Water­ton and be­yond

Selling Travel - - On Location -

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...

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