5 amazing natural sights that you need to see in Alberta, Canada

The province of Alberta, Canada is a really beautiful place. 

Alberta is home to major cities such as Edmonton (home of the University of Alberta) as well as incredible natural beauty.

It is pretty amazing how different all of these landscapes are, and yet they are all located in one province – Alberta!  People come from all over the world to experience the clean and fresh environment here.  The areas in this list are all perfect destinations for a weekend road trip or a vacation during the university holidays. 

Here are just 5 of the great natural landscapes that you can see when you come to Alberta:

1. Mountains

alberta canada rocky mountains

The Rocky Mountains (aka “The Rockies”) are known world-wide for their beauty.  You can travel to resort towns such as Jasper and Banff while you look around at stunning mountains, wildlife, lakes, and trees.
In Banff, you can ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain and see breathtaking views of six different mountain ranges all at once.

2. Prairies

alberta canada prairies
Photo credit: Travel Alberta
 
“The Prairies” refers to large areas of flat land.  At first, this may not sound as exciting as the mountains, but wait until you come and see them for yourself - they are actually really beautiful!

Imagine looking out and seeing nothing but blue sky and bright fields of colour (green grass, yellow wheat, multi-coloured wildflowers, for example) while everything is completely peaceful. That is the true Alberta prairies experience…and there’s nothing else like it!

3. Canyons, the badlands, and the hoodoos.

 

In Southern Alberta, you can explore a truly unique environment that has amazing canyons, badlands, and hoodoos.  

Did you know that Alberta was once the land of the dinosaurs?   The fossils of more than 40 dinosaur species have been discovered in Dinosaur Provincial Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (one of 5 located in Alberta). 

alberta drumheller dinosaurs
As you walk through this area, you will actually be on the same ground that was once home to dinosaurs such as the Albertosaurus (related to the Tyrranosaurus Rex), the Brachylophosaurus, and the Eoceratops.

alberta drumheller hoodoos
Photo credit: Travel Alberta

What are badlands? Don’t worry about the name – these lands are not bad at all!  This name refers to dry, flat, rocky areas with little vegetation, which are very different from the prairies.

And what exactly is a hoodoo? A hoodoo is a tall, thin structure in the Badlands.  Hoodoos are made up of sediment that formed 70-75 million years ago. Some people think that they look like tall mushrooms.

4. Waterfalls

alberta athabasca waterfalls

In #3, we talked about the very dry area called the Badlands…but guess what?  If you continue your trip through Alberta, you can see spectacular waterfalls with some of the cleanest, clearest water you have ever seen. There are many waterfalls in Alberta, but one of the most famous is Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park.  

 

5. Glaciers

alberta columbia icefields
Photo credit: Travel Alberta
 

Even in the summer, when the rest of Alberta is sunny and hot, you can go and explore the white, snowy glaciers, including the Columbia Icefield along the The Icefields Parkway.  This Icefield was formed thousands of years ago and are a very popular tourist destination today. 

Many UAlberta students enjoy visiting the Athabasca Glacier, which is about a 5-hour drive from Edmonton. When you get there, you can take a ride on “The Ice Explorer,” which is a very large, special vehicle that is designed specifically to drive around and tour the glaciers. 

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Earn you degree while you explore one of the most beautiful areas in the world.

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Article by Julia Jones-Bourque


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