellness
warm up with a desert heat wrap at the Rimrock Resort Hotel or an Alpine                                            industry. Although Albertans
Aroma-Detox at the Temple Mountain Spa in the Post Hotel in Lake Louise.                                            work hard, they’re also very
Other spas in the Rockies include the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, Verde in                                           aware of health and fitness
Canmore, The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and the Beloved Natural Healing                                             and have the disposable
Centre in Jasper as well as Waterton’s Bayshore Inn.                                                                income to invest in their
                                                                                                                    health. The yoga community
Urban Day Spas Back in Alberta’s two main urban centres are scores of spas,                                         here is very strong – you
ranging from the spacious high-end Stillwater Spa, in Calgary’s Hyatt Regency                                       feel it in studios, in our
Hotel, to Edmonton’s Dtox Natural Hair and Skin Care. This salon is for clients                                     parks, and even on our
concerned with allergies or who have sensitivities to the chemical                                                  mountaintops where I’ve
components often found in cosmetics. Other notables include Edmonton’s                                              led a heli-yoga practice.”
Carrie’l Salon & Spa – a multiple award winner for best salon team and other
services. There’s also the Eveline Charles Salons & Spa group, as well as
Swizzlesticks, with salons in both Calgary and Edmonton. All of these day
spas offer individual treatments as well as full day packages, which often
include various massage therapies, reflexology and a multitude of esthetics.

Depending on the spa, Asian techniques may be emphasized or a clinical
                                                                                    Rimrock Resort Hotel, Banff

approach such as at Calgary’s Santé Spa (Canada’s first medi-spa) may be
taken. Here services go beyond the conventional to include Botox injections,
laser skin resurfacing, microdermabrasion and photofacials – some of these
treatments can only be performed by their physicians.

Om Sweet Om Whether you subscribe to Bikram or Ashtanga yoga – you will
find a host of facilities, courses, weekend workshops and overnight retreats
aimed at this white-hot sector. Drop-in classes are standard, allowing travellers
the flexibility to pick and choose a class across the province, with the highest
concentration of facilities found in Calgary and Edmonton. Heli-yoga practices
and overnight stays usually depart from Banff, Canmore and Cline River.
                                                                                    Banff Upper Hot Springs

Pop by a yoga shop and inquire about free classes.
They often have them outside in a local park – or
sometimes in their very shop!
                                                                                                                             Official Alberta Vacation Guide    21
     Alberta may look like the land of a million Christmas trees but it’s more
     than just a pretty picture. Ski, ride, dogsled, ice fish, skate, snowshoe,
     snowmobile or lounge under a twinkling tarp of northern lights. From our
     legendary Rocky Mountain ski resorts to the lonely beauty of a frozen lake
     in a northern forest, Alberta lets you step into its photo frame with plenty
     of winter adventures.

     Have you always wanted to soar like an   Calgary, and rocket off the 90-meter
     eagle, specifically Eddie “The Eagle”    (295 ft) ski jump, just like Eddie. While
     Edwards ... the Coke-bottled Brit who    there, discover the heart-pounding thrill
     stole the hearts of millions during      of a bobsleigh ride. You may not be an
     Calgary’s ’88 Winter Olympics? Then,     Olympian but in Alberta you can
     strap into North America’s fastest       certainly pretend – this is where going
     zipline at Canada Olympic Park in        for gold is a winter pastime!

                                                                                          The Lake Louise Ski Area, Banff National Park

22 1-800-ALBERTA
Downhill Skiing/Riding Deep in the south lies an unknown powder hound’s
heaven with basic slopeside accommodation called Castle Mountain. Just west
of Calgary lies Nakiska, home of the XV Winter Olympics. Farther west is Ski
Norquay, legendary for its hang-on-tight steeps and proximity to Banff.

                                                                                   Ice Fishing, Wabamun Lake
Sunshine Village brags of Canada’s longest ski season with a new wing of
suites just opening at the base of its runs. Largest in the Canadian Rockies,
Lake Louise consistently wins “best scenic views” of all Canadian resorts. Veer
north and you’ll find the family-friendly resort of Marmot Basin, in Jasper
National Park. Just remember – where there’s a major ski resort, there’s a
terrain park. (See more on page 54.)

Nordic Skiing Nordic racers from around the planet annually flock to the
Canadian Birkebeiner Ski Festival (every February), held in Edmonton and                                                                        “Almost every day in Canmore

                                                                                                 OLyMPIC SILVER MEdALIST CROSS COuNTRy SkIING
Strathcona County. Named for a Norwegian family renowned for saving the                                                                         is a perfect day. But one
life of a crown prince by skiing 55 km (34 mi) over three mountain ranges,                                                                      that I will always remember
it’s the biggest classic Nordic race in North America. Certainly the biggest                                                                    was walking along the Bow
Nordic terrain can be found in the 70 km (43.5 mi) tumble of snowy hills at                                                                     River a week after my
the Canmore Nordic Centre, the setting for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games                                                                        daughter was born. She was
and where the world’s fastest cross country skiers will compete on February                                                                     inside my jacket and it was
5 and 6, to qualify for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.                                                                                cold and icebergs were
                                                                                                                                                floating down the
Rev Up Those Engines Every winter Alberta grooms 5,000 km (3,107 mi) of                                                                         steaming river.
white carpet into two fine lines, welcoming snowmobilers to award-winning                                                                       The mountains
playgrounds all over the province. Whether it’s a southern loop in the                                                                          were plastered
Crowsnest Pass area, Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail or on one of our frozen winter                                                                  with snow and
roads in the North – the variety of snowmobiling terrain in Alberta is enough                                                                   I felt like my
                                                                                        Sara Renner

                                                                                                                                                eyes couldn’t
to rev up any engine.
                                                                                                                                                handle so
Anglers – Drop Your Line If you just can’t get enough of fishing in the                                                                         much beauty.
summer, don’t stop. Winter is when anglers build temporary sheds or simply                                                                      I was
drill holes and drop lines in popular lakes such as Spray Lake (near Canmore)                                                                   overwhelmed.”
and Upper Kananaskis Lake (stocked with rainbows). Combine a unique fly-in
ice fishing trip with snowmobiling on North Leland Lake. Various eco-tourism
lodges offer multi-adventure packages that combine ice fishing with
ski-joring, nordic skiing, ice climbing and winter camping.

Harness the Huskies Dogsledding will thrill every historical bone in your
body. Plenty of operators run services out of Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise,
                                                                                   Lake Louise, Banff National Park

Jasper and Rocky Mountain House – and will take you into the backcountry
for a gourmet picnic or a mug of hot cocoa ’round a ripping bonfire.

Star Gazing One of the most spectacular sights that link together many
northern towns such as Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan, Slave Lake and
Grande Prairie, is the northern lights. Tours are available out of Fort McMurray
and other northern communities.

Crawling the Canyons Canyons that roar with whitewater fury in the
summer and are utterly inaccessible get transformed in the winter into
wonderlands of ice. Curtains, walls and chambers of ice glow pearly shades
of iridescent blue and literally pop and hiss with beauty. Guided walks in
                                                                                                                                                                      Waterton Lakes National Park

Banff’s Johnston Canyon and Jasper’s Maligne Canyon can be organized
through most hotels and outdoor hubs.
                                                                                   Rocky Mountains

              Jasper in January is a bargain fest that discounts
              everything from hotel rooms to lift tickets, special
              events and attractions. Or, skate for free through a
              frozen ice castle on Lake Louise.
                                                                                                                                                         Official Alberta Vacation Guide             23
     Whether you fancy a basic campsite or an über-luxe suite at a resort, the
     Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) should be your No. 1 go-to
     site, with more than 1,200 annually inspected properties listed online.

     Start here and discover eco-friendly         fishing resorts, CPR bungalow camps,
     lodges like Aurum, on the cliffs of          even tipi stays and canvas-sided tent-
     Abraham Lake or Mt. Engadine Lodge,          cabins in spectacular wilderness settings
     near an alpine meadow in Kananaskis          are detailed at
     Country. Charming backcountry                accommodation.
     properties, cottages, cabins, B&Bs, fly-in

                                                                                              Prince of Wales Hotel, Waterton Lakes National Park

24 1-800-ALBERTA
Living the High Life Three of Canada’s most iconic properties have been built
in Alberta, at the toes of glaciers, alpine lakes or tucked in the crevices of rocks.

                                                                                        The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise,
The Fairmont Banff Springs, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and The
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge have recently been revamped to hold either a
spa, heritage centre, a floor of boutique suites or a conference centre… all

                                                                                        Banff National Park
are considered destinations in themselves and offer unique attributes such as
the spa at the Springs, the mountaineering program at the Chateau and golf
at the Lodge.

Bunk Down with History Historic backcountry lodges reflect Alberta’s
mountaineering roots, influenced by Swiss guides and early explorers.

                                                                                        Peace Valley Guest
There is a series of 13 rustic alpine huts found on glaciers, in alpine towns or

                                                                                        Ranch, Berwyn
in our national parks, operated by the Alpine Club of Canada. Typically they
cater to those looking for a humble property that will launch them into
remote adventures.

From Baker Creek in Banff to the Whistlers in Jasper are historic CPR

                                                                                        Shadow Lake Lodge,
                                                                                        Banff National Park
bungalow camps that run along the most scenic highways in Banff and
Jasper national parks. Most have been converted into clusters of charming log
cabins, usually cradling a main lodge and dining facility.

Charming Inns and B&Bs You’ll find them in cities, small villages and
sometimes in the middle of nowhere. Most are owner operated and offer
intimate surroundings, hearty fare and the opportunity to meet other
                                                                                                      AuRuM LOdGE
travellers. History buffs should hop on a horse-drawn carriage at Fort
Edmonton Park and check into the Hotel Selkirk (a 1920s-style hotel), right in
the middle of this urban park.
                                                                                             Alan and Madeleine Ernst

Hostel Territory You’ll find architectural wonders, complete with boardrooms
and licensed restaurants, at hostels in Lake Louise and Banff (both are on the
                                                                                                                            “Any type of
top 10 list of hostels in North America). Others, such as those in Calgary and
                                                                                                                            tourism development
Edmonton rely on their convenient locations, while those along the Icefields
                                                                                                                            changes the nature of a
Parkway have been strategically positioned for cyclists, skiers and hikers.                                                 place, it leaves an impact.
Happy Campers Whether you’re hoofing it with your household on your back                                                    We wanted our lodge to
or loading up a luxurious RV, matters not – for camping in Alberta is not only
                                                                                                                            follow environmental
                                                                                                                            principles of sustainability
about stripped-down pleasures. Yes, the coffee always tastes better when
                                                                                                                            – but be more of an
brewed in a tin pot and bed-time snacks are always best when they’re gooey
                                                                                                                            accessory to the
s’mores, but Alberta’s campgrounds provide numerous options depending on                                                    untouched wilderness
your style of camping.                                                                                                      around it, than the focal
Historic Backcountry Lodges Legendary lodges such as Skoki, Shovel Pass,
                                                                                                                            point. We didn’t want to
                                                                                                                            change the character of
Shadow Lake and Sundance require stamina, as you must hike, ski,
                                                                                                                            the area.”
snowshoe or horseback into these remote spots.

Lodging Options
Alberta Hotel & Lodging                     Charming Inns of Alberta   
Alberta Bed & Breakfast                     Hostelling International
                                                                                        The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Alberta Country Vacations                   Alpine Club of Canada        

            Whether it’s a front- or backcountry campsite you want,
            Alberta is laced with numerous affordable options. At
            certain sites, you can even rent a tipi or a tent with all the
            trappings – from sleeping bags to lawnchairs and cots.
                                                                                                                                      Official Alberta Vacation Guide   25
     Alberta Public holidays
     Holiday                                                                              2010                                    2011
     New Year’s Day .............................................................January 1 ......................... January 1
     Alberta Family Day .................................................. February 15 ..................... February 21
     Good Friday ........................................................................April 2 ............................ April 22
     Easter Monday ...................................................................April 5 ............................ April 25
     Victoria Day ......................................................................May 24 .............................May 23
     Canada Day ......................................................................... July 1 ................................ July 1
     Heritage Day ..................................................................August 2 .......................... August 1
                                                                                                                                           Canada Day, Edmonton

     Labour Day ..............................................................September 6 ................... September 5
     Thanksgiving Day .......................................................October 11 .......................October 10
     Remembrance Day ............................................... November 11 ..................November 11
     Christmas Day ........................................................December 25 ................. December 25
     Boxing Day .............................................................December 26 .................. December 26

26 1-800-ALBERTA
Edmonton & Area                              Expo Latino                  Aug 27-29      Alberta Central
International Children’s     Jun 1-5         Calgary Highland Games       Sep 4          Kinsmen on the Pond                Mar 6
Festival, St. Albert                         BBQ on the Bow Festival      Sep 4-5        Hockey Tournament,
The Works: Art and           Jun 25-Jul 7                                                Lac La Biche
                                             Spruce Meadows, Masters      Sep 8-12
Design Festival                                                                          History Road, Reynolds-            Jun 12 & 13
                                             Calgary International        Sep 23-Oct 3
Freewill Shakespeare         Jun 29-Jul 25                                               Alberta Museum,
                                             Film Festival
Festival                                                                                 Wetaskiwin
                                             WordFest; Banff-Calgary      Oct 12-17
Edmonton International       Jul 9-18                                                    Ponoka Stampede                    Jun 28-Jul 4
                                             International Writers
Street Performers Festival                   Festival                                    Ukrainian Pysanka                  Jul 2-4
Rexall Edmonton Indy         Jul 23-25                                                   Festival, Vegreville
                                             Zoolights at the             Nov 26-Jan 2
Edmonton’s Capital EX        Jul 23-Aug 1    Calgary Zoo                                 Westerner Days Fair                Jul 21–25
                                                                                         and Exposition, Red Deer
A Taste of Edmonton          Jul 23-Aug 1    Canadian Rockies                            Big Valley Jamboree,               Jul 29-Aug 1
Edmonton Heritage            Jul 31-Aug 2    Jasper in January            Jan 15-31      Camrose
                                             Ice Magic International      Jan 22-24      Haying in the 30’s, Mallaig Jul 31-Aug 1
Edmonton Folk                Aug 5-8         Ice Sculpture Competition,
Music Festival                                                                           Voyage Days, Metis                 Aug 28-29
                                             Lake Louise                                 Crossing
Cariwest-Edmonton            Aug 6-8         Rocky Mountain Wine &        Apr 30-May2
Caribbean Arts Festival                                                                  Thunder in The Valley,             Sept 3-5
                                             Food Festival                               Drayton Valley
Edmonton International       Aug 12-22       Banff Summer Arts Festival May 1-Aug 31
Fringe Theatre Festival                                                                  Canadian Professional              Sept 10-12
                                             Wild River Rendezvous,       June 4-6       Chuckwagon Association
Edmonton Dragon              Aug 20-22       Grande Cache                                Finals, Lloydminster
Boat Festival
                                             Wild Mountain Music          Jul 9-11       Canadian Pony                      Sept 10-12
Edmonton’s Labatt            Aug 20-22       Festival, Hinton                            Chuckwagon Races,
Blues Festival                                                                           Vegreville
                                             Parks Day, All               Jul 18
Symphony Under               Sep 3-6         National Parks                              22nd Annual World’s                Oct 2-3
the Sky Festival                                                                         Pumpkin Fair, Smoky Lake
                                             Canadian Death Race,         Jul 31-Aug 2
Edmonton International       Sep 24-Oct 2    Grande Cache
Film Festival                                                                            Alberta North
                                             Mary Reimer Memorial         Jul 31-Aug 2
Canadian Finals Rodeo        Nov 10-14                                                   Alberta Pond Hockey,               Feb 11-14
                                             Rodeo, Hinton
                                                                                         Peace River
Grey Cup Festival            Nov 28          Canmore Folk Festival        Jul 31-Aug 2
                                                                                         Winterplay Festival,               Feb 26-28
Calgary & Area                               Behind the Scenery           Aug 29-30      Fort McMurray
                                             Wildlife Festival, Jasper
High Performance Rodeo       Jan 7-31                                                    Arctic Winter Games,               Mar 6-13
                                             20th Annual Canmore          Sep 5          Grande Prairie
Enbridge playRites Festival Feb 3-Mar 7
                                             Highland Games
of New Canadian Plays                                                                    Reel Shorts Film Festival,         Apr 19-25
                                             Banff Mountain Book          Oct 30-Nov 7   Grande Prairie
Calgary International        Apr 1-30
                                             and Film Festivals
Spoken Word Festival                                                                     Slave Lake Songbird Fest,          Jun 5-6
                                             Christmas in November –    Nov 6-19         Lesser Slave Lake
Calgary International        May 25-29
                                             Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge                  Provincial Park
Children’s Festival
                                             Winterstart Festival,        Nov 27-28 &    Magnificent River Rats             Jul 1-2
4th Street Lilac Festival    May 30
                                             Banff & Lake Louise          Dec 4-5        Festival, Athabasca
HSBC Calgary Marathon        May 30
                                             Alberta South                               Riverboat Daze, Slave Lake Jul 8-10
Spruce Meadows, National Jun 9-13
                                             Spectrum Festival,           Jun 4-6        Peace Fest, Peace River            Jul 9-10
Calgary C-Jazz Festival      Jun 21-27
                                             Medicine Hat                                Alberta Open Sand                  Jul 17
Spruce Meadows,              Jul 7-11                                                    Sculpture Championship,
North American                               Waterton Wildflower          Jun 19-26
                                             Festival, Waterton Lakes                    Slave Lake
Calgary Stampede             Jul 9-18        National Park                               interPLAY Festival,                Aug 6-8
Fiestaval Latin Festival     Jul 16-18       The Medicine Hat JazzFest    Jun 21-27      Fort McMurray
Calgary Folk Music Festival Jul 22-25        The Canadian Badlands        Jul 9-11 &     Golden Walleye Classic,            Sep 4-5
Calgary Fringe Festival      Jul 30-Aug 7    Passion Play, Drumheller     16-18          High Prairie

Calgary International        Aug 5-8         Medicine Hat Exhibition      Jul 28-31
Blues Festival                               and Stampede
Afrikadey                    Aug 9-14        Whoop-Up Days,
Global Fest                  Aug 20-28       Lethbridge                   Aug 24-28

Calgary International        Aug 21          Rum Runner Days &            Sep 3-5
Reggae Festival                              Thunder in the Valley,
                                             Crowsnest Pass

                                                                                                           Official Alberta Vacation Guide   27
& arEa                       

                                                            Edmonton Folk Music Festival

28 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                         Capitalizing on Culture Edmonton is Canada’s                 Edmonton Attractions
                                                                         Festival City with more than 30 annual music, arts           Alberta Aviation Museum
                                                                         and cultural festivals. Some of the biggest crowd

                                       Santa Maria, West Edmonton Mall
                                                                         pleasers take place in the Downtown Arts District
                                                                                                                                      Alberta Legislature
                                                                         and in Old Strathcona. Drawing world-class         
                                                                         performers, they include: the Edmonton Folk Music            Alberta Railway Museum
                                                                         Festival, the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre
                                                                         Festival, the Edmonton International Jazz Festival, the      Art Gallery of Alberta
                                                                         Heritage Festival and the Edmonton International

                                                                                                                                                                          EdMONTON & AREA
                                                                                                                                      Canadian Petroleum
                                                                         Street Performers Festival. Sir Winston Churchill
                                                                                                                                      Discovery Centre
                                                                         Square anchors the Downtown Arts District, recently
                                                                         redeveloped as a prime entertainment hub. It’s also          Devonian Gardens
                                                                         home to Tix On The Square, a one-stop shop for     
                                                                         Edmonton’s top entertainment tickets. Framing the            Edmonton Corn Maze
                                                                         square are cultural centrepieces such as the Francis
                                                                                                                                      Elk Island National Park
                                                                         Winspear Centre for Music, the Citadel Theatre and
                                                                         the newly expanded Art Gallery of Alberta. Art lovers
                                       Muttart Conservatory

                                                                                                                                      Fort Edmonton Park
                                                                         should make a beeline for 124 Street, a short      
                                                                         distance away from the downtown core. This funky             Muttart Conservatory
                                                                         area is lined with galleries, cafes and bookshops –
                                                                         precisely why the Gallery Walk was formed which              Northern Alberta
                                                                                                                                      Jubilee Auditorium
                                                                         promotes both art and artists of merit, with a special
                                                                         focus on Canadian artists and their work. Sports buffs       northern
                                                                         should check the National Hockey League’s                    Northlands
                                                                         Edmonton Oilers and the Canadian Football League’s 
                                                                         Edmonton Eskimos for game schedules. And                     Old Strathcona
                                                                         adrenaline junkies should inquire about the Canadian
                                                                                                                                      Royal Alberta Museum
                                                                         Finals Rodeo (largest indoor rodeo in western
                                                                         Canada) and the Rexall Edmonton Indy. The dynamic
                                       Fringe Festival

                                                                                                                                      Rutherford House
                                                                         3.1 km (1.96 mi) race track at the city centre airport
                                                                         makes this one of the most thrilling stops on the            Telephone Historical Centre
                                                                         Indy Car Series calendar.                                    telephonehistorical
                                         Oh Naturale Visit a steaming jungle and a hot desert                                         TELUS World of Science
                                         under the Muttart Conservatory’s four glass pyramids                               
                                         located in the heart of Edmonton’s spectacular river                                         Ukrainian Cultural
                                                                                                                                      Heritage Village
                                         valley. Walk through 190 acres of gardens and
                                         natural areas at the University of Alberta’s Devonian
                                                                                                                                      Valley Zoo
                                         Botanic Garden near Devon. Take advantage of the                                   
                                         largest urban park system in North America, 22                                               West Edmonton Mall
Alberta’s capital lies in the geographic times that of Central Park in New York City. There are                             
heart of the province. Pulsing with      more than 20 major parks in the river valley offering                                        Attractions, Museums
cultural events, Edmonton is known for off-leash sites, playgrounds, picnic sites, outdoor                                            & Art Galleries
its historic neighbourhoods, superb      skating as well as 150 km (93 mi) of walking and
museums and lengthy roster of            biking trails. At the TELUS World of Science, gaze
festivals. however, the No. 1 crowd-     upward at the stars in the largest planetarium dome
pleaser continues to be West             in Canada. You’ll also find an Imax Theatre in this
Edmonton Mall. And shopping here         complex as well as five interactive mind-boggling
                                         galleries, loaded with creative programs.
won’t cost you a king’s ransom –
Alberta is the only province without a
provincial sales tax.

                                                                                                                                   Official Alberta Vacation Guide   29
All-Star Capital                   Home to Thousands If you want to see a concert,
Edmonton and sports go             a horse race, Capital EX, Canada’s national rodeo
together like hot dogs
                                   championships or an NHL Edmonton Oilers game,
and baseball. Every
hockey fan should pay a            they’re all at Northlands. The massive grounds house
trip to Rexall Place –             the AgriCom, The Spectrum and Rexall Place, making
home ice for the National
                                   this Edmonton’s premier entertainment centre which
Hockey League’s
Edmonton Oilers and the            hosts more than 2,500 annual events, attracting
very arena where Wayne             more than four million visitors every year.

                                                                                              Grand Prix
Gretzky led the Oilers to a
string of Stanley Cup              Step Back in Time Old Strathcona Historic Area is
victories. Armchair
                                   ranked as one of the top 10 shopping districts in
quarterbacks should try to
nab tickets to the 2010            Canada. This area is home to eight theatre companies,
Grey Cup or an Edmonton            antique stores, a repertory cinema (the Princess),
                                                                                                                           “When I performed at

Eskimos game at
                                   boutique hotels and loads of eclectic restaurants. Fort
Commonwealth Stadium,                                                                                                      Capitol Ex in 2008, there was
                                   Edmonton Park is one of the largest living history
where grass, not artificial                                                                                                such energy in the crowd,
                                                                                                                           I had forgotten what love
turf, rules the day. The           parks in Canada where you can glide back in time by
Eskimos were playoff
contenders for 34
                                   strolling through the streets of 1885, 1905 and 1920.                                   there is in my hometown.
consecutive years – from           Want to rest your weary feet? Take a ride on a                                          Edmonton’s an easy place to
1972 to 2005 – a record                                                                                                    be an artist – any kind

                                                                                                 kreesha Turner
                                   horse-drawn wagon, a stage coach or an old
for a North American
                                   fashioned street car. Pick up the pace with a ride on                                   of artist. With
professional team.
                                   the steam train that was renovated to accommodate                                       the number
                                                                                                                           of festivals,
Dig a little deeper and
you’ll see how sports is           the filming of The Assassination of Jesse James by the
woven into the very fabric         Coward Robert Ford. What about rest for your weary                                      concerts and
of Edmonton:
                                   head? You can stay overnight at the Selkirk Hotel (first
• Two former premiers of                                                                                                   always going on
                                   built in the 1920s) – featuring 30 new private guest
  Alberta were members                                                                                                     under our big,
                                   rooms and a 65-seat dining room.
  of the Canadian Football                                                                                                 blue skies, it’s
                                                                                                                           amazing we’re
  League’s Edmonton
  Eskimos: Peter                   A Capital Tour Begin with a stroll through the
  Lougheed and Don                 Alberta Legislature. Built from 1907 to 1912, the                                       not all artists!”
  Getty. Former Edmonton
                                   province’s foremost historic structure is set amidst
  Mayor Bill Smith also
  played for the Eskimos.          beautiful gardens and water displays. The
• The first outdoor hockey         interpretive centre and gift shop is a favourite stop
  game in National Hockey          before or after a free guided tour. Once the site of
  League history – the
                                   the original Fort Edmonton, the spectacularly
  Heritage Classic – was
  played in Edmonton               landscaped gardens of this impressive Beaux Arts
  on Nov. 22, 2003,                building are the perfect spot for a picnic. Its
  where the Edmonton
                                   fountains are a very popular place for getting your
                                                                                              Royal Alberta Museum

  Oilers took to the ice
  against the Montreal             feet wet on warm days. Next should be a walk
  Canadiens as part of             around what was formerly the residence of the first
  the celebrations of the
                                   six Lieutenant Governors. Known as the Alberta
  Oilers’ 25th NHL season.
                                   Government House, you can drop in on weekends to
• Figure skating stars
  Jamie Salé and David             view its collection of Canadian art. Visit the Royal
  Pelletier, Kurt Browning         Alberta Museum next door and take a peek beneath
  and Kristi Yamaguchi all
                                   the surface of the prairies, inside our Aboriginal
  have ties to the city’s
  Royal Glenora Club,
  noted for its outstanding
  coaching and drive for
  athletic excellence.
                                                                                              Fort Edmonton Park

Many of Edmonton’s festivals are meant for those on a shoestring
budget. downtown Edmonton pulses with free performances by
internationally known street acts – from magicians to comics –
for 10 days during the International Street Performers Festival.
30 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                      EdMONTON & AREA
The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

                               Official Alberta Vacation Guide   31
                                       Fringe Festival

32 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                          history or deep below the snow pack at the Wild             Jetting About
                                                                          Alberta Gallery. Always a hit with the small-fry is a       Take a jet boat tour
                                                                                                                                      through the heart of
                                                                          visit to the Valley Zoo, home to more than 100 exotic
                                                                                                                                      Edmonton or blast up
                                                                          and native species.                                         the Peace River to a
                                                                                                                                      guest ranch.
                                                                          It’s all in the Game Streak your face with blue paint

                                    Corn Maze, Bon Accord
                                                                                                                                      Men-Only Spas
                                                                          and start the wave at an Edmonton Oilers hockey
                                                                                                                                      Relax in the “Executive
                                                                          game. Or, rip it up over the thumping beat of a             Lounge” at The Board
                                                                          lacrosse game with Edmonton’s Rush or at a football         Room in Edmonton,

                                                                                                                                                                          EdMONTON & AREA
                                                                          game starring the Edmonton Eskimos. Prefer the              Alberta’s first men-
                                                                                                                                      only spa.
                                                                          roar, grit and flames of open wheel racing? The
                                                                          Rexall Edmonton Indy revs into high speed every             Sky high
                                                                                                                                      Most people don’t even
                                                                          summer in the capital. Oh, and did we mention
                                                                                                                                      know there are streetcar
                                                                          Edmonton’s new Capitals baseball team and the Oil           bridges in Edmonton – let
                                    Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

                                                                          Kings junior hockey teams, and the fact the                 alone one that travels
                                                                                                                                      over the world’s highest
                                                                          Edmonton region boasts more than 70 golf courses?
                                                                                                                                      streetcar bridge! The High
                                                                                                                                      Level Streetcar operates
                                                                          Just a Short Drive Away Elk Island National Park is
                                                                                                                                      spring through fall giving
                                                                          one of the finest spots to view wildlife in Alberta         visitors a trip over the
                                                                          and it’s just a 30-minute drive east of the capital.        High Level Bridge – built
                                                                                                                                      in 1912.
                                                                          You’re bound to spot a few of the 1,700 elk, 600
                                                                          plains bison and 375 wood bison, as well as deer,
                                                                          moose and beaver that call this place home. Take up
                                                                          a 9-hole round of golf in the park and then wind
                                                                          down with an overnight in an authentic tipi at Elk
                                                                          Island Retreat. In the early 1900s, this region was
                                                                          home to the largest Ukrainian settlement in Canada.
                                    Devonian Botanic Garden

                                                                          The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village provides
                                                                          costumed interpreters who play historic characters
                                                                          and recreate day-to-day activities which you can join
                                                                          – from churning butter to painting eggs. The 30
                                                                                                                                       Fort Edmonton

                                                                          historic buildings on site are originals, moved here
                                                                          and restored to preserve their heritage. Venture
                                                                          south of the city to the Canadian Petroleum
                                                                          Discovery Centre where oil production began in 1947
                                                                          at the Leduc #1 Historic Site. Numerous exhibits
                                                                          salute Alberta’s oil industry with information on its
                                                                          history, technology and progress.
                                    Royal Alberta Museum

                                                                                                                                       High Level Street Car

                                                                          A-maze-ing Fun Sure, it’s corny but we’re not talking
                                                                          about a few lonely cobs here. The Great Prairie Corn
                                                                          Maze, just east of Bon Accord, transforms acres of
                                                                          corn into an elaborate maze that can keep families
                                                                          lost for hours. As can the five-km creation of twists
                                                                          and turns that resembled a curler (at the Roar of the
                                                                          Rings event) in 2009, found at the Edmonton Corn
dId yOu kNOW that Edmonton’s first                                        Maze. Another immensely popular corn maze is the
industry was actually fur, followed by                                    Amazing Field Maze, just south of Leduc. Spanning
                                                                                                                                       Royal Alberta Museum

coal? Take a walking tour of the                                          more than 10 acres, various messages get cut into
                                                                          the corn each year. While you’re on the fringes of the
capital and learn that much of the
                                                                          capital take an amble through St. Albert, home of a
original coal seam remains unmined,
                                                                          top-notch International Children’s Festival and the
right below the downtown streets.
                                                                          site of western Canada’s largest farmers’ market.
                                                                                                                                   Official Alberta Vacation Guide   33
Go Fish                                            From Mennonites to single operators, you’ll find
                                                                                                        dId yOu kNOW that Edmonton has
Even city slickers fish, as                        more than 200 vendors selling fresh, local produce –
there are operators and                                                                                 hosted the Commonwealth Games, the
                                                   every Saturday from July to September.
prime fishing holes within                                                                              World Figure Skating Championships
the urban edges of the
                                                   Change Gears The best way to experience the          and the World Championships in
provincial capital.
                                                   dozens of urban parks and recreation areas that      Athletics? Just recently hockey
Backcountry Bliss
                                                   meander through Edmonton is – slowly. Rather than
Dip deep along a perfectly                                                                              Canada announced that in 2012, the
                                                   race through these green belts in your vehicle, rent
designed three day                                                                                      World Junior Championship will be
backcountry canoe circuit                          a bike or a Segway, or even a canoe for a leisurely
near Lac La Biche.                                                                                      held in Edmonton and Calgary. The
                                                   paddle down the North Saskatchewan River.
                                                   Options for canoeists include guided or unguided
                                                                                                        facilities the public gets to use after
                                                   trips through the centre of the city. Edmonton       these events are remarkable.
                                                   Canoe offers a series of canoe programs and
                                                   rentals. Cyclists should check out Velocity Cycle and
                                                   Instant Mountain Bike Rentals. For maps and bike
                                                   events, the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society
                                                   is a terrific resource.

                                                   Green Thumbs Up The Devonian Botanic Garden,
                                                   developed by the University of Alberta, lies just
                                                   southwest of the city. Discover Canada’s most northerly
                                                   botanic garden, 80 acres of display gardens and 100
                                                   acres of natural areas. Indoor show houses, tours, plant
                                                                                                              The Francis Winspear Centre for Music

                                                   sales, and special events are yours to discover. When
                                                   there, be sure to visit the Kurimoto Japanese Garden
                                                   and the Sensory and Healing Garden.

                                                   Less than a Tank Away In the northwest wedge of
                                                   Edmonton is one of Alberta’s oldest settlements, the
                                                   city of St. Albert, seeped in French heritage. Historic
                                                   attractions here include the Father Lacombe Chapel,
 Midway, Capital EX

                                                   built in 1861 by the pioneering priest and his Métis
                                                   helpers. It’s also the burial site for Lacombe, who
                                                   was a central figure in the area’s early days. Besides
                                                   the historic buildings perched above the Sturgeon
                                                                                                              Father Lacombe Chapel, St. Albert

                                                   River is St. Albert Place, a contoured brick building
                                                   designed by Douglas Cardinal. Inside is the Musée
                                                   Héritage Museum. Other highlights in St. Albert
                                                   include its massive Saturday-only summer market,
                                                   the trail system at Red Willow Park and the
 Fort Edmonton Park

                                                   Woodlands Water Play and Skateboard Park plus its
                                                   many historic murals.

                                                   Old is New Again The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA),
                                                   designed by Randall Stout Architects, is set to rise
                                                   from the rubble as a new structure wrapped in curvy
                                                   steel ribbons. Slated to open Jan. 31, 2010, the gallery
                                                   space has nearly doubled and will showcase three
                                                                                                              The Art Gallery of Alberta

                                                   floors of exhibitions. Opening shows include major
                                                   works by Edgar Degas, Yousuf Karsh, Janet Cardiff and
                                                   Georges Bures Miller.
 Segway Tour

34           1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      EdMONTON & AREA
                                                                                                                                                                                                       River Valley

                                                                                                                         Cariwest Caribbean Festival
                                                            Rutherford House
Old Strathcona

                 Morning                                                       Afternoon                                                               Evening

                 What a cool way to see a city wake                            Too nice to dine inside so I found a                                    Was able to nab some tickets for an
                 up – by jet boat. Next to their little                        great outdoor bistro in Old Strathcona.                                 outdoor concert tonight at Hawrelak
                 coolers, fishermen cast their lines into                      I think this is one of the coolest                                      Park so I’m wolfing down an early
                 the North Saskatchewan River.                                 neighbourhoods in all of Canada.                                        dinner, overlooking the river valley
                 Cyclists pedal to work. Families of                           Poets are gathering next door…                                          where I cycled this morning. The
                 ducks and geese snooze in the reeds.                          what’s “blink” poetry?                                                  Cornish game hen with a juniper
                 Even kayakers and canoeists seem                                                                                                      berrysauce is crispy, almost like Peking
                                                                               I’ve been seduced. I was trying to
                 to use the river as an early                                                                                                          Duck. It’s sitting on a nest of white
                                                                               decide which show to attend at the
                 morning playground.                                                                                                                   asparagus, crunchy beets and roasted
                                                                               Fringe Festival when someone on
                                                                                                                                                       pine nuts. Sublime.
                 Rented a cool, new Segway and am                              stilts started rapping about jolly cows
                 now cruising through downtown and                             and lonely canola fields. Now I’m in a                                  I know the Saturday afternoon blues
                 parts of the North Saskatchewan                               parade heading toward an outdoor                                        jams at the Commercial Hotel are an
                 River Valley; biggest urban park in                           stage and he’s way off in front, like a                                 institution but the nights give you lots
                 North America. The path system                                mad Pied Piper.                                                         to groove to, as well. Blues on Whyte
                 meanders from parks to golf courses,                                                                                                  is exactly what you’d expect from an
                                                                               Someone swooped out of a tree and
                 across historic bridges, past ponds                                                                                                   über-swinging, Chicago-style blues
                                                                               started doing the bunny hop. No one
                 and through forests.                                                                                                                  bar. Hot. Thick air. Sultry music. Big
                                                                               is seated any longer. We’re all hanging
                                                                                                                                                       Dreamer brought down the house.
                                                                               on to the waist in front of us, jumping
                                                                               forward. Then backward. Then, a-1-2-3.
                                                                               I’m laughing with absolute strangers.
                                                                               Hundreds of them.

                                                                                                                                                                     Official Alberta Vacation Guide          35
                                                                 SMOKY LAKE



                                                           Elk Island
                                                           National            TWO HILLS
                        EDMONTON                              Park

                                       6 4
                                                      1 2
                                         3                                          VEGREVILLE

                                  60                                  Beaverhill


                                       2                                             VIKING
                                                                                                   TELUS World of Science


36 1-800-ALBERTA
 Cultural and
heritage Loop                                    EdMONTON ANd AREA ROAd TRIP

                                                 Distance: 300 km (180 mi)
                                                 Travelling time: Two to three days by car
                                                 Begin: Edmonton
                                                 End: Edmonton

                                                                                                                                                EdMONTON & AREA
                                                 Where can you experience the world’s largest indoor triple-loop
                                                 rollercoaster, eat a platter of perogies dished up by a ukrainian Baba, see
           Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

                                                 bison up close and take in more festivals than you ever thought possible?
                                                 Edmonton. use the capital as a base and fan out on short jaunts.

                                                 1 From Edmonton head east on Hwy 16 to Elk Island National Park. Get there
                                                    early as prime time for wildlife viewing is in the morning when the 1,700
                                                    elk, 600 plains bison and 375 wood bison are up and about. Whether you
                                                    drive, bike or hike through Canada’s smallest national park, there are plenty
                                                    of interpretive plaques and points of interest that explain the park’s
                                                    historical importance.

                                                 2 Follow the signs to nearby Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Costumed
                                                    interpreters lead you through more than 30 restored historic buildings and
                                                    then let you loose to experience numerous hands-on activities and games.

                                                 3 Make your way back to Edmonton and in keeping with our historic theme,
           Fort Edmonton Park

                                                    visit Fort Edmonton Park. At one of Canada’s largest living history parks,
                                                    discover how our pioneers and fur traders lived, take a ride on a steam
                                                    train or relax on a ferris wheel, 1920s style.

                                                 4 Take a free tour of Alberta’s magnificent Legislature Building and marvel at
                                                    its Beaux Arts details and its elegant outdoor gardens and fountains. Next
                                                    on your urban tour, visit the Royal Alberta Museum where you’ll gain a
                                                    sense of the scope of Alberta’s natural and human history. In the evening,
                                                    poke around Old Strathcona, beloved for its bohemian ambiance and terrific
                                                    shopping. Dine at one of the area’s eclectic restaurants and then finish up
                                                    your night with a guided ghost tour.
           Royal Alberta Museum

                                                 5 Drive south on Hwy 2 to Leduc where oil was discovered on Feb. 13, 1947.
                                                    This very find transformed Edmonton into the Oil Capital of Canada – neatly
                                                    explained at the Leduc #1 Historic Site and the Canadian Petroleum
                                                    Discovery Centre and Hall of Fame. Here, you’ll also find a replica oil rig,
                                                    drilling equipment, photos and hands-on displays. Head back to Edmonton
                                                    on Hwy 60 and stop at the Devonian Botanic Gardens. Blissfully serene, a
                                                    walk through its Japanese Garden and around its extensive collection of
                                                    native and alpine plants is always a lovely escape.
           Bison, Elk Island National Park

                                                 6 Spend a day at West Edmonton Mall. Here, you can splash around the
                                                    world’s largest indoor waterpark, flip around Galaxyland (home of the
                                                    mindbender, the world’s largest indoor triple loop rollercoaster), or enjoy
                                                    the one-stop shopping experience at the 800 plus stores and services and
                                                    re-energize at one of the 100 dining establishments.

                                                                                                         Official Alberta Vacation Guide   37
& area                       

                                                            Stephen Avenue Mall

38 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                        Savour the City Get your bearings with a panoramic           Calgary Attractions
                                                        sweep of the city from the observation deck of               Bar U Ranch
                                                        Calgary’s premier landmark, the Calgary Tower,
                                                                                                                     Butterfield Acres
                                                        where you can dare to teeter across its glass floor at
                                                        160 m (525 ft). Time it right and you could dine at
                                                                                                                     Calaway Park
                                                        its newly renovated, ever-revolving, restaurant in the
                                                        air – Sky 360. Then zip down for an amble along              Calgary Attractions

                                     Calgary Tower
                                                        Stephen Avenue Walk, a lovely historic strip of    
                                                        handsome sandstone buildings and high-end                    Calgary Farmers’ Market
                                                        restaurants, galleries and shops. Enjoy the dynamic
                                                                                                                     Calgary Stampede
                                                        arts and music scene at a variety of stages including
                                                        the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts and the
                                                                                                                     Calgary Tower
                                                        Grand Theatre. Taste the city’s cosmopolitan cuisine
                                                        downtown or at any number of multicultural                   Calgary Zoo

                                                                                                                                                         CALGARy & AREA
                                                        restaurants in eclectic neighbourhoods. Or, for an 
                                                        in-depth dining experience take a two-hour guided            Canada Olympic Park
                                                        Urban Safari Tour that blends unique restaurants,
                                     Downtown Skyline

                                                                                                                     Downtown Calgary
                                                        famed for regional cuisine, with a little architectural
                                                        soupçon and local insight into the regional food
                                                                                                                     Eau Claire Market
                                                        scene as well as the history of the city.          
                                                                                                                     Fish Creek Park
                                                        Child Friendly Calgary Look for the bright yellow
                                                        sun and green streak of grass if you want the official       fishcreek
                                                        seal of approval by “kid critics,” employed by an            Fort Calgary Historic Park
                                                        organization that rates attractions, hotels and events
                                                        in Calgary according to children’s needs. Top marks          Glenbow Museum
                                                        go to the Calgary Zoo, renowned for its spectacular
                                                                                                                     Heritage Park
                                                        Destination Africa pavilion and the Canada Wilds
                                                                                                                     Historical Village
                                     Glenbow Museum

                                                        area as well as its sleepovers, tours, free feedings,
                                                        demos and underwater viewing hippo pool. Other               Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
                                                        big hits with families of all ages are Canada Olympic
                                                        Park (hop on the fastest zipline in North America or
                                                                                                                     Kananaskis – Calgary’s
                                                        try out its new Zorbing attraction where you roll
                                                                                                                     Mountain Playground
                                                        down a hill in a giant plastic bubble); Calaway Park
                                                        (western Canada’s largest outdoor amusement park);           kananaskis/flashindex.asp
                                                        the Aerospace Museum; the TELUS World of Science;            Lougheed House
                                                        Calgary Spaceport; Shakers Fun Centre and
                                                                                                                     Spruce Meadows
                                                        Butterfield Acres (a hands-on working farm).
Calgary pulses with a youthful,                                                                            

entrepreneurial energy yet it still                     Can you Hear the Drums? From the floor of a tipi,            The Military Museums
respects its humble roots – most                        listen to an elder whisper tales of ancient ways. You
                                                                                                                     TELUS World of Science
evident in the 10 day July whoop-up                     can almost hear the rumble of buffalo hooves
                                                        barrelling across the dusty prairies as you discover
known as the Calgary Stampede. The
                                                        thousands of years of history of First Nations people
city is known as the gateway to the
                                                        at Nitsitapiisinni: Our Way of Life, a permanent
Canadian Rockies, less than an hour’s
                                                        exhibit at Calgary’s Glenbow Museum. And be sure
drive away. Amble down one of the
                                                        to tour the Glenbow’s innovative gallery, Mavericks:
longest urban pathways in North                         An Incorrigible History of Alberta where the story of
America and rub elbows with folks who                   our colourful province is told through the eyes of 48
are cycling, jogging and roller-blading.                mavericks. Ever wanted to wear a Northwest
                                                                                                                      Public Art

you’ll even see people fishing for trout                Mounted Police uniform or spend time in a
in the Bow River – on their lunch hour!                 turn-of-the-century jail? Step right up to Fort Calgary

                                                                                                                  Official Alberta Vacation Guide   39
did you know?                      for a chance to relive the Wild West. Another
In addition to being one           must-see is the $65 million expansion of Heritage
of Canada’s largest cities,
                                   Park Historical Village, replete with a spiffy new car
Calgary is also one of the
youngest and fastest-              museum, steam train rides, an antique midway, an
growing. Other nuggets             old-fashioned bakery, candy store and school house
you need to know:
                                   – all staffed by highly trained interpreters. Then
• Americans make up
                                   march through another chapter of our history at the

                                                                                            Spruce Meadows
  10 per cent of Calgary’s
  one million plus                 also newly expanded, Military Museums – full of
  population.                      vintage tanks, carriers and WWI paraphernalia.
• Calgary’s elegant
  Stephen Avenue Walk              Spine Tingling Fun Want to dazzle your guests or
  became a National                family with an unusual history lesson that might
  Historic District
                                   actually make their blood run cold… well, maybe
  in 2002.                                                                                                      “When I’m

                                                                                                  CALGARy zOO
                                   just tepid? Consider a night of ghostly entertainment
• The city has a healthy                                                                                        away from
                                   that dips into the mischief, mayhem and murders
  culinary scene, boasting                                                                                      Calgary I
                                                                                                                miss the
  of more than 3,700               of Calgary. All four ghost tours focus on historic
                                   neighbourhoods – Downtown Calgary, Inglewood,                                space and

                                                                                              Brian keating
• Although Native
  Blackfoot moved
                                   Kensington and 17 Avenue SW – and are led by a                               freedom we
  through the area of              guide in a black cape with a proverbial lantern.                             have here. And
  Calgary approximately                                                                                         the clear water
                                   Which is the Biggest Rock of all? Just south of
  2,000 years ago,                                                                                              of the Bow
                                                                                                                River plus the
  nobody stayed put until          Calgary in the town of Okotoks is the largest glacial
  about 300 years ago
  when the Sarcee and
                                   “erratic” in the world, weighing in at 18,000 tons. A                        easy access to
  Stoney natives moved             Calgary brewery, Big Rock, and Okotoks itself were                           mountains where
  down from the North              named for this giant rock dragged from the Jasper                            I love to hike and
  and began warring on
                                   area and deposited 10,000 years ago by glacial ice.                          backcountry ski. One of my
  this turf.
                                                                                                                favourite things to do in
                                                                                                                Calgary is snorkel down the
• White settlers first             The Adventures of “K Country” Take a short drive
  arrived in Calgary in the
  late 1700s. In 1875, Fort
                                   west of Calgary, through the foothills of the Rockies,                       Bow, looking for fish.”
  Calgary was built at the         to Kananaskis Country. Discover horseback riding,
  confluence of the Bow            hiking, canoeing, rafting, fishing, bird watching,
  and Elbow rivers.
                                   overnight pack trips, guest lodges, heli tours and a
• The name “Calgary”
                                   world-class hotel. An Olympic downhill ski hill, miles
  comes from Calgary Bay,
  a remote village on the          of cross country ski trails and a 36-hole golf course
  Isle of Mull in Scotland         are all less than an hour west of Calgary.
  and is said to translate
  from Gaelic to “garden           Jump to It! Spruce Meadows is one of the world’s
  in the cove.”
                                   top equestrian facilities that hosts 15 major horse
• Calgary is committed to
                                   jumping competitions annually and offers more than
  green spaces. We have
                                                                                            Heritage Park

  29 major parks, 40               $6 million in prize money.
  regional parks and a
  total of 7,500 hectares          More of our Western Ways You could be having a
  of open spaces,                  Mojito at a sun-kissed rooftop restaurant in Calgary
  including all parks.
                                   over lunch and be ridin’ a snortin’, buckin’ bronco 30
• Calgary has the longest
                                   minutes later. Your western fantasy lies just 15
  continuous bike path in
  Canada with 635 km               minutes north of Calgary, near Balzac, where an          dId yOu kNOW the Caesar cocktail
  (394 mi) of paved paths.         arena is open year-round to put wannabe bronco
                                                                                            was first created in Calgary in 1969
                                                                                            by bartender Walter Chell? Today, the
                                                                                            Caesar is Canada’s No.1 selling
                                                                                            cocktail – more than 250 million
                                                                                            Caesars are downed every year. you
Take Calgary’s CTrain (a light rail transit system) downtown and you
                                                                                            must try one when you’re here.
won’t pay a cent. The route along 7 Avenue is a free-fare zone.

40 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                           CALGARy & AREA
Seven Restolounge

                    Official Alberta Vacation Guide   41
                                       Calgary Stampede Midway

42 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                  riders through their paces. First, is Bull Riding 101 –       The Bar u Ranch
                                                                  a classroom-based, behind-the-chutes look at the              Visit this national historic
                                                                                                                                site in Longview and
                                                                  sport of bull riding. This is where you get to test your
                                                                                                                                discover our rich ranching
                                                                  skills on the back of a mechanical bull. Get Bucked is        history. Use a branding
                                                                  the second course, aimed at graduates who have                iron. Chow down on
                                                                                                                                buffalo burgers.
                                                                  demonstrated enough chutzpah to ride a live bull in

                                   TELUS World of Science
                                                                  a relatively safe, controlled environment. Fantasy            ultimate Amusement
                                                                  Adventure Bull Riding is the world’s first bull riding        Calgary’s Calaway Park is
                                                                                                                                western Canada’s largest
                                                                  school that provides a gritty, personal experience            outdoor amusement park,
                                                                  into our wild and woolly past.                                home to 33 rides
                                                                                                                                including the Samba Spin
                                                                  Other Nearby Nuggets No time to drive the entire              as well as the Dream
                                                                  Cowboy Trail? Settle for a sample by popping into             Machine and Falling Ace.
                                                                                                                                Mini-golf, live shows, a
                                                                  Bragg Creek, a funky “western” town, just 50 km               midway and an RV park/
                                                                  (30 mi) southwest of Calgary. This quaint hamlet is           campground are part of

                                                                                                                                                                    CALGARy & AREA
                                                                                                                                the complex.
                                   Fruit Stand near Bragg Creek

                                                                  full of restaurants, boutiques, antique shops and craft
                                                                  galleries. Nearby is Diamond Valley, “The Heart of
                                                                  the Cowboy Trail,” which includes Turner Valley (tour
                                                                  the Turner Valley Gas Plant Historic Site), Black
                                                                  Diamond, Millarville (great farmers’ market on
                                                                  Saturdays in the summer) and Longview (pop into
                                                                  Ian Tyson’s Navajo Mug for a coffee and some
                                                                  country tunes or pick up a chewy wedge of beef
                                                                  jerky made right on the premises of the Longview
                                                                  Jerky Shop). Can’t get enough of our western ways
                                                                  and stunning high ranch country? Just south of
                                                                  Longview is the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site,
                                                                  a fantastic swath of land that tells the tale of how
                                   Okotoks Erratic Rock

                                                                  massive and powerful “corporate” ranches were,
                                                                  in their day. Once stocked with 3,000 head of cattle
                                                                                                                                 Kananaskis River

                                                                  driven north from Montana, it was also renowned
                                                                  throughout North America as a leading breeder
                                                                  of Percherons – some of these draft horses run
                                                                  free today on the ranch’s tumble of foothills.
                                                                  Another area that celebrates Calgary’s western
                                                                  roots is the nearby town of Cochrane. Be sure to
                                                                  scoop up a cone from Mackay’s Ice Cream parlour
                                                                                                                                 Calgary Stampede Midway

                                                                  while you’re there.

dId yOu kNOW that you can rove                                    All-Star Workouts You might just find yourself
around Stampede Park any old time,                                working out next to an Olympic athlete at one of
not just during July’s 10 day shindig?                            North America’s biggest athletic centres, Calgary’s
Explore the grounds and you’ll                                    Talisman Centre or Canada Olympic Park (COP) –
discover who the “Big Four” were.                                 future home of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. At COP,
                                                                  you’ll discover the legacy left by the XV Winter
These heroes are constantly mentioned
                                                                  Olympics with its luge, skeleton and ski jumping
in Calgary for they were the four
                                                                  facilities where Olympians from around the planet
businessmen who bankrolled Guy
                                                                  still train. You’ll spot even more elite athletes in the
                                                                                                                                 Canada Olympic Park

Weadick for $100,000 so he could
                                                                  near future as WinSport Canada’s $276 million
kickstart the Stampede, back in 1912.                             expansion rolls out, making this Centre of Sport
The Big Four were: George Lane, A.E.                              Excellence the new home of Hockey Canada. Other
Cross, A.J. MacLean and Patrick Burns.                            popular athletic facilities include the speed skating

                                                                                                                             Official Alberta Vacation Guide   43
Winds and Wakes                                                “Oval” at the University of Calgary and numerous
Whether it’s summer or                                         municipal pools and recreation complexes – many of

                                                                                                                         Chuckwagon Racing, Calgary Stampede
winter, winds always howl
                                                               which, like the Calgary Rotary Challenger Park, are
across Ghost Lake, luring
kitesurfers to this spot,                                      multi-use, barrier-free facilities. If you’re more of a
just west of Calgary.                                          spectator, check out the roster of games and
hay days                                                       concerts held at the Pengrowth Saddledome – home
Experience a dry float in a                                    of the NHL Calgary Flames. Or, McMahon Stadium,
heated hay bath inspired                                       where the Canadian Football League’s Calgary
by Alberta’s cowboy
country, and then expand                                       Stampeders play.
your awareness with
pulsating light at Calgary’s                                   Hollywood North Location, location, location – that’s
Sublime Spa.                                                   precisely what movie makers seek when they’re
                                                               preparing to shoot. If you experience déjà vu, say in
                                                               a place such as Ranchman’s Cookhouse (Calgary’s top

                                                                                                                         Wild Pony Race, Calgary Stampede
                                                               honky tonk dance hall), there’s a very good reason.
                                                               That’s precisely where the saloon scene in Brokeback
                                                               Mountain took place. Or, if Heritage Park looks
                                                               familiar it might be because Brad Pitt shot a scene
                                                               there featured in The Assassination of Jesse James
                                                               by the Coward Robert Ford. Even little coffee joints
                                                               such as the Dairy Lane Milk Bar in the
                                                               neighbourhood of West Hillhurst have made it big –
                                                               in this case in the recently shot, made-for-TV movie,
                                                               Blue Smoke, based on a Nora Roberts novel.

                                                               Calgary Stampede The 10-day summer shindig,
                                                               known as the “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,”
 Saddle Bronc, Calgary Stampede

                                                               is more than just a midway or a rodeo. The corporate
                                                                                                                         Pengrowth Saddledome

                                                               city of more than a million shuts down, while parties
                                                               rev up. Streets are lined with hay bales. Pinstripes
                                                               get traded in for Wranglers and shiny belt buckles.
                                                               Free pancake breakfasts happen daily. Platters of
                                                               “prairie oysters,” get slurped back as people
                                                               celebrate our woolly past – when life was full of
                                                               buckin’ broncos, bulls, steers and corner saloons. But
                                                               the Stampede is also about the “New West” where
                                                               oil barons and entrepreneurs flourish, just like those
 Bull Riding, Calgary Stampede

                                                               Stetson-wearing cowboys once did. This is exactly
                                                               the time where you can pony up to a bar with
                                                               rootin’ tootin’ cowboys or two-step till sun-up. While
                                                               the entire city gets gripped by Stampede fever the
                                                               epicentre is Stampede Park, where more than               dId yOu kNOW that Calgary is the
                                                               100,000 people converge each day. Here you’ll find
                                                                                                                         sunniest city in Canada, averaging
                                                               cowboys from all over the planet showing off their
                                                                                                                         332.93 days of sunshine each year?
                                                               skills at the world’s richest outdoor rodeo. Plus a
                                                                                                                         And the downtown core is crisscrossed
                                                               staggeringly large midway, agricultural shows,
                                                                                                                         with elevated, enclosed sidewalks?
 Calgary Stampede Midway

                                                               big-act concerts and a nightly grandstand show
                                                               complete with fireworks.                                  They call them Plus 15s as they’re
                                                                                                                         4.5 m (15 ft) above street level. There
                                                                                                                         are about 15 km (9.3 mi) of them,
                                                                                                                         linking malls to hotels, museums,
                                                                                                                         restaurants and office buildings.

44                       1-800-ALBERTA

                                                                                                                                                                                                              CALGARy & AREA
Ski Jumping, Canada Olympic Park

                                                                              Children’s Day Camp, Canada
                                                                              Olympic Park

                                                                                                                                       River Cafe

                                   Morning                                                    Afternoon                                             Evening

                                   The whoosh of hot air blasting into                        Raced over to the Calgary Farmers’                    The days are long here in the summer
                                   an enormous balloon is surprisingly                        Market and wolfed down the juiciest                   so we were able to enjoy a patio table
                                   loud, but that only lasts a couple of                      Greek Souvlaki I’ve ever had. Bought a                at the River Café until very late. Of
                                   moments and then all is silent as we                       bag of cowboy popcorn for the road.                   course I had to order Alberta beef but
                                   drift over our hotel. The sun begins to                                                                          the view of Prince’s Island Park and
                                                                                              I was so close that I just popped over
                                   sneak over the prairies, to the east,                                                                            the lagoon and the downtown skyline
                                                                                              to Heritage Park where the S.S. Moyie
                                   staining those tidy fields of wheat                                                                              were just as tasty.
                                                                                              was about to leave the dock.
                                   with streaks of purple, crimson, and
                                                                                              Scrambled on to this sternwheeler                     Some friendly local at dinner said we
                                   then finally gold. Over the lip of the
                                                                                              and got a great history lesson while                  had to learn to two-step at the
                                   basket I can see the rocks in the clear
                                                                                              we cruised around the Glenmore                        Ranchman’s, so we put on our
                                   ribbon of water known as the Bow
                                                                                              Reservoir and then I checked out the                  western duds and went to this
                                   that winds through Calgary. What’s
                                                                                              new Gasoline Alley.                                   cookhouse and dancehall. We missed
                                   that? A deer in the city? Dozens roam
                                                                                                                                                    the free dance lessons but how often
                                   freely in Nose Hill Park. I look west                      I knew if I got to the Glenbow
                                                                                                                                                    do you to get to ride a bull? Sure it
                                   and all I see is a wall of snow-kissed                     Museum I’d never want to leave so I
                                                                                                                                                    was mechanical, but what a hoot.
                                   peaks, the Canadian Rockies.                               saved it for last. The Aboriginal
                                                                                              section is superb. Tipis were such an
                                   Even though it was more than 20
                                                                                              ingenious design. And those sod huts
                                   years ago that Calgary hosted the
                                                                                              pioneers lived in – with their
                                   Winter Olympics, the spirit’s still very
                                                                                              chandeliers and pianos they brought
                                   much alive at Canada Olympic Park
                                                                                              over from their homeland – must
                                   (COP). I stood exactly where Eddie
                                                                                              have been so chilly in the winter.
                                   the Eagle did on top of the 40 m
                                   (120 ft) ski jump, closed my eyes and
                                   yes, I jumped ... on North America’s
                                   fastest zipline.
                                                                                                                                                                 Official Alberta Vacation Guide         45

                                            1                EDMONTON

                                                     North                           r
                                                                      ewan Ri
                                DRAYTON VALLEY


                                                                                         RED DEER

                                 National          SUNDRE
                                  Park                      22


                                        Country          3       22                      Bow River

                                                 BRAGG CREEK
                                                                         BLACK DIAMOND
                                                 TURNER VALLEY



                                                                               Buffalo Jump

                                                                         4                 CREEK

                                                                                 6                5
                                                                                              5       CARDSTON
     Visitor Information Centre                       Waterton
     UNESCO World Heritage Site                      National Park
                                                                                                                 Bar U Ranch National Historic Site, Longview

46 1-800-ALBERTA
The Cowboy Trail                                                   CALGARy ANd AREA ROAd TRIP

                                                                   Distance: 735 km (457 mi)
                                                                   Travelling time: Three to five days by car
                                                                   Begin: Mayerthorpe
                                                                   End: Cardston

                                                                   Explore Alberta’s historic Cowboy Trail and discover how the West
                                                                   was really won through its art, history, food, hospitality and culture.
             Saddlebronc Riding, Tsuu T’ina Nation

                                                                   The trail begins in Mayerthorpe (northwest of Edmonton) and ends in
             Rodeo and Powwow, Bragg Creek

                                                                   Pincher Creek – a nudge above Montana. While it’s possible to drive
                                                                   the entire distance, most people carve it into little two and three day

                                                                                                                                                                 CALGARy & AREA
                                                                   loops, using Calgary as a logical fly-in gateway.

                                                                   1 Head south on Hwy 22 from Mayerthorpe and be sure to stop in at Rocky
                                                                      Mountain House, home to a newly expanded national historic site that
                                                                      re-enacts the story of Canada’s fur trade and rugged voyageur life. Paddle
                                                                      back in time in a voyageur canoe that will guide you down the North
                                                                      Saskatchewan River, ending at this very site.

                                                                   2 Head south and use Sundre as a base for wilderness trips or horseback
                                                                      ventures into the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve.
             Remington Alberta Carriage

                                                                   3 Small-town charmers include Bragg Creek (loaded with artisan and antique
                                                                      shops plus hiking and mountain biking loops), Millarville (home to a massive
             Museum, Cardston

                                                                      farmers’ market held on Saturdays throughout the summer), Turner Valley (it
                                                                      was here that Canada’s first major crude oil discovery was made), Black
                                                                      Diamond and Longview. Just south of Longview lies the Bar U Ranch – full of
                                                                      original buildings, ongoing archaeological digs and intriguing exhibits.

                                                                   4 At the junction of Hwy 22 and Hwy 3 you’ll find Pincher Creek where you
                                                                      can poke around Kootenai Brown’s Pioneer Village and then jog north to
                                                                      Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Here you’ll
                               Tsuu T’ina Nation, Bragg Creek

                                                                      find the world’s largest, oldest and best preserved buffalo jump – plus a
                                                                      fascinating museum.

                                                                   5 To complete the official Cowboy Trail, travel south and then veer east on
                                                                      Hwy 5 to Cardston where the Remington Carriage Museum houses one of
                                                                      North America’s largest collections of carriages, buggies and wagons. It’s a
                                                                      spectacular example of another era … the Wild, Wild West.
                               Windsor Ridge, near Pincher Creek

                                                                                                                          Official Alberta Vacation Guide   47

                                                            Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park

48 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                                Kananaskis Country – Cradles Nine Parks Less than                Canadian Rockies
                                                                                an hour’s drive west of Calgary lies “K Country.” While          destinations
                                                                                most of that swath is wilderness, tiny Kananaskis
                                                                                Village has everything you need: a couple of fine
                                                                                                                                                 Banff Centre
                                                                                hotels, superb golf courses, a ski resort, bike loops, 

                                       Banff Upper Hot Springs
                                                                                hiking trails, horseback riding and campgrounds, plus            Banff National Park
                                                                                plenty of wildlife without the crowds.                 
                                                                                Canmore – has Three Sisters Framed by one of the       
                                                                                world’s most spectacular mountain ranges, Canmore                Grande Cache
                                                                                lies an hour west of Calgary – another gem in our      
                                                                                crown of Rocky Mountain splendour. Sandwiched                    Hinton
                                                                                between Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country,
                                                                                                                                                 Icefields Parkway
                                                                                Canmore has plenty of condos and homes to rent,
                                       Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park

                                                                                making it an ideal base for a family vacation. Loads of
                                                                                restaurants, art galleries, hikes, mountain bike trails,
                                                                                golf courses, theatre, the Canmore Nordic Centre and             Jasper National Park
                                                                                festivals galore translate to something for everyone.  
                                                                                                                                                 Kananaskis Country
                                                                                Banff – is that a Castle in the Peaks? Located 130     

                                                                                                                                                                                     CANAdIAN ROCkIES
                                                                                km (81 mi) west of Calgary, Banff National Park is a             Lake Louise
                                                                                UNESCO site that offers hundreds of hiking trails,     
                                                                                pristine glacial-fed lakes, wildlife, horseback riding, ski      Willmore Wilderness Park
                                                                                resorts and a magnificent Stanley Thompson-designed
                                       Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park

                                                                                golf course – all in a protected national park setting.
                                                                                The entire park occupies nearly 6,641 km2 (2,564 sq
                                                                                mi) of land in which lie the charming town of Banff
                                                                                and hamlet of Lake Louise. Look for award-winning
                                                                                restaurants, theatres, museums, spas, a summer arts
                                                                                festival, camping and world-class accommodation
                                                                                such as two magnificent, historic Fairmont properties.

                                        Art Matters At the base of Tunnel Mountain, flanking
                                        the east side of the town of Banff, you’ll see a
                                        cluster of buildings – like a kingdom unto its own.
                                        Known as The Banff Centre, this “kingdom” began in
                                        1933 as a two-week drama camp. Since then it’s
                                        grown into an internationally recognized arts
                                        complex that houses a conference centre (where
                                                                                                                                                  Lake Edith Cavell, Jasper

                                        visitors can stay overnight if attending a
                                        performance), two theatres, the town’s most scenic
                                                                                                                                                  National Park

you’re at the top of Tunnel Mountain, (and cheapest) swimming pool, a rock climbing wall,
breathing in pine-scented air, and      art studios, galleries, artist-in-residence cottages, one
now know what Alberta-born folkie,      of Canada’s biggest summer arts festivals and a
Joni Mitchell, was on about when she unique mountain film and book festival, in
sang I Can See Clearly Now. Clarity is November. From innovative jazz and poetry readings
all around – in the crisp air, in the   to Indie band performances, theatre, ballet, classical
charm of a pretty town called Banff, in music, artists’ talks and workshops – this place is one
the whitewater froth of the Bow River of Banff’s artistic cornerstones.
and in all this Rocky Mountain space.                                           Lake Louise – What Makes it that Colour? Find out
                                                                                                                                                  Lake Louise

Good thing you brought your boots,                                              why Lake Louise, nestled at the foot of Victoria
your bike, your golf clubs ...                                                  Glacier, is known as the “Jewel of the Rockies,” and

                                                                                                                                              Official Alberta Vacation Guide   49
Must-see in                        is one of the most photographed lakes in North
Jasper National Park               America (along with its neighbour, Moraine Lake).
Athabasca Falls. Medicine
                                   Ride a gondola. Trek to an historic log teahouse such
Lake. Columbia Icefield.

                                                                                               The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Mount Edith Cavell. Jasper         as the one at Lake Agnes or the Plain of Six Glaciers.
Tramway. Pocahontas.               Or, lace up your cross country ski (or hiking) boots
Lake Annette, Pyramid
                                   and venture off into the nearby wilds for a
and Patricia Lakes. Lake
Edith. Sunwapta Falls.             quintessential 11 km (7 mi) trek into Skoki Lodge,
Maligne Canyon. Maligne            built in the ’30s. Ski at one of North America’s most
Lake. Punch Bowl Falls.
                                   scenic resorts or simply write postcards while having
A Jasper Motorcycle/
Sidecar Tour.                      “high tea” at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Must-see in Grande                 Take the High Road The Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93)
Cache, hinton and Area
                                   stretches 230 km (143 mi) from Banff National Park

                                                                                                              OWNER, JASPER AdVENTuRE CENTRE
Grande Cache Tourism &
Interpretive Centre. Hinton        to Jasper, past a chain of massive glaciers and
Nordic Ski Centre. Hinton          waterfalls that tumble down the Continental Divide.
Mtn. Bike Skills Park.             Stop in at Peyto, Hector or Bow lakes and marvel at
Hoodoos. Miette Hot
Springs. Natural Resources         the peculiar colour of water, due to deposits of glacial
Interpretive Park. Sulphur         silt. Another must-see is the Columbia Icefield, 325
Gates. William A. Switzer          km2 (125 sq mi) of ancient glacial ice, some of which                                                       “Like so
Provincial Park. Willmore
Wilderness Park. The               you can see from the highway. Better yet, hike to the                                                       many of us transplants, I
Canadian Death Race.               base of the Athabasca Glacier or take a tour on a                                                           came to Jasper for a year and
Brule Sand Dunes.                  specially designed coach, the “Ice Explorer.”                                                               never left. My favourite tour
                                                                                                                                               is something we call the
                                                                                                     Murray Morgan

Must-see in
Banff National Park                Jasper – the Biggest of the “Jewels” Jasper National                                                        Sunburst Canoe Program. It
Bow Valley Parkway. Banff          Park is Canada’s largest mountain park, spanning                                                            starts at 6:30 AM when I
Gondola. Cascade                   10,878 km2 (4,200 sq mi). About a four-hour drive                                                           pick up our guests, coffee
Gardens. Banff Park
                                   west of Edmonton, Jasper is known for its canoeing,                                                         and fresh croissants and head
                                                                                                                                               out to Pyramid Lake where
Museum. Banff Summer
Arts Festival. Cave and            kayaking, fishing, skiing, wildlife watching, cycling and
Basin National Historic            hiking. Marvel at seven mountain ranges from the top                                                        we have a picnic on an island
Site. Johnston Canyon.
                                   of the Jasper Tramway, take a cruise to picturesque                                                         and watch the sun wash over
Banff Upper Hot Springs.                                                                                                                       the Colin Range.”
The Fairmont Banff                 Spirit Island, or mountain bike on the endless trails
Springs. Bankhead.                 surrounding the town. In the town of Jasper, you’ll find
Vermilion Lakes. Bow
                                   world class accommodation, eclectic dining, laid-back
Falls. Whyte Museum.
Lake Agnes Tea House.              pubs and great museums.
Moraine Lake and Valley
                                                                                               Medicine Lake, Jasper National Park

of the Ten Peaks. The              Rocky Mountain Fringes Veer beyond Jasper and
Fairmont Chateau Lake              you’ll discover lesser-known hubs for outdoor
Louise. Lake Minnewanka.
                                   enthusiasts such as the town of Hinton. Rugged
Must-see in                        scenery, endless outdoor adventures plus interpretive
kananaskis Country                 tours about coal mining, forestry and natural resources
Bow Valley Provincial
                                   surround this town on the Athabasca River. Visitors
Park. Kananaskis Village.
Peter Lougheed Provincial          keen to hike, fish, camp, water ski or bike won’t want
Park. Sheep River                  to miss William A. Switzer Provincial Park. High in the
Provincial Park. Spray
                                   foothills of the Rockies, the town of Grande Cache has
Valley Provincial Park.
Highwood Pass (highest             a panoramic view of 21 mountain peaks and two river
road pass in Canada).              valleys. Built on a mountain plateau, Grande Cache
                                   faces south toward the Continental Divide and the
                                                                                           dId yOu kNOW that two of Canada’s
Must-see in Canmore
Canmore Nordic Centre.             pristine Willmore Wilderness Park and is another        most iconic hotels look like castles –
Cougar Canyon. Grassi              excellent centre for outdoor adventures.                with their turrets, sweeping staircases
Lakes. Riverside Trail
                                                                                               and stunning surroundings? The
Networks. Canmore                  History Bubbles Up Two of Canada’s most historic
Museum & Geo-                                                                          Fairmont Banff Springs and The
Science Centre.                    hot springs are in Banff and Jasper. Both offer
                                                                                       Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
                                   jaw-dropping views of peaks and valleys that appear

50 1-800-ALBERTA
                                  The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise,
                                  Banff National Park

Official Alberta Vacation Guide
                                                                      CANAdIAN ROCkIES
                                       Banff Avenue

52 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                               to tumble around them. The Upper Hot Springs in               Wildlife Wonders
                                                               Banff also offers spa facilities and the newly                The chances you’ll spot
                                                                                                                             bighorn sheep, mule deer
                                                               renovated Miette Hot Springs in Jasper is more noted
                                                                                                                             and elk in our Rocky
                                                               for its nearby hikes and interpretive trails.                 Mountain parks are almost
                                                                                                                             a given. However,
                                                               All-Star Views Sometimes it’s effortless to zoom in on        sightings of moose, bear,
                                                               a dazzling view – just drive the Icefields Parkway. But       cougars, wolves and
                                                                                                                             caribou are far less likely
                                                               others take sweat. Here are a few breathtaking vistas
                                                                                                                             – apart from seeing them

                                     Lake Louise
                                                               where you’re likely to burn through batteries, a              displayed in a museum or
                                                               memory card and your quads! Peer over the ledge of            in a heritage property.
                                                                                                                             Look for the latter at the
                                                               Ha Ling Peak in Canmore and spot Calgary’s bumpy
                                                                                                                             Banff Park Museum in
                                                               skyline – about 100 km (62 mi) away. Lake lovers will         Banff, the Wildlife Museum
                                                               adore all the tarns and little lips of pearly blue lakes      in Jasper, the new tourism
                                                                                                                             and interpretive centre in
                                                               along the backcountry route from Lake Louise to Skoki
                                                                                                                             Grande Cache, Num-Ti-Jah
                                                               Lodge. For wildflowers, the slog up Jonas Pass in             Lodge (along the Icefields
                                                               Jasper National Park is worth every gasp. At the pass         Parkway) and the Fairmont
                                                                                                                             properties in Banff, Lake
                                     Big Horn Sheep, Rockies

                                                               you’ll see a 15 km (9.3 mi) long corridor filled with
                                                                                                                             Louise and Jasper.
                                                               delicate alpine flowers and the occasional caribou.
                                                                                                                             A Feast with a View
                                                               Also in Jasper is the multi-day hike along the Skyline
                                                                                                                             Best views from
                                                               Trail that places you on a 5 km (3.1 mi) ridge walk

                                                                                                                                                                 CANAdIAN ROCkIES
                                                                                                                             restaurants include the
                                                               that’ll stagger you with range upon range of snow             posh Three Ravens at The
                                                               kissed peaks. Near the entrance to Willmore                   Banff Centre, the
                                                                                                                             five-diamond Eden in the
                                                               Wilderness Park, north of Jasper, look for the Sulphur        Rimrock Hotel in Banff,
                                                               Gate Lookout which offers stunning views of the               the lobby bar at The
                                                               sheer cliffs along the confluence of the Smoky and            Fairmont Chateau Lake
                                                                                                                             Louise and the lakefront
                                                               Sulphur Rivers. Those who crave the jaw-dropping              deck at The Fairmont
                                                               views but can’t hike the distance can always take a           Jasper Park Lodge.
                                                               gondola ride in Banff, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise          Wildlife Fence
                                     Banff National Park

                                                               and Jasper that’ll whisk you to the top of a peak in          That 2.4 m (7.8 ft) high
                                                               minutes. Want something divinely decadent? Go                 fence that stretches along
                                                                                                                             the Trans-Canada Hwy.,
                                                               heli-hiking and stay in a backcountry lodge.
                                                                                                                             between Banff and Lake
                                                                                                                             Louise, was built to
                                                               Horse Sense Twist around in your saddle and marvel
                                                                                                                             prevent wildlife from
                                                               at the windswept ridges that tumble into each other           crossing the busy road.
dId yOu kNOW that Banff is a Mecca                             under a taut, blue Alberta sky. You’ve worked hard            Research says that 11
                                                                                                                             species of large mammals
                                                               for this view. Sun up, you were helping “cookie” fire
for artists? Guess that’s why there are                                                                                      have used the 24
                                                               up a campstove. By 9 AM you’d packed your gear                underpasses and
so many art galleries! you’ll probably
                                                               and learned why you throw a stick in a cup o’ joe             overpasses more than
see more black and white photos shot                                                                                         94,000 times since 1996.
                                                               when you’re brewing a pot over a snapping fire. And
by Byron harmon than any other                                                                                               That’s a lot of wildlife!
                                                               now, you’re high on a mountain pass listening to
photographer. he was an American                               twigs snap in the woods, searching for signs of               What’s that you hear?
who arrived in Banff in the early 1900s                        grizzlies. Yes, you can go on guided multi-day
                                                                                                                             If it’s autumn and you’re
                                                                                                                             on a golf course in the
and made it his mission to shoot every                         horsepacking trips with bear experts, biologists,             Rockies, it’s likely a bull
major peak in the Rockies.                                     horse whisperers or just plain ol’ cowboys. Plenty of         elk bugling for a mate.
                                                                                                                             You’ll find them clanking
                                                               operators, guest ranches and themed “educational”
                                                                                                                             their racks and locking
                                                               horsepacking trips can be found in Canmore, Banff,            their egos during the fall
                                                               Lake Louise, Jasper and Grande Cache.                         rut. Wherever you are, do
                                                                                                                             watch for animal crossings
                                                                                                                             as many golf courses have
                                                                                                                             widened their designs to
                                                                                                                             accommodate wildlife.
             If you cycle along the Bow Valley Parkway, between Banff and Lake
             Louise, there are at least 15 good reasons to stop – the precise number
             of interpretive panels that connect visitors to the area!
                                                                                                                          Official Alberta Vacation Guide   53
Make Green the Colour
of your Next Adventure             Ski destinations                                         Marmot Basin
                                                                                            Located in Jasper National Park, Marmot
Choose an Alberta-based            Castle Mountain                                          Basin is one of the least crowded family
adventure company that
                                   Just two-and-a-half hours south of Calgary, near the     friendly ski areas in North America. Seven
applies sustainable
business principles to their       town of Pincher Creek, lies Castle Mountain. Castle      lifts (including the longest, new high-
activities. Whether they           has long been a Mecca for hardcore skiers, powder        speed quad chair, the Canadian Rockies
offer kayaking, rafting,
                                   hounds and riders but with the opening of Mt. Haig,      Express, in Alberta’s Rockies) service 84
hiking, biking or
horseback riding – ask if          there’s a whole lot more terrain for beginners and       trails.
they use local suppliers           intermediate skiers.
for goods and services
and if each activity               Nakiska
is led by a well-informed
                                   Site of the 1988 Winter Olympic ski events, Nakiska

                                                                                            Sunshine Village, Banff National Park
                                   is the closest of the “big” mountain ski areas to
At the vanguard of
responsible tourism is             Calgary and is an Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA) Training
Banff National Park where          and Race Centre. Known for its groomed fall line
you’ll find Canada’s first
                                   skiing, Nakiska boasts six lifts, 28 runs, a 735 m
all-hybrid electric transit
fleet, a.k.a. Roam.                (2,412 ft) vertical rise, the longest magic carpet in
Impossible to miss, all            Alberta, and has accommodation just moments from
four buses are painted
                                   the daylodge.
with wildlife imagery of
grizzlies, elk, goats and
                                   Ski Norquay
wolves. These new
hybrids reduce emissions           Located 10 minutes from the town of Banff, Ski           The Lake Louise Ski Area, Banff National Park

and encourage tourists to          Norquay offers well-groomed trails, 28 runs, a
park their cars and jump
                                   503 m (1,650 ft) vertical rise, a great ski school, a
aboard Roam, instead.
                                   night-lit terrain park, as well as a wide variety of
Ski Green
                                   pricing options including hourly rates – a bonus for
Wind turbines may not be
powering our ski lifts, yet,
but an increasing number
                                   Sunshine Village
of Alberta’s ski resorts are
turning a green leaf.              Home of the longest ski season in Canada, Sunshine
Upgraded snow making               Village is known to have Canada’s best all-natural
systems at most resorts
means less water and
                                   snow. Located 20 minutes from the town of Banff,
better energy efficiency.          Sunshine Village encompasses three mountains,
Low-flow toilets,                  seven quad chairs, the world’s fastest eight-
                                                                                            Nakiska Ski Resort, Kananaskis Country

automatic shut-off devices
and organic food items
                                   passenger gondola lift, 107 runs and a vertical rise
have become standard               of 1,070 m (3,514 ft). There’s also a newly renovated
fare. What most fans of            lodge on the hill, with a wing of new suites that just
the World Cup circuit,
which typically opens its
season at Lake Louise
                                   The Lake Louise Ski Area
Mountain Resort don’t
know is that every night           Canada’s single largest ski area offers 18 km2
segments of the race’s             (11 sq mi) of terrain on four distinct mountain faces,
fencing are removed
allowing wildlife to roam
                                   serviced by 11 lifts (including five quad chairs and
in the area. Regular               one six-passenger gondola). Lake Louise has 139
monitoring confirms these          runs and a vertical rise of 1,010 m (3,365 ft).
openings are frequently
                                   Continually rated as “North America’s most scenic
                                                                                            Marmot Basin, Jasper National Park

used by deer, coyotes and
elk. In 2006, Sunshine             resort,” this internationally renowned ski destination
Village Ski Resort was             is an early season mainstay on the World Cup
awarded the Silver Eagle
award for ‘Excellence in
                                   Downhill circuit.
Water Conservation.’ In
four years they reduced
their water usage by 29
per cent and their
water-related operating
costs by 40 per cent.

54 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Top of Banff Gondola, Banff National Park

                                                                                                                                                Moraine Lake, Banff National Park
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

                                                                              Eddie Burger Bar, Banff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               CANAdIAN ROCkIES
                                   Morning                                                              Afternoon                                                                   No need to pack much – hearty
                                   How often do you wake up in a                                        Jumped on a Roam (one of Banff’s                                            soups, loaves, muffins and dozens of
                                   castle? I arrived late last night so I                               hybrid-electric buses) and was at the                                       types of tea are available at both!
                                   had no idea how big and sumptuous                                    Cave and Basin National Historic Site
                                   The Fairmont Banff Springs actually                                  in moments. This is a great little
                                                                                                                                                                                    The sun was sliding over Victoria
                                   is. Fossils embedded in their stone                                  museum that tells how the discovery
                                                                                                                                                                                    Glacier when I got back down to Lake
                                   staircases. Knights in armour tucked                                 of the hot springs turned into
                                                                                                                                                                                    Louise so I just nabbed a window seat
                                   in niches. A golf course so stunning I                               Canada’s first national park. I love
                                                                                                                                                                                    in the Lakeview Lounge and soaked it
                                   wish I played.                                                       mountaineering legends so I ambled
                                                                                                                                                                                    all in. Decided I wanted more so I
                                                                                                        through the Whyte Museum of the
                                   The concierge told me I could run up                                                                                                             drove to nearby Moraine Lake where I
                                                                                                        Canadian Rockies. Could have spent
                                   Sulphur Mountain and take the                                                                                                                    sat outside listening to the lodgepole
                                                                                                        all day there, but I wanted to see
                                   gondola back down. Can I actually run                                                                                                            pines creak and moan in the breeze.
                                                                                                        Banff’s wildlife so I hurried over to
                                   up 1,000 m (3,000 ft) to the summit?                                                                                                             What should I order – steelhead trout
                                                                                                        the Banff Park Museum. Who knew
                                   It’s supposed to have panoramic views                                                                                                            with a mango salsa or Alberta beef?
                                                                                                        that Banff once had a zoo? And that
                                   of the Bow Valley and a cool little                                                                                                              My waiter tells me there are more
                                                                                                        grizzly bears could be blonde or
                                   boardwalk to the Sanson Peak                                                                                                                     remarkable hikes that fan out from
                                                                                                        almost black?
                                   Meteorological Station. If Norm                                                                                                                  this valley ... perhaps I should stay
                                   Sanson hiked up here thousands of                                    Grabbed a burger in Banff and drove                                         another day?
                                   times – even into his ’80s – to record                               to Lake Louise where I went on a tea
                                   the weather, surely I can do it once.                                house tromp. First, I took all those
                                                                                                        switchbacks up to the log charmer at
                                   Let’s just agree that Norm was
                                                                                                        Lake Agnes and then took the high
                                   extraordinarily fit! Decided to go for a
                                                                                                        traverse over to the original tea
                                   dip in the historic Upper Hot Springs as
                                                                                                        house at the Plain of Six Glaciers.
                                   they’re just at the base of the gondola.
                                   Perfect antidote for sore muscles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Official Alberta Vacation Guide                            55

                                                                                      To Edmonton





                                Willmore                       HINTON

                                   Park                       40



                                                    2      JASPER               Jasper

                                                                                          Brazeau Ri

                                                               abas                                                                                            er
                                             CA                    ca                                      COLUMBIA                 Abraham                 Riv
                                                NA                                                         ICEFIELD                 Lake

                                                   DI                                                                                                  er

                                                      AN                                  3                                                        r
                                                                                                                                                    w Banff
                                                                                                    IC                                          ea
                                                            RO                                             EF                     Bo
                                                                                                                                    wR        Cl       National
                                                               CK                                               IE                    ive               Park
                                                                                                                     LD                  r
                                                                  Y                                                       S
                                                                                  M               AR       93                                                                  To Calgary
                                                                                      OU             KW
                                                                                         NT             AY        4 LAKE LOUISE
                                                                                                                       5 1A                                         6

                                                                                                                                                                        To Kananaskis
        Visitor Information Centre                                                                                                                                      Country
        UNESCO World Heritage Site
                                                                                                                                                                                            The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

56 1-800-ALBERTA
The Icefields Parkway                                            CANAdIAN ROCkIES ROAd TRIP

                                                                 Distance: 230 km (142 mi) (Parkway alone)
                                                                 Travelling time: About two to five days by car
                                                                 Begin: Edmonton
                                                                 End: Calgary

                                                                 Ride the “backbone of the continent.” The Icefields Parkway, between
                                                                 Jasper and Lake Louise, boasts mountain peaks as high as 3,300 m
                                                                 (11,000 ft), more than 100 glaciers, subalpine meadows, ice-blue
                                                                 lakes and wildlife. Considered one of the world’s top 10 most scenic
                                                                 drives, the parkway can be driven year-round.
                  Jasper National Park
                  Columbia Icefields,

                                                                 1 Head west from Edmonton on Hwy 16 to the Cadomin Caves, near Hinton.
                                                                    These caves are the best known in Alberta. At Hinton take a stunning
                                                                    side trip north to Grande Cache, home of the Canadian Death Race and
                                                                    the gateway to the spectacular Willmore Wilderness Park: 4,600 km2

                                                                                                                                                                  CANAdIAN ROCkIES
                                                                    (1,840 sq mi) of mountain wilderness accessible only on foot or horseback.

                                                                 2 While in Jasper, take Canada’s most scenic boat tour (according to Reader’s
                                                                    Digest magazine, 2007) on Maligne Lake, golf, or have tea and a spa
                            The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

                                                                    treatment at the luxurious Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Then again, you
                                                                    could hike the half-day Bald Hills loop, join a multi-day horse pack trip
                                                                    along the Skyline Trail, explore the old mining town known as Pocahontas,
                                                                    or simply relax in the newly restored Miette Hot Springs.

                                                                 3 From Jasper, follow the spectacular Icefields Parkway south to Banff National
                                                                    Park. Points of interest include Sunwapta Falls, Parker Ridge, Panther Falls
                                                                    and Peyto Lake Lookout. Just remember – if you make only one stop, let it be
                                                                    the Columbia Icefield Centre. Here, you can hop on a specially designed Ice
                                                                    Explorer for a tour up the icy tongue of the Athabasca Glacier, zigzagged by
                                                                    crevasses, lateral moraines and ice that formed 400 years ago.
                            Herbert Lake, Banff National Park

                                                                 4 In the tiny village of Lake Louise, you will find two of the most photographed
                                                                    lakes in the world – Lake Louise and its neighbour, Moraine Lake. Trek to
                                                                    backcountry tea houses, rent a canoe for a leisurely paddle across these lakes
                                                                    or hire a guide for a technical climb – the roster is rich for outdoor enthusiasts
                                                                    and, actually, anyone who enjoys gazing at grandeur.

                                                                 5 From Lake Louise, take the scenic Bow Valley Parkway (Hwy 1A) to Banff,
                                                                    stopping at Baker Creek and Johnston Canyon (great spots for a picnic, hike
                                                                    or overnight). Then use the town of Banff as a base and explore its past by
                                                                    starting at the Cave and Basin Centennial Centre. In the summer, hop on
                                                                    the Banff Gondola or take a boat ride on Lake Minnewanka. Culture buffs
                            Lac Beauvert, Jasper National Park

                                                                    should check out the summer-long arts festival at The Banff Centre.

                                                                 6 As you head east to Calgary, squeeze in more outdoor adventures in
                                                                    Kananaskis Country, a sharp detour south off the Trans-Canada Hwy. A
                                                                    small village with two hotels and a hostel serves as a great base for
                                                                    golfers, hikers, cyclists, anglers and skiers plus there are numerous places
                                                                    to camp in this park.

                                                                                                                           Official Alberta Vacation Guide   57

                                                            Milk River, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

58 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                          Historical Highs Nowhere is the transition from              Alberta South
                                                                          prairie to peak more dramatic than at Waterton-              destinations
                                                                                                                                       Blackfoot Crossing
                                                                          Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World
                                                                                                                                       Historical Park

                                     Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
                                                                          Heritage Site. Straddling the Canada/U.S. border, this
                                                                          park has exceptionally rich plant and mammal life.           Canadian Badlands
                                                                          In the rolling foothills nearby, visit Cardston, a town
                                                                          established in 1887 by Mormon pioneers who                   Crown of the Continent
                                                                          travelled from Utah in one of the last great covered
                                                                                                                                       Cypress Hills
                                                                          wagon migrations. The Remington Carriage Museum
                                                                                                                                       Interprovincial Park
                                                                          takes you back to the horse and buggy days with    
                                                                          carriage rides and the largest collection of horse           Dinosaur Provincial Park
                                                                          drawn vehicles in North America. Explore the history
                                                                          of the clay industry in Medicine Hat and see the             Drumheller
                                                                          world’s largest exhibit of Medalta pottery and Hycroft
                                     Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

                                                                          china (once used exclusively by CPR-owned hotels).
                                                                                                                                       Buffalo Jump
                                                                          Then step outside and if the endless prairie sky   
                                                                          doesn’t make your head wobble, the 20-storey-tall            Lethbridge
                                                                          Saamis Tepee, certainly will. From here, amble down
                                                                          into the Seven Persons coulee, an enormously rich            Medicine Hat
                                                                          archaeological site where experts believe some 83
                                                                                                                                       Waterton Lakes
                                                                          million artifacts lie buried!
                                                                                                                                       National Park
                                                                          Where the Dinosaurs Roamed Prepare to be awed
                                                                          by the eerie beauty of the Canadian Badlands. At
                                                                                                                                       Tread Softly
                                                                          Dinosaur Provincial Park, another UNESCO World
                                                                                                                                       Leave lighter footprints by

                                                                                                                                                                           ALBERTA SOuTh
                                                                          Heritage Site, tiptoe in the footsteps of the dinosaurs      taking local transit. In the
                                                                          and see where complete dinosaur skeletons have               tiny town of Waterton,
                                     Dinosaur Provincial Park

                                                                          been unearthed. At the heart of Dino-land is                 rent an Italian Surry –
                                                                                                                                       these romantic bicycles
                                                                          Drumheller – just two hours from Dinosaur Provincial         built for two are complete
                                                                          Park – which offers all the conveniences of a modern         with four wheels, a jaunty
                                                                          town and all the intrigue of 70 million years of             bench-like seat, steering
                                                                                                                                       wheel and hand brakes.
                                                                          geological history. Just outside Drumheller, the newly
                                                                          renovated Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology              Great Canadian
                                                                                                                                       Barn dance
                                                                          has an extensive display of dinosaur skeletons and a
                                                                                                                                       For a toe-tappin’ good
                                                                          huge roster of special programs. There’s no need to          time mosey up to an old
                                                                          hustle back to a large urban centre – plenty of              fashioned barn dance and
                                                                                                                                       enjoy a hearty beef
                                                                          charming rural towns offer a wide range of
                                                                                                                                       dinner, available every
                                                                          accommodation, such as Rosebud. Famous for its               weekend in the summer
                                                                          old-fashioned dinner theatre productions you can             in Hill Spring.
                                                                          chow down on a country style meal in the                     The Tenderfoot’s
                                                                          Mercantile Dining Room with live music and then              Almanac
Southern Alberta can turn you into a                                      enjoy a first-rate play.                                     Other family favourites are
                                                                                                                                       fossil hunting with a guide
happy shutterbug. If its ethereal
                                                                          Beyond the Pavement Southern Alberta is a Mecca              from the Royal Tyrrell
evening light doesn’t seduce you, then                                                                                                 Museum near Drumheller,
                                                                          for fly fishers and ranch-goers. Guided, all-inclusive
its three uNESCO World heritage Sites                                                                                                  horseback riding in
                                                                          fly fishing operations are popular on the Old Man,           Waterton and camping
just might. Paddle past ancient                                           Crowsnest and Castle rivers. Want to haul in a               near the hoodoos in
petroglyphs and pictographs. Bed                                          monster fish that predates dinosaurs? Then join a
                                                                                                                                       Provincial Park.
down in a tipi. Peek over a buffalo                                       guided sturgeon fishing trip on the South
jump. Fly fish, horseback ride – or just                                  Saskatchewan River. Ranches offer horseback riding,
listen to the wind moan through the                                       cattle roundups, mountain biking and whitewater
hoodoos of the Canadian Badlands.                                         rafting. Just shop around.

                                                                                                                                    Official Alberta Vacation Guide   59
The Turning of Time                 Buried in History Drive through the Crowsnest Pass in
Hold an original plate in           southern Alberta and you immediately feel tiny and

                                                                                                Frank Slide from Bellevue Underground
your hand and you might
                                    inconsequential when entering the shadow of Turtle
be spirited back to the
                                    Mountain. The rocks are the size of condos and the

                                                                                                Mine, Bellevue, Crowsnest Pass
’20s when Alberta Clay
Products and Medalta                slide still looks fresh… there’s no vegetation, just a 90
Potteries were shipping
                                    ton jumble of jagged boulders that the wind
stoneware all over the
globe. The Medicine Hat             hopscotches around. On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 AM,
Historic Clay District’s            the entire face of this mountain peeled away,
150-acre working
                                    pummelling the town of Frank (pop. 600), killing 92
industrial museum is
massive and its new                 people. The tales of survival, bizarre warning systems,
visiting artist program is          luck, fate and how those in the mine were spared,
very innovative. So is the
                                    are legendary in these parts. A newly renovated
old beehive kiln, its
                                    interpretive centre is loaded with local anecdotes,                                                               “I love

                                                                                                        INTERPRETER AT hEAd-SMAShEd-IN BuFFALO JuMP
collection of 30,000
pieces, the factory tour –          award-winning films and a seismic monitoring system.                                                              Alberta for
                                                                                                                                                      this land is my
where there were once
                                    It’s also a great place to connect with old-timers who
18 kilns – and funky
galleries. Discover more            are still thrilled to tell the tales of Frank.                                                                    book. It’s my
about the “Hat,” by                                                                                                                                   history. It’s
ambling through its                 Rock Stars Under a full moon, paddle down the Milk                                                                who I am. The
historic downtown and               River in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park and listen                                                              language I speak
along the Esplanade.
Download a walking tour
                                    to the wind hiss through the coulees and canyons of                                                               comes from this
at: tourismmedicinehat.             the Canadian Badlands. Hoodoos rise out of the                                                                    land. The air I
com/documents/                      sandy shores as though sculpted by the hands of                                                                   breathe is the
                                    fairies into otherworldly shapes. The warm breezes                                                                same as what ran
                                                                                                                                                      through my
                                    that blow off the prairies nuzzle your back just as
Blackfoot Crossing
                                    they have for thousands of years. Members of the                                                                  ancestors. The sweat that
historical Park                                                                                                                                       ran though their pores is
                                                                                                   Conrad Little Leaf

                                    Blackfoot Nation believe this is the place where their
Perched on a windswept                                                                                                                                the same as mine. I thank
                                    ancestors were brought to die. The bodies were
                                                                                                                                                      the Great Spirit for the
bluff on the Siksika Nation
Reserve, an hour east of            trussed to the branches in big cottonwoods lining the
Calgary, this $33 million                                                                                                                             beautiful place he’s laid out
historical park overlooks           Milk River while others were lodged in caves in the                                                               for me.”
one of the most significant         nearby eroded sandstone cliffs. No one knows the
sites in Canadian history.          exact dates of this place. Even the Blackfoot call it
This is where the famous
Treaty No. 7 was signed in          Ayin’eep (“It Has Been Written”) because it existed
1877, a groundbreaking              before they came. Today the site contains the largest
agreement that allowed              collection of native rock art in North America.
the peaceful settling of
traditional Blackfoot               A Starry, Starry Night Cypress Hills Interprovincial
                                                                                                Horseshoe Canyon, Cypress Hills

territory. This is also where
Chief Crowfoot is buried.           Park, where people have lived for 10,000 years, is
In the shape of a stylized          the only park to straddle two provinces (Alberta and
                                                                                                Interprovincial Park

tipi, this eco-friendly             Saskatchewan) and is the highest point between the
museum – Canada’s largest           Rockies and Labrador, resulting in a unique
Aboriginal museum – is
artfully decorated with             ecosystem. Some 400 plant species, 37 species of
Blackfoot symbols from a            mammals, four ecological zones, parkland, foothills
buffalo-jump entranceway            and boreal forest have been recorded here. In 2008,
to an eagle-feather fan
above the doorway. Inside           Cypress Hills received its “Dark-Sky Preserve” status
you’ll find the requisite           – because of its programs that profile the night skies,
museum, artifacts, guided           including astronomy, night hikes, and nocturnal
walking tours, art gallery,
gift shop, restaurant,              wildlife ‘watching.’
theatre, visual exhibitions
– even tipi sleepovers.
                                    Play chess for free on Medicine hat’s giant chess board.
                                    Located near the Esplanade, it’s also close to the public
                                    library where there’s free Internet access.

60 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Powwow Teepee Village, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jump, near Fort Macleod
                                                                             The Fort Museum of the North West
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

                                                                                                                                           Waterton Lakes National Park
                                                                             Mounted Police, Fort Macleod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ALBERTA SOuTh
                                   Morning                                                      Afternoon                                                                 that date back 5,700 years. The area
                                   Woke up to the smell of bacon and                            Got lucky and wandered into the Fort                                      on top of the cliff is where it all
                                   coffee and drifted back again. Must                          Museum when the Mounted Police                                            began … the Blackfoot’s intricate
                                   have been the fluffy duvet and crisp                         Musical Ride was about to start.                                          system of stone cairns that formed
                                   mountain air in the town of Waterton                         Learned how those Mounties get their                                      drive lanes forcing the bison to
                                   because I rarely sleep in. Couldn’t get                      boots so shiny. They buff them with                                       stampede off the precipice.
                                   enough of the views so we took the                           floor polish. Really. I might get a pair
                                   scenic boat tour that stops in the                           custom made for me (at Calgary’s
                                                                                                                                                                          While the wind whipped the flaps at
                                   United States. Posted a memo for                             Alberta Boot store).
                                                                                                                                                                          the top of our tipi, I leaned against an
                                   peace on their park bulletin board
                                                                                                I finally made it to Head-Smashed-In                                      authentic backboard and listened,
                                   and scanned the shores for grizzlies
                                                                                                Buffalo Jump and can see why it’s a                                       really listened, to an elder whisper
                                   on the way back.
                                                                                                UNESCO site. This 305-meter-long                                          tales of Napi and other mythical
                                   Popped into Fort Macleod for a bison                         (1,000 ft) jump is the oldest, largest,                                   creatures that ruled our First Nations
                                   burger, en route to Head-Smashed-In                          and best-preserved buffalo jump on                                        people for centuries. The low thud of
                                   Buffalo Jump but got sidetracked at                          Earth. Blackfoot elders who operate                                       drums and distant yelp of coyotes
                                   The Empress Theatre. Turns out it’s                          many of the programs at this site say                                     stirred something deep inside me, as
                                   the oldest operating theatre in the                          it earned its name when a young                                           I slunk deeper in my sleeping bag.
                                   province and once had vaudevillian                           brave stood at the bottom of the                                          Of all the experiences that have
                                   acts from as far away as New York                            jump to watch buffalo barrel off the                                      connected me to our Aboriginal
                                   and Australia. I wanted to curl up on                        edge of the cliff.                                                        people, a stay in an authentic tipi on
                                   one of their love seats and watch                                                                                                      these hallowed grounds is IT.
                                                                                                The crowds started thinning so I
                                   tonight’s show but I’m camping at
                                                                                                ambled along the grassy cliff tops
                                   the Jump.
                                                                                                peering over into the scrub where
                                                                                                archaeologists claim skeletons lie,
                                                                                                some 11 meters (36.09 ft) deep,

                                                                                                                                                                                        Official Alberta Vacation Guide                                        61
                                                                                                                                        Circle Tour
                                                                                                                                        See page 65

                               Reel                         TROCHU


                            Adventures                                                     56
                                                      THREE HILLS                                                        HANNA

                         See page 65                                           27                         9

                                                                                       2    DRUMHELLER

                                                                               9          1 1                                                                    OYEN
                                                                                          3   4                   10
                                                                  STRATHMORE                                                      Dinosaur                 Red Deer River
                        CALGARY                                                                                                      Park

                                                                          CLUNY                           BASSANO
                                                                  24                                                    6




                                         HIGH                                                                                  BROOKS
                                 2       RIVER

                                                                  23                   McGregor                                               884



                                                                VULCAN                                                      Newell

                                     22 NANTON                            23

                                                        2                             w

                                                                                    Bo                                                                            MEDICINE

                                                                 CLARESHOLM                                             VAUXHALL

                                     Head-Smashed-In                                PICTURE
                                                                                                           an Riv
                                                                                                                 er Sou
                                                                                                                          th     BOW ISLAND     3                 7                 WALSH

                                                                     GRANUM         BUTTE            Oldm
                                       Buffalo Jump
                                                                                       COALHURST              3


                                         COWLEY                      FORT                            COALDALE
                                                                     MACLEOD                LETHBRIDGE                                                                              41
                   PASS                    3                                                      RAYMOND                                 FOREMOST
                            FRANK                                                             5                                                         61
                             SLIDE               PINCHER iver                                        52
                            CENTRE               CREEK  R
                                                                          2                                   4                                                  Pakowki Cypress

                                                                                           MAGRATH                                                               Lake      Hills

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, near Fort Macleod


                             Waterton     6                       CARDSTON                                                              Writing-on-Stone
                                Lakes                                                                     MILK RIVER                                                          Park
                                                                                                                                         Provincial Park
                            National Park

                                                                                                                                                      PORT OF                PORT OF
                                                                                                                       SWEETGRASS                     WHITLASH              WILD HORSE
                                            PORT OF CHIEF PORT OF                         PORT OF
                                              MOUNTAIN    PEIGAN                         DEL BONITA
                                     WEST GLACIER                                                                 M O N TA N A

     Visitor Information Centre
     UNESCO World Heritage Site
     U.S. Ports of Entry

62 1-800-ALBERTA
Reel Adventures                                               ALBERTA SOuTh ROAd TRIPS

                                                              Distance: About 400 km (249 mi)
                                                              Travelling time: One to two days by car
                                                              Begin: Drumheller
                                                              End: Fort Macleod

                                                              Alberta has been a popular backdrop for hollywood for decades with
                                                              southern Alberta’s style of frontier history and unspoiled wilderness an
                         Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller

                                                              all-star favourite. On this road trip we sneak behind the camera to look at
                                                              places featured in classics such as Unforgiven and Brokeback Mountain.

                                                              1 There’s plenty to see around Drumheller, as Clint Eastwood discovered when
                                                                 filming Unforgiven, his Oscar-winning western. About 17 km (10.5 mi) west
                                                                 of Drumheller, on Hwy 9, the prairies dissolve into the spectacular Horseshoe
                                                                 Canyon in the Drumheller Valley. Next to the valley was the location of
                                                                 Morgan Freeman’s shack in Unforgiven. While in Drumheller do what Brad
                                                                 Pitt and Angelina Jolie did when filming Jesse James and take your children
                                                                 to the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Western fans will also find more scenes from
                                                                 Unforgiven in Brooks, Stettler and Longview (along the Cowboy Trail). Head
                                                                 south on Hwy 56 from Drumheller to the Trans-Canada and then veer west
                         Waterton Lakes National Park

                                                                 to Cluny where you’ll see signs for Blackfoot Crossing. Stop at this national
                                                                 historic site that is steeped in the history of the Blackfoot people and then

                                                                                                                                                            ALBERTA SOuTh
                                                                 carry on westward to Hwy 22 and then drop south to Longview.

                                                              2 This stunning ranch country has been the backdrop for numerous westerns
                                                                 – just ask the folks at the Longview Jerky Shop while picking up a pack of
                                                                 chewy beef. They served Clint Eastwood while Unforgiven was being shot.
                                                                 Next, head south along the Cowboy Trail to the tiny town of Cowley, where
                                                                 some Brokeback Mountain scenes featuring Jack’s 1950 GMC truck were
                                                                 filmed outside the town’s fire hall. In the Savory Suite Café on Railway
                                                                 Avenue in the post office building, look for the “Brokeback Mountain was
                         Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park

                                                                 filmed here” plaque.

                                                              3 From Cowley, head east on Hwy 3 past the wind turbines near Pincher
                                                                 Creek to Fort Macleod – the backdrop for several scenes in Brokeback
                                                                 Mountain and Passchendaele. The town of 3,000 has maintained its
                                                                 historic Main Street where you’ll see the Red Coat Inn, the temporary digs
                                                                 for the cast and crew for both movies. While on Main Street, head to the
                                                                 Photo Plus/The Source Apartment Building where you’ll spy the staircase
                                                                 leading to Ennis and Alma’s apartment. A poster commemorates the
                                                                 controversial Brokeback smooch scene. While here, look for the Queen’s
                                                                 Hotel, built of sandstone in 1903. Inside is the dance-floor locale, Cassie’s
                                                                 Bar, from Brokeback. The streetscape was used in Passchendaele to
                                                                 represent 1917 downtown Calgary. Just down the block is Alberta’s oldest
            Reesor Lake, Cypress Hills

                                                                 theatre, the enchanting Empress, which still runs movies and hosts top
            Interprovincial Park

                                                                 stage presentations. Of course, while you’re in Fort Macleod do as Ennis did
                                                                 and have a meal at the Java Shop, near the Greyhound Depot and don’t
                                                                 forget to tour The Fort – Museum of the North West Mounted Police.

                                                              For more Reel Adventures, visit
                                                                                                                     Official Alberta Vacation Guide   63
64 1-800-ALBERTA
                                  Hoodoos, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park
Badlands Circle Tour                                                          ALBERTA SOuTh ROAd TRIP

                                                                              Distance: Distance varies with loops
                                                                              Travelling time: About three to four days by car
                                                                              Begin: Drumheller
                                                                              End: Calgary or Edmonton

                                                                              Refer to map on page 62

                                                                              On this excursion, marvel at Alberta’s two-billion-year-old geological
                                                                              history – on full display in the lunar-like landscape known as the
                                    Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller

                                                                              Canadian Badlands. Listen to the wind whistle around canyons,
                                                                              explore ancient bone beds, Blackfoot Crossing historical Park and
                                                                              enjoy remarkable dinner theatre.

                                                                              1 Whether you begin in Calgary or Edmonton, aim for the world’s largest
                                                                                 dinosaur in Drumheller. The information stop at this attraction doubles as
                                                                                 the Drumheller Tourist Information Centre and is the perfect starting point
                                                                                 for several short drives. Head west on the Dinosaur Trail, a 48 km (30 mi)
                                                                                 route through the Drumheller Valley.

                                                                              2 Continue west to the Little Church, described as being able to seat
                                                                                 thousands but only six at a time. Continue north to Horsethief Canyon for a
                                                                                 spectacular view of the badlands. Then, cross the Red Deer River on the
                                    Chin Reservoir, near Taber

                                                                                 Bleriot Ferry, one of the last remaining cable-operated ferries in Alberta.

                                                                                                                                                                               ALBERTA SOuTh
                                                                                 Head back to Drumheller to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, home of more than
                                                                                 35 dinosaur skeletons, interactive galleries and innovative programs.

                                                                              3 Next, head west on Hwy 9 for Horseshoe Canyon – a picturesque pocket of
                                                                                 badlands representing 70 million years of history. Travel further west on
                                                                                 Hwy 9, then south on Hwy 840 to Rosebud for dinner theatre.

                                                                              4 Back in Drumheller, look for the Hoodoo Trail, a 25 km (15.5 mi) drive east
                                                                                 along Hwy 10 which takes you to Canada’s most complete coal mine
                 Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site,

                                                                                 experience. Explore the newly excavated 61 meter (200 ft) long tunnel at
                                                                                 the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site. At this point zigzag south to Cluny.

                                                                              5 From Cluny, follow signs to Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park. A stylized tipi
                                                                                 serves as the interpretive centre where ancient legends are told through
                                                                                 innovative methods. Outside you’ll find medicine wheels, Chief Crowfoot’s
                 East Coulee

                                                                                 gravesite and a tipi village where you can camp overnight.

                                                                              6 Head east on Hwy 1 and north to Dinosaur Provincial Park on Hwy 36. The
                                                                                 Field station (where 35 species of dinosaurs have been found) offers
                                                                                 guided walks and popular badlands bus tours.
                                    Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park

                                                                              7 Stay east on Hwy 1 to Medicine Hat. Here you can visit the world’s tallest
                                                                                tipi and tour the Medicine Hat Historic Clay District. Other diversions include
                                                                                Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, the Windmill Museum in Etzikom, Devil’s
                                                                                Coulee Dinosaur Heritage Museum in Warner and Writing-on-Stone
                                                                                Provincial Park near Milk River. Then head back to Calgary or Edmonton via
                                                                                Hwy 2 or Hwy 22.

                                                                                                                                        Official Alberta Vacation Guide   65

                                                            Abraham Lake, near Nordegg

66 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                                        Central Wonders Alberta Central is massive, for it             Alberta Central
                                                                                        stretches from the tumble of the Rockies in the west           destinations
                                                                                                                                                       Alberta’s Lakeland
                                                                                        to the prairies in the east. Within this area lies:
                                                                                        Bighorn Country, famous for its 700 km (434 mi) of
                                                                                                                                                       Boomtown Trail
                                                                                        hiking trails, crosscountry skiing, horseback riding,
                                                                                        hunting, fishing, rafting, canoeing and kayaking;              Brazeau Regional Tourism
                                                                                        Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve, southwest of     
                                                                                        Nordegg, featuring natural grasslands and dozens of            Camrose

                                                Lac La Biche
                                                                                        species of birds, mammals and amphibians
                                                                                                                                                       Kalyna Country
                                                                                        uncommon to other Rocky Mountain passes; David
                                                                                        Thompson Highway, Hwy 11, named after the
                                                                                                                                                       Lac La Biche Region
                                                                                        explorer who was one of the world’s most prolific    
                                                                                        cartographers and fur traders; Alberta’s Lakeland,             Lacombe Tourism
                                                                                        aptly named for its 250 lakes, white sandy beaches,  
                                  Rocky Mountain House National

                                                                                        3,200 campsites and 400 km (248 mi) of trails.                 Lloydminster
                                                                                        Retrace those Early Footsteps Can’t get enough of              Nordegg West Tourism
                                                                                        David Thompson – even if you did spend time delving  
                                                                                        into his life at the newly expanded Rocky Mountain             Prairies to Peaks Tourism
                                  Historic Site

                                                                                        House National Historic Site? Then head to Lac La
                                                                                                                                                       Red Deer
                                                                                        Biche, one of the earliest western hubs of the fur
                                                                                        trade (1798) and home of the oldest sawn lumber
                                                                                                                                                       Rocky Mountain House
                                                                                        building in Alberta. Southeast, near Elk Point, lies Fort      whereadventure
                                                                                        George-Buckingham House – two rival trading posts,   
                                                Battle River Trestle, near Wainwright

                                                                                        constructed side by side in 1792. Interpretive displays        Rocky Mountain House
                                                                                                                                                       National Historic Site
                                                                                        offer a glimpse into the lives of Thompson, the
                                                                                        voyageurs and natives affected by the posts. Further           rockymountain/
                                                                                        west and south, explore the historic churches and              index_e.asp
                                                                                        other sites in a 20,000 km2 (7,722 sq mi) swath of             Sylvan Lake
                                                                                        rich farmland in one of Canada’s oldest Ukrainian and
                                                                                                                                                       Trail of the Buffalo

                                                                                                                                                                                           ALBERTA CENTRAL
                                                                                        East European settlements, Kalyna Country. This area,
                                                                                        the world’s largest Ecomuseum, includes Lamont
                                                                                                                                                       Larger than Life
                                                                                        County, also known as the church capital of North
                                                                                                                                                       Every province has them
                                                                                        America, where you’ll find 47 churches – more, per             – those wacky, tacky icons
                                                                                        capita, than anywhere else on this continent. Poking           that make for goofy
                                                                                        out of the rich ranchland and charming towns are               photos. Line up at
                                                                                                                                                       Vegreville for a shot with
                                                                                        distinctive “onion-domed” sanctuaries of the Ukrainian         the world’s largest Easter
                                                                                        pioneers that reflect architectural traditions that hark       egg or head to Vilna,
                                                                                        back to Byzantine Christianity in Eastern Europe.              home of the giant
                                                                                                                                                       mushrooms or St. Paul,
                                                                                        Pick Away at our Past Just south of the town                   where you’ll find the
From the dizzying heights of the Rocky                                                                                                                 world’s first UFO landing
Mountains you drop into central                                                         of Provost lies a massive area studded with                    pad. Don’t forget Andrew,
Alberta. down heritage rivers that                                                      arrowheads, buffalo bone fragments and shards of               home to the world’s
                                                                                        pottery that date back 3,000 to 5,000 years. Known             largest mallard duck and
david Thompson paddled to forts once                                                                                                                   Donalda, proud to cast a
                                                                                        as the Bodo Archaeological Site, the centre is open            beam from the world’s
lined with beaver pelts and striped
                                                                                        to visitors until the end of August, with new                  tallest lamp.
hudson’s Bay blankets. The landscape
                                                                                        programs slated for 2010. Call 1-780-753-6353 to
gives way to boreal forests, tree-lined                                                 book a tour.
lakes, lonely grain elevators and
checkered fields. Want cultural and
geographic diversity? you just found it
– magnified – in Alberta Central.

                                                                                                                                                    Official Alberta Vacation Guide   67
Wildlife Guaranteed                Scandinavian Surprises The lovingly restored
Just east of Edmonton lies         buildings in the tiny towns of Markerville and
tiny, fenced-in Elk Island

                                                                                             St. Edmund’s Blue Church, Big Valley
                                   Dickson provide a remarkable trip back to the
National Park – an “island”
of conservation for bison,         pioneer days of central Alberta. A century ago,
elk, moose, deer, beaver,          settlers from Iceland and Denmark cleared and
coyotes and a variety of
                                   drained this boggy land to create farms and unique
birds. With approximately
3,000 large mammals, the           communities. One of the highlights is the Markerville
park is one of the best            Creamery (circa 1932) which illustrates how butter
spots in Alberta for wildlife
                                   was made in earlier days. The other must-see is a
watching. Serious birders
who wish to join a                 visit to the Stephansson House Provincial Historic
mountain bluebird banding          Site. Stephan G. Stephansson (1853-1927) was a
program can do so at the
                                   farmer by day and a prolific poet by night. Many
Ellis Bird Farm (available in
                                   Icelanders today make the pilgrimage to Markerville

June and July). Others will
enjoy the self-guided trails,      to visit Stephansson’s house, where he raised eight
educational programs, tea
                                   children. Just south of Markerville is Dickson, the
room and wildlife habitat.
Another great base for             oldest Danish settlement in western Canada where
birders is Thunder Lake            you can visit the Dickson Store Museum, beautifully
Provincial Park, near
                                   restored to appear as it did during the 1930s.
Barrhead, where                                                                                                                     “One of my

                                                                                                   Ben Crane
                                                                                                                                    favourite lines I’ve ever
numerous colonies of
                                   Even Stephen Halfway between Edmonton and
blue herons reside.
                                   Calgary is Red Deer, a modern, thriving city where                                               written is ‘wherever I go I
More Central diversions
                                   half the folks cheer for the Edmonton Oilers and the                                             find the last place on that
Sylvan Lake’s sandy
                                   other half for the Calgary Flames. See for yourself                                              dirt road is the first thing on
                                                                                                                                    my mind.’ Besides living within
beaches have made this
resort one of Alberta’s            at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum,
favourites since 1901. It’s                                                                                                         two hours of mountains,
                                   where more than 6,000 artifacts of sports history,
now just as famous for its                                                                                                          grasslands and the badlands
                                   trivia and games reflect their love for anything
waterslide park, boating,                                                                                                           what I miss when I’m on
campgrounds and scenic             athletic. You’ll find chuckwagon races and livestock                                             the road is the lack of fear
cruises aboard the Miss
Mermaid. Other beaches
                                   shows at Westerner Days plus a reconstruction of a                                               we have here. No banana
worth the drive include            fort originally built in 1885 during the Riel Rebellion                                          spiders or snakes will eat us
the ones in Bonnyville,            at the Fort Normandeau Historic Site and                                                         for lunch – the worst thing
Cold Lake and Lac La Biche.        Interpretive Centre.                                                                             we have are mosquitoes and
                                                                                                                                    they never last long.”
In Innisfail on Wednesday
afternoons in the summer,          Unique Urban Landscapes Camrose: Tour the
watch a demonstration at
the RCMP Police Dog                downtown district lined with 100-year-old
Service Training Centre –          buildings. Country music fans should bring a blanket
the only one of its kind in        or a comfy chair for the four-day Big Valley Country
Canada. Or, poke into the
1911 Camrose Railway               Music Jamboree, Canada’s biggest country music
Station Museum, full of            festival, held annually in early August. Lacombe:
local railway heritage and         Named after the famous priest and diplomat,
an archive library. In
Carstairs, visit PaSu Farms        Father Albert Lacombe, the town is lined with
                                                                                             Sylvan Lake Marina

– a working sheep farm             Edwardian edifices, including a unique flatiron
that also has a large              building. Cold Lake: Visit Canadian Forces Base
restaurant and boutique full
of exhibits that focus on          4wing, especially during Maple Flag where you can
wool and sheepskin                 view the crews in training and watch simulated air
products. Visit Lac La Biche       combat drills. Lloydminster: Canada’s only
in March when the Winter
Festival of Speed takes            two-province city has a divided population; 60 per
over the frozen expanse            cent live in Alberta, the rest in Saskatchewan.
of the lake, turning it into
an adrenaline addict’s
dream. Snowmobile
racing, motorbike and
ATV racing plus a pond                            In the summer, take a free 60-minute guided tour of a sawmill or
hockey tournament also
takes place.
                                                  pulp mill through the Whitecourt Chamber of Commerce. To book,
                                                  call 1-780-778-5363.
68 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                                                                                                                                       Reynolds Alberta Museum, Wetaskiwin
Reynolds Alberta Museum

                                                                     Alberta Prairie Railway

                                                                                                                          Alberta Prairie Railway
                                                                     Excursions, Stettler

                                                                                                                          Excursions, Stettler

                          Morning                                                 I felt like a character in The Great                  Evening

                          I admit it – I thought I’d be the last                  Gatsby or Out of Africa. With a scarf                 Arrived in Big Valley, confused. I’m
                          person to find a museum devoted to                      swirled around my head we took off                    not sure if it’s what I consumed in the
                          transportation remotely interesting.                    in the museum’s old biplane and                       Lone Star Saloon or if I’m just thick,
                          But I’ve just finished “working” on an                  swooped around for 10 glorious                        but I can’t separate the characters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ALBERTA CENTRAL
                          assembly line for Model T’s and had                     minutes. Flying is so different when                  from the theatre company from the
                          my photo taken with Tin Lizzie at the                   the wind is whooshing around you                      passengers. We’re all wandering
                          Reynolds-Alberta Museum in                              and the cows in the fields far below                  around this cute town trying to solve
                          Wetaskiwin. Before that I saw a 1929                    appear like plastic toys. Still don’t                 the mystery by chatting to locals
                          Duesenburg Phaeton Royale Model J                       understand how the lines separating                   before we settle down to a country
                          (only kind in the world) and a 1913                     crops stay so straight. It was a                      dinner, served in the old town hall.
                          Chevy Classic Six (oldest known Chevy                   checkerboard of colours up there.
                                                                                                                                        Laughed all the way back to Stettler
                          in the world), but how they transform
                                                                                  Afternoon                                             with my new friends (one of them
                          these heaps in the restoration studio is
                                                                                  Arrived in Stettler just in time to                   the “murderer”).
                          what really boggled my mind.
                                                                                  scoop up our tickets for the Murder
                                                                                  Mystery run on the Alberta Prairie
                                                                                  Railway steam train. Within
                                                                                  moments of chugging away we’d
                                                                                  witnessed a shoot-out, met a
                                                                                  Mountie, and spied our first coyote
                                                                                  loping across a farmer’s field.

                                                                                                                                                     Official Alberta Vacation Guide                        69
                                                                                                                                               LA BICHE
                                                                                                                                                                                     COLD LAKE
                                                                          33                                                                        36
                                         Riv                WHITECOURT
                                                                              BARRHEAD      18             WESTLOCK
                                                                                                                                              SMOKY LAKE
                                                                                                                                      28           Sas               ST. PAUL
                                                                                                                                                       kat        28          ELK POINT
                                                                     MAYERTHORPE                                                                          che
                                                                                                                                    45                          n
                                                                                                                                            Elk Island                               Ri                    Alberta’s

                                                                                                                                              National        36                           r              Yellowhead

                                                                                                                                               Park             TWO HILLS                                  Highway

                                                                         4                                             3                                  VEGREVILLE             41

     HINTON         5                        EDSON
                                                                               Wabamun STONY PLAIN             EDMONTON
                                                                                                                                                               2                VERMILION

                                                                          22    Lake                                                                                                             1
                                                                   DRAYTON                                             LEDUC
                                                 Pembina   Riv
                                                              er     VALLEY                 39                                                      14                      LLOYDMINSTER
                                                                                                                       MILLET 21 CAMROSE                        VIKING
      6                             40                                                                                                              26

          JASPER                                                                        Pigeon
                                                                                         Lake                  WETASKIWIN         5                  DAYSLAND
                                                                                                 Gull                                                                         HARDISTY
                                                                                                          53        PONOKA                                                     13
                                                                                                                                    BASHAW          53

                                                 NORDEGG                                         20
                                                                                                                                 4                           36                                      13

                                                            11                  12

                                                 5                                               3

                                                                                                               2                           1                                          41

                                                                      ROCKY    11                       11                                           12

                                                                   MOUNTAIN        SYLVAN                                                                      CASTOR


                                                                      HOUSE 22                                                   STETTLER
                                                                                           RED DEER 42

                                                 93                                                                                      56
                                                                                54         R

                                    6                                                           INNISFAIL                                                                                            12

                                         COLUMBIA                                  dD
                                                                                 Re BOWDEN

                                         ICEFIELD                                                                                   BIG VALLEY

                                                                          SUNDRE        27            OLDS


                                                                                                      2            THREE                              David Thompson
                                                                                       22                          HILLS
                                                                                                                                                       Explorer’s Trail


                                                                                                                                                           See page 72



                                                                               CALGARY                             1    STRATHMORE

                                                                                                                           See page 73
     Visitor Information Centre
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Abraham Lake near Nordegg

70 1-800-ALBERTA
yellowhead highway                                             ALBERTA CENTRAL ROAd TRIPS

                                                               Distance: 613 km (380 mi)
                                                               Travelling time: About four days by car
                                                               Begin: Lloydminster
                                                               End: Jasper

                                                               you’ll love what this cultural venture along the yellowhead highway
                                                               (hwy 16) has to offer. Named for a golden-haired trapper, Pierre
                              Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton

                                                               Bostonais, who once led fur traders through the Rocky Mountains,
                                                               what you’ll find today is a journey through some of Alberta’s most
                                                               expansive territories.

                                                               1 Begin in Lloydminster, the only city in Canada to straddle two provinces.
                                                                  Settled by the British Barr colonists, this area was wholly dependent upon
                                                                  agriculture until 1933 when oil and gas were discovered.

                                                               2 Head west along the Trans-Canada/Yellowhead Highway to Vegreville,
                                                                  famous for its Pysanka, a giant Ukrainian Easter Egg, more than 7 m (23 ft)
                                                                  long and 5.5 m (18 ft) wide, weighing 2,270 kg (5,000 lb). Continue west
                                                                  to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, where Ukrainian pioneer life in
                                                                  east central Alberta is re-enacted.

                                                               3 Visit the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton and discover 11,000 years
                              Jasper National Park

                                                                  and 500 generations of history. Next, visit Canada’s largest living history
                                                                  park – Fort Edmonton.

                                                               4 Continue west on Hwy 16 past the murals of Stony Plain, Wabamun Lake
                                                                  and Pembina River Provincial Park to Edson. Once used by early settlers to

                                                                                                                                                              ALBERTA CENTRAL
                                                                  access the North, this town now houses the Galloway Station Museum,
                                                                  jammed with artifacts, as well as a 1917 caboose and 1964 Lockheed jet
                                                                  that sits in the RCMP Centennial Park. Just west lies Hornbeck Provincial
                                                                  Recreation Area complete with campground and fishing in Sundance Creek,
                Rocky Mountain House National

                                                                  noted mostly for its trout, perch, burbot and lake chub.

                                                               5 Just 20 minutes east of Jasper National Park is Hinton, where coal mining
                                                                  and the forestry industry still play major roles in the town’s economy. Take
                                                                  an unusual tour of a coal mine, pulp mill or sawmill and gain a unique
                Historic Site

                                                                  perspective on Alberta’s past.

                                                               6 Jasper National Park, Canada’s largest mountain national park, is loaded
                                                                  with wildlife. It’s also historic – teeming with stories of fur traders, gold
                                                                  seekers, miners, railway workers and intrepid explorers whose tales are
                                                                  told at the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum and Archives. The range of outdoor
                                                                  activities in Jasper is vast: wildlife viewing, fishing, rafting, golfing,
                              Pysanka Festival, Vegreville

                                                                  horseback riding and hiking. And those are just a start.

                                                                                                                       Official Alberta Vacation Guide   71
                                                                                      david Thompson
                                                     ALBERTA CENTRAL ROAd TRIPS       Explorer’s Trail
                                                       Distance: 345 km (215 mi)
                                         Travelling time: One to three days by car
                                                                    Begin: Stettler
                                               End: Saskatchewan River Crossing

                                                          Refer to map on page 70

One of the most spectacular gateways to the Rockies is the david
Thompson highway (hwy 11), a tranquil alternative to the popular
Trans-Canada (hwy 1). Named after one of the world’s greatest

                                                                                      Rocky Mountain House National
geographers, this “trail” officially begins in Stettler and heads west
along hwy 11 to the junction of hwy 93, skimming through prairie farmland,
the foothills, remote wilderness areas and several historic sites.

                                                                                      Historic Site
 1 Begin in Stettler, where you’ll find one of Canada’s last remaining
     passenger steam trains operated by Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions.
     This historic adventure links Stettler with Big Valley, and offers a variety
     of “themed” excursions.

 2 Continue west on Hwy 11 to Red Deer, and visit Waskasoo Park, Fort
     Normandeau, Heritage Ranch, Kerry Wood Nature Centre and the Red Deer
     & District Museum.

 3 Just west of Red Deer lies Sylvan Lake – western Canada’s largest outdoor
     waterpark surrounded by sandy beaches, a large marina, fishing, golfing
     and camping facilities.
                                                                                      Sylvan Lake

 4 Follow Hwy 11 west to Rocky Mountain House, where you should visit the
     newly renovated national historic site – home of an excellent visitor centre,
     the ruins of four forts and a buffalo paddock.

 5 Continue west to Nordegg, then to Abraham Lake, one of Alberta’s largest
     reservoirs. Then the highway enters the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve
                                                                                      Stephansson House, Markerville

     – precisely the spot where David Thompson traded goods with the
     Kootenay Indians in 1800.

 6 Keep west to Saskatchewan River Crossing where this trail ends at the
     junction of Hwy 93, just inside Banff National Park. It was from here, in
     1807, that David Thompson continued his trek over the Rockies into
     present-day British Columbia. From Saskatchewan River Crossing, visitors
     may journey north via the Icefields Parkway to Jasper and then east to
     Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16). Or, turn south on the
     Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) to Lake Louise and Banff.
                                                                                      Waskasoo Park, Red Deer

72 1-800-ALBERTA
The Boomtown Trail                                                             ALBERTA CENTRAL ROAd TRIPS

                                                                               Distance: 332 km (207 mi)
                                                                               Travelling time: About one to two days
                                                                               Begin: Calgary
                                                                               End: Camrose

                                                                               Refer to map on page 70

                                                                               An alternate route between Calgary and Edmonton is hwy 21 a.k.a.
                                                                               the Boomtown Trail, studded with “boomtown” architecture. Whether
                                                                               it’s nostalgia for the Wild West or the lure of towns that reinvent
                                    Donalda Lamp Museum, Donalda

                                                                               themselves, you’ll find it somewhere on the Boomtown Trail.

                                                                               1 Head east of Calgary on Hwy 1 to Strathmore, then zigzag north and east
                                                                                  to the lovely town of Rosebud, famous for its popular dinner theatre and
                                                                                  School of the Arts. Little craft stores, a tiny museum and the actual theatre
                                                                                  have breathed new life into a handful of turn-of-the-century buildings.

                                                                               2 From Rosebud, meander north and west on to the Boomtown Trail toward
                                                                                  Three Hills. When you see Hwy 581 jog west on it and follow the signs to
                                                                                  the Custom Woolen Mills, a working museum. Here, history is replayed as
                                                                                  raw wool is processed on unique machines that date back to the industrial
                                                                                  revolution. Many items such as comforters, handwoven blankets and
                                                                                  sweaters are sold on the premises.

                                                                               3 Next, weave back to Hwy 21 through towns such as Three Hills and Trochu,
                                    Rosebud Theatre

                                                                                  famous for their excellent golf courses. Also at Trochu is an Arboretum (100
                                                                                  different plant species) plus the St. Ann Ranch & Trading Co. originally built
                                                                                  as a francophone settlement in 1905. Now a provincial historic site, St.
                                                                                  Ann’s features several museums, an interpretive centre, a tea room, as well

                                                                                                                                                                              ALBERTA CENTRAL
                                                                                  as a handsome B&B. Another nearby side-trip is a jaunt to Dry Island
                                    Parade, Hivernant Rendezvous, Big Valley

                                                                                  Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, where Cree Indians stampeded bison over a
                                                                                  cliff some 2,000 years ago. Just north on Hwy 56 lies Big Valley, a perfect
                                                                                  replica of a frontier town complete with two art galleries, a fudge factory,
                                                                                  tea room and barber shop.

                                                                               4 Back on Hwy 21 point your compass north to Bashaw where an original
                                                                                  boomtown theatre has been restored to its 1915 glory. This is a good point
                                                                                  at which to jog east on Hwy 53 to Donalda where you can see the world’s
                                                                                  largest lamp, some 12 m (42 ft) high. Right beside it is the largest
                                                                                  collection of oil lamps in North America, about 850 of them! Before
                                                                                  returning to the Boomtown Trail, head north on Hwy 56 to Meeting Creek,
               Grain Elevator, Ukrainian Cultural Heritage

                                                                                  where one of the finest examples of an early grain elevator, complete with
                                                                                  hydraulic engine, is open to the public.

                                                                               5 From here, jog north along the shores of Dried Meat Lake or west to
                                                                                  Hwy 21 and then north to Camrose. If you time it perfectly (arriving the
               Village, east of Edmonton

                                                                                  first weekend in August) you will find yourself at one of Canada’s
                                                                                  premiere country music festivals, the Big Valley Jamboree. Otherwise you’ll
                                                                                  discover Camrose is yet another boomtown on the Trail, first settled by
                                                                                  Scandinavians in the late 1800s. As a tribute, a 10 m (30 ft) Viking longship
                                                                                  is on display in the Bill Fowler Centre.

                                                                                                                                       Official Alberta Vacation Guide   73

                                                            Lesser Slave Lake

74 1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                        Huge, Wild and Right Next Door There’s something            Alberta North
                                                                        about the North that elevates the soul and soothes          destinations
                                                                        the spirit. Perhaps it’s the fact there are more birds

                                      Grande Prairie Regional College
                                                                        here than people. More sunny hours (in the
                                                                                                                                    Fort Chipewyan
                                                                        summer) than not. More history than anywhere else 
                                                                        in Alberta. Whatever your motivation for visiting           visitors
                                                                        Alberta North, you’ll find what so many visitors are        Fort McMurray
                                                                        searching for these days – “authenticity.” There’s no
                                                                                                                                    Grande Prairie
                                                                        room or reason for pretence in this sparsely
                                                                        populated swath of rugged beauty – just boreal
                                                                                                                                    Peace River
                                                                        forests, immense space and dozens of warm lakes,  
                                                                        wide rivers, sandy beaches and wildlife. RV travellers      Slave Lake
                                                                        and other motorists will find good, paved roads and
                                                                        abundant places to rest or relax, thanks to numerous        Wood Buffalo
                                      Kakwa Falls, near Grande Cache

                                                                                                                                    National Park
                                                                        provincial recreation and natural areas and dozens of
                                                                        lovely, quiet campgrounds, many of them on the
                                                                                                                                    Fort McMurray
                                                                        waterfront. Those visitors wanting the comforts of
                                                                                                                                    Take a tour of the Oil
                                                                        small towns or urban centres – from Grande Prairie          Sands Discovery Centre. In
                                                                        to Lesser Slave Lake, Athabasca, Fort McMurray and          the winter, watch the
                                                                        Peace River – will be pleasantly surprised at the           northern lights.

                                                                        amenities and services available.                           Grande Prairie
                                                                                                                                    Go birding and search for
                                                                        Marvel at Mother Nature’s Treasures What’s green            trumpeter swans.
                                                                        and white – no – yellow and mauve and purple all
                                                                        over? The aurora borealis, a.k.a. the northern lights,
                                                                        dance and flicker across Alberta’s northern landscape
                                      Northern Lights, Fort McMurray

                                                                        all year-round, but most sharply from October
                                                                        through March. The province’s best viewing platform
                                                                        is the fur-trading post, and now oil capital, Fort
                                                                        McMurray. Numerous tours take visitors out on
                                                                        guided photo safaris that start late at night when the
                                                                                                                                     Peace River

                                                                        colours are brightest. During the day guests can go
                                                                        dog-sledding, cross country skiing, snowmobiling,
                                                                        downhill skiing, skating or snuggle up on a
                                                                        horse-drawn sleigh ride.
                                                                                                                                     Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park,

                                        Modern Amenities to Backcountry Basics En route
                                                                                                                                                                             ALBERTA NORTh

                                        to the Alaska Highway, visit Grande Prairie to see
                                        trumpeter swans and the Great Northern Casino. This
                                        fully modern city, a.k.a. the “Shopping Capital of the
                                                                                                                                     near Grimshaw

                                        North,” is loaded with malls, theatres and museums
Make northern Alberta the backdrop      plus it offers excellent bird watching, fishing and
for an outdoor experience of a lifetime hunting opportunities. The two must-see attractions
                                        are the Grande Prairie Museum in Muskoseepi Park
by horseback, canoe/kayak, jet boat,
                                        which has a surprisingly large and eclectic collection
                                                                                                                                     North Peace Stampede, Grimshaw

ATV, or simply by foot. Experienced
                                        of artifacts from dinosaur bones (found nearby) to
guides will help you catch the big one,
                                        pioneer and farming implements as well as the
see many of its 230 species of birds, Grande Prairie Regional College, designed by
learn traditional Aboriginal uses of    renowned architect Douglas Cardinal. Just south,
plants, and take you to places where Kakwa Wildland Park, provides a breathtaking
bison, deer, moose, bears and wolves backcountry experience, framed by mountains,
still roam freely.                      foothills, meadows, streams and rivers. Nestled in a

                                                                                                                                 Official Alberta Vacation Guide        75
A Northern Catch                                        majestic valley where three rivers converge, the
Don’t think that all of                                 town of Peace River boasts excellent cuisine and
Alberta cuisine is off the
                                                        amenities plus the spectacular beauty of the valley
hoof. Try the superb
walleye fish cakes that are                             and numerous outdoor adventures from ranch stays
served in fishing lodges all                            to jet boat excursions.
over the North. Here’s a
recipe from John Semple of                              Hooked on Alberta For a world class fishing holiday,

                                                                                                                    Lesser Slave Lake
Points North Adventures:
                                                        circle northern Alberta on your map as it attracts
Fish Cakes
                                                        both novice and expert with its hundreds of lakes on
1 lb. minced walleye
                                                        the Canadian Shield, plus its rivers and spring-fed
1 small can of crab
meat, drained                                           creeks. There’s more water here than any other area
2 to 3 green onions,                                    in the province. And the range of lodging is almost
chopped                                                 as extensive as the species of fish. Choose from
                                                                                                                                                       “When I was growing up, all

                                                                                                                            CANAdIAN FREESTyLE SkIER
1/4 cup finely chopped                                  houseboats and rustic fly-in cabins to luxurious
red pepper
                                                        lodges, tipis and camps. Let’s dip below the surface
                                                                                                                                                       I could do for some air was
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped                                                                                                                                 huck myself off anything –
                                                        of just one lake – Lesser Slave (the largest vehicle
parsley                                                                                                                                                picnic tables, roof tops.
                                                        accessible lake in Alberta, only two and a half hours
1/4 cup of mayonnaise                                                                                                                                  Anything. Not much has
1/2 cup of seasoned                                     north of Edmonton). This lake is home to more than                                             changed ... I’m still hucking
                                                                                                                                                       myself into the air –
bread crumbs                                            15 fish species which can be caught from shore but
Mix all ingredients.                                    the pros say it’s much better to take a boat (rentals                                          more air. But
Form into patties. Dip in
eggwash. Coat with                                      available in town). The walleye is said to grow up to          Ryan Blais                      I still come
seasoned breadcrumbs.                                   9 kg (20 lbs), the northern walleye up to 4 kg (10                                             home to
Fry in small amount                                     lbs). Every lake in the North has its water-fed                                                Grande Prairie
of vegetable oil until
                                                        legends – that’s why so many anglers fly from                                                  where I can
                                                                                                                                                       be riverboating
crisp, about 3 minutes
each side.                                              one to another.
                                                                                                                                                       or skidooing
haying in the ’30s                                      Discover Dunvegan This historic town in the Peace                                              within three
Every August long
                                                        River Valley is the site of one of Alberta’s earliest fur                                      minutes
                                                                                                                                                       of town.”
weekend, the town of
Mallaig recreates Alberta’s                             trading posts and missionary centres. Interpreters
past with an event that                                 dressed in period costume guide you through 19th
uses horse drawn
                                                        century log buildings, meticulously restored. Equally
equipment to perform tasks
from haying and threshing                               impressive is the entryway – over the longest
to road construction and                                suspension bridge in Alberta. Dunvegan Provincial
shingle making.
                                                        Park is laced with paved walking trails, 67 campsites,
                                                        a boat launch and u-pick gardens.

                                                        Fort McMurray’s Must-Visits At Fort McMurray you
                                                        can canoe or jet boat along the historic routes of
                                                                                                                    Near Fort McMurray
 Highway 2 near Dunvegan

                                                        Alberta’s earliest hunters, trappers and explorers.
                                                        Experience the Oil Sands Discovery Centre from the
                                                        seat of a 150 ton truck or marvel at the town’s
                                                        colourful past at Fort McMurray Heritage Park. Next
                                                        to the shopping malls, luxe hotels and spas are golf
                                                        courses where you can tee off at 11 PM (the sun
                                                        barely sets here in the height of summer), scuba            dId yOu kNOW that you’ll find
                                                        dive or skydive plus enjoy a vast network of hiking         everything you need in the North’s
                                                        trails and spectacular sand dunes. Just new is the          urban centres? Grocery stores. Camping
                                                        35,303 m2 (380,000 sq ft) Suncor Community Leisure          shops. Museums. Even spas!
                                                        Centre with two field houses, a running track, curling
 Fort Assiniboine

                                                        rink, hockey rink, library and squash courts.

76                1-800-ALBERTA
                                  Aboriginal Dancer, near Slave Lake

Official Alberta Vacation Guide
                                                                       ALBERTA NORTh
More Northern                                          Northern Adventures Thanks to the “Magnificent
Grandeur                                               River Rats Festival,” historic Athabasca is fast
Alberta Professional
                                                       becoming known as Northern Alberta’s “Festival

                                                                                                                Marten Mountain, Lesser Slave Lake
Outfitters Society                                             Town.” But it’s far more than that, evident in its
Boreal Centre for                                      heritage buildings and its history as a boatbuilding
Bird Conservation                                      hub. Indeed, 150 years ago, this is where
                                                       paddlewheelers and scows came to be repaired

                                                                                                                Provincial Park
Fort Chipewyan
                                                       before loading up with furs for their return journey,
Bicentennial Museum                                     eastward. Robert Service, the renowned poet, lived
visitors                                               at Athabasca Landing for a time and captures those
Fort Vermilion                                         wild and woolly days in much of his early work.
Heritage Centre
                                                       Just a couple of hours northwest of Athabasca is
                                                       Lesser Slave Lake, the largest recreational lake in

                                                                                                                Salt Plains, Wood Buffalo National Park
Historic Dunvegan                                      Alberta, with 108 km (67 mi) of sandy beaches and                                        clear warm water. It’s bordered by two beautiful
Oil Sands Discovery Centre                             provincial parks; Lesser Slave Lake and Hilliard’s Bay
                                                       where you can camp, fish, boat, kayak, hunt, ice
Sticky Business                                        fish and golf. Special annual events include the
Oh, the things that stick!                             Sand Sculpture Championship, Songbird Festival and
Oil in Alberta was first
reported in 1719 by a                                  the Elks Pro Rodeo.
Cree Native who brought
samples of the tar sands                               Climb the Roof of Alberta The largest national park
to Fort Churchill. He told                             in Canada, Wood Buffalo National Park, is an
them the First Nations                                 astounding 45,000 km2 (17,100 sq mi) of protected
people used the gooey
stuff to waterproof their                              land. This UNESCO site boasts the biggest herd of
birch bark canoes.                                     wood bison in the world (about 5,000) where these
                                                                                                                Hilliards Bay Provincial Park

                                                       magnificent beasts still roam as freely as they have
                                                       for thousands of years. Endangered species such as
                                                       the whooping crane and peregrine falcon also call
                                                       the park home. They keep company with more than
                                                       one million ducks, geese and swans that migrate
 Bucketwheel Reclaimer,

                                                       through the park each year. Launch your Wood
                                                       Buffalo adventure from Fort Chipewyan (Alberta’s
 Fort McMurray

                                                       most remote community) on the western shores of
                                                       Lake Athabasca. More than 200 years of history are
                                                       on display at the Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial
                                                       Museum. Marvel at murals in the local Roman
                                                                                                                Wood Buffalo National Park

                                                       Catholic Church that were painted with blueberry
                                                       and cranberry juice mixed with fish oils. Discover
                                                       more about the Dene people with an interpretive
                                                       tour focused on fishing, wildlife viewing and native
 Driftpile Powwow

                                                       cooking. Fort Chipewyan is accessible by boat, plane
                                                       and winter road.

Sink your chops into a tasty bison “smokie” with coleslaw, potato salad, pickles and lemonade. All for free
– every Wednesday during summer at Grande Prairie’s Visitor Information Centre.

78               1-800-ALBERTA
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Alberta Open Sand Sculpture Championship,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Lesser Slave Lake

                                                                                                                                       Devonshire Beach, Lesser Slave Lake
Kimiwan Lake Birdwalk, McLennan

                                                                                                                                       Provincial Park
                                                                              Sandhill Crane

                                  Morning                                                      sooooo rare; the chances are less                             planks were vibrating. I looked up
                                  I yank on my toque and head lamp                             than one per cent. Learned the                                and the sky was plastered with white
                                  and swing out of my bunk bed at The                          Boreal Centre has banded 50,000                               flapping wings. I thought I was in a
                                  Nest, a cool little hostel at the Boreal                     birds in its 15 year history.                                 Nat Geo centrefold.
                                  Centre for Bird Conservation on Lesser
                                                                                               Afternoon                                                     Evening
                                  Slave Lake. We wander down to the
                                                                                               Added an American red-start, a                                I heard there were nightly skits at the
                                  banding lab. We can hear the birds
                                                                                               Tennessee warbler, flycatchers,                               Marten River Campground, at the
                                  starting to twitter and chirp. The
                                                                                               chickadees, a red-eyed vireo and                              north end of Slave Lake Provincial
                                  coffee’s on. The mist is starting to curl
                                                                                               a tundra swan to my life list.                                Park, but I didn’t think they’d haul me
                                  off the lake.
                                                                                                                                                             up on stage and dress me up like a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ALBERTA NORTh

                                                                                               Hopped in my car for a 90-minute
                                  So far, I’ve caught three little warblers                                                                                  flying squirrel. That’s when other
                                                                                               drive west to another birder’s
                                  in the net lines. Placing the first one                                                                                    human-sized “birds” began pecking
                                                                                               paradise – Kimiwan Lake, which they
                                  in a little yellow bag was a struggle                                                                                      at me, twittering with environmental
                                                                                               say is “The Bird Capital of Canada,”
                                  but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.                                                                                     messages and singing wacky songs
                                                                                               close to the town of McLennan. All I
                                  Measuring their wingspan and                                                                                               that were so funny, I cracked up.
                                                                                               can see are waterfowl. I have my
                                  muscles and snapping a little                                                                                              Then the interpreters (university
                                                                                               scope out on the boardwalk and I see
                                  aluminum band on their spindly legs                                                                                        drama students from all across
                                                                                               geese, mallards, grebes, pintails,
                                  takes experts less than a minute.                                                                                          Canada) punted me off the stage
                                                                                               wigeons, mergansers, scaups.
                                  They’re so small, I worry I might                                                                                          calling me a bird brain and a
                                                                                               A guide tells me that 250,000
                                  break one in two.                                                                                                          not-so-fair feathered friend.
                                                                                               waterfowl and 27,000 shorebirds live
                                  We caught a flycatcher with an old,                          or migrate through here every year.
                                  battered band on its leg. The head
                                                                                               It’s so hot here that I just lay down
                                  researcher went wild because he’d
                                                                                               on the boardwalk for a little siesta
                                  put that very band on this bird’s leg
                                                                                               and it started shaking. Truly, the
                                  10 years ago. Recapturing a bird is

                                                                                                                                                                             Official Alberta Vacation Guide                                    79
                                                       N O RT HW E ST                                  T E R R I TO R I ES


                                                                                                                        Wood Buffalo                           Lake
                                                                                                                         National                           Athabasca

                                                             HIGH LEVEL                                                                     FORT
                                                                                                  58                           Lake         CHIPEWYAN
                 RAINBOW LAKE
                                                                                       FORT VERMILION

                                       e r                                        LA CRETE
                                    Riv                           697

                                                                                                                                                sca Riv



                                                         Peace Ri


                                                                                                                            FORT McMURRAY
                 CLEARDALE                                                                        RED EARTH
                     64                            4                                              CREEK
                                  GRIMSHAW       PEACE RIVER      88                                              North
                         FAIRVIEW    2                       Utikuma                                              Wabasca
                     DUNVEGAN                    2            Lake                                                Lake
                                     GIROUXVILLE                                                                    South
                     SPIRIT                                                                                         Wabasca                63
                     RIVER        49                                                                                 Lake
                                        FALHER      McLENNAN                                              754
                                6                       49                            Lesser Slave Lake                                                       Winefred
                                SEXSMITH                                                                                    Calling
            BEAVERLODGE                      43
                                                                        PRAIRIE               3    SLAVE LAKE                Lake

                           GRANDE                       VALLEYVIEW                           33                 2
                                                                                                                44                     2   55
                                                                                                                ATHABASCA    55             LAC
                                                                                                                                            LA BICHE

                                                                                                                                                            Northern Alberta
                                                                                                                                                             Heritage Trail
                                                                                                                                                                                               Dunvegan Bridge, near Fairview


           Visitor Information Centre
                                                                                                                            To Edmonton
           UNESCO World Heritage Site

80 1-800-ALBERTA
Northern Alberta
   heritage Trail                                     ALBERTA NORTh ROAd TRIP

                                                      Distance: Varies with route
                                                      Travelling time: About seven to 12 days by car
                                                      Begin: Edmonton
                                                      End: Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie or High Level

                                                      Immerse yourself in this spectacular northern landscape by touring
                                                      its many historic sites that pay homage to pioneering roots that reach
               Chez Dube Country Inn, Fort McMurray

                                                      back to the 1700s. Churches, museums and interpretive programs tell
                                                      the tales of the heroic pioneers, missionaries and Aboriginals who
                                                      settled this vast area.

                                                      1 Play a round of 1920s-style miniature golf at Fort Edmonton Park or stay a
                                                         night in the restored 1920s Hotel Selkirk. Then travel north on Hwy 2 to
                                                         St. Albert for a tour of the Father Lacombe Chapel, the Musée Heritage
                                                         Museum and a 1909 replica of a train station. Continue north to Morinville to
                                                         the St. Jean Baptiste Church and then on to the famous murals in Legal, the
                                                         heart of French culture in Alberta. End in the historic town of Athabasca and
                                                         enjoy self-guided tours of the town and riverfront.

                                                      2 From Athabasca, head east on Hwy 55 to Amber Valley and visit the
                                                         museum that celebrates the history of the black pioneers. Be sure to tour the
                                                         Lac La Biche Mission, full of role-playing interpreters who’ll spirit you back
                                                         150 years. Zip back to Hwy 63 and then start heading north to Fort McMurray
                                                         where you’ll find the Heritage Park Museum and the Oil Sands Discovery
               Peace River

                                                         Centre. Further north is Fort Chipewyan, Alberta’s oldest settlement.

                                                      3 Steer west of Athabasca on Hwy 2 into the Lesser Slave Lake region, where
                                                         David Thompson arrived in 1799, via canoe. Whatever you do, don’t miss
                                                         Grouard, once a Roman Catholic mission and later a gold-seeker’s hub.

                                                      4 Head north on Hwy 2 to Peace River to see the gravesite of Twelve Foot
                                                         Davis, named for the fortune he made from a 4 m (12 ft) gold claim in the
               Guest Ranch, Beaverlodge

                                                         Klondike. En route, visit the Northern Alberta Historic Railways Museum in
                                                                                                                                                     ALBERTA NORTh

                                                         McLennan and detour on to Hwy 49 to Girouxville to visit its museum of
                                                         5,000 artifacts.

                                                      5 Highlights along the Mackenzie, Hwy 35, include the Old Hospital Gallery &
                                                         Museum and the Battle River Pioneer Museum in Manning. Stay north until
                                                         High Level (home of the Mackenzie Crossroads Museum) and then head
                                                         east on Hwy 58 to Fort Vermilion (see the Heritage Centre collection).
                                                         Turn south to La Crete, a thriving Mennonite community reflected in its
                                                         Mennonite Heritage Village.
               Black Bear, Lesser Slave Lake

                                                      6 Drive south on Hwy 35 to Grimshaw, jog west and south to Grande Prairie
                                                         and stop along Hwy 2, at numerous historic sites. Pop into the Fairview
                                                         Pioneer Museum, the original fur trade post at Historic Dunvegan Provincial
                                                         Park, Spirit River’s Settlement Museum, Sexsmith’s 1916 blacksmith shop
                                                         museum, Beaverlodge’s Centennial Museum as well as the Heritage
                                                         Discovery Centre in Grande Prairie.

                                                                                                              Official Alberta Vacation Guide   81
                                                                                                                                                                  Rocky Mountaineer
                                                                   Travel essenTials
u.S. Ports of Entry                Customs and Immigration Visitors to Canada require a          Rail Travel Alberta is served by VIA Rail scheduled
International visitors             valid passport, proof of identity or other travel             service. Stops are scheduled in Edmonton and Jasper.
driving to Canada can              documents. Contact: Western Hemisphere Travel                 Call 1-888-842-7245 (in North America) or the VIA
use any of the following           Initiative; Passport Canada                number in your area for reservations and information. In
ports of entry:
                         ; nearest Canadian Consulate or Embassy              the U.S., VIA Rail can be booked through AMTRAK at
                         ; Canadian Border Services Agency                    1-800-872-7245.
Carway                                                                  Rocky Mountaineer offers service from Calgary, Banff
Del Bonita                         Weapons Revolvers, pistols, fully automatic firearms          and Jasper to the West Coast of British Columbia. These
Wild Horse                         and other weapons and self-defence sprays (e.g. mace,         routes through Canada’s Rockies are considered some
                                   pepper spray) are prohibited entry into Canada. All           of the world’s classic rail trips. For details, visit:
Chief Mountain
                                   firearms (e.g. hunting rifles, shotguns) must be    
                                   declared. To obtain information on firearms legislation,      Motorcoach Travel Special tours and services are
Piegan                             please call the Canadian Firearms Centre inquiry line         available throughout Alberta including the Rockies.
Del Bonita                         at 1-800-731-4000.                                            Drivers and guides offer historical information and
Wild Horse
                                   Banking and Currency Traveller’s cheques and credit           insight into the area.
Chief Mountain                     cards are accepted at most commercial establishments,         Brewster Vacations: 1-403-762-6700 or in
                                   banks and currency exchange offices. Banking hours are        North America: 1-866-606-6700
Average Temperatures
                                   generally 9:30 AM to 4 PM, Monday to Friday; some             Greyhound Bus Lines: 1-800-661-8747
                                   banks are open Saturdays. Most automated teller               Red Arrow Motor Coach: 1-800-232-1958
June to August
                                   machines (ATMs) accept one or more of the following
20°C (68°F)                                                                                      health and Travel Insurance Alberta has an excellent
                                   networks: Interac, Cirrus or Plus. They are found at
Fall:                                                                                            health care system; however, the health care plan does
September to November              banks and in retail areas.
                                                                                                 not cover out-of-province visitors. Clarify your coverage
11°C (52°F)                        Taxes Alberta is the only province in Canada with no          before entering Alberta through your personal insurance
Winter:                            Provincial Sales Tax (PST). There is a four per cent          carrier. Contact your local travel agent for further details.
December to February               Tourism Levy on accommodation. The Canadian
-11°C (12°F)                                                                                     highway Travel Alberta is accessible from the east and
                                   Government charges a five per cent Goods & Services
Spring:                                                                                          west by two officially designated Trans-Canada routes.
                                   Tax (GST) on most purchases. The Foreign Convention
March to May                                                                                     Hwy 1 crosses Alberta in the South and the Trans-
                                   and Tour Incentive Program (FCTIP) provides a tax
9°C (48°F)                                                                                       Canada Yellowhead Hwy (Hwy 16) crosses Central
                                   rebate to visitors purchasing tour packages that include
Metric Conversion                                                                                Alberta. North-South travel is provided on Queen
                                   short-term in Canada. For more information in
Canada uses the metric                                                                           Elizabeth II Hwy, or you may want to take the scenic
                                   Canada: call 1-800-668-4748; outside Canada, call
system. All highway and                                                                          route through the mountain parks on the spectacular
                                   1-902-432-5604; or visit
traffic indicators are in km                                                                     Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93).
and km/h, gas is sold by           Tipping The average tip in Canada is 15 per cent.
                                                                                                 Camping Camping is available throughout the province in
the liter, temperature is          However, depending on the level and the nature of the
measured in Celsius, and                                                                         private campgrounds and resorts, national parks and
                                   service, tipping may range from 10 per cent to more
the electrical current is                                                                        provincial parks. Reservations can be made at private
                                   than 20 per cent. Tips are generally given for good
110 volts.                                                                                       campgrounds and at certain parks. Camping fees range
                                   service by food and beverage servers in bars and
Distance:                                                                                        from $10-$40 per night depending on services. To receive
                                   restaurants, taxi drivers, tour guides, hotel bellman and
1 kilometer = 0.62 miles                                                                         a campground guide, call Travel Alberta at 1-800-ALBERTA
                                   estheticians. While it is not required to tip other service
Speed:                                                                                           (252-3782), stop in at a visitor information centre, or visit:
                                   staff, you are at your liberty to do so.
100 km/h = 62 mph                                                                      
Volume:                            Air Travel Alberta is home to two international airports,
                                                                                                 Alberta Public holidays (please see page 26)
3.8 liters = 1 U.S. gallon         one in Edmonton and one in Calgary. Easy access to
Temperature:                       Alberta from more than 100 cities world wide is
25°C (77°F)                        available with most major airlines and charter
                                   companies. For specific information on scheduled and
                                   charter flights, contact your local travel agent.

82 1-800-ALBERTA
                  you could win a free seven-day holiday to Alberta by simply completing the survey at
         And after reading this Vacation Guide you’ll be able to
                  customize your trip for two.

hostelling in Alberta Hostels vary from basic (bed,           operate local and regional visitor information centres
kitchen facilities) to superior standards (family rooms,      that offer detailed travel information. A number of
laundry facilities, licensed café, showers, sauna). Alberta   these have been recognized as accredited centres that             Phone
                                                                                                                                Toll-free Canada & U.S.
offers 15 hostels in Banff, Jasper (along the Icefields       provide a broad range of amenities and services.
Parkway), Kananaskis Country, David Thompson Country,         Operating hours at visitor information centres vary, and          (252-3782)
Calgary and Edmonton. For more details, visit    many are seasonal.                                                International
or contact Central Reservations at 1-866-762-4122, or                                                                           1-780-427-4321
                                                              Meetings and Conventions There are visitor and
                                                              convention centres in Calgary, Edmonton, the Canadian             E-mail
Fishing and hunting Regulations Fishing licences              Rockies and many of the smaller cities, which are able            travelinfo@
outside the national parks can be purchased from select                                                               
                                                              to host meetings and conventions. The full-service
sporting good stores, convenience stores and some gas         resorts, hotels, lodges and restaurants in Alberta’s              Fax
stations. For details, call: 1-888-944-5494.                                                                                    1-780-427-0867
                                                              most popular destinations are ideal sites for conferences
Hunting regulations and special licensing requirements        and meetings. A Meetings, Convention & Incentive                  Post
                                                                                                                                Travel Alberta
vary depending on the type of hunting. Hunting is             Travel Guide is also available from Travel Alberta.
                                                                                                                                Box 2500 Edmonton
absolutely prohibited in the national parks. For              Visit:                                 Alberta, Canada T5J 2z4
everything you need to know about fishing and hunting         Travel Alberta Guides Drop by a Visitor Information               Travel Alberta assumes no
in Alberta, visit:                          Centre for a Travel Alberta Vacation Guide,                       responsibility or liability in
Pets Owners must accompany their pets when entering           Accommodation Guide, Campground Guide or                          connection with the
                                                                                                                                services listed and
Canada. Owners of dogs and cats must bring a                  Official Road Map. Call 1-800-ALBERTA (252-3782) to
                                                                                                                                provided by the operators.
certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian clearly         order any of these guides or do so online at:                     While every effort is made
identifying the pet and certifying that it has been                                           to ensure the information
vaccinated against rabies within the preceding 36             Be Responsible Whether you’re in one of Alberta’s                 contained in the brochure
months. There are exceptions made for seeing-eye                                                                                is correct, Travel Alberta
                                                              urban centres, the badlands, prairies or the Rockies,
                                                                                                                                disclaims any liability in
dogs and puppies or kittens that are younger than three       you can respect our environment by being a                        negligence or otherwise
months old. For more details on border crossings with         responsible visitor:                                              for any loss or damage
a pet, contact:                                                                                                                 that may occur as a result
                                                              • If you fly to Alberta, consider purchasing carbon offsets.
Canadian Border Services Agency                                                                                                 of reliance upon any of
                                                                Independent agencies funnel these carbon offsets, or            this material. All
Within Canada, call: 1-800-461-9999                             voluntary donations, into renewable-energy research,            information is accurate at
Outside Canada, call: 1-204-983-3500 or                         reforestation projects and other carbon-reduction               press time but is subject
1-506-636-5064 or visit:                        schemes. Visit or for more           to change without notice.
                                                                                                                                Travel Alberta provides
Renting an Automobile All car rental companies have a           details on carbon offset programs.
                                                                                                                                this publication for
strong network of outlets in Alberta. To rent a car you       • Become familiar with local cultures and                         information purposes only.
must be 21 years old and hold a valid driver’s licence          communities, especially those of our First Nations’             Travel Alberta does not
and a major credit card. (A small surcharge may apply           people. Take time to listen to the people. Encourage            endorse any of the
to drivers under 25 years of age).                                                                                              persons or entities listed
                                                                local conservation efforts.
                                                                                                                                in this publication or make
Renting a Motorhome/RV Renting a motorhome is a               • Respect the natural environment of the places you visit.        any representations or
convenient way to explore Alberta. You may purchase                                                                             warranties as to their
                                                              • Choose products that are reusable and recyclable.
insurance at the time of rental. For best rates, it is                                                                          reliability, financial
recommended that bookings be made three to four               • Buy goods and services from companies that respect              condition and suitability
                                                                the environment.                                                for any particular purpose.
months in advance.
                                                                                                                                You are advised to make
Visitor Information Centres Knowledgeable and                 • Support the integrity of your destination – whether it’s        your own inquiries of any
friendly Alberta specialists await you at the 10                noted for its architecture, heritage, cuisine, aesthetics       person or entity in this
                                                                or ecology.                                                     publication to determine if
provincial Travel Alberta Visitor Information Centres,
                                                                                                                                he/she/it is satisfactory
strategically located along key highways and at border        • Choose those (hotels, airlines, resorts, tour operators         for your purposes. All
entry points. Stop in for a variety of province-wide            and suppliers) who advance energy and                           rights reserved. No
tourism information including all Travel Alberta guides         environmental conservation; water and air quality;              material may be
and official road map. Let our specialists help customize       recycling; safe management of waste and toxic                   reproduced from this
                                                                                                                                publication without prior
your vacation in Alberta.                                       materials; noise abatement; community involvement;
                                                                                                                                written permission from
To complement the provincial information services               and which provide experienced, well-trained staff               Travel Alberta.
network, more than 100 communities across Alberta               dedicated to strong principles of conservation.
                                                                                                                                Some photographs in
                                                                                                                                this publication are
                                                                                                                                courtesy of the Canadian
                                                                                                                                Tourism Commission.

                                                                                                                             Official Alberta Vacation Guide   83
     Must Attend                          We hope this Vacation Guide moves you to new places both physically and
     • Banff Summer Arts Festival
                                          emotionally. More planning tips to help you ...
     • Calgary Stampede
     • Edmonton International
       Fringe Festival                    Package Tours Let a professional tour        massive festivals from the Calgary
     • The Canadian Badlands              operator design an itinerary for you.        Stampede to the Edmonton Fringe.
       Passion Play                       Choose from North American and               In winter, the focus is on skiing and
     • Big Valley Jamboree                International based tour operators who       snowboarding. Summer days are long,
     • Magnificent River Rats Festival    offer fully escorted tours, fly/drive        sunny, hot and simply stunning. Winter is
     • Banff Mountain Film Festival
                                          packages, and a variety of independent       marked by fluffy snow and sunny skies
     Must Experience                      “Land Only” packages. We’ve made it          – perfect for skiing. Late spring and early
     • Columbia Icefields                 easy for you to link directly to tour        fall are also lovely times to visit, marked
     • NHL Hockey Game                    operators in the country of your choice.     by fewer visitors and lower prices.
     • Royal Tyrrell Museum
                                          For a complete list visit: TravelAlberta.
     • Spirit Island Boat Cruise                                                       What to Pack The diversity in Alberta
                                          com and click on Packages and Tours.
     • Horseback Riding                                                                calls for shrewd packing. If you’re
     • Hiking                             Things to Know Before You Go Most of         heading to the Rockies for any sort of
     Must Photograph                      the nuts and bolts that go into planning     outdoor adventure, dress in layers. Apart
     • Lake Louise/Moraine Lake           a vacation are on the previous page,         from a handful of very formal urban
     • Fringe Festival, Edmonton          Travel Essentials. Prefer to call? Dial      restaurants most dining establishments
     • Glaciers, Icefields Parkway        1-800-ALBERTA (252-3782), only in            in Alberta welcome casual attire.
     • Calgary Stampede                   North America. Or meet an Alberta            Always bring sunglasses and a hat to
     • Sunset, Canadian Badlands          Travel expert at one of our Visitor          provide protection from strong sunlight.
     • Northern lights                    Information Centres.                         With airlines tightening luggage
     • You in Alberta                                                                  restrictions, remember to leave all
                                          More Siteful Information This Guide is
     Must Know                                                                         liquids and sharp objects in your piece
                                          merely a starting point. Our newly
     • Alberta population: 3.5 million                                                 of check-in baggage. Your carry-on bag
                                          enhanced website has a wealth of
     • Capital: Edmonton                                                               should contain valuables, medications,
                                          information plus the ability to customize
     • Size: 4th most popular                                                          reading materials and vital documents.
       provincial destination             your holiday so you can design a
     • Provincial Flower: Wild Rose       vacation where you truly get away from       National Park Entry Permits are
     • Highest Peak: Mt. Columbia         it all. From budgetary matters to specific   required for entry into any national park
       3,747 m (12,294 ft)
                                          interest areas, Travel Alberta will          in Canada – and Alberta has five. You
     • Canada’s oldest national
                                          connect you to some of the planet’s          can buy a day pass at a park gate but if
       park: Banff
                                          most beautiful wilderness areas and          you’re intending to spend time in many
     Must Eat
                                          fascinating cultural escapes. Visit:         of our parks consider an annual National
     • Beef jerky
                                                           Parks of Canada Pass that’s good for one
                                                                                                                                     Hot Air Ballooning, Grande Prairie

     • Beef on a bun
                                                                                       year from the date of purchase and
     • Cheemo’s perogies                  When to Go Alberta is a four-season
     • Big Rock beer
                                                                                       comes with a booklet of discount
                                          destination but most visitors plan their
     • Bernard Callebaut chocolates                                                    coupons. National park fee increases
                                          vacation around the summer or winter.
     • Field Stone fruit wine                                                          have been waived until 2011 as have
                                          Summer holidays typically revolve
     • Prairie oysters                                                                 fees to historic sites – more good news
                                          around outdoor activities such as hiking,
     • Alberta game/wildmeats                                                          for budget-minded travellers!
                                          biking, fishing and golfing – or our

84 1-800-ALBERTA
                               Key Destinations
                          and Driving Distances
                                                             For greater detail, please refer to
                          Alberta Map                        the Official Alberta Road Map.

                                                                       Wood Buffalo
                                                                       National Park
                                                                                      FORT                              Travel Alberta Visitor
        RAINBOW LAKE                                                            CHIPEWYAN
                 138 km                                                                                                 Information Centres
                  86 mi              HIGH LEVEL
                                                                                                                        Year Round
                                                                                            271 km                      Crowsnest Pass
                                                                                            168 mi                      May – September

                             296 km
                             184 mi                                                                                     Field, British Columbia
                                                                                                                        May – October
                                                                                                                        Grande Prairie
                                                                                                                        May – September
                                                                        FORT McMURRAY
                                                              690 km
                                                              439 mi                                                    May – October
          PEACE RIVER                                                                                                   Lloydminster
                                                                                                                        May – September
                 198 km                                                                                                 Milk River
                 123 mi
                                                                                                                        May – October

                                                                                 456 km                                 Oyen
                                                                                 283 mi
PRAIRIE                                                                                                                 May – September
                                               488 km
                                               303 mi                                                                   Walsh
                                                                                                                        May – September
     187 km                         460 km
     116 mi                         286 mi
                                                                                                                        West Glacier, Montana
                                                                                                                        May – September

          146 km                                                                          Elk Island                        Visitor Information Centre
           91 mi          HINTON                                                         National Park
    3                                                                                                                       UNESCO World Heritage Site
                                            288 km
                                            179 mi                                        250 km
                                                           EDMONTON                       155 mi                            Airport
                 79 km
                 49 mi
                                                                 158 km
        JASPER                                                    98 mi



                            Park          Icefield                                                        276 km

                                                                       RED DEER                           172 mi

                                  232 km

                                  144 mi       Banff             145 km
                                           National Park          90 mi

                                            LAKE LOUISE                   DRUMHELLER                                             Cert no. XXX-XXX-000
                                                                                               189 km    OYEN
                                 FIELD           BANFF                                         118 mi
                                                                           139 km
                                 57 km             CANMORE                  86 mi
                                 35 mi                      104 km                         Dinosaur
                                                             65 mi        CALGARY Provincial Park          188 km
                                          26 km                                                            117 mi
                                          16 mi

1   Edmonton & Area
                                                             2                           4
                                                                                           MEDICINE HAT         54 km
                                                                            223 km                              33 mi
2   Calgary & Area                                                          139 mi             169 km
3   Canadian Rockies                                        Head-Smashed-In                    105 mi
                                                                                                          WALSH           The Official Travel Alberta
    Alberta South                                             Buffalo Jump                                               Vacation Guide is printed on
4                                                                      140 km            LETHBRIDGE        239 km       recycled, post-consumer waste
    Alberta Central                                                     87 mi
5                                                                                      84 km
                                                                                                           149 mi
                                                                                                                              certified by both the
                                             CROWSNEST PASS                            52 mi                               Rainforest Alliance and
6   Alberta North
                                                                                                                         Forest Stewardship Council.
                                                                        Waterton Lakes          MILK RIVER                The 30% recycled content in
                                                                         National Park
                                                                                                                         our pages translates into the
                                                                                                                        conservation of trees, energy,
                                                                              WEST GLACIER                                  and water as well as a
                                                                                                                            decrease in pollutants.
                                                                             WIN A
                                                                             Trip of a Lifetime!*
                                                                             We want to know how helpful this
                                                                             Official Vacation Guide was in planning
                                                                             your holiday. All you have to do is:
                                                                             Fill out the survey at
                                                                             You’ll automatically be entered into Travel Alberta’s
                                                                             Trip of a Lifetime contest which will award some lucky
                                                                             winner with a seven-day customized holiday for two.
                                                                             This incredible $5,000 vacation for two includes
                                                                             accommodations, airfare, car rental and activities for
                                                                             an extraordinary holiday that only you could create.
                                                                             * Some restrictions may apply.

                 Across the Bow River from The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is a series of pocket beaches –
                 cool little spots to picnic or simply admire Bow Falls and iconic peaks such as Sulphur Mountain and
                 Mt. Rundle. The area is also a dream for rafters, trail runners, horseback riders, fishers and hikers.

86 1-800-ALBERTA