Wild Rose Country has some incredible destinations, Banff, Jasper, Calgary and Edmonton being the most popular – but there’s so much more to see! If you’ve never been or live in a big city and just want to do some exploring over the weekend, here are just a few ‘underrated’ places in Alberta, keeping in mind that ‘underrated’ is subjective!

Fort Macleod

Are you a cinephile? Fort Macleod has beautiful brick and sandstone buildings, charming shops, and restaurants and is close to Oldman River Valley Wilderness Park, a popular place for fishing, floating and kayaking. It was also featured in several films and TV shows such as Brokeback Mountain, Interstellar and Let Him Go, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and, more recently, The Last of Us.

Where: Directions here

Grande Cache

From mom-and-pop restos and adorable shops to sweeping views of 21 mountain peaks and 2 river valleys, Grande Cache and its surrounding parks is an incredible place to go if you’re a photographer, artist, golfer, rafter, kayaker, hiker, biker, paddler, horseback rider, cross-country skier, fishermen or all of the above.

Where: Direction here

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Dinosaur Provincial Park

Photo via Shutterstock

Located 2 hours from Drumheller, this history-rich destination is vast and incredibly scenic, with low-lying coulees, hoodoos and mesas that will transport you to a land before time. Walk where the dinosaurs used to, see fossils, explore and enjoy this magical UNESCO Heritage site.

Where: Directions here

Castle Hills Provincial Park

Spanning an incredible 105,000 hectares, Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park have beautiful mountain views, lush forests and enchanting meadows. Not only that, they protect watersheds and habitats for more than 200 rare species including Jones’ columbine, the dwarf alpine poppy, whitebark and limber pine, grizzly bears, wolverines, the westslope cutthroat trout and harlequin ducks.

Where: Directions here

Elk Island National Park

With picnic areas, a playground, and a visitor center with exhibits on the park’s history and ecology, Elk Island Park is not only a wonderful space to camp, hike and wander – it’s also out of this world at nighttime. After dark this place becomes the best place in the province to see stars and the northern lights making it well worth a visit.

Where: 54401 Range Rd 203, Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Pincher Creek

The ‘jewel of the Rockies.’ Located 30 minutes from Waterton National Park, Pincher Creek offers mountain views and a wide range of outdoor activities all year round. In the warmer months, enjoy everything from the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, golfing, camping, rock climbing, and boating to hiking and trail rides. In the winter?  Go Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, enjoy a cozy bed and breakfast or take a sleigh ride.

Where: Direction here

and there you have it, some of the more ‘underrated’ places in Alberta. Think there’s a spot we missed? Let us know. Either way, we think we can all agree there are some beautiful spots in Wild Rose Country.

Happy exploring!