This summer, consider going on a road trip to explore Alberta’s numerous popular destinations. Pack up the family van with a well-stocked first aid kit, blankets, pillows, camera, as well as drinks and high-energy non-perishable snacks like roasted nuts and seeds. You can plan ahead for a weeklong or overnight trip that may involve a canoeing spree on a mountain lake. You can also simply snatch the opportunity for a few hours of relaxing fun like a quick picnic in one of Alberta’s scenic northern forests. Here are great destinations for a summer road trip in Alberta.
The Canadian Badlands
Dodge Dealers would have the perfect family van for taking everyone to a memorable summer getaway at the Canadian Badlands, a hotbed of fossils, dinosaur traces, and Hoodoo Trail’s unique rock formations. Stretching across southeastern Alberta, the Canadian Badlands has so much in store for you, including 35 dinosaur skeletons and Jurassic dioramas at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, the spectacular Dinosaur Provincial Park, and a paddling adventure in the listless waters of Red Deer River.
The Boomtown Trail
Spanning roughly 350 kilometers, the Boomtown Trail offers a spectacular trekking experience that involves a dip at the picturesque Buffalo Lake, a stop at numerous small villages that sport iconic boomtown architecture, and a tour of the Anthony Henday Museum. The latter museum has a pioneer cabin replica and a preserved railway water tower.
The Iron Horse Trail
Rolling hills, scenic lakes, lush forests, and tracts of wetlands make up the Iron Horse Trail. While exploring this part of your drive, you can also visit towns that showcase the cultural elements of northern Alberta.
Atlas Coal Mine
This historic, beautifully preserved former coal mine in East Coulee, Alberta is home to Canada’s last wooden tipple, a structure used to sort and load coal before transporting into railroad hopper cars. The Atlas Coal Mine, which has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2002, is a must-see destination for appreciating Drumheller Valley’s rich and colorful mining history.
Like the Atlas Coal Mine, the 117-meter suspension bridge spanning the Red Deer River is a reminder of Drumheller Valley’s mining history. Built in 1931, the bridge was intended for use by coal miners so they don’t have to travel on row boats. The government of Alberta rebuilt the Star Mine Suspension Bridge in 1958, and it is now one of the major attractions in Drumheller Valley.
Last Chance Saloon
In Wayne, Alberta, you’ll get your chance to experience a slightly revived ghost town conjuring the spirit of the old West. The closing of the mines sometime in the Great Depression of the 1950s reduced Wayne’s population from 2,500 to just 27. At the heart of this ghost town is the Last Chance Saloon, an attraction that is part of the Rosedeer Hotel. The hotel was first opened in 1913. At the quaint watering hole of the Last Chance Saloon, you can chat up with tourists who have exited their tour of the Dinosaur Valley. Oh, and you can even spend the night at the Rosedeer Hotel.
Ebony Huang works in the airline industry and is a frequent traveller. She enjoys sharing her insights online and has posted her thoughts on a range of travel related blogs.