Waterton and beyond
Adam Hanmer of Destination Canada UK enjoyed a Rockies road trip fam that took him away from the honeypot sights of Alberta to experience the attractions of the province’s southern regions. Here's his account of this trip:
"When you say 'Canada' a lot of people instantly think of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta.
"They'll probably name-drop places like
Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper – and no wonder because they are stunning. But the Rockies stretch more than 3,000 miles from the north of British Columbia to New Mexico in the U.S.A. and even within Alberta there is plenty to explore beyond the obvious. So instead of heading west from Calgary I went south and followed these mesmerising mountains to Southern Alberta and the Beautiful Waterton Lakes National Park.
"If you want a room with a view you must stay in the truly historic Prince of Wales Hotel, which sits at the top of the lake with panoramic views. A lake cruise is a must here and I would highly recommend the Red Rock Canyon Hike which offers up stunning views of Blakiston Falls.
"But there is more to Southern Alberta than Waterton, as I found out. Heading East there are two smaller parks you should check out. Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park is set in a sacred landscape that contains the largest concentration of First Nation petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the Great Plains.
"Further east, Cypress Hills Interprovincial
Park sits on the border with Saskatchewan, and Elkwater Lake Lodge and Resort is the perfect base to explore the mountain bike and hiking trails. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.
"Craft beer is all the rage in
Canada and Medicine Hat is a funky little town where Medicine
Hat Brewing Co. is producing some tasty ales and lagers. The town's café culture is also blooming – my favourite caffeine fix is a gluten-free brownie at the Station Coffee Co.
"On this loop a stop at Dinosaur
Provincial Park is a must. This unique landscape, known as the Badlands, is home to the largest dinosaur fossil site in the world. There are options for RVs and campers. You can become a palaeontologist or just enjoy tramping the walking trails and gazing up at starry nights.
"A highlight is Head Smashed in
Buffalo Jump. It has UNESCO status as one of the oldest and best-preserved sites of its kind. The fascinating museum built into the hill brings this ancient hunting method to life, showing how thundreds of beasts were driven over the cliff for their meat, fur and bones.
"On your way back to Calgary stop into the Eau Claire
Distillery for a G&T.
"There really is more to Alberta than you think!"
ALBERTA TRAVELALBERTA/JEREMY FOKKENSE TRAVELALBERTA/CHRISAMAT TRAVELALBERTA/MIKESEEHAGEL TRAVELALBERTA/MIKESEEHAGEL Main picture: Mount Vimy and Waterton Lake. Inset, from top: Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology; Adam in Waterton; hiking in...