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Alberta Fast Facts
 
Alberta Tourism Information
At a Glance
Area: 661 185 sq km (255 303 sq mi)

Capital City: Edmonton

Time Zone:
GMT/UTC -7

National Parks:
Banff National Park
Jasper National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park
Elk Island National Park
Wood Buffalo National Park

International Airports:
Calgary & Edmonton

Summer Activities:
Golf, Tennis, Mountain biking, Hiking, Fishing, Kayaking, White water rafting, Bear watching, Bird watching, Horse riding, Caving, Spelunking, Abseiling

Winter Activities:
Alpine skiing, Snow boarding, Cross-Country Skiing, Alpine touring, Snow shoeing, Dog sledding, Snow mobiling, Heli-skiing, Ice climbing, Skating, Sleigh rides

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

About Alberta

Alberta is famous for its spectacular and diverse scenery ranging from the Columbian icefields and jagged mountain peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the desolate terrain of the Canadian Badlands. There are amazing national parks, rolling green meadows, vast tracts of wilderness, boreal forests, ancient glaciers, and thousands of lakes and rivers. Photos can not do justice to these landscapes - they need to be seen to be believed.

Alberta is considered one of Canada’s three "Prairie Provinces" and covers 661 185 sq km (255 303 sq mi), making it similar in size to Texas, three times the size of Great Britain

If you enjoy the outdoors then Alberta is an ideal destination with more than 280 golf courses, 6 major Canadian Rockies ski resorts and at least 66 regional ski hills, 5 national parks and 600 lakes, 245 rivers and 315 creeks and ponds for fishing.

The Regions

Alberta North
Northern Alberta is known for its spectacular lakes, raging rivers, wilderness and abundant wildlife. Alberta North is popular with fisherman, horse riders, and hikers. Try canoeing or kayaking one of its many rivers, snow mobiling or dogsleding in winter, or travel with an experienced guide and discover the many hidden treasures such as the native and migratory bird populations.

Alberta Central
Central Alberta wit its with lush rolling agricultural land, history and culture is Alberta's heartland. Enjoy Central Alberta's diverse landscapes with lakes, expanses of prairie land, and rolling foothills. Read More.

Edmonton & Area
Edmonton is Alberta’s capital city and lies in the geographic heart of Alberta. Edmonton is loved by travellers and the locals for its historic streetscapes, vast array of cultural events, museums, art galleries and scenery. The city’s well known folk music and theatrical festivals attract visitors from around the world. Read More.

Canadian Rockies
This region of rugged mountain peaks is famous for Banff and Jasper National Park. The scenery is unsurpassed with majestic glacial blue lakes, snow capped peaks, and lush green meadows with alpine flowers. This region offers tourists some of the best hiking, skiing and snowboarding that Canada has to offer. Read More.

Calgary & Area
Calgary is internationally known for its famous Calgary Stampede which is held every July. The spirit of the old west truly lives on in Calgary. But there is so many facets to Calgary, this bustling city also offers visitors an array of museums, theatres, art galleries, fine restaurants and shops. Read More.

Alberta South
Southern Alberta has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, providing the opportunity to step back in time and explore the Cretaceous period, search for dinosaurs and ancient First Nations campsites. There are many outdoor activities available in Southern alberta including hiking, canoeing, kayaking and horseback riding. Read More.

Things to do

Winter Activities
There is so much on offer in Alberta during the winter including downhill skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, ice fishing, ice climbing, sleigh rides and skating.

Cross Country Touring & Snowshoeing
There are countless nordic trails and terrific scenery to view on a snowshoe adventure. The winters in Alberta are similar to Scandinavia so it is ideal for cross country touring.

Downhill Snow Boarding & Skiing
The Canadian Rockies is a snow sports enthusiasts paradise, with Lake Louise, Sunshine, Norquay, Marmot, Castle Mountain and Nakiska just some of the ski resorts on offer. These resorts are known for their fabulous snow quality offering runs from beginner to double black diamonds for the serious snow rider. Cruise the perfectly groomed corduroy or get in to the deep champagne powder.

Snowmobiling
The great snow conditions and long lasting winter provide the ideal place for Snowmobiling. Guided adventures are available with numerous trails to explore.

Summer Activities
Bird Watching

Alberta is a haven for native and migratory birds. Alberta is well known for being the home to the nesting grounds of the endangered whooping cranes in the north, and protected burrowing owls in central Alberta, it is also the summer home of the rare trumpeter swans. For birdwatchers a visit to Alberta is must do.

Fishing
With more than 600 lakes, 245 rivers and 315 creeks and ponds there is something for all anglers from novice to expert.

Golf
There are more than 280 courses in Alberta. Six of the signature courses are on Canada’s Top 10 list of golf courses. Some of the scenery surrounding the golf courses is so amazing that you will have trouble keeping your eye on the ball.

Hiking
Alberta has numerous places to hike including 5 magnificent national parks which are home to unspoiled wilderness plant and animal life. The scenery is breathtaking and hiking gives you time to take it all in.

Horseback Riding
Alberta is the ideal destination to experience the real western cowboy. In Alberta you can experience horseback riding on a high country ranch vacation learn how to handle a horse or rope a steer, or take part in a multi-day cattle drive, or enjoy some spectacular scenery whilst on a leisurely trail ride.

Mountain biking
Mountain bikers of all ability levels will find something to suit them in Alberta. There are thousands of trails many are located within the provincial and national parks, and cyclists will also find wide-shouldered road and paved cycle tracks in the most cities.

National Parks

Alberta's five national parks offer visitors spectacular scenery. Banff and Jasper national parks are located in the Canadian Rockies region, Waterton Lakes National Park is at the southwestern tip of Alberta, Elk Island National Park is centrally located near Edmonton and Wood Buffalo National Park can be found in the north

Banff National Park
Spectacular Banff with its towering jagged mountain peaks, alpine meadows, glacial lakes and rivers is one of the world’s most popular destinations. Established in 1885 Banff is Canada's first national park. Famous for its hot springs which bubble up from a mountain cave above the present day townsite of Banff, it provides central access to five famous ski hills and six golf courses. Countless species of wildlife call Banff home.

Elk Island National Park
Elk Island protects fragile aspen parkland, one of Canada's most endangered habitats. There are numerous opportunities to see wildlife including herds of plains bison, wood bison, moose, deer and elk. Bird watching enthusiasts also enjoy Elk Island with 250 species already catalogued.

Jasper National Park
Jasper is located in the north of the Canadian Rockies. Famous for the Columbia Ice Field, where melt waters flow from the apex of the Continental Divide to three different oceans. Jasper is home to some of the rarest Canadian wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves and caribou. In Jasper you will find some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada.

Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes is often referred to as “where the mountains meet the prairies.” Situated in southern Alberta along the Canada/U.S. border, it is one of the narrowest areas of the Rocky Mountains. This park offers visitors an amazing diversity of plant and animal species, and covers 45 different habitats.

Wood Buffalo National Park
Wood Buffalo national park crosses the border between Alberta and the Northwest Territories. It is Canada's largest park and is bigger than Switzerland. It was established in 1922 to protect the free-roaming herds of bison as well as the only natural nesting grounds of the endangered whooping crane. In 1983 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Environment

Alberta is famous for its spectacular and diverse environment ranging from the Columbian icefields of the Canadian Rockies to the desolate terrain of the Canadian Badlands and Alberta has 5 of Canada's 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Canadian Badlands
The Badlands stretch from Red Deer in central Alberta to the Montana border. It is believed that the name came from early French settlers who called the area "Mauvais Terre" (Bad Land) because it was so inhospitable.

The area is very popular with archaeologists and paleontologists due to the large number of fossils found buried. The largest dinosaur find in the world was in the Badlands.

The hoodoos which are mushroom shaped pillars of eroded sedimentary rock are considered some of the most unusual geological formations found anywhere in the world.

Canadian Rockies
The famous Rocky Mountains are unquestionably Alberta’s most famous natural attraction. The Canadian Rockies are part of the northern chain of mountains that run the entire length of North and South America. Here you will find spectacular scenery and 3 national parks Banff, Jasper and Waterton Lakes.

Icefields
If you travel along Icefields Parkway you will find massive glaciers on its western side. The most famous icefield is the Columbia Icefield. This is the largest mass of non-polar ice in North America. The icefield measures 325 sq km (125 sq mi) and feeds eight glaciers

Climate

Due to ALberta's diverse environment the climate varies across the province. The average temperatures are

Summer Temperature Ranges (June to August)
15° C to 23° C (60° F to 73° F)

Winter Temperature Ranges (November to February)
-8° C to -25° C (18° F to -13° F)

Getting There & Getting Around

By Air
Alberta is easily accessed from most major cities around the world via either one of its two international airports. Calgary airport is located about 18kms northeast of downtown whilst Edmonton International airport is approximately 29km south of the city centre.

Bus/ Coach
With such majestic scenery along the road side, travelling by bus is a great option - just sit back relax and take it all in. There are numerous bus services available to all points of Alberta, with the main routes through Alberta along the scenic TransCanada Highway (Hwy 1) between Banff and Calgary; Highway 2, between Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton, and the northern Yellowhead Highway from Edmonton to Jasper National Park.

By Car
The road system in Alberta makes driving a very popular way to get around. All the major car rental companies have agencies in Alberta with outlets at both the Calgary and Edmonton International Airports as well as at numerous downtown locations.

Train
Train offers travellers a wonderful experience. It is an ideal way of seeing the majestic scenery and has services for all budgets all the way up to the ultra-luxurious Royal Canadian Pacific (considered one of the world’s Top 10 rail trips).

More information

For more information about Alberta see http://www1.travelalberta.com/en-ca/

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