The Bleriot Ferry, a cool, cable operated ferry that carries cars across the Red Deer River, connects the north and south trail. Slower traffic stays in the right lane, except to pass. Expect to see wild horses along the way and be sure to stop at Big Horn Falls. They are free to download. Their proximity to the city is hard to beat, but with a full tank of gas and a desire to drive a couple of hours, it opens up a world of possibilities in southern Alberta. Your trip begins in Ontario, Canada. However, if you’re looking for some inspiration to get you out the door, we’ve got a list of our fave destinations for cool Alberta road trips that will get you started. The Alberta portion starts a couple hours south of Calgary, where you’ll find just about 60 miles of road ahead for you to explore. Click through to our extensive guide of everything to see and do on the. It is the ultimate Rocky Mountain road trip and features passes over 2000 meters above sea level, like the Sunwapta pass and Bow Summit. There are the character-building things: like stretching your bladder, and fighting boredom and exhaustion as the kilometers slip by. It ends in Alberta, Canada. The city of Calgary, Alberta is home to many legendary landmarks, which are steeped in Canada’s history. Alberta is a province in Western Canada. The Hoodoo Trail extends east for 22 km from that intersection. 6 Exciting Road Trips in the Alberta Badlands, Where to Stay: A Guide to the Best Calgary Airbnbs, Where to Stay: A Guide to Accommodations in Banff, Beautiful Travel Puzzles of Alberta, Part Two, Finding the Best Christmas Lights in Alberta, There is one fuel station on the parkway, at Saskatchewan River Crossing – and that’s not open year-round. The ranch itself covers nearly 4,000 hectares of land on the edge of Banff National Park, with near-endless opportunities to hike and horseback ride. There are several stops to make along the way (don’t miss Lundbreck Falls or Frank Slide), so this is easily a full day trip if you have the time. Note that if driving into BC in the winter months, snow tires are mandatory for some roads. This historic town is a wonderful place to visit as a day trip from Calgary. Drink: Learn some of Albertans' favourite ways to drink their crops with a craft-beer road trip. If you’re coming from downtown Lake Louise, take Whitehorn Rd./Highway 1a east, over Highway 1 (toward the ski hill), then turn right to take Highway 1a (about 500 m after the highway). Though the parkway is open year-round, the section between Banff and Johnston Canyon does close nightly, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., from March 1 to June 25. Also note that we have a whole other article dedicated to themed trips in the Alberta Badlands to help you even more! Memorial Drive in Calgary. A trip to Alberta wouldn’t be complete without doing a road trip in the Canadian Rockies. The Bow Valley Parkway is a favourite for both bicyclists and, Town of Smoky Lake Staging Area Bellis Staging Area, Town of St. Paul Staging Area Town of Elk Point Staging Area Lindbergh Staging Area, Middle Creek Station Area Heinsburg Staging Area. And nothing goes better with a cool road trip than rolling into a cool campground at the end of the day! Are you considering a move to a new Canadian city to make a better life? Just ask National Geographic. It’s home to some of Canada’s darker moments including the deadliest landslide and its most tragic mining accident, but also delights with expansive mountain views that give way to vast prairies. Spend a few days driving the Icefields Parkway – #18 of the best things to do in Alberta. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Discover Craft Beer in Southern Alberta. The Dinosaur Trail south begins at the intersection of 2nd St. NW and South Railway, heading west, and the loop ends/begins at the intersection of Hwy 9 and 56 in Drumheller. Bring warm clothes too – even in the height of the summer. The road tacks on a couple extra kilometres and takes almost twice as long to make the trip! While it’s a fairly direct route, do plan to drive some of the scenic bi-ways so you see the country properly. Central Alberta. However, the road snakes through gorgeous scenery and past the trailheads of amazing hikes, making those slower speeds a perk. Depending on whether you’re starting from (Edmonton, Calgary, Banff National Park, or Southern Alberta), the whole experience changes. The complete Cowboy Trail runs (north to south) from Mayerthorpe to Waterton Lakes National Park and ends in Cardston. There are the little things: like the feeling of movement, the wind in your hair, and shouting along to your favourite tunes. Located close to the Bow River, Memorial Drive offers a wealth of scenery that looks even more awesome in the fall. From Edmonton: Take exit 66 off Anthony Henday to Camrose and Wainwright. Road trip bingo: Things you might see without even leaving your vehicle: hoodoos, bison, waterfalls, hawks and glaciers. 1,845 reviews. 1:31 pm. The almost 70 km gravel road can take nearly 2 hours to drive, but passes the famous Three Sisters mountains along with the Spray Lake Reservoir. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. A handful of other road trips in Alberta listed in this article actually start/end on the Cowboy Trail (i.e. Please review our full Terms and Conditions for more information and our Privacy Policy. They’re a romance all your own, with your faithful steed carrying you to the place you’ll discover a brand new part of yourself – be it in an ocean of waving prairie grass, or among jagged mountains of stone. If you make a qualifying purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Highway 2 does a fine job of getting you from Calgary to Edmonton (or vice versa) in good time – it is the most traveled road trip in Alberta! One of them is Memorial Drive. There are no services on the Smith Dorrien trail, so make sure to fuel up and check tire pressures before heading out. During the spring/summer/fall there’s both gas and lodging available at the Saskatchewan River Crossing, but is closed through the winter months. Make sure your vehicle has enough fuel to make that drive during the winter months. We’ve got a complete guide to RV rentals in Alberta that will help you find your home on wheels. Along the drive, you will pass through ancient glaciers, cascading waterfalls, and emerald lakes surrounded by forests. You’re going to want to pull over. Located in the southwester Corner of Alberta, this UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must see. We have reviews of the best places to see in Alberta. The Trans-Canada Highway runs from Victoria to St. John’s, a distance of 7,821 kilometres. Highwood Pass, Ya Ha Tinda, David Thompson). Coming from Calgary without stopping, the drive will take around five hours via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) and the world-famous Icefields Parkway. Depending on the season, and where you want to end up, drivers can: The Smith Dorrien Trail takes about 1.75 hours for drivers who are comfortable on gravel roads. From Anthony Henday in Edmonton to Deerfoot Trail in Calgary takes just over four hours of driving time if you don’t stop and don’t take any of the offshoots. This path takes you further east through quaint towns and villages who still retain the rustic charm of Alberta’s boomtown past. The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Alberta, Canada. This page will help you find a list of the nearest surrounding towns, villages, cities nearby or within a 40 mile distance (64.36 km) of Calgary (Alberta) to the north, south, east, or west of Calgary; typically within a one to two hour commute or drive. Lacombe. There seem to be endless numbers of gorgeous nature shots, and if you aren’t the type to hike 32 miles and camp for 4 days you still can get to a ton of fantastic spots. And to take it through southern Alberta, one of my favourite places, was just too good of a chance to pass up. There are plenty of places to stop along the way to take in the breathtaking scenery, so we recommend budgeting at least another half hour for driving time. We've created THREE Alberta specific bingo games to make your road trip even MORE fun. Check out some of the differences between BC and Alberta driving laws before you go. Where: Banff to Lake Louise on Highway 1A Add to the fun on your road trips in Alberta by ticking off items on our Road Trip Alberta bingo cards along the way! Be sure to take your camera, along with some sturdy shoes/hiking boots, as opportunities for both are endless. You will need a parkpass which can either be ordered in advance or purchased at the gate. Non-Alberta license for tourists and visitors. There is only one fuel station on the parkway, located at Saskatchewan River Crossing – and it’s not open year-round. Columbia Ice Field. If you’re looking to get out of the vehicle and bike/walk/ride your way across the province, the Iron Horse Trail offers the perfect (off) road trip in Alberta. St Albert offers a family friendly environment with basic amenities readily available. One of the more adventurous road trips in Alberta, the Smith Dorrien Trail is a lot closer to a trail than most of the highways that bear the name. So, before leaving. Must-see places between Jasper and Banff National Parks, Alberta September 17, 2014 (Updated 2019) With mountains that rise to touch the sky and water so blue and cold, there is no comparing the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. The 288 km Icefields Parkway connects Banff to Jasper, making it one of the most scenic drives in western Canada, end to end. We recommend taking the parkway either south to Banff or north to Jasper to round out the trip. We decided to head across late in the evening for a frozen lake walk with a guide. Jasper is located approximately 412-km Northwest of Calgary, Alberta. It is a flourishing city located a few miles from northwest Edmonton. Continuing on to Jasper takes about 2 hours (156 km) or south to Banff is just over 1.5 hours (139 km). From Longview, take Highway 541 which will then connect with Highway 40. Red Deer; More Central Alberta; Canadian Badlands; National Parks; Provincial Parks; Road Trips Find the travel option that best suits you. Note that any pricing, operating hours, or other such information provided below may have changed since initial publication. The definition of ‘the scenic route’, the Bow Valley Parkway is the alternate route between Banff and Lake Louise. A lot. The 288 km parkway connects Banff to Jasper, making it one of the most … Where: The border between Banff and Jasper National Parks 10:00 am. The David Thomson Day Trip is just shy of 2 hours (178 km) from Sundre to Saskatchewan Crossing. The drive from Calgary to Jasper is one of the finest road trips in Canada, a route that passes by Alberta’s most inspiring scenery as it makes its way through the mountains and into the heart of Banff and Jasper National Parks. However, with all the beautiful side-trip opportunities to Donalda, Rochon Sands, and Dry Island Buffalo Jump, you’re probably looking at 8+ hours or more! Enjoy a cruise on Upper Waterton Lake, hike to Blakiston Falls or on the Crypt Lake Trail, drive the Akamina Parkway or Red Rock Canyon Parkway, you will find plenty to do here for a … The trail starts just south of Canmore and finishes on the Kananaskis Trail. Unless you’re planning on taking a week and seeing everything (and count on time to be distracted by all the things to do in Waterton), we recommend finding one focus for your road trip and building the experience around that. From the north or south, Ya Ha Tinda Road is accessible from Highway 40, otherwise known as Forestry Trunk Road. The cheapest way to get from Seattle to Alberta is to drive which costs $85 - $130 and takes 12h 19m. While the adventurous among us may want to take a couple of days in a camper van to fully experience everything (from antique shopping to horseback rides), those on a tighter timeline can enjoy the Cowboy Trail in smaller bites with quick day trips. The TransCanada to Banff is also a divided highway. (tap on any row to expand for more details) Edmonton. We’re totally in love with all the best places in Canada.Not only is it completely vast, with beautiful national parks and vibrant cities like Vancouver and Calgary, it’s also filled with the best road trips with Alberta and British Columbia being no exception. The best Alberta road trip is from Banff to Jasper (or vise versa) through the Icefields Parkway. If you’re starting in the east, then jump on Highway 3 westbound in Medicine Hat. There’s a reason we humans are drawn to road trips. And there are those soul-colouring moments when you’re lost inside the forest of your thoughts: when that Bon Iver song raises the hair on your arms, and the rain glides across the windshield as you wind your way on a mountain road in the dark. Try to do it in the summer as winter driving can be very hazardous. If you’re in the Drumheller area and want to hit the road, both the Dinosaur Trail (south and north) and the Hoodoo Trail (Highway 10) offer breathtaking sites and a variety of activities, including hiking near Drumheller and the afore-mentioned museum. Travel Alberta and its partners make every effort to provide current & accurate information. Road trips (especially road trips in Alberta) are more than a vacation. Drive the Icefields Parkway – probably the prettiest drive in all of Canada. Allow a minimum of two weeks though really three to four weeks woul… Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. National Geographic named this one of the best road trips in the world. The cheapest way to get from Seattle to Alberta costs only $139, and the quickest way takes just 5 hours. Drumheller is both the start and end point for the Dinosaur Trail and the starting point for the Hoodoo Trail. It is certainly one of the most diverse road trips in Alberta! Watch for mountain sheep in the east and elusive pronghorns in the west. From Calgary: Head north on highway 2 then take exit 340A, east on Highway 27 toward Trochu. These places are best for off-road & atv trails in Alberta: Tunnel Mountain Drive; Alberta's Iron Horse Trail; Hidden Trails Adentures; ATV Triple Crown; Barry’s Ultra Motorsports Park; See more off-road & atv trails in Alberta on Tripadvisor In the heart of the Bow Valley Parkway, a half-hour drive from the town of Banff, a sparkling gem lies hidden from view. After that, the world (or at least Alberta) is your oyster. The pass climbs... Icefields Parkway. Starting in neighbouring British Columbia and finishing in the small city of Medicine Hat in eastern Alberta, this epic road trip of over 1,100 km is as notable for its history as it is for its majestic scenery. Driving time from Ontario to Alberta. Elk Island is about 45-minutes drive from Edmonton and a great little place to explore in the day or the night. Icefields Parkway 2. stay for about 1 hour and leave at 2:31 pm. It’s such an incredible place and so eerie in the darkest of evenings. It's a divided highway and there is a meridian, and not too many lights. Lake Louise is one of the most photographed lakes in Canada, and for good reason! What you do need is a great playlist, some fun passengers, and a few odds and ends that will keep you safe (check our summer road trip packing to help with those). There are five staging/rest points to start from, which feature maps, washrooms, picnic tables, off-loading ramps and plenty of parking. Icefields Parkway. This post includes some affiliate links. From here you will head through the Kananaskis Trail and connect with the Trans-Canada Highway (just west of Calgary). By Victor T In the event of a discrepancy between rates displayed on and our partner’s website, rates displayed on the partner’s website shall prevail. The Cowboy Trail is as open as the plains, so you get to decide how far you want to drive that cattle! Table of Contents. The gravel road can get rough, so budget extra time if you’re uncomfortable driving on gravel. About an hour east of the town of Banff you’ll find yourself at this vibrant blue water lake, which comes about as … Included are some insider tips on what to see and eat in the province! The 12 Best Places to Visit in Alberta, Canada It is the ultimate place for the outdoorsy person, and for all of us wannabes (that’d be me). [ read more ] Hanna. If you prefer to take your time, we recommend taking the Boomtown Trail. At just under 60 km, this drive takes about an hour due to its winding nature, and lower speed limits. The highest paved road in Canada, Highwood Pass is renowned for its beautiful views. Road Trips. The population is about 78,000 which is manageable for the city authorities. We're here to help you plan your Alberta vacation with real, local advice! Head north on Highway 22/11 from downtown, then stay right on David Thompson Highway on the edge of town. For those who aren’t, or for those who want to take their time and see the sites, budget an extra hour or two for the drive. You can start either from Banff and head to Jasper, or vice versa, depending on your home locale. Calgarians tend to be a bit spoiled by the rocky mountains. St Albert is among the best places to settle in Alberta. At 700 km long, the full Cowboy Trail covers most of southwest Alberta, where the rolling golden prairies meet the Rocky Mountains. The simplest place to start is to take Highway 584 west out of Sundre, then turn south on Township Road 324A. Cell reception is spotty to unavailable, so plan accordingly. Without stopping (or getting caught behind a slow moving tourist bus ), the Icefields Parkway takes about 3.5 hours to drive in good weather conditions. The Drumheller area has a ton to offer road trippers – from alien-looking hoodoos to museums chock-full of dinosaur bones. The David Thompson Highway extends from the prairies east of Red Deer to the heart of the Alberta Rockies, giving road trippers a great diversity of scenery which easily makes this a top road trip in Alberta. When in the eastern Crowsnest Pass or if you continue into BC (the highway ends at the city of Hope), be extra careful in winter as that range of the drive is entirely mountainous. Highway 93A. seeing the raw, natural beauty of Alberta and Canada. Just be sure to learn responsibly. It is also possible to go from Canmore through Spray Lakes and then head south on Highway 40 and then connect with the 541. If you find yourself riding out along The Cowboy Trail near Sundre/Calgary, heading to the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch is worth the detour. Medicine Hat to Coleman is just over 300km and thus just over a 3 hour drive. The road from Sundre to Ya Ha Tinda is about 85 km, which takes around 1.25 hours to drive. Sunwapta Pass If we’re keeping all of our recommended road trips in Alberta, then you can start from the west in the town of Crowsnest on the Crowsnest Pass. From the airport in Calgary, you can take Stony Trail, easy to drive. Discover Craft Beer in Northern Alberta. The highest paved road in Canada, Highwood Pass is renowned for its beautiful views. These include: With 300 kms of trails connected to 27,000 kms of trail across the nation, you can spend as many hours, days, or even years (?) Icefields Parkway: This drive through the Rocky Mountains is one of the top 10 drives on the planet. Bow Valley Parkway. The pass climbs through the Rocky Mountains, connecting the Trans-Canada Highway to Highway 22. Banff National Park One of the best places to visit in Alberta, Located in the Rocky Mountains of Calgary, this 110–180 kilometres long national park is the oldest National park of Alberta, established in 1885. 10 best road trips in Alberta 1. In Alberta, road trips are kind of a big deal. So let the urge to cruise that open road overtake you. The Dinosaur Trail is roughly a 56 km route that takes about an hour to drive – and even includes a ferry ride! 1 Top 10 Things to do in Alberta Canada. Edmonton to Brooks (Alberta) drive. And that’s only the start, alphabetically. The Iron Horse Trail comprises over 300 kms of the Trans Canada Trail, including an old railway right-of-way from Waskatenau to Cold Lake, with an arm branching off to Heinsburg. Kananaski Wildlife Drive. What: What this driving route lacks in length, it... 4. It’ also just 366-km from Edmonton, which makes it an excellent road trip from Edmonton to Jasper as well. Canadian Badlands. The Bow Valley Parkway Head north, back onto the Trans-Canada, which will take you back to Canmore or on to Calgary. Boomtown Trail. *Currently closed to vehicle traffic (as of January 2021). Look into booking one of these campsites in Alberta before you hit the road. 1. 14. Cowboy Trail. But with all there is to see and do, like touring the Columbia Icefield, stopping at scenic pull-outs, and even doing the Columbia Icefield Skywalk, we recommend leaving at least another hour or three to give yourself time to enjoy everything! Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Alberta, Canada on Tripadvisor: See 1,088,160 traveler reviews and photos of Alberta tourist attractions. drive for about 3.5 hours. If you're planning a road trip, you might be interested in seeing the total driving distance from Ontario to Alberta. Enjoy a day of swimming, building sand castles or just sunbathing at the Lake. The easiest place to start from is Rocky Mountain House, on the Cowboy Trail. While it is possible to start at Red Deer and follow the road all the way to the parkway, we recommend starting near Rocky Mountain House for a quicker trip into the mountains. “Fort Mac” is one of the more pricier cities in Alberta. Alberta’s summer destination, this town for all seasons offer plenty of activities whether it is summer or winter. Bears, Badlands, boreal forests. Look, there’s no beating around the bush! Most importantly, if you are driving the Parkway in the winter or in snowy conditions snow tires or chains are required by law for safety. Time to choose your own adventure, eh? Signage on the road is limited, so get acquainted with the map above. Want to make your road trip a camping one? The best day trips from Alberta according to Tripadvisor travellers are: Lake Louise and the Icefield Parkway - Full-Day Tour; Jasper National Park Tour: Maligne Valley, Medicine Lake and Spirit Island; Banff City Sight… Scenic Drives in Alberta. Stretching from Southern Alberta and all the way to Vancouver into British Columbia, the Crowsnest Highway driving route is full of mining history and beautiful scenery. How long is the drive from Ontario to Alberta? The oil sands in Fort McMurray have been a popular landing spot for those making the move to the province, but it isn’t the greatest place for you to be situated if you’re going to be in Alberta with your family. Lake Louise. 11 Must-Do Road Trips in Alberta Highwood Pass. You don’t need a destination in mind when you hit the road. The total driving time is 29 hours, 8 minutes. What: Technically part of the Icefields... 3. – but it doesn’t have a whole lot of character. The Hoodoo Trail is about 22 kms and takes roughly a quarter of an hour for a one way trip. In addition to drive-thrus at A&W, McDonald's and Tim Hortons outlets, the program need now hand out masks over the counter in more than 700 restaurants across Alberta, Shandro said. The road is complete gravel so give plenty of space between vehicles to avoid getting a cracked windshield. The Kananaskis Trail is about 150km long, so you should budget about 2 hours, plus the time it will take to get back to your home base. For an out-and-back trip, schedule at least 4.5 hours to allow yourself to get out, stretch your legs and see all the sights along the way.