Things to Do in Alberta - page 3
It might be the smallest of the 3 major ski resorts within the Banff National Park, but since opening in 1926, Mt Norquay has fast become a favorite destination for in-the-know skiers, and has even served as an Olympic and World Cup training ground. Today, the Mt Norquay Ski Resort offers 16.4 km of runs, with ample opportunities for all levels, from first-time skiers to professionals, including a terrain park with a range of boxes and rails.
With a fully equipped ski school on-site, this is a great spot for beginners, and along with skiing and snowboarding, there’s also a snow tube park, snowshoeing trails and the chance to enjoy a moonlight skiing excursion.
The fun doesn’t stop when the snow melts either – the Mt Norquay Ski Resort is open all year-round and summer visitors can ride the 8,040-foot chairlift for a view of the surrounding mountains, dine at the mountaintop Cliffhouse or tackle the Via Ferrata climbing routes.
Kicking Horse River flows through the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia, from its source in Lake Wapta, south-west to the Columbia River and the town of Golden.
This wild river is the premier white-water course in the Canadian Rockies, offering exciting rafting over Class 3 rapids or more gentle Class 2 paddles.
Golden lies at the center of Kicking Horse Country. The town’s unusual covered wooden bridge over the Kicking Horse River was built in 2001.
A mountain river at the tributary of the Bow River, Kananaskis is one of the most scenic rivers of western Alberta, Canada. With views of the Canadian Rockies, its waters are known for sports such as canoeing, river rafting, and kayaking. Several hiking trails run on the lands beside or nearby it, among aspen, pine and spruce trees. The river is home to much mountain wildlife, including elk, golden eagles, wolves, and black and grizzly bears.The Lower Kananaskis is a great spot to take on whitewater rafting. With dams controlling the water level, the class III rapids are often paddler-friendly and largely predictable. A section near the Canoe Meadows Campground is famous for its large “V” wave which brings river surfers to the area. Canoe Meadows also hosts Kananaskis Whitewater Festival (“Kanfest") of kayaking activities each August.
Peyto Lake is blue—really blue. Because of its proximity to nearby glaciers, large amounts of glacier flour flow into the lake each summer, and these suspended flour particles–nothing more than ground rock–saturate the lake and give it its spectacular color. And despite its breathtaking surroundings, located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park, there are few viewings that rival gazing down at Peyto Lake from the platform just off the Icefield Parkway.
While the five-minute, self-guided interpretive hike to the viewpoint takes in the most spectacular view of the lake, visitors looking for a touch more adventure can hike to the Bow Summit Lookout. This 2.5-hour hike leaves from the highest point on the Icefield Parkway and climbs above the tree line to offer spectacular views of Bow Summit, Observation Peak and Mount Jimmy Simpson. Marmots, picas and ptarmigans are commonly seen along the hike.
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The longest river in British Columbia and the 10th longest river in Canada, the Fraser River rises at Fraser Pass near Mount Robson in the Rocky Mountains and flows for 854 miles (1,375 km) into the Strait of Georgia at the city of Vancouver. Known for white sturgeon and the most productive salmon fishery in the world, Fraser River has supported agricultural and community life for hundreds of years.
More recently, Fraser River has become a host to a wide variety of recreational activities as well. Fishing, boating, whitewater rafting and other activities are common throughout the course of the river. In the basin as a whole, visitors can enjoy other backcountry activities such as hiking, camping, backpacking, cycling, birdwatching, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. As a scenic attraction, the Fraser River commands attention along many public byways including the Trans Canada and Yellowhead highways.
Proving that it’s force and not size that matters, Athabasca Falls is a mere 75.5 foot (23 m) tall waterfall in Jasper National Park on the upper Athabasca River just west of the Icefields Parkway. The largest waterfall by volume in Jasper National Park, water cascades over the falls almost constantly, even on cold mornings when river levels are at their lowest.
Thundering through a narrow gorge, Athabasca Falls has both smoothed the rock walls it travels past and potholed them with the sand and rock it carries. It’s easy to admire Athabasca Falls from various viewing platforms and walking trails around the falls. Considered a Class 5 waterfall, Athabasca has a drop of 80 ft (24 m) and a width of 60 ft (18m).
One of North America’s largest ski resorts and claiming the title of Canada’s Best Ski Resort multiple times at the World Ski Awards, the Lake Louise Ski Resort has a deservedly stellar reputation, along with a jaw-dropping setting, overlooking the glacial valley of Lake Louise. With 4,200 acres of piste spread across four mountains, over 145 runs served by high-speed chair lifts, and the longest run clocking in at 8km, powder junkies will be spoiled for choice at Lake Louise, and there’s something for all ability levels. While adventurous types can make the most of the ample chutes, glades and bowls, beginners can cut their teeth on the gentler slopes and first-timers can brush up on their skills at the ski school.
Snow tubing, Nordic skiing, husky sledding and snowshoeing are also popular activities, while summer visitors can enjoy hiking in the hills, ride the 2,088m Sightseeing Gondola or go rafting on the nearby Kicking Horse River.
Where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains begin to rise from the Great Plains is where you’ll find Canada’s oldest and largest buffalo jump, an archaeological site that has preserved the fascinating history of the Plains People for millenia. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump remembers a method of hunting practiced by the native people of the North American plains for nearly 6,000 years. Because they knew the regional topography and the bison’s behavior so well, the People were able to hunt bison by stampeding them over a cliff.
Today the site is a multi-exhibit museum introducing the visitor to the people who lived in harmony with the delicate ecology of the prehistoric plains, showcasing their lifestyles, and sharing native accounts of how they learned to hunt the buffalo. Topographical models explain how the jump site was used, and an exhibit focuses on the spiritual and ceremonial significance of the buffalo hunt.
Known as the “Matterhorn of the Rockies” at nearly 12,000 feet up, Mt Assiniboine is one of the region’s highest peaks. When the mountain was first spotted on the Great Continental Divide between British Columbia and Alberta’s Banff National Park by Canadian scientist George M. Dawson in 1885, he named the peak Assiniboine because its dramatically pointed top reminded him of the teepees of the Assiniboine people.
Nestled near the crystal clear waters of Lake Magog, Mt Assiniboine provides a true backcountry experience; British Columbia’s Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park has no roads whatsoever. A trip to the park requires at least a six-hour, 17-mile hike via Bryant Creek near Canmore. Alternatively, you can take a helicopter to visit this UNESCO World Heritage wilderness of alpine meadows, glaciers and waterfalls.
Things to do near Alberta
- Things to do in Calgary
- Things to do in Edmonton
- Things to do in British Columbia
- Things to do in Washington
- Things to do in Wyoming
- Things to do in Whistler
- Things to do in Vancouver
- Things to do in Victoria
- Things to do in Seattle
- Things to do in Vancouver Island
- Things to do in Oregon
- Things to do in Utah
- Things to do in Nevada
- Things to do in Colorado
- Things to do in California