Reasons to Visit Alberta – Things to do in Alberta

Unlike other provinces in Canada, Alberta offers unique scenery and mesmerizing summer and winter outdoor activities. Here are reasons to visit this place.

Reasons to Visit Alberta

Alberta is an outdoor paradise that will amaze you with its abundance of natural treasures. Towering snow-capped mountains, turquoise waters, ranches, and the Northern Lights are just a few of the wonders that will enchant you whether you are a local or tourist. Here are the top reasons to visit Alberta. Read on!

1. Hiking and Climbing

A tourist jewel of Canada, the Canadian Rockies will allow you to enjoy a unique mountain experience. You won’t want to miss anything: flared valleys, majestic mountains, forests as far as the eye can see, flowery meadows, rushing rivers, and turquoise lakes.

Take a deep breath to admire, and you will have the impression that time stops. The best way to end your day in style is to stop at Upper Hot Springs in Banff National Park or Miette Hot Springs in Jasper National Park.

Moreover, the various national parks are full of routes to delight climbers. Rock climbing season can begin as early as May. However, on the high alpine peaks (over 9,000 feet), it is necessary to wait until the end of June, when spring avalanches are less frequent.

Kananaskis Country, Grassi Lake, and Jasper National Park are particularly well-known for their popular moderate-difficulty rock climbing and hiking. So, if you are an adventure enthusiast, visiting Alberta will make your dream come true.

Alberta, Canada, is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, including mountains, forests, and lakes, making it an ideal destination for hikers of all levels. Below are some of the popular hiking spots in the province:

1. Banff National Park:

  • Johnston Canyon: This trail is accessible and offers views of waterfalls and deep blue pools.
  • Lake Agnes Teahouse: A moderate hike leading to a historic teahouse overlooking Lake Agnes.
  • Plain of Six Glaciers: This trail offers panoramic views of glaciers and the surrounding mountain range.

2. Jasper National Park:

  • Maligne Canyon: A deep and narrow canyon that can be explored through a series of bridges and viewing platforms.
  • Valley of the Five Lakes: Offers views of five stunning, differently colored lakes.
  • Wilcox Pass: Known for its breathtaking views of glaciers, meadows, and the Columbia Icefield.

3. Kananaskis Country:

  • Ha Ling Peak: A steep but short hike leading to a peak with views of Canmore and the Bow Valley.
  • Rawson Lake: Moderate hike that starts at the Upper Kananaskis Lake and leads to an alpine lake.
  • Ptarmigan Cirque: Offers views of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and rugged mountain scenery.

4. Waterton Lakes National Park:

  • Crypt Lake: A challenging trail known for its waterfall views, a steel ladder, and a tunnel.
  • Bear’s Hump: A short, steep hike that provides views of the Waterton townsite and surrounding mountains.
  • Red Rock Parkway: Offers various trails with views of red canyons and cascading waterfalls.

5. Elk Island National Park:

  • Ideal for those interested in wildlife viewing, with trails like Amisk Wuche and Hayburger.

6. Canmore Area:

  • Grassi Lakes: Suitable for families, with views of waterfalls, lakes, and the town of Canmore.
  • East End of Rundle (EEOR): A more challenging trail with views of Ha Ling Peak and the Spray Valley.

Safety Tips:

  • Check the trail conditions and weather forecast before heading out.
  • Dress in layers and wear appropriate hiking boots.
  • Carry a map, compass, and sufficient water and snacks.
  • Respect the wildlife and practice Leave No Trace principles.
  • If you’re new to hiking or unfamiliar with the area, consider joining a guided hike or going with someone experienced.

2. Dog Sledding

Dog sledding is a quintessential Alberta winter experience. Depending on the outfitter and guide, dog sledding tours can last an hour, half-day, full-day, or take place at night. Depending on the snowpack, you can book a dog sledding adventure from November through April. Stand in the back of the sled and lead your team of dogs or get comfortable in the sled, bundled up in buffalo skin, and enjoy the ride.

Dog sledding is a popular winter activity in Alberta, providing an exhilarating experience amidst the province’s stunning scenery. Various operators offer dog sledding tours, ranging from short rides to multi-day excursions. Here are some notable locations and operators where you can enjoy dog sledding:

1. Canmore and Banff Area:

  • Snowy Owl Dog Sled Tours: One of the oldest dog sledding companies in the area, offering a variety of tours for different experience levels.
  • Howling Dog Tours: Provides both short and long tours, with the opportunity for guests to drive their sled.

2. Lake Louise:

  • Kingmik Dog Sled Tours: Offers tours through the breathtaking scenery of Banff National Park and the Continental Divide.
  • You might find other local operators offering unique experiences in the Lake Louise area.

3. Kananaskis Country:

  • Mad Dogs & Englishmen Sled Dog Expeditions: Provides various tour options, including moonlight runs and multi-day expeditions.

4. Crowsnest Pass:

  • Crowsnest Pass Dogsled Adventures: They offer a variety of tours and the opportunity to learn about dog care and sledding equipment.

Tips for Dog Sledding in Alberta:

  • Booking: Tours are popular, so it’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak winter season.
  • Dress Appropriately: Wear warm, layered clothing, waterproof boots, and bring extra gloves and hats.
  • Listen to Guides: Your guides will provide important safety and handling instructions; pay attention to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • Respect the Dogs: These are working animals; follow the handler’s guidelines on interacting with the dogs.
  • Check Reviews: Consider reading reviews and maybe even calling the company to ask about their practices, especially regarding animal welfare.


  • Dog sledding operations should prioritize the welfare and well-being of the sled dogs. Ethical operators take excellent care of their dogs, providing proper nutrition, veterinary care, rest, and love.
  • Ensure to choose operators that adhere to high standards of animal welfare and sustainable tourism practices.

Before planning your dog sledding adventure, it’s crucial to check the most current and local resources for up-to-date information, as availability, regulations, and operations might change. For the most accurate information, consider visiting the official tourism website of Alberta or directly contacting the dog sledding tour operators.


3. Camping

Hike the backcountry and spend the night in the beautiful landscapes. You can also enjoy the comfort of your RV in one of the many terrains available to you. Regardless of the location you choose, you will feel dazzled when you wake up by the beauty of Alberta’s landscapes, and above all, you will have had enough energy to continue your adventure.

In addition, there is nothing like these vivid colors dancing for you. Make sure you visit Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world. Similarly, you can enjoy rafting by hitting the waterways at full speed and seeing the difference between the color of a river fed by rainwater and one provided by a glacier.

Alberta offers a plethora of camping spots, with a range of options from backcountry camping to well-equipped campgrounds. Below are some of the popular camping destinations:

1. Banff National Park:

  • Tunnel Mountain Campgrounds: Located close to the town of Banff, offering various amenities.
  • Two Jack Lakeside Campground: Known for its scenic views and proximity to Lake Minnewanka.
  • Johnston Canyon Campground: Ideal for those planning to hike the Johnston Canyon trail.

2. Jasper National Park:

  • Wapiti Campground: Offers year-round camping with good facilities, close to the town of Jasper.
  • Whistlers Campground: One of the largest campgrounds, currently renovated to improve services.
  • Pocahontas Campground: A quieter option, closer to the Miette Hot Springs.

3. Kananaskis Country:

  • Boulton Creek Campground: Offers a variety of services, located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.
  • Elbow Falls Provincial Recreation Area: Ideal for tent camping, providing basic facilities.
  • Mt. Kidd RV Park: Perfect for RV campers, with well-maintained amenities and services.

4. Waterton Lakes National Park:

  • Townsite Campground: Located close to the Waterton township with good facilities.
  • Crandell Mountain Campground: Offers a more rustic camping experience in a forested setting.

5. Elk Island National Park:

  • Astohtomi Campground: Suitable for both tent and RV camping, with basic facilities provided.
  • Backcountry camping is also available for those seeking a more secluded experience.

6. Drumheller:

  • Dinosaur Provincial Park: Offers camping options for dinosaur enthusiasts and those interested in exploring the Badlands.

7. Cypress Hills Provincial Park:

  • Provides a mix of serviced and unserviced sites, with access to various recreational activities.

8. Willmore Wilderness Park:

  • Known for its remote backcountry camping options for experienced campers and adventurers.

Camping Tips:

  • Reservations: Popular campgrounds fill up quickly, especially in summer, so early reservations are recommended.
  • Wildlife: Store food securely, and maintain a safe distance from wildlife.
  • Weather: Prepare for unpredictable weather by bringing layered clothing and rain gear.
  • Rules and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with and adhere to the specific rules of each campground, including fire restrictions and pet policies.

Planning Considerations:

  • Always check the most up-to-date information, as some campgrounds might be closed for maintenance, renovation, or due to seasonal changes.
  • Consider the type of camping experience you want (tent, RV, backcountry) and select campgrounds that suit your needs and skill level.

4. Ski Resorts

Hit the slopes of the many ski resorts located in the Canadian Rockies. Alberta province has 19 ski resorts. Many of these resorts are of international standard. Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, Mount Norquay, Nakiska and Marmot Basin are the most popular.

Remember, the slopes of these mountains stretch endlessly, both in length and width, and offer challenges for all levels. One thing is sure: Alberta’s snowy landscapes will bring you to a world worthy of fairy tales.

Moreover, Strap on your snowshoes, straddle the Continental Divide in the Canadian Rockies and have your photo taken with one snowshoe in Alberta. Take a helicopter ride into the backcountry and then snowshoe across a frozen lake to an island where you will enjoy a gourmet meal.

Do you love cross-country skiing? Alberta will make you feel like you are in paradise with its wide choice of groomed trails and skating ski trails in scenic areas. Look around Canmore for cross-country because it is a perfect place for your next outdoor adventure.

1. Banff National Park:

  • Sunshine Village: Located near Banff, this resort boasts a long ski season and offers terrains suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced skiers.
  • Lake Louise Ski Resort: Renowned for its breathtaking views, Lake Louise offers varied terrains and hosts World Cup alpine events.
  • Mt. Norquay: Closest to the town of Banff, it’s great for both skiing and snowboarding, and it offers night skiing as well.

2. Kananaskis Country:

  • Nakiska Ski Area: Initially developed for the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988, Nakiska offers a range of slopes and is family-friendly.

3. Jasper National Park:

  • Marmot Basin: Located in the picturesque surroundings of Jasper National Park, Marmot Basin has diverse terrain catering to all skill levels and is less crowded compared to some of the Banff resorts.

4. Crowsnest Pass:

  • Pass Powderkeg: A community-owned ski area that’s excellent for families and beginners.

5. Fortress Mountain:

  • After being closed for years, there’s ongoing talk about reopening this ski area in Kananaskis Country. If traveling in the region, it might be worth checking current statuses and developments.

General Tips:

  • Season: While the ski season can vary slightly between resorts, it generally runs from November to May, with some resorts like Sunshine Village often open until late May due to its higher elevation.
  • Lodging: Most major resorts offer a range of accommodations, from luxury hotels to lodges and cabins. Consider booking in advance, especially during peak times.
  • Packages: Many resorts offer ski packages that include accommodation, lift tickets, and sometimes lessons or rentals, which can offer savings.
  • Equipment Rentals: All major resorts provide on-site rental options for skiing and snowboarding equipment.
  • Ski Lessons: Whether you’re a beginner or looking to advance your skills, consider enrolling in lessons which most resorts offer.

5. Flora and Fauna

Alberta is the ideal destination for those who appreciate mountain landscapes with glaciers, lakes, and rivers. To the southwest of the province stand the Rocky Mountains. In addition, you will discover the lush vegetation and wild animals in a natural habitat preserved from civilization.

Alberta places great emphasis on nature. It is a province that watches over its fauna and flora. As a result, many species live there, whether in the mountains, plains, or forests. In addition, many migrating birds pass through this region.

Final Words

Alberta is a paradise in North America and the ultimate outdoor destination for tourists who visit Canada during the summer and winter seasons. In addition to shopping malls, unique architecture, and world-class infrastructure, these are the top reasons to visit Alberta. Until Next Time!

  • Article based on personal opinion, experience and research.
  • Photos from Unsplash & canva.