Springtime in Alberta makes the outdoors feel fresh and alive. Alberta’s vast collection of National Parks, Provincial Parks and World Heritage Sites offers an array of experiences and a diverse assortment of wildlife, plant life, and geographical vistas. Melting snow changes the terrain; the scent of spring captivates; wildlife becomes abundant and opportunities for sightings are plentiful.
Explore Alberta’s parks and you are on your way to discovering your own piece of paradise, according to Nancy Smith, Travel Alberta’s Director of Vacation Experiences.
“Visitors finally see the breathtaking landscapes they have only heard of or seen in pictures. It is always more than they expected, and often described as spiritual.”
Discover the natural beauty of Alberta’s parks on your own or with the help of a guide. Either approach ensures an awe-inspiring adventure that will forever change you.
Blaze Your Own Trail
Alberta’s relationship with the land is deep-rooted. Discoveries of fossils in Dinosaur Provincial Park show what came before us, while an extensive collection of aboriginal rock art at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park shows who came before us. Interpreters share this rich history through stories, folklore and artifacts; taking you back to a time you can only imagine. A hike through a World Heritage Site such as Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump will awe you with its splendor, vastness and a way of life long ago past.
Consider renting a canoe, walking a marked path or going on a relaxed drive through one of the parks. Discover the many birds, mammals and fish in this province. Canada’s northernmost bird observatory in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park will provide you with a bird checklist to assist with identification; a hike through Kananaskis Provincial Park will have you watching for eagles overhead; a scenic drive along Maligne Lake Road in Jasper National Park may offer sightings of bears, caribou or moose.
Nature surrounds you in Alberta’s parks. Put yourself in the midst of real wildflowers, inhale the genuine aroma of hundreds of pine trees, and gaze up at a mountain that has existed for millions of years. Have a powerful moment. Be mesmerized by the experience of silently watching Bighorn Sheep move effortlessly along an almost vertical cliff. Find the peace and solitude in a roaring waterfall.
Take a Guided Tour
Discover beyond the obvious. A stand of charred trees will tell you a forest fire was here. A local guide will show you new plant growth and explain how a vibrant forest with thriving wildlife has resulted from this sustainable practice. They could also show you the best spots for viewing wildlife and provide advice on capturing the perfect moment in photos. Your guide can also assist with the identification of various species: wolf or coyote? elk or moose? mountain goat or sheep? With 587 different species of wildlife located in various habitats throughout the province, it can be helpful to have an expert on hand. Alberta guides are passionate about where they live.
A guide might tell you things you did not know about Alberta, but exploring Alberta on your own may tell you things you did not know about yourself.
“People come to explore in Alberta. The natural beauty of Alberta’s parks provide the atmosphere needed to enjoy your own personal adventure,” says Nancy Smith.
Springtime in Alberta’s parks present endless opportunities for discovery. What will yours be?
For more information on discovering Alberta’s parks: