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Day Trips in Alberta

By: Cityseeker
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Jasper National Park

Nestled in the lap of the Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park's moraine landscape is wild as it is soulful. The park's exquisite panorama unfolds like a painted postcard, upheld by its legion of snow-sprinkled peaks that escape billowing mist at the break of dawn, crystal clear waters that flow from the Athabasca and Smoky river basins in the east, and a battalion of Aspen trees that line the foothills of the gargantuan mountains. Blessed with an undulating terrain, the park allows for a diverse yet delicate ecosystem to live and breathe within its pockets of alpine wilderness, from grizzlies and moose, to heavy-set elk and nimble lynxes. Jasper's sublime landscape is home to the Athabasca Glacier, one of the principal outlets of the Columbia Icefield, while its valley floors are flooded with glacier lakes like the Maligne, Pyramid and Medicine. The national park connects to Lake Louise, Alberta by virtue of the Icefields Parkway, a 230 kilometer (140 mile) long highway that runs parallel to the continental divide.

Jasper, AB, Canada
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Banff

When incorporated in 1990, the Town of Banff was the only municipality within a Canadian National Park. Surrounded by the Rockies and hot springs of the Banff National Park, this resort town began as a service station for visitors to the park with very little identity of its own. Today, Banff boasts all the trimmings of a resort, with a main street that's packed with fabulous restaurants, nightlife and boutiques, its spectacular surrounds a hotbed for outdoor activities. While the park itself is its main attraction, Banff harbors a vibrant arts and cultural scene that is all its own. From the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies and the Banff Park Museum to the Canada House Art Gallery and Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, the city celebrates its unique heritage with fervor. Yet, wander too far and you'll be in the midst of wilderness once more.

Banff, AB, Canada
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Columbia Icefield

The Columbia Icefield is a large and beautiful stretch of snow and ice nestled in the Canadian Rockies that falls within Jasper and Banff National Parks. The region features eight prominent glaciers including the Athabasca Glacier, the Castleguard Glacier, the Saskatchewan Glacier, and the Columbia Glacier. Parts of the Icefield are visible from the Icefields Parkway, a scenic mountain highway traversing the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Visitors can go on wildlife photography excursions, take tours of the Icefield in snow-coaches during the summer, and go on ski-mountaineering adventures during the winter.

Jasper, AB, Canada
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Waterton Lakes National Park

Established in 1895, this national park has a mountainous, wilderness landscape that boasts of different ecological environment. The various ecosystems such as the prairie, mountain and coastal coinciding with each other gives a stunning look to the Waterton Lakes National Park. It is not surprising to find rare and endangered species of plants and animals here. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The park features some sedimentary rocks that date back to 1,500 years ago as well as argillite which are not found everywhere. The park has eight hotels, campgrounds, eateries, a fuel station, gift shops and more for its visitors who wish to stay in its vicinity for a holiday. There are several picnic spots and recreational facilities as well in this popular parkland.

Waterton Park, AB, Canada
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Moraine Lake

Located in the Valley of Ten Peaks inside Banff National Park, the enchanting Moraine Lake appears to be something right out of a postcard. Turquoise blue waters offset the snowy white peaks of the Rocky Mountains that form a stunning backdrop. Fed mainly by surrounding glacial activity, the lake assumes a pristine blue color in June when it reaches its full, a phenomenon attributed to mineral deposits that teem its depths. During the winter months, the lake dons a steely grey hue, with the occasional sunlight lending it a glass-like effect. Moraine Lake is one of the most iconic attractions in the region of Alberta, and has previously found itself on the Canadian twenty dollar bill.

Lake Louise, AB, Canada
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Jurassic Forest

Children will love visiting the Jurassic Forest, located 15 miles (24.14 kilometers) outside of Edmonton. It is a 40-acre (17 hectares) park that is filled with realistic dinosaurs that are hidden away in an old forest. This allows for a lot of interactive fun for the little ones.

Gibbons, AB, Canada
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Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park is 120 square kilometers (46 square miles) of fenced-in forest and prairie located about 32 kilometers (19 miles) east of Edmonton. Established in 1906 to protect dwindling wildlife stocks, it is now a prime attraction with a fine herd of bison as well as elk, wapiti, deer, beaver, coyotes, and a few bears. Although it is one of Canada's smallest national parks, it offers all the opportunities for camping, hiking, fishing, golfing, canoeing, kayaking, and guided tours.

Lamont, AB, Canada
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Fort Assiniboine

Although a small hamlet Fort Assiniboine has claimed its place as one of the famous heritage sites in Canada. This hamlet is home to a historical museum of the same name and also the worlds's largest Wagon Wheel and Pick Axe. The community was first created by the Hudson Bay Company as a trading post and stopping place along the Klondike Trail. The area takes its name from the Assiniboine people who live in the area.

Fort Assiniboine, AB, Canada
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Canmore

Nestled in the Bow Valley lies the town of Canmore, one of the largest towns of Alberta, Canada. Like most towns in the region, Canmore can trace its origins of settlement to the forming of a coal mine, and it is the prosperity brought in by the coal mining industry that led to a spurt in the settlement's population growth, eventually leading to the incorporation of the town in 1965. Today, the town of Canmore is a popular getaway for city dwellers, mainly those in Banff and Calgary, offering scenic views of the 'Three Sisters', a trio of mountain peaks. See the website to know more.

Canmore, AB, Canada
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Drumheller

Nestled within the Red Deer River Valley, Drumheller is a beautiful town. It is often referred to as the Dinosaur Valley, owing to the huge fibreglass dinosaur that has been erected on the highway. This town is also home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

Drumheller, AB, Canada
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Lake Louise

Lake Louise, in Banff National Park, takes its name from Queen Victoria's fourth daughter, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. Like a sparkling royal jewel, the glacial melt-waters of the lake are a spectacular sapphire color. The Stoney Nakoda First Nations people call this body of water "Lake of the Little Fishes" because smaller fish like trout and whitefish are the only species that can survive in the frigid lake year-round. Visitors can explore the lake’s shimmering waters via canoe and kayak, ice skate part of it during the winter, or get a bird's eye view while hiking surrounding peaks and trails.

Lake Louise, AB, Canada
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Lethbridge

Lethbridge is a city located in the province of Alberta, Canada, on the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. Home to a number of museums, art galleries and libraries, the city was given the title of Cultural Capital of Canada for the 2004-2005 period. There are historic bridges, national historic sites, stunning waterfronts and some prestigious universities in the city.

Lethbridge, AB, Canada
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