If you’re anything like us here at Curiocity, then you are pretty darn awesome, obviously. But also, you’re smart enough to know summer and fall are road trip seasons—the weather is nice (and roads snow-free), the colours are bright and the days are long. Plus, a road trip is a great way to kick off our post-lockdown travelogue now that things have slowly started to open up.
As if reading our thoughts, Volkswagen launched the All-New 2022 Taos this Summer. Not only is the timing perfect, the new compact SUV is designed for on-road adventures. A spacious 5-seater, the Taos with available 4MOTION® All-Wheel Drive making it an all-season vehicle. With a folding rear seat and a centre pass through, the trunk can fit a good 25 cubic feet of stuff in it- meaning the versatile Taos is always game for an adventure.
Now, whether you choose to drive in your old ride or your new 2022 Taos, we’ve teamed up with Volkswagen to bring you 6 road trips you ought to take this season and they’re less than 3.5 hours drive from Calgary.
Dinosaur Provincial Park
The Dinosaur Provincial Park usually gets overshadowed by Drumheller for lack of touristy stuff but is worth a road trip nonetheless. The landscape is surreal, to say the least, and marked by magical hoodoos and coulees, which BTW you can explore on the Coulee Viewpoint Trail. While the trails, museums and the John Ware Cabin are common attractions, what makes the park so visit-worthy is that you can actually camp in the middle of the bold and beautiful badlands.
Where: Drumheller, AB
Drive time from Calgary: 2 hours
Lake Minnewanka is, without a doubt, an ideal spot to lay down a picnic blanket, crack open a drink and take in the picture-perfect beauty of the lake set against the backdrop of the Fairholme range. But if you wish to hike or bike your way through trails, swim, boat, fish, etc. It’s still just as wonderful. And fun fact, did ya know that there are parts of a ghost town in the depths of Lake Minnewanka’s waters? Read more about it here.
Where: Banff National Park, AB
Drive time from Calgary: 1.5 hours
Remember last June when our social media feeds flooded with one awe-inspiring pic after another of the new suspension bridges (a set of two) in BC? Yes, the ones which hang above the expansive canyon and allow panoramic views of the Rockies, the Purcells and the Columbia valley below. The very same ones that are the tallest suspension bridges in Canada. That, Calgarians, is the Golden Skybridge for you!
Where: Golden, BC
Drive time from Calgary: 3 hours
We admit, Frank Slide, the site of Alberta’s deadliest landslide, is a dark inclusion on the list but definitely worth visiting, nevertheless. There are three ways you can explore this now-iconic tourist attraction—by visiting the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre and learning all about the history, by hiking the trails that wind around the rubble and/or with a free self-drive tour that takes you through a few different points of interest all the way up close Turtle Mountain.
Where: Crowsnest Park, AB
Drive time from Calgary: 2 hours
Waterton Lakes National Park
The Waterton Lakes National Park is an all-mood destination. Of course, it’s most famous among hikers and kayakers but if that’s not your idea of a vacation, you can sit back and take in the calm-inducing, stunning mountain and lake views of this quiet town. Probably hit a spa for some extra relaxation, and stroll along the flower-lined streets of downtown. Pro tip- on your drive out, keep an eye on the west side of the highway! You’ll be treated to views of hundreds of bison, and a quick road-side stop for closer views is always in order.
Where: Southern AB
Drive from Calgary: 3 hours
Whether you are the adventure type or not you must, and we repeat, MUST take a road trip to Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies. This adventurous trip is full of scenic wonders as you explore the ancient Athabasca Glacier. And for those with a taste for thrill, the glass-floored Skywalk awaits you.
Where: Icefields Parkway, AB
Drive time from Calgary: 3.5 hours
So friends, there you have it. Happy road-trippin’!