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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.