Alberta is known for its stunning natural beauty, but did you know that there are also places in this province that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a different world? From otherworldly rock formations to charming European-style villages, here are seven places in Alberta that will make you forget you’re still in Canada, let alone Alberta!
Hoodoos in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park
Located in the southern part of the province, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is home to one of the most unique landscapes in Canada. The park is famous for its hoodoos – tall, thin spires of rock that have been eroded into fantastic shapes over millions of years. Walking among the hoodoos feels like you’ve landed on another planet, and the park’s ancient rock art only adds to the sense of otherworldliness.
Address: Coulee Way, Drumheller, AB T0J 1B0
Moraine Lake in Banff National Park
Banff National Park is known for its stunning natural beauty, but Moraine Lake is particularly special. Its turquoise waters and surrounding mountains create a postcard-perfect scene that seems too perfect to be real. The lake is best visited in the summer months when the water is at its brightest, but even in the shoulder seasons, the scenery is breathtaking.
Note: Moraine Lake Road is closed to personal vehicles year round. Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and commercial buses are permitted from June to mid-October. Parking at the Lake Louise Lakeshore is extremely limited and finding a parking spot is challenging throughout the summer months.
The town of Frank, Alberta was completely destroyed in 1903 when millions of tons of rock slid down Turtle Mountain and buried the community. Today, the site of the disaster is a fascinating and eerie place to visit. The massive boulders that remain are a reminder of the power of nature and the fragility of human civilization.
Location: Crowsnest Pass, Frank, AB
The Badlands are a vast and desolate landscape that covers much of southern Alberta. This region is known for its unique rock formations, including canyons, hoodoos, and unusual rock formations. Exploring the Badlands feels like you’ve stepped into a wild and untamed world that is unlike anything else in Canada. While there be sure to add the Drumheller’s Badlands Amphitheatre to the list of must-see spots!
Location: 605 17 St SW, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0
Lake Minnewanka is a stunning glacier-fed lake located in Banff National Park. Its crystal-clear waters and mountainous backdrop create a serene and tranquil atmosphere that feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lake or hike one of the nearby trails to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this magical place.
Location: Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr, Improvement District No. 9, AB T1L 1K2
Cave and Basin
Cave and Basin is a National Historic Site located in Banff, Alberta that takes visitors back in time to the birthplace of Canada’s national park system. This natural hot spring was discovered by railway workers in 1883 and soon became a popular destination for tourists seeking its therapeutic waters. Today, visitors can explore the underground cave and learn about the site’s history and the importance of preserving our natural landscapes. The turquoise-colored water and surrounding mountain scenery create a serene and tranquil atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation and contemplation.
Location: 311 Cave Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1K2
Red Rock Coulee Natural Area
Red Rock Coulee Natural Area is a hidden gem located in southern Alberta that feels like you’ve been transported to another planet. The area is home to an impressive collection of red spherical rocks that were formed millions of years ago from volcanic activity. The rocks, which range in size from boulders to small pebbles, are scattered across the prairie landscape, creating a unique and surreal sight. Visitors can explore the area on foot or by vehicle, and the lack of light pollution makes it a popular spot for stargazing. The peaceful and otherworldly environment of Red Rock Coulee Natural Area makes it a must-visit destination for those looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in Alberta.
Location: Orion, AB T0K 1S0
From the Hoodoos in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park to the serene Lake Minnewanka, and the surreal Red Rock Coulee Natural Area, Alberta is full of surprises that will take your breath away. The province’s diverse landscapes and natural wonders offer a glimpse into some of the most unique and breathtaking places in the world. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventurer, or simply seeking a break from the routine, Alberta’s hidden treasures are waiting to be explored. Plan your trip today and discover the magic that lies within this beautiful Canadian province.
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