Its part 2 of our Travel Western Canada series, and today I’m going to talk about travelling in Alberta!
For the most part if you aren’t camping and travelling through Alberta, you’re visiting the mountains. Luckily Alberta is chocked full of beautiful national parks that contain a plethora of serene mountain views (see below).
Park 1. Banff National Park
Probably the most well known national park in Alberta, it boasts lovely mountain views and (I believe) is the oldest national park in Canada. I used to go to Banff all the time as a child, and my dad would often have conferences or business trips that my brother and I could tag along.
On one memorable trip to Banff I was staying the week with my dad while he attended a conference and low and behold it rained the whole week and we got trapped in Banff for a few extra days (not too shabby). The whole town was on doomsday alert, the grocery shelves were bare, and the river was raging!
Now a days Banff doesn’t call to me as much as it used too, it is often overpriced, full of tourists, and just generally commercialized. If you’ve never been it’s worth the visit, but keep in mind these next two parks (and bring yours patience if you do decide to visit)!
Park 2. Jasper National Park
The less touristy version of Banff; known for its amazing mountains, vibing LGBTQ+ pride scene, and serious snowboard scene. Recently this has been my families go to mountain vacation, as well as my boyfriend and I’s favourite place to spend reading week.
Jasper is MUCH more laid back, if you don’t go during the summer months, many of the stores and restaurants are actually closed during the off season, so fair warning a head of time. Last time I visited my boyfriend and I stayed in the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. I have never stayed in a Fairmont before and I was over the moon to have the opportunity. We had an adorable little cabin room, and seriously the price was worth it for the pool (and its views) alone.
Park 3. Waterton Lakes National Park
This park is a new discovery for me, I have only been once (last year), and I was blown away! Located in the southern part of Alberta this park also contains beautiful mountain views and as with all these national parks – a lot of hiking trails. Similar to Jasper, most of the restaurants and stores are only open seasonally so first time visits are perhaps better kept to summer months!
As a bonus visit Albert sight, on the way to Waterton you can stop at Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, an archaeological sight that was used by indigenous peoples in the past to kill a large number of buffalo. It is seriously super cool and so worth it!
That’s all for now!