Need an escape? Why not grab some snacks and hit play on that ‘road tunes’ playlist of yours. We live in a beautiful province and one of the easiest ways to really experience its beauty is from behind the wheel. Bundle up and start your engines, folks, here are 10 of the most scenic drives in Alberta.
Alberta’s historic Cowboy Trail is as true to the west as we really get here in Alberta. From Longview take Highway 22 south and see mountains, towering larch trees, lush farmland as far as the eye can see. And of course, there will be plenty of cows and horses.
As the main route from Alberta to BC, the Crowsnest highway is well kept, well known and well-liked by those who frequently have to make trips from one province to the other. This winding road offers travellers mountain views, historic roadside sights like Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump as well as Frank’s Slide and is only a turnoff away from natural wonders like Lundbreak falls.
CANADIAN BADLANDS – DINOSAUR TRAIL
This 48 km drive is probably Alberta’s most unique. From Hoodoos to river views, there really is never a dull moment when you’re on the Dinosaur Trail. If you’ve got the time, we’d recommend stopping for a hike, a tour through one of Drumheller’s many museums or a bite at Wayne’s haunted saloon.
Full green trees, wildlife and crystal clear lakes? That’s what you’re in for if you’re driving the Kananaskis Trail. This 300 km adventure will take you from Calgary through Canmore to the Bow Flats Natural Area, a beautiful park with an unparalleled view of the Three Sisters mountain peaks.
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Stretching from Banff to Jasper the Icefields Parkway is revered as one of the most scenic drives not only in Alberta but in the entire world. See mountains waterfalls, bears, birds, and big blue lakes, and experience the absolute best that the Rockies has to offer. If you’re looking to take a memorable road trip, we’d recommend starting here.
SMITH DORRIEN TRAIL
A drive along the Smith Dorrien Trail is as close as you can to Alberta’s crystal clear waters (in a vehicle obviously) without actually rolling in. For 70 km admire the greenery, the animals, and of course the Spray Lakes reservoir in all of her glory.
BOW VALLEY PARKWAY
Alberta’s Bow Valley Parkway connects beautiful Lake Louise and Banff so naturally, this drive is incredible. While on this 51 km stretch of road, travellers will see everything from emerald green lakes, towering trees, mountain peaks, and of course, elk, sheep, and deer. Heck, maybe you’ll see a bear! You never know.
Akamina like every other roadway on this list is a gorgeous drive. This stretch of concrete will take you from Waterton to Cameron Lake, past trees, animals, mountains and hills. At 26 minutes from one end to the other, this one might be the shortest drive on here, but it might be one of the most memorable.
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Much like Alberta’s Cowboy Trail, the Boomtown roadway is another drive we’d recommend to those who are looking for that wild west energy. With fun roadside attractions, historic architecture and a horse sighting or two, travellers will feel like they’ve travelled back to a time of gunslingers and saloons – which is something we bet you can’t say about your commute to work every morning.
FORT CHIPEWYAN ICE ROAD
Ready to hear about something super cool? What if we told you that there were actually secret roads through Northern Alberta that you can only travel on in the Wintertime? Thrill-seekers looking for a bumpy ride can actually travel 560 km from Fort McMurray to Fort Chipewyan over rivers and through forested areas.
There you have it, friends. 10 of the most scenic drives in Alberta. Now get out there and explore!
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