Out There Alberta    
 
 
The Alberta Rockies are the classic Canadian travel destination. Jasper, Banff and Waterton Lakes are shining examples of our national park system and long standing symbols of our Countries natural heritage.  
   
  Banff is world renowned and has the honor of being Canada's first national park. Jasper, to the north and Waterton in the south encompass some of the
world's most breathtaking alpine landscape. Within their boundaries you're sure to encounter the wildlife which is so representative of this mountain region. Big horn sheep and mountain goats populate the upper reaches of the parks.At the lower elevations, the hills and valleys are home to woodland caribou, grizzlies and the elusive wolverine. If you train your eyes to the heavens you just might catch sight of the Cooper's hawk or the great gray owl.

Not far from the mountains, to the east, you'll find Alberta's grasslands, or prairie. This too often overlooked wonder makes up a significant portion of the province. This is big sky country where you'll be presented with unforgettable scenic vistas. Nature lovers will have the opportunity to observe the peregrine falcon, swift fox and, if you're lucky, the burrowing owl.

Boreal forests cover most of Alberta's north. This region boasts mighty rivers like the Athabasca, Hay and Peace. It's a wild and untamed area where you'll find a great diversity of vegetation and wildlife within the wetlands of the Hay or the lush, mixed forests of the Lakeland area. Here, river otter are brethren to the woodland caribou and share land with the still endangered whooping crane.

On the shores of Lake Athabasca, in the Canadian shield region, sand dunes frame the landscape. These in turn, fade into the solid green back drop of the pine forests. The wooded areas provide habitat for species found nowhere else in the province and of course the deserts support unique life systems rarely seen at this latitude.

This far northern region is one of Alberta's harshest and most spectacular natural regions. Again, you're likely to observe the peregrine falcon and perhaps the golden eagle, both of which make their home here. In the winter, the arctic is well represented in the north by the barren ground caribou, the ptarmigan and the beautiful arctic fox.

Alberta has some of the best hiking and backpacking in the country. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is one of Alberta's largest provincial parks, encompassing almost 500 square km. The park's trails offer a variety of hiking experiences, ranging from day hikes and short loop trails, to high alpine backpacking adventures, all without the crowds you'll find in the Jasper/Banff area.

Cypress Hills is Albert's second largest provincial park and has a beautiful rolling landscape which offers great hiking, backpacking, and mountain biking. The park is tucked into the province's south eastern corner, far from the main corridor, which makes for a great get away.

The spectacular 4600 square km Willmore Wilderness is a destination for skilled adventurers seeking solitude and endless natural splendor. The waterfalls, clear streams, lakes, wildflowers, ridges and mountains will invariably be yours alone to appreciate. There are no roads in this park, just 750 km of trails, making this one of the wildest and most remote yet still accessible areas of Alberta. Backpacking and horse packing are your best ways to travel in Willmore.

The four sisters, Yoho, Kootenay, Banff and Jasper have over 600 km of mountain bike trails to keep rolling through the backcountry. Jasper, alone, boasts over 300 km of mountain biking terrain. If you're looking for something a little different you might pay a visit to Cypress Hills. Here you'll find lots of rolling, twisting trails along with some great scenery to round out the offering.

Climbers are the big winners in Alberta. Mt. Assiniboine is a provincial favorite, with an amazing amount of traffic for such an inaccessible mountain. The area caters to all levels of abilities. You can choose from any number of routes exactly matching your experience and skill level.

Other great climbing areas are Lake Louise, Mount Athabasca, Mount Louis and Bow Valley. If you're an experienced mountaineer, you'll have endless peaks to choose from.

Of course all of those mountains feed many rivers. Canoeists and kayakers can count themselves lucky. Take your choice from the North Saskatchewan, Athabasca, Columbia, Kootenay and the Bow. Of course you can find quieter stretches for some easy paddling if you're just looking for a peaceful canoe trip.

When you're visiting Alberta, remember that the Rockies are not the only place for outdoor recreation and nature appreciation. There are eight spectacular regions with endless possibilities that you don't want to miss.

 
  Adventure Sports In Alberta
   
 
Backpacking   Camping   Canoeing
 
Climbing    Cycling   Hiking
 
Mountain Biking   Mountaineering   Nordic Skiing
 
Snowshoeing   White Water Rafting    
         
 
Regions

Visiting from outside Canada: Depending on your country of origin you may have little to understand or adapt to when you visit Canada. On the other hand many of Canada's customs, its commerce and cultural may be very new to some you. We have put together a list of helpful information to assist you in your planning and later when you have reached your destination.

 

 
   
  Books
   
 

  Buy Alberta Books Online
   
  Articles
   
  Wildlife in Banff National Park
 
  Banff, Featured Park
   
  Jasper - Featured Park
   
  Camping in Alberta's Prov, & National Parks
   
  Hiking in Banff by Marc Simard
 
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