Recreational vehicles offer travelers the ultimate in freedom on the open road and offer outdoor lovers a nearly automatic indoor ‘campsite’ when an adventure filled day winds down. When the call of the wild beckons families to put an RV outing is on their calendar, consider making the rugged wilderness, incredible mountains and lush prairies of Alberta the final destination. Beautiful and filled with year round adventures, Alberta is the sunniest Canadian province with an average of 333 days of annual sunshine. Here are four must-see destinations when you RV.
See it All at Banff National Park and Lake Louise
As one of the most expansive and ecologically diverse areas of preservation in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park is a haven for outdoor lovers of all kinds. Wildlife such as bears and big horn sheep are abundant along the park’s multiple hiking and horse trails, bike routes, and other recreational areas. Teeming with awe-striking views of glaciers and crystaline lakes such as Lake Moraine and the ever-popular Lake Louise, Banff has something for everyone—even those seeking temporary refuge from the outdoors. Of course, Lake Louise is a showstopper, and recreational water sports, boating, swimming and scuba diving are popular pursuits amid its pristine waters. However, no trip to Banff is complete without visiting Cave and Basic National Historic Site, where soothing hot mineral springs can be enjoyed. RV camping is ample, so get in gear and head to Banff.
Chill Out in Cosmopolitan Calgary
Take a break from the impressive wilderness of Alberta and hit the city of Calgary to experience the glitzy growth of the Canadian oil industry’s city centre with much to do and a bustling downtown beer and wine scene. However, amid those skyscrapers and that glamorous exterior lies a ‘Cowtown’ beneath. Every July brings about the massive Calgary Stampede rodeo and festival which honors the rich farming history of the region. For the remainder of the year, must-sees for those in RVs include checking out the Calgary Tower’s observation deck, the art and history rich, Glenbow Museum, and the impressive Calgary Zoo. Those looking for a city adventure should check out the bobsled run and other fun interactive events at Olympic Park, while those seeking nature should take a tour of Fish Creek Provincial Park or the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. There are plenty of RV ready campgrounds in and around Calgary after the day is done.
Go Prehistoric at Dinosaur Provincial Park
Of course, it’s challenging to feel prehistoric in even the most historic of RVs, but a trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park takes visitors back to the Late Cretaceous Epoch in mere seconds. A UNESCO World Heritage Site amid the fascinating landscapes known as the Alberta’s ‘Southeast Badlands,’ Dinosaur Provincial Park is world renowned for its abundance of dinosaur fossils and fossil beds filled with ancient native specimens. An astonishing 58 species of these magnificent creatures have been found within the park, and hundreds of them are on display globally. Fortunately, there are 130,000 fossils on display at the park’s Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology featuring everything from full-size carnivorous dinosaurs to microscopic fern spores. The park itself features everything from geocaching and kayaking opportunities to interpretive hikes and wildlife viewing. RV sites are available at this park, making it a great respite for those taking that Calgary tour who are ready to exit the big city scene.
Get Rugged at Kakwa-Willmore Interprovincial Park
The multi-faceted gem known as Kakwa-Wilmore Interprovincial Park in northern Alberta actually spills over across the British Columbia border and features three parks: Kakwa Wildland Park, Willmore Wilderness Park and Kakwa Provincial Park and Protected Area. Because the mountains and foothills run together and share common ecosystems, cross-border visits are commonplace amid these landscapes. Take a hike in Kakwa Wildland Park to see Kakwa Falls—the tallest in Alberta. Head over to Willmore Park, accessible only by foot for true backwoods adventures. Cross into British Columbia and check out Provincial Park’s impressive Mount Ida and Mount Sir Alexandra before dipping a pole into the lake.
Looking for adventure with a touch of wild with cityscape potential? These four RV destinations in Alberta are sure to delight solo travelers and families alike.