9 Helpful Map Pages Circle Tours Golfing Camping Art Galleries Riding the Rails Alberta Badlands
Reader Survey & Photo Contest
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Experience Southern Alberta Publisher’s Welcome Welcome to the premiere edition of Experience Southern Alberta, a visitor’s guide to the attractions, and stunning landscapes within the region, from Prairies to Peaks!
to help! The themed tours in this guide will not only highlight the major attractions, but we’ll also unveil numerous hidden gems throughout this stunning landscape.
In this traveller’s companion, you’ll learn about the history of southern Alberta, and discover incredible experiences within the region, through compelling stories & images. And you’ll love our user-friendly maps!
Our stories offer safe and fun activities that often contain educational components. And you will love our coverage of both the themed loop tours as well as the communities within southern Alberta.
Whether you are discovering southern Alberta as a couple, a young family on a staycation, with your grandchildren on a Grandcation, or just exploring on your own, we’re here
We sincerely hope you have a magical time here and are truly honoured to be of service. Bob Harris & Christine Weston
To download this, or any of our maps & magazines to your mobile device, go to experiencetravelguides.com/library
Lee Hart is a long-time
Allen R. Gibson
Dr Shannon Tracey
Tanya Koob is a
Andrew Penner is
Calgary writer. He began his writing career working as a newspaper reporter in his home province of Ontario before moving west 45 years ago. While the first half of his career he worked as a writer and editor with various weekly and daily newspapers, for the past 30 years he has specialized as a writer and editor for agricultural publications. (Experience South Central Alberta pg 32)
is a writer and marketer who’s enjoyed Western Canadian road trips since childhood. He shares his love of the west through travel writing and as a tour guide with Insight Vacations, when he’s not helping tourism businesses with their marketing.
is a scientific & technical writer/editor and an instructor in Human Anatomy and Physiology. She has had amazing opportunities to travel to practically every continent around the globe. She and her husband, Copeland, live in Sherwood Park. They love camping and unearthing hidden gems in Alberta. Reach her at
Calgary-based freelance writer and lover of all things adventurous in the mountains. She spends her weekends gliding through snow or water. She has a 11 year old son and loves hiking, camping, and exploring the backcountry with her husband and son. Visit Tanya’s Blog where she chronicles her adventures
(Alberta Badlands pg 12)
(Hiking Trails pg 42)
an independent writer and photographer living in Calgary, Alberta. His work has been featured in Westworld, Westjet Magazine, Golf Magazine, Golf Tips, Golf Canada, and many leading golf and lifestyle publications. When not travelling or working, he enjoys reading, movies, and chilling out in the backyard with his wife, Dawn, and their four boys. (Experience Indigenous Culture pg 18)
Allen can be reached at EightStarTours@gmail.com
(Riding the Rails pg 10)
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Experience Southern Alberta Welcome to the 2020 - 2021 Edition of Experience Southern Alberta
Table of Contents Communities
Use it to plan your holiday and as your companion once youâ€™ve arrived. Experience Publishing is a privately-owned company with offices in Calgary, AB. We specialize in the production of our Experience Travel Guides & Maps in print as well as digital formats. Printed copies are delivered to our network of distribution outlets throughout Alberta and BC and into Montana and Saskatchewan. Travellers are encouraged to pick up a FREE printed copy through these outlets or download a mobile-friendly edition , or any of our current or archived guides from ExperienceTravelGuides.com/library.
Black Diamond (Diamond Valley) 46
We wish to thank the Downtown Drumheller Merchants Association, Waterton Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Lethbridge, Travel Alberta, and all of our contributors, sponsors, and our advertising partners for their generous support.
Medicine Hat 22
Please support our advertisers and sponsors. If you get the chance, kindly mention where you saw their ad. Without their support this guide would not be possible. Founder: Bob Harris bob@ExperiencePublishing.ca Ph: (403) 259.8290 Associate Publisher: Christine Weston christine@ExperiencePublishing.ca Cartographer: Rob Storeshaw email@example.com Book Keeper: Adrienne Albrecht adrienne@ExperiencePublishing.ca Circulation Managers: Dan Clements Ian Klein Warren Pearson Dale Schultz Kelly & Carla Schultz
Editor: Larry Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Reps: Dan Clements David Saxby Nikolaus Wyslouzil Joseph Macdonald
Cochrane 48 Drumheller 14 Elkwater 20 Lethbridge 26-30 Pincher Creek 41 Turner Valley (Diamond Valley) 46 Waterton 38-40
Specialty Pages Alberta Badlands 12 Campground Directory 50 Camping 36
Circulation: Free copies available through most Visitor Information Centres, AMA travel offices, retail stores, attractions, and hotels & motels in the region. For a complete list: experiencedinosaurtrails.com/our-distributors
Driving an Electric Car? 21 Experience a Dino Grandcation 16 Experience Indigenous Culture 18 Experience RV Cooking 51
Cover Photo: Taken at a Corn Maze, Courtesy of Travel Alberta / Miriam Lena @Miriam_Lena
Experience South Central Alberta 32
Share Your Experience: Upload your photos and videos to be eligible to win great prizes: ExperienceTravelGuides.com/Contests
Hiking Trails 42
Follow us @ExperienceTravel Guides
Golf Gems Aournd Southern Alberta 24 Movie Magic 34 Must See Art Galleries 44 Photo Contest 3 Reader Survey 31 Riding the Rails 10 Southern Alberta Circle Tours 8
Map Pages Drumheller Downtown 15 Drumheller & Area 14 Lethbridge 30 Southern Alberta Regional Map 6-7 5 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com
Experience Southern Alberta
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Experience Southern Alberta
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Experience Southern Alberta Circle Tours
Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta/ Neil Zeller @neil_zee
With a metro population of 1.37 million, Calgary is the largest city in Alberta with tons of adventures to experience. However sometimes, it’s nice to just get out of town – to explore the many attractions located nearby. Whether you’re a single, young family, or a grandparent (“grand”cation) looking for a way to entertain the grandkids, here are two getaways, easily reduced in length, that are sure to please.
Day 1 • Take Hwy 2 south to Hwy 7 west 14 km past Okotoks to see Big Rock, the largest well-known glacial bolder deposit in North America. Get up close and personal. On your way back toward Hwy 2, be sure to stop at Chinook Honey, just 4 km east, to learn about bees and sample their mead. • Follow Hwy 2A south into High River. The friendly staff at the Info Centre can answer all of your questions about the popular TV series, Heartland. Try to find all 16 of the town’s historic murals. • Take Hwy 23 east and south to Vulcan. Journey to your own “final frontier” at the Star Trek station. Then follow Hwy 534/533 west to Nanton. You can stop for lunch, shop for antiques, tour the Bomber Command Museum or the Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre.
• It’s a 25 min drive south along Hwy 2 to Claresholm. Horse lovers must visit the Appaloosa Horse Museum and the Frontier Western Shop. Have dinner at a great restaurant, such as Roy’s Place. Are you an avid golfer? You will want to check out the 18-hole golf course.
Day 2 • Pick up a coffee at Tim’s and take Hwy 2 south to Hwy 785. Drive west 18km to the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Learn about buffalo culture from Blackfoot guides. Stay for lunch and enjoy their delectable bison in a burger or stew. • Return east to Hwy 2 and carry on to Fort Macleod. Visit the Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police and stop by the Empress Theatre and other historic buildings. Do you recognize them from the movies shot here? • Take Hwy 3 east to Lethbridge and plan to stay at least 3 to 4 days, to discover the many local and surrounding attractions as further detailed on pgs 26-33.
Next loop west or east, your choice! Circling West • Take Hwy 4 south to Stirling and then follow the Mormon Trail to Cardston stopping to explore the many attractions
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Experience Southern Alberta Circle Tours such as the Galt Historic Railway Park, Fay Wray Fountain and the Remington Carriage Museum, which holds the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in North America.
bordered rolling foothills of Alberta’s ranching country. Stop at the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site to explore one of most successful historic ranching operations.
• Continue west along Hwy 5 to Waterton Lakes National Park. Enjoy an evening stroll through this quaint mountain town amid some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, followed by a gourmet dinner and a restful overnight stay. Be sure totake a lake cruise across the international border, play a round of golf and pick up some fudge.
• Numerous art galleries and dining delights await you in Longview, Black Diamond and Turner Valley – from jerky to steaks and poutine to hamburgers.
• On your trip back to Calgary, follow the legendary Cowboy Trail. Head north along Hwy 6 to Pincher Creek with stops here at the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village as well as the magnificent Lebel Mansion.
Circling East • Follow Hwy 3, from Lethbridge through Taber (be sure to buy some fresh Taber Corn in season!) to Seven Persons. If time permits, head south to explore the Red Rock Coulee Natural Area, then double back and head to Medicine Hat.
• Travel west on Hwy 3 to the Crowsnest Pass. Marvel at the mighty rockslide at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. Take an underground tour into the Bellevue Mine. Then Visit the commemoration of the 189 miners lost in the Hillcrest Mine explosion. • Double back east on Hwy 3 to Hwy 22 and travel north on one of Canada’s most scenic drives, through the mountain
• Carry on north along Hwy 22 through Bragg Creek to Cochrane on your way back to Calgary. See pg 48-49
• Plan to stay in “The Hat” for 2 to 3 days, seeing the many surrounding attractions as further detailed on pgs 22-23. • Then follow Hwy 1, northwest to Brooks and to Dinosaur Provincial Park. Then it’s on to Drumheller and the worldfamous Royal Tyrrell Museum. See pg 12-17 for more and plan to stay 1 or 2 nights, cause there’s so much to see & do!
For up-to-date information on activities and attractions in Calgary be sure to check out VisitCalgary.com See full Map and Legend on pg 6-7
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Riding The Rails If the allure of riding the steel rails has a certain nostalgic
Bob Willis has been with APR since it’s inception, and he
twinge for you, or if the kids really need something to keep
understands what makes a great experience: “Just a train ride
them entertained for a few hours, then Southern Alberta is the
ain’t gonna cut it. You have to make it an event, an adventure
place you wanna be. We are blessed with a real variety of train
and an experience! You make that happen and you’re bound
excursions that, while they may offer similar experiences, do it
to succeed.” The key, says Willis, is interaction. “Big city folks
in completely different environs. Which means you can enjoy
tend to be reserved and not very interactive. We knock all that
more than one ride, and at more than one time of year.
down in the first fifteen minutes.”
With over 30 years under their conductor’s hats, the Alberta
Colourful performers, live music, armed holdups and gorgeous
Prairie Railway (APR) is perhaps the granddaddy of them all.
scenery all make for a busy, entertaining day trip. And if that’s
Running through rolling hills out of Stettler and Big Valley, It
not enough, Aspen Crossing also features a bar car! In other
is the only outfit featuring an actual 1920 steam locomotive
words, there’s something for everyone. Summer excursions
on some trips. Like the Aspen Crossing Railway just south-
tend to have different themes - like ‘Ales on Rails,’ a special
east of Calgary, which runs through flatter prairie, APR offers
meal, or even a murder mystery. Check websites for detailed
a licensed “Polar Express” adventure to the North Pole every
options, as there’s a lot to choose from.
Christmas season, and it is an experience that kids, parents, and grandparents all rave about – which means book ahead,
If a four to five hour excursion isn’t what you’re looking for,
because these often sell out.
don’t fret. There are other fascinating experiences to be had.
Alberta Prairie Railway, Photo Courtesy of Edge Photography - Sherri O’Connor
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Riding The Rails Calgary’s wonderful “Living History Museum” at Heritage
Northwest Territories. The park is open 10 to 6 from Tuesday
Park features, among other things, a train loop almost a mile
to Saturday throughout the summer. On special occasions,
long offering lovely views out over the Glenmore Reservoir.
they offer rides on the little ‘speeder’ machines used to zip
There, you can also take a paddle-wheeler ride on the S.S.
inspectors or crews down the track. Info at galtrailway.com
Moyie, a half-size replica of the original, which was used for over forty years to haul freight and passengers on Kootenay
Sir Alexander Galt and his son also funded Lethbridge’s first
Lake in B.C., one of many paddle wheelers that helped open
hospital, which is now home to the Galt Museum – another
up the west before the arrival of the railways.
interesting stop that sits on the top of the river valley above Fort Whoop Up, itself the source of an even earlier fortune
In Stirling, you’ll find the Galt Historic Railway Park. This
made by trading buffalo pelts with the local Blackfoot. A walk
site honours the many short-line railways built to haul specific
between the two museums is a nice way to stretch your legs.
bounty to market. In this case the coal that was the early driver of settlements in Southern Alberta. Local towns like Coalhurst
So wherever you are in Southern Alberta, you’re within an
and Coaldale are reminders that it was black gold that made a
easy drive of a memorable, family-friendly, and all round fun
fortune for the Galt Mining Company, and still today for Teck
railroad experience. Just don’t forget that conductor hat you
Resources. The railway station here was built in 1890 to serve
have somewhere in the attic!
the Galt’s ‘Great Falls and Canada Railway,’ and actually once
By Allen Gibson
straddled the border between Montana and what was then the
Aspen Crossing, Photo Courtesy of Allen Gibson
Photo Courtesy of Heritage Park Historical Village
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Experience Alberta Badlands
Horsethief Canyon, Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta/ Katie Goldie
Bleriot Ferry The cable-operated Bleriot Ferry links the South and North sections of the Dinosaur Trail (Hwy 838). This free ferry ride across the Red Deer River is a great addition to a scenic road trip through Drumheller Valley in the Canadian Badlands. travelalberta.com/ca/listings/bleriot-ferry-1470
Horsethief Canyon At the secluded Horsethief Canyon, 16 km northwest of Drumheller on North Dinosaur Trail (Hwy 838), adventuresome souls can hike deep into the coulees where the canyon’s namesake horse thieves hid to rebrand their stolen steeds. traveldrumheller.com/attractions/horsethief-canyon
Horseshoe Canyon Offering stunning vistas and scenic hiking trails, Horseshoe Canyon’s glacier-carved “U” is located 17 km southwest of Drumheller along Hwy 9. A pathway east of the parking lot leads to a lookout point. From there, descend to the canyon floor, where numerous unmarked trails allow hikers to explore the valley and maybe even discover a dinosaur or two! traveldrumheller.com/attractions/horseshoe-canyon
Hoodoos Trail The Drumheller hoodoos are internationally recognized icons in Alberta badlands. The tour allows you to see the results of wind and water erosion on sedimentary rocks throughout the millennia. Looking like petrified mushrooms; the hoodoos have a protective rock cap, which shelters their shaft from
Hoodoos Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta/ Nate @natesvscrocodile
disintegrating at the same pace as the surrounding sandstone. travelalberta.com/ca/listings/hoodoos-and-hoodoo-trail-4517
Star Mine Suspension Bridge The bridge spans 117 m across the Red Deer River in Rosedale, just outside of Drumheller. It was built in 1931 for the coal miners of the Star Mine. The bridge is now a favourite among locals for fishing and for accessing stunning Badlands terrain. Enjoy hiking, hill climbing, and a day use area in the vicinity. travelalberta.com/ca/listings/rosedale-suspension-bridge-4513/
Historic Wayne Along this stretch of highway from the Star Mine Suspension Bridge to The Last Chance Saloon and The Rosedeer Hotel, you cross 11 bridges once used to transport coal through local mining communities. This gauntlet of bridges actually holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as the most bridges found within the shortest distance! The Rosedeer Hotel opened in 1913 in the dusty boomtown of Wayne. Back then, the population topped out at over 2,500, but has dipped to just over 2 dozen since the mines closed down in the 1950’s. The Last Chance Saloon is family friendly, serving snacks and beverages. Jojo’s Haberdashery Ice Cream & Gift Shop is just nextdoor. visitlastchancesaloon.com
Atlas Coal Mine Enthusiastic guides at the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site show off artifacts and share colourful stories about miners who lived and work there. A walk up the gantry takes you to
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Experience Alberta Badlands the top of the last wooden tipple in Canada. What’s a tipple? A processing plant where coal is sorted, stored, and loaded into trains. Don a hardhat and a headlamp to follow in the historic footsteps of miners in the Tunnel Tour. A challenging hike up through the inclined conveyor tunnel takes you to the mine entry set high in the Badlands. If you don’t want to travel under your own steam, take a ride on Linda, the 90-year-old electric locomotive on a surface tour around the mine site. atlascoalmine.ab.ca
East Coulee School Museum The East Coulee School Museum is an 11 room schoolhouse built to educate children from the local coal mining families. After operating as a school from 1930-1971, it was transformed into a museum focusing on school days and home life during the coal mining era of the Drumheller Valley. ecsmuseum.ca
Sixth Annual Badlands Boogie The East Coulee Truss Bridge is the last one of its kind in Western Canada. This railroad and pedestrian bridge has been featured in movies and music videos. It is now threatened to be destroyed. In order to raise money to stave off this demolition, the 6th Annual Badlands Boogie featuring over 30 volunteer bands will be held on the September long weekend in 2020. facebook.com/Badlands-Boogie-888570684580048
Red Deer River Adventures They rent kayaks and canoes for self-guided trips on the Red Deer River and surrounding area. They also offer guided tours ranging from 2 hours to a full day, taking you through an area of the river to learn about the region’s history. You’ll also see the site where the first Albertosaurus dinosaur was discovered. reddeerriveradventures.com
The Little Church Its claim to fame is it has seated 10,000 worshippers - 6 at a time. First erected in 1968 by local contractor Trygve Seland, in cooperation with the Ministerial Association, it was then rebuilt in 1991 by inmates of the Drumheller Institution. It is located at the intersection of North Dinosaur Tr and Murray Hill Rd just west of the famous Royal Tyrrell Museum. It offers an intimate setting for worship and meditation in the midst of vast natural beauty. travelalberta.com/ca/listings/drumhellers-little-church-4518
Experience Downtown Drumheller The World’s Largest Dinosaur Step right up and see “The World’s Largest Dinosaur” in the heart of Drumheller. Literally step right up, 106 steps to be exact. This fibreglass and steel model T. rex stands 26.3 m high and 46 m in length, approx 4.5 times bigger than a life-sized T. rex. At the top, a viewing area in the mouth of the dinosaur can hold between 8 and 12 people at a time. worldslargestdinosaur.com
Valley Doll Museum and Gift Shop & Jungling Works At the Valley Doll Museum and Gift Shop, over 1000 enchanting antique and vintage dolls are displayed. See valleydollmuseum.com. At Jungling Works, Debra cites a friend’s challenge to share, rather than hoard, her photographs of the natural beauties in and around Drumheller as the inspiration for the amaing fashion accessories and home décor items digitally printed with these images featured in her store. junglingworks.com.
The Canadian Badlands Passion Play Performed over 3 weekends in July, is one of Canada’s largest outdoor theatrical events. Attendees are carried back 2000 years to witness the dramatic portrayal of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All within an acoustically superb natural amphitheatre. The numerous volunteer actors and musicians performing this play race over hills in a set that would challenge a mountain goat, all while delivering their lines with aplomb. canadianpassionplay.com
Fossil World Dinosaur Discovery Centre It is a hands-on museum for kids offering three main activities: 1) Fossil Dig - Dig up a dinosaur and take home a real fossil; 2) Mineral Mine - Take home a vial of real minerals while learning to identify the minerals; and, 3) Wall Climb - a 25 ft wall climb using an auto belay guided by an instructor. The museum features ten new animatronic dinosaurs, including a 7 m tall full motion animatronic T. rex. Check the website for dates when it is open. fossilworld.com
By Dr. Shannon L. Tracey 13 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com
CELEBRATING 33+ YEARS
The Fossil Shop
Come touch the Past
collectors & preparators of fossils Fossils • Minerals • Jewellery • Giftware • Souvenirs Art for the Home
61 bridge street | 403-823-6774 | thefossilshop.com
Home & Gifts
#75-3rd Avenue W Downtown Drumheller
Featuring Canadian Crafted Products inspired by the Badlands and designed by Debra Jungling 403-823-2208 junglingworks.com 299 1st Street W
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NFL NHL Merchandise Magic the Gathering Music & Graphic T-Shirts Fantasy & Sci Fi Posters, Figures
Come check out the selection of native collectibles, genuine moccasins, trapdoor underwear, dreamcatchers and many other unique items. Enjoy the gallery of local artists work. If you are looking for one-of-a-kind gift youâ€™ll find it here!
and Much More!
403-823-2175 65B 3rd Ave West
403-856-3556 SIDE BY SIDE 175 - 3RD AVE W., Drumheller
THE FAUX DEN
Owners Tom and Amie invite you to experience their wide selection of old and new gift items unique to Drumheller Valley. With a down-home friendly attitude the Faux Den will take you on a journey of the history of the valley through antiques, souvenirs, garden ornaments, toys, t-shirts, fossils, unique jewelry and lots more. With a salute to farming, mining and the railway, there is something for everyone.
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Experience a Dino Grandcation
Amelie experiences the dino-thrill at Devil’s Coulee museum, near Warner, Ab
Dinosaur Provincial Park, Courtesy of Tanya Koob
Shhhhh…can you hear the leaves rustling? Wait for it…the ground begins trembling and suddenly you’re face to face with a T. Rex, Stegoceras or maybe a Sabre-Toothed Tiger. Does it sound scary, exciting, adventurous? Then pack your imagination, because it’s time for a grandcation, which is an exclusive vacay for grandparents and grandchildren. And Southern Alberta is the place to be. Our journey begins in Cowley, Alberta where Black Beauty was discovered. No, it isn’t the famous horse. It is a very well preserved skeleton of a T. rex discovered three km north of Cowley on the Crowsnest River. Aptly named for the fossil’s shiny black colour, Black Beauty’s skull bones have been used to illustrate the concept of parasitic infections in dinosaurs. This T. rex, specimen features 85 original bones and is the 14th most complete known T. rex in the world. The skeleton is on display at the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller. It’s also reinvented in an iron and metal 4.5 m statue in Cowley. It’s astonishing to think that dinosaurs just like the legendary T. rex were little critters born from an egg. Devil’s Coulee, about 70 km south Lethbridge on Hwy 4, produced the first and largest dinosaur nesting ground discovered in Canada.
Royal Tyrrell Museum, Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission
Once part of an inland sea, the dino eggs at Devil’s Coulee are those of the Duck-Billed Hypacrosaurus. Four nests were unearthed. Miraculously, one egg contained a fully developed embryo about 40 cm long. Devil’s Coulee is the only area in the country holding so many nests, eggs and embryos that it’s considered to be one of the top three best places in North America for such a find. A trip to the Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur & Heritage Museum in Warner where the eggs are displayed is a must stop on the grandcation. Over the millennia some dinosaurs started stepping out in style. The feathered Ornithomimus, discovered in Southern Alberta boasted fluffy feathers on its bones connecting the legs to the breast. Fossils for this beast have never been discovered in North America before and the feathers appear as tiny black lines on the fossils. This 75-million-year-old hotty probably looked like a plucked goose, but don’t take our word for it. Make the Royal Tyrrell Museum a stop on your grandcation and see for yourself. Speaking about birds of a feather, a 76-million-year-old, nearly complete Saurornitholestes specimen was unearthed in the Dinosaur Provincial Park.
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Experience a Dino Grandcation Better known as a raptor, Saurornitholestes, or “lizard-bird thief”, is a small-feathered meat eater previously known from only fragmentary remains. This is a significant discovery because a unique tooth believed to have evolved for preening feathers was discovered in the fossil record. The tooth led to further evidence that the raptor lineage from North America, including the Saurornitholestes, is distinct from an Asian lineage that includes the famous Velociraptor. Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site about 2.5 hours from Calgary, northeast of Brooks. It wouldn’t be a grandcation without visiting this dinosaur goldmine. The affectionately named Hellboy, after the comic book and movie character featured peculiar armour-plating with two small horns sticking out over its eyes, this 68-million-year-old fossil was found sticking out of a cliff along the Oldman River in Southern Alberta. It had a crown-like appearance with a halo of 5 sided plates, each spreading outward along a central spike. Horned dinosaurs haven’t been found in this part of the world before so scientists did a double take in the lab while freeing Hellboy from his confinement in rock.
And even more rare is this fossil represents a new species in the triceratops family called Regaliceratops Peterhewsi. Last but not least is Smilodon, more commonly known as the sabre-toothed tiger. Okay, Smilodon is not technically a dinosaur, but it’s equally magnificent. And fossils for this ice-age predator have never been found in Canada before. Discovered near Medicine Hat, this extinct feline sported huge canines resembling steak knives. Interestingly, their teeth were fragile because they were flattened, and prone to breaking. Smilodon pinned down its prey, thus preventing any struggles that risked breaking teeth. No grandcation is complete without a trip to the Calgary Zoo’s prehistoric park. Giant replicas of different dinosaur species can be seen lurking throughout the park. Visitors get a sense of what it would have been like eons ago in a world of giant predators, herbivores and plants. Whatever your plan is, get some family grandtime in and hit up some dinosaur treasure-troves in Southern Alberta. By: Kerri Robins
Good Times. Great Finds. Drumheller is home to a terrific variety of murals! And some, like the one pictured here, got a fresh look recently. Located at Hwy 9 and 3rd Ave, this new mural is a collage of historical pictures of Drumheller’s interesting past. Contributor Deb Jungling, from Jungling Works feels it not only appeals to locals, but attracts tourists to the downtown core. Finding them, makes for a free and fun afternoon for the whole family. Remember to take a selfie!
Celebrating 20 years!
towering high over drumheller...
the World’s Largest Dinosaur is designed for dino-enthusiasts of all ages to explore, inside and out. Climb 106 stairs inside the giant T-rex lined with beautiful murals to admire the breathtaking badlands from her gaping jaw – a must-see attraction ! OPEN YEAR-ROUND ! 60-1st Avenue W. Drumheller, AB worldslargestdinosaur.com |1-866-823-8100
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Experience Indigenous Culture
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
Majorville Medicine Wheel
As I neared the top of the hill where the ancient medicine wheel was located, (south of Bassano) my eyes scanned the panoramic prairie view and the power of this place gave me another jolt. To the east, the Bow River rambled through a deep, water-carved scar slicing through the browning plains. To the south, the 20 km gravel road that got me here zigged and zagged and, eventually, melted into an ocean of native grassland. There were few signs of man. Anywhere. And everywhere, grass-smothered hills, unplowed since the beginning, relented to the wind.
beautiful, easy-to-find locations. One of these amazing places is Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, near Fort Macleod and it’s actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Unquestionably, a trip to the Majorville Medicine Wheel - it’s been dubbed “Canada’s Stonehenge” - is a sweet little southern Alberta adventure. It’s a powerful and deeply-spiritual place featuring an ancient circular wheel (it’s actually older than Stonehenge!), constructed with lichen-coated stones and rocks. The stones, some broken and swallowed by the earth, mark the spokes and lead to the rocky cairn at the center of the wheel. It’s one of a few medicine wheels left intact.
Situated at the base of a beautiful escarpment just two hours south of Calgary, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is certainly one of the most popular Indigenous sites to explore in Alberta. The award-winning, world-renowned museum consists of a state-of-the-art, five-level building that’s seamlessly blended into the cliff wall. It contains many incredible exhibits and interactive displays highlighting the fascinating tactics of the buffalo hunt, the demise of the buffalo, the nomadic lifestyles of Plains People, archaeological digs, and much more. When considering the outdoor trails and interpretive walks, taking you right along the top and the base of the cliff where the ancient buffalo jump and nearby processing camps where located, you can easily see why many people make a visit to ‘Head-Smashed-In’ a full-day adventure.
But it does take some work to get there. You need a four-wheel drive vehicle. You need to do some research. You need to have a little perseverance. And an off-roading adventure like this is certainly not for everyone. (Interestingly, some people are underwhelmed by the visit as the wheel, from the ground, can be difficult to distinguish.) Not surprisingly, Alberta boasts many Indigenous sites and attractions that don’t require bouncing along the back roads. Many of these places are situated right off the highway in
Indeed, for many of thousands of tourists venturing to Alberta, visiting Indigenous attractions - including historic buffalo jumps, museums, casinos, art galleries, tipi camps, lodges, and so on - is on their to-do list. When it comes to Indigenous history, including spectacular sites enveloped by idyllic scenery, it’s tough to beat Alberta.
While people have been flocking to Head-Smashed-In for decades (it was designated a National Historic Site in 1968), the newer Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park is an equally impressive place to visit. Boasting an “authentic Blackfoot
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Experience Indigenous Culture Martian Landscape or Dino Poo? The Red Rock Coulee Natural Area offers a unique hiking experience over the bottom of an ancient seabed. Large red spherical sandstone rock formations dot the landscape. They measure up to 2.5 m in diameter and may be the largest in the world. Conveniently, there is a picnic table near the entrance with incredible 360 degree vistas of this fascinating area. A walking tour gets you up close to inspect these colourful spheres created so long ago over. Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump
experience” - which includes interactive exhibits, drumming, dancing, guided tours, stunning architecture incorporating Blackfoot shapes and symbols, traditional Blackfoot food, and much much more – Blackfoot Crossing is a fascinating place to explore. Here, too, a variety of outdoor trails meander along the peaceful banks of the Bow River and take explorers to the ancient riverside camps, earthlodge villages, historic graveyards, and the monument where Treaty No. 7 was signed. Of course, there are many other notable Indigenous sites and attractions to explore and visit. River Ranch Lodge, Painted Warriors, and Buffalo Rock Tipi Camp are three to check out. One of the best resources to learn about these attractions, and others, is the Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) website, indigenoustourismalberta.ca. The mandate of the ITA is to promote and encourage Indigenous-owned tourism in our province. There are many cultural experiences and enterprises, all owned and operated by Indigenous entrepreneurs, that highlight this growing tourism sector. From galleries to tipi camps and badlands tours, there are many possibilities. Unquestionably, there are numerous historical sites, retail outlets, and Indigenous experiences that continue to fly under the radar in Alberta. And, just like anything, when you do your homework, opportunities will arise and doors will open. An adventurous spirit, even if it means bumping along the back roads, will go a long way. And, of course, respecting and honouring Indigenous people and places should always be top of mind. Photo and Story By: Andrew Penner
Marvel at the mystery of their formation. Over centuries, minerals were deposited on seashells. Through erosion and oxidation these rocks turned red. Climb with care and study the unique quartz crystals. Steep-sided coulees, hoodoos and unusual vegetation, such as a gumbo primrose, prickly pear cactus, and prairie crocus all contribute to this special place of spiritual bliss. Wildlife includes mule deer, pronghorn, bull snakes, shorthorned lizards, scorpions and rattlesnakes. In case of an encounter, move quietly and deliberately away. Location: 30 min south of Medicine Hat. Take Hwy 3 to Seven Persons, turn south onto Hwy 887 and watch for Alberta Parks’ signage. This day-use Park has no facilities or services. Bring plenty of water.
Photo Courtesy of Jeff Bar
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The town of Elkwater is the gateway to Cypress Hills Provincial Park and a base camp for year-round outdoor recreation in South East Alberta. Elkwater can be reached in a 45 min drive from Medicine Hat, and you’ll find basic amenities in town along with the Fuel Stop and 12-34 Café and Pub.
horseback riding. My family enjoys driving to the Horseshoe Canyon Viewpoint where we can hop on our bikes and ride back down to town on the Horseshoe Canyon Trail. We also like driving out to the Reesor Viewpoint to bike or hike down to Reesor Lake along the TransCanada Trail.
Explore the Town of Elkwater
There are also several other campgrounds to choose from in the provincial park including a few group use areas if you want to camp with friends or host a family reunion.
Camp at one of five RV-friendly campgrounds and you’ll have easy access to playgrounds, hiking and biking trails, Elkwater Lake with its sandy beach, as well as the visitor centre where you can enjoy interactive displays on the Cypress Hills area. My family enjoys riding our bikes along the shoreline trail between the west and east day use areas. Along the way, you pass boardwalks for birdwatching, playgrounds, a mini golf course, and a disc golf course.
Stay at the Elkwater Lake Lodge and Resort If you don’t want to camp, the Elkwater Resort has 31 lodge suites and 23 condo suites for year-round accommodations. There are also six cabins open through the summer season. From the resort you can walk down to the lake, rent a canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard from the marina, or just spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach.
Enjoy other Recreational opportunities near Elkwater
Other activities include fishing, hunting, and a variety of water sports on Elkwater Lake including waterskiing and wind surfing. There’s also a great golf course south of Elkwater with no tee times so just drop in when you’re in the area.
Winter in Elkwater It is my favourite season in Elkwater because you can spend a day exploring over 30 km of groomed cross-country ski trails, ski or hike into backcountry cabins, go skating in the Old Baldy Campground on a 1.5 km long skating loop, or play on the luge track outside the Learning Centre in town. There are many ways to experience Elkwater in the winter including fat biking, snowshoeing, ice fishing, or kicksledding (and you can even rent a kicksled from the Visitor Centre.) The Hidden Valley Ski Resort is also located south of town.
Once you drive higher up into the provincial park, you can access dozens of trailheads for hiking, mountain biking, or 20 | Enter Our Photo Contest
Story and Photos By: Tanya Koob
Driving an Electric Car? Reducing Southern Alberta’s environmental footprint one
Provinces are looking at climate change and greenhouse gas
charging station at a time, Peaks to Prairies electric charging
emissions and the transportation sector is a large contributor
stations is a regional innovative charging network coming to
of those emissions. Alberta is close to five years behind other
Southern Alberta in 2019. The project was spawned by a group
provinces and the United States in this developing industry.
of partners including: ATCO, Medicine Hat College, South-
It’s a trend quickly expanding globally and Peaks to Prairies
grow Regional Initiative, Alberta Southwest Regional Alliance
saw an opportunity to accelerate electric vehicle tourism in
and the cities of Calgary, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat.
the area. Offering positive benefits in the communities having stations, through economic development and the reduction of
There are presently eight stations along the Peaks to Prairies
emissions, it’s also increasing the tourism economy. Further-
network, located in Canmore, Lethbridge, Cardston, Fort
more, focusing on the commitment to power these stations
Macleod, Pincher Creek, Nanton, Longview and Bearspaw
with local, renewable energy highlights the resources available
fully energized and ready for service. There are two types of
in this great region.
station, fast charging and level two charging. These are located in tourist friendly towns.
The cost for the use of these stations is relatively low. The fast charging station is offered at $20 per hour, whereas the level
Spread all throughout southern Alberta from Canmore to
two chargers, equivalent to a 220 volt plug in a home, is about
Calgary, Vulcan to the Crowsnest Pass, these charging stations
two dollars an hour. Many of these towns have much to see and
will allow tourists to travel through the province, experiencing
do within walking distance, allowing tourists to charge their
the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and Prairies, all the while
vehicles within 30-45 minutes, while sight-seeing and enjoying
reducing their environmental impact.
the unique experiences each town has to offer. By: Amanda Knippshild
See full Map and Legend on pg 6-7
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Experience Medicine Hat
Sunny Medicine Hat will surprise you with its coffee culture, microbreweries, burgeoning art scene, and recreational opportunities. As we descend into the South Saskatchewan River Valley, I’m struck by the cliffs and countless coulees that define the landscape. Just as nature shaped the land, it also shaped history. While waterways and a sheltered valley brought people and migrating buffalo here, in later years, the vast discoveries of abundant natural gas and clay brought growth and prosperity to Medicine Hat and its communities. Different forces are at work these days. The ‘Hat’ is outgrowing “The Gas City” moniker and becoming a cultural hub. At first glance, the historic downtown looks much like it did in the early 1900’s with its brick buildings and old fashioned street lamps. Take a closer look and you discover the art galleries and studios, independent coffee shops, eclectic eateries, and a microbrewery. Colourful murals adorn brick walls; the Royal Liquor Store mural quotes author Rudyard Kipling: “This part of the country seems to have All Hell for a basement, and the only trap door appears to be in Medicine Hat.” Can you guess where Hell’s Basement, Alberta’s first craft brewery, got the inspiration for its name?
At Inspire Studio, Gallery and Café, I sip a fragrant cup of tea surrounded by local artwork. Meanwhile, artist and co-owner, Maureen Newton, paints peacefully in the adjacent studio. Inspire is not only for artisans and those who appreciate art; it’s also for lovers of comfort food and good coffee and tea. Whether you are on a self-guided Medicine Hat Art Walk (mid May to late September), or Medicine Hat Progressive Café Tour, you will end up at Inspire, inspired to pick up a paintbrush perhaps, or stay a little longer in this friendly city. If you stay, explore the city by bike or Sunshine Trolley. With 115 km of bike paths and free loaner bikes at the Visitor Centre, it’s easy to get around safely by bicycle. The Sunshine Trolley, new in 2019, is a seasonal hop on, hop off shuttle from major hotels to historic downtown and MedAlta Potteries. My kids giggle as they punch their timecards at MedAlta Potteries, the historic factory-turned-museum, including huge beehive kilns. Even if you have never worked with clay before, it is fascinating to learn how everyday items are made. Maybe
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Experience Medicine Hat take a crash course in wheel throwing (making something on a pottery wheel), sign up for the Saturday Samplers class. Our next stop is The Esplanade, an architectural wonder that houses an art gallery, museum, archives, and state of the art 700-seat theater. Check their events calendar for art shows, dance and theater performances, and concerts. Evening finds us at the Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre’s free public skate. We plan on bringing swimsuits next time for the amazing aquatic park! More fun things to do with kids include: glow bowling at Panorama Lanes, solving an escape room, or watching a movie at Monarch Theatre, Canada’s longest running movie theatre (est. 1911). Enjoy live music at Industry on Friday nights; beer tastings at Medicine Hat Brewing Company, Hell’s Basement Brewery, or Travois Aleworks; or music festivals. Don’t miss the Tongue on the Post Folk Music Festival: a week of Café Concerts followed by Concerts in a Kiln and festivities at renowned MedAlta Potteries. The summer festival season kicks off with Medicine Hat Jazz Fest in June: eight days of intimate concerts in local breweries, pubs, cafés, and eateries.
Over lunch at trendy Local Public Eatery, Med Hat resident Abby Czibere tells me how she, “moved here for school, fell in love with the place, and never left.” When I ask what she loves about Medicine Hat, besides the good eats and brews (beer and coffee), Czibere shares how easy it is to get close to nature: • Police Point Park has a nature centre and “tons of walking trails.” • Echo Dale Regional Park is “great for families” with its beach, fishing pond, paddling pond, and picnic areas. • “We have over 100 km of bike paths... and free loaner bikes” at the Visitor Information Centre. • Kin Coulee Park has an awesome toboggan hill. • Cypress Hills Provincial Park is Medicine Hat’s playground, only 45 minutes away. Hike, mountain bike, camp, or stay in a cozy hut! There’s much to love in this vibrant little city with its sunny personality. Once you visit The Hat, you’ll want to go back!
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Photos and Story By: Karen Ung
Golf Gems Around Southern Alberta Cruising along the banks of the mighty Old Man River, the par 5 13th at the Paradise Canyon Golf Resort in Lethbridge is always a key hole in the round. With a warm Chinook wind at my back, the straightaway hole screams “birdie opportunity.” With a decent drive, the green should easily be in reach. I reel back, recklessly, as usual, and let it rip. My ball flutters in the wind, veers right, and comes to rest in a thick grove of cottonwoods lining the fairway. I’ll need some luck, or perhaps a team of sniffer dogs, to find it. As it turns out, I’ve got neither. Fortunately, finding an awesome course in Southern Alberta is an easier proposition. I’ve played golf all over the world. Without a doubt, the golf scene in Wild Rose Country - specifically, in the southern regions - is one of my favourites. Why? The variety, the beautiful, wind and water-scoured terrain - which includes coulees, ravines, rivers, mountains, prairies, parkland, and badlands - provides a canvas unmatched in the country. There is something for every taste. And the value, not to mention the grassroots, unpretentious nature of the game, makes it even more appealing. Unquestionably, the Paradise Canyon Golf Resort in West Lethbridge is a prime example of how good the golf can be in Southern Alberta. With many holes that ramble along the river and skirt the dry-as-a-bone hillsides in this tucked away canyon, this truly is a golfers paradise. The beautifullysculpted course, which was designed by Bill Newis in 1992, has a bold and contemporary feel. The greens are huge and
protected by numerous man-made hazards, including ponds, stunning contours, and dozens of white-sand bunkers. And, of course, the legendary Chinook winds that are so common in Southern Alberta often play a key role in solving the puzzles that confound the golfer on each hole. While the wind in Lethbridge is notable, the heat in Medicine Hat can add an extra element to the game. But, to be clear, the weather has, and always will be, an integral part of golf. And here, you certainly want to keep one eye on the sky! In Medicine Hat, the premier public play is the Desert Blume Golf Course. Routed through coulees and ravines with a ballhungry creek protecting numerous holes, Desert Blume is a classic Southern Alberta course. Expect dramatic landforms, heroic shot options, elevated tees, tough-as-nails par-4s, and pristine turf conditions during your adventurous round. While Desert Blume makes a strong statement in terms of how good prairie golf can be, it certainly doesn’t own the patent! Located 35 min east of Calgary, the Speargrass Golf Course near Carseland is one of Southern Alberta’s top prairie tests. At first glance, the course seems unassuming, fairly flat, and relatively simple. However, as you work your way around this Gary Browning design, the subtle shaping, the native grasses, the massive waste bunkers, and the difficulty of choosing the correct line off the tee become prominent themes. Miss a shot and you pay a price. And then, on one of the most picturesque closing stretches in Southern Alberta, the course enters a
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whole other realm as you drop into the dramatic holes that run along the eroded banks of the Bow River. Stunning.
PINCHER CREEK GOLF CLUB
But if smashing balls in the badlands is on your bucket list, the back nine at the Dinosaur Trail Golf Course in Drumheller should be on your radar. While the front nine is solid and typical of many parkland-style courses, the back nine is a jaw-dropper as golfers are thrust into an amazing landscape of wind and water-carved hoodoos, deep and dry ravines, and breathtaking vistas. Stray offline and your ball may come to rest in a spot only a paleontologist could appreciate. And, at the end of the day, it’s these unique landscapes and sweet prairie scenes that really make golf in Southern Alberta stand out. The small-town charms and unpretentious aura of the golf also leaves a lasting impression. After a round, you might be asking yourself, why is there a golf course so good in such a quaint and “under-the-radar” destination? A perfect example of this is the Lee Creek Valley Golf Course in Cardston. Designed by prolific Alberta architect, Les Furber, Lee Creek rambles through a pristine valley and incorporates all the elements possible – including beautiful mountain views, elevation changes, and a rock-solid collection of challenging holes – that anyone looks for in a round of golf Southern Alberta style. Story and Photos By: Andrew Penner
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Enjoy an established course with beautiful vistas, challenging slopes and spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. Warm up on the driving range, practice green or enjoy a meal on our beautiful deck. A great course with wonderful southern Alberta hospitality.
PHONE 403.627.2126 942 Hyde Street, Pincher Creek, AB www.PincherCr eekGo lfClub.c o m
Experience Lethbridge With a population approaching 100,000 residents, Lethbridge has a dynamic arts and culture scene, endless recreational opportunities, and events galore! It is a year-round destination with a relatively mild (for Alberta) climate and an average of 322 days of sunshine every year. For a terrific shopping experience, visit Centre Village Mall. It is the only enclosed shopping mall in the hub of Lethbridge’s Northside. Anchored by Canadian Tire, London Drugs, Dollar Tree and Save-On-Foods it’s where you will find everything you need. This reinvigorated shopping centre is centrally located at the corner of 13th St & 2nd Ave North. Helen Schuler worked very hard to involve school children, friends, City Council, and others in an appreciation of the special nature of the prairie. She was co-founder of the Lethbridge Naturalists’ Society in 1969 and helped establish the Federation of Alberta Naturalists in 1970.
Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta/ Katie Goldie
The Helen Schuler Nature Centre is becoming a world-class interpretive facility that connects visitors to the many benefits of the great outdoors. The centre offers a variety of interactive programs for all ages. It’s located on Indian Battle Road South, in the shadow of the High Level Bridge - the longest and highest steel trestle bridge in North America. Take an inspiring walk in the river valley where you might see a variety of wildlife roaming or identify the tracks they left behind.
the p Friendshi
Experience culture like never before as we showcase the friendship of Japan & Canada at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. Let the garden fill you with a sense of peace and serenity as you immerse yourself in our oasis on the prairies.
Lethbridge has an abundance of experiences for the whole family. Visit TourismLethbridge.com for up-to-date activities and attractions.
Lethbridge, AB www.NikkaYuko.com Gates open in May
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Experience Lethbridge If you head south on the trails, you’ll find Fort Whoop-Up. It’s a replica of a fur trading fort built in the late 1800s. Experience the story of the buffalo robe and illegal whisky trade, between the mid-1860s to the early 1890s. Be sure to stop at the Galt Museum & Archives to learn about the history of southern Alberta, including local indigenous community, coal mining, and downtown Lethbridge. In the heart of the city is where you will find the local arts scene, such as the nationally renowned Southern Alberta Art Gallery. The Gallery at Casa is a free gallery displaying the works of local artists. Galt Gardens hosts a variety of events that showcase cultural, musical, artistic, and culinary talent. New West Theatre offers a diverse range of top live entertainment with numerous productions throughout the year. On a hot summer day, locals flock to Henderson Lake Park. Located on Mayor Magrath Dr, between 7th and 10th Avenues, it’s home to Henderson Pool - the largest south of Calgary, a baseball stadium, and both a spray and a skate park. Here you will also find one of the city’s most notable cultural attractions. Let the serenity of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden soothe your senses during an evening of omotenashi (Japanese hospitality). Sample a variety of Japanese desserts while sipping their matcha blend tea. Or, try sake paired with culinary treats. Take a tour. Your hostess will be wearing a traditional yukata. Looking for excitement? Step into the dohyo and experience the thrill of sumo wrestling!
Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta
minut es from downtown
200 km of discovery t rails
403.320.3064 lethbridge.ca/Nature 27 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com
E R t he S P I R I T V O C of IS
Lethbridge We’re Your Destination For Lethbridge
Attractions & Events TourismLethbridge.com 2805 Scenic Dr S, Lethbridge, AB or call us 1-888-384-8687 Our Information Centre is open year-round. It’s your source for travel literature and
local tips. Driving an RV? You’ll find a free sani dump station in the ample parking lot.
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Events Street Machine Weekend
Galt Museum & Archives
Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden
Southern Alberta Art Gallery
Helen Schuler Nature Centre
Events Whoop-Up Days at Exhibition Park
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Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden
Scenic Drive Tourist Information Centre
Yates Memorial Centre
High Level Bridge
Southern Alberta Art Gallery
Casa Arts Centre
Galt Museum and Archives
Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Centre
University of Lethbridge Theatre
Alberta Birds of Prey Centre - Coaldale
Helen Schuler Nature Centre
Gem of the West Museum - Coaldale
Coal Banks Kiosk
Brewery Hill Garden
Royal View Future Development Area
44 AVE N
LYNX RD N
N LV D
Legacy Ridge / Hardieville
39 ST N
36 ST N S
41 ST S
34 ST S
28 ST S
T KE MO UN
R CRES S O
West Mayor Magrath Dr
LV CA NY
SIXMILE RI D G
PRAIRIE ARBOUR BLVD
48 AVE S
! Í 11
Lethbridge County Airport
Magrath-35 km\22 mi Raymond-36 km\22 mi Cardston-77 km\48 mi Carway (USA Border)-100 km\62 mi Waterton Lakes National Park-130 km\81 mi
Decedmber 28, 2016
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SOUTHGATE BLVD S
SU NR ID
TE FAIRMON T G A
40 ST S CEDAR RD S
21 ST S
31 ST N
33 ST N
MAYOR MAGRA TH D 22 ST N R
18 ST N
18 ST S
Chinook Future Development Area
VE 32 A
CAN YON PKY W
VD BL FAIRMONT
D LV R PA K B R
Milk River-85 km\53 mi Coutts (USA Border)-105 km\65 mi Great Falls, USA-302 km\187 mi
24 AVE S
41 ST N
29 ST N
28 ST N
16 ST N
12B ST N
24 ST N
10 ST N
7 ST N
12C ST N 14 ST S
HERITAGE RD W
13 ST S
ERSITY DR W UN IV
8 ST N
W BL VD L IL CG
23 AVE S
Southeast Employment Centre
Tudor 16 Estates
20 AVE S
D OR BLVD
FORESTRY AVE S
D R B LV
43 ST S
Agnes 19 AVE S Davidson
T 32 S
KE R ID G
TON K IS
14 AVE S
A BL MT
16 AVE S
BL V D DR W
L OD LE AC
SOUTH PARKSIDE DR S
VA LA M
12 AVE S
Park Royal / Chinook Heights
7 AVE S
West Lethbridge Ph 2 - South
W T Hill Business Park
AVE S AS 3 ID E AV E S
Mountain View Cemetery
Nicholas Sheran Park
D LV ER B
HT L IG
9 AVE S
PARKSIDE DR S
SCENIC DR S
5 AVE S
2 AVE N
MC MAS T
12A ST S
6 AVE S
Coaldale-14 km\9 mi Taber-51 km\32 mi Medicine Hat-167 km\104 mi
Shackleford Industrial Park
8 AVE N
Anderson Industrial Park
West Lethbridge Ph 2 - West
2 AVE S
9 ST S
VD BL COALBANKS
12 ST S
S OTT OP
TTE B L YE FA LA
LV COLUMBIA B
O ST EY
8 ST S
4 ST S
OP UP DR S
10 AVE S
BRITANNIA BLVD W
24 AVE W
3 AVE N
The B LA CK F Crossings
10 AVE N 9 AVE N
11 ST S
RED CROW B L
4 AVE S
16 AVE N
12 AVE N
2A AVE N
14 AVE N
13 AVE N
10 ST S S STAFFORD DR
Indian Battle Park
6 ST S
W ER SH
Indian Battle Heights
15 AVE N
5 ST S
A PARK ME
7 AVE N
7 ST S
W VD BL
4 AVE N
3 ST S
AR G Y
SCE N IC DR N
26 ST N
West Highlands TA
5 AVE N
Elizabeth Hall Wetlands
26 AVE N
Churchill Industrial Park Park 18 AVE N Meadows DN
20 ST S
St Patrick 6 AVE N Cemetery
H ERITAG E BLVD W
30 AVE N
27 ST N
Q Æ !
13 ST N
6 ST N
WALSH DR W RDEEN RD BE
KODIAK GATE N
30 ST N
STAFFORD DR N
32 AVE N
N 23 ST
GIFFEN RD N
Lethbridge Sports Park
IAK BLVD N
BLUEFOX BLVD N
23 AVE N
West Lethbridge Employment Centre - Industrial Archmount Cemetery
Sherring Industrial Park
24 AVE N
West Lethbridge Employment Centre - Commercial
32 ST N
34 ST N
Park Lake-20 km\13 mi Picture Butte-22 km\14 mi
UG AR RD N CO
BLUEF O X RD N
K WOLF BLVD N
LETTICE PE RRY RD N
Oldman River Observatory
JE SSI E M CLE AY RD N
Henderson Rose Garden
Coalhurst-8 km\5 mi Fort Macleod-57 km\35 mi Crowsnest Pass-153 km\95 mi Calgary-217 km\135 mi
42 AVE N
40 AVE N
North Sherring Future Development Area
Burbridge Farms Future Development Area
Alexander Wilderness Park
Royal View Memorial Cemetery
43 ST N
Southeast Future Development Area
A Coffee Table Book Containing Dinosaur Illustrations created by Julius Cstonyi Weâ€™d like to know how we did and learn how we can better serve your needs. Please complete and return the following short questionnaire for a chance to Win. Where did you pick up this travel guide?
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Experience South Central Alberta
Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta / Jeremy Fokkens
Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta/ Katie Goldie
Photo Courtesy of Neil Zeller @neil_zee
If you visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, 18 km northwest of Fort Macleod, your journey through the picturesque and historic southern Alberta is really just beginning. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump has an excellent interpretative centre west of Hwy 2 and is one of the world’s oldest buffalo jumps. Known for its remarkable preservation of prehistoric life, the site bears witness to the technique of harvesting buffalo practiced by indigenous people of the North American plains for nearly 6,000 years. With its elaborate drive lane complex and deep archaeological deposits still intact it was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1981.
The area was being threatened by the disruptive and unlawful practices of the American whiskey traders who were trading deadly “firewater” for buffalo robes, wolf skins, and other items of value. The arrival of the NWMP put an end to the illicit trade within the Blackfoot, Blood, and Piegan Indian territory. While on a broader scale, the presence of the federal mounted police in the region, discouraged any thoughts by the United States of possibly annexing the Canadian territory.
A visit to nearby Fort Macleod - located on the east/west Hwy 3 at the junction of the north/south Hwy 2 is a good next choice.
To learn more, be sure to visit The Fort Museum of the NWMP and First Nations Interpretive Centre. Throughout the summer they showcase the world-renowned NWMP Musical Ride four times each day! The Fort Museum has also received numerous awards including the prestigious Canadian Signature Experience.
The town of Fort Macleod and historic fort site are at the roots of settlement in Western Canada. Founded in 1874 with the arrival of the North West Mounted Police, led by Colonel James F. Macleod, Fort Macleod became the headquarters of the first law and order in what then was known as the North West Territories of Canada.
Travelling east from Fort Macleod, visitors brush the northern edge of the Kainai Nation which is commonly known as the Blood Reserve. It’s the largest first nations reserve in Canada which covers about 1,414 km² (approx 350,000 acres). With a population of about 12,000, the Kainai speak a language of the Algonquian linguistic group; their dialect is closely related to
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Experience South Central Alberta those of the Siksika and Piegan. They are one of three nations comprising the Blackfoot Confederacy. While Lethbridge is ahead on the horizon, travellers can also swing north for a stop in Picture Butte about 27 km north of Lethbridge. Known as the “Livestock Feeding Capital of Canada”, this small town is also home to the Coyote Flats Pioneer Village. The collection of history here does not simply include pictures and the items used during those times. It’s an assembly of the stories, buildings, and artifacts actually used by the region’s early settlers who shaped our history. Walk the streets and experience the history written about in books. Agriculture is a mainstay industry of Alberta and travelling north and around the city of Lethbridge brings the visitor through the heart of what’s known as Feedlot Alley - a nickname given to a 500 km² area known for its intensive livestock operations. It’s home to over 2.3 million beef cattle as well as hog, dairy and poultry operations. Feedlot Alley produces 60 per cent of all Canadian beef. You’ll notice in your travels around Lethbridge that you are in irrigation country. The very first irrigation systems were
established with the skill of Mormon farmers who immigrated to Canada from Utah in the late 1800s. The Alberta irrigation zone covers 625,000 hectares. Although irrigation represents only six per cent of the cultivated acres, they account for 19 per cent of the agricultural production. Continuing east from Picture Butte takes travellers through the diversified and more intensively farmed communities of Coaldale and Taber. And swinging south and west from Taber, will bring you to the town of Cardston, settled by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in the late 1800s. The Cardston LDS Temple, completed in 1923 and located on about five acres just off Main Street, is the oldest temple outside of the United States. From Cardston it is about a 50-minute drive north to Lethbridge on Hwy 5. The city of Lethbridge offers visitors a wide range of historic, cultural and entertainment attractions. It is described as a gateway to both the Canadian Badlands to the east and the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains to the west, Lethbridge is considered a cultural centre, celebrating arts and history through festivals, exhibits and centres. By: Lee Hart
OTLELAGFLATS Y O CIONEER VI E ...
CK IN TIME AND EXPER IE N L BA E V CE A : TR A Pioneer Village • Our Agricultural History Restored Tractors and Equipment • Interpretive Daily Tours Available End your day with some delicious Ice Cream.
Be sure to check their websites for current information.
Phone 403-732-5451 Located 2km South of Picture Butte, AB on Hwy #843, 20 mins North of Lethbridge, AB
Don’t miss any of our events!
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Experience Movie Magic
Photo courtesy Fort Macleod Historical Association.
Film making in Southern Alberta isn’t a new thing. In fact, it goes back to the earliest days of silent films, when “Cameron of The Royal Mounted” used Fort Macleod and members of the Kainai First Nation as backdrops for heartthrob Gaston Glass – swoon – in 1920!
Dirt played a big part in that shoot, and eventually a costly one. To set the town scene, producers blew thousands of pounds of ‘movie dust’ down Main Street. Which led to paying to replace the air units on most of the street’s businesses. All in a days work in Hollywood.
Often the beautiful landscapes and wide-open spaces ‘stand-in’ for past times in other ‘places’, but not just the past. In the bigbudget sci-fi movie “Interstellar,” Fort Macleod and Okotoks represented small-town America, in a vaguely apocalyptic future where corn is the only viable crop, and the prairies are once again becoming a dust bowl.
The local environment has its pluses and its minuses. A 2019 Calgary Herald article noted “Facing 100 km/h winds and two massive dumps of snow, production of actress Robin Wright’s directorial debut “Land” was shut down three times atop Moose Mountain in Kananaskis.” The movie also involved Calgary’s Nomadic Pictures, who seem to have a hand in almost everything shot in Alberta. Leonardo DiCaprio said shooting “The Revenant” in K-country was the most grueling work he’s ever done.
Your author actually ‘worked’ as an extra on “Interstellar.” Which meant, in this case, spending three days dressed down and fake dirty, sitting in the local arena with a ton of other local folks, being fed and paid – and never once getting on to the dusty set. Not once.
Oh, the glamour!
Another modern heartthrob, Kevin Costner, has shot here many times, and he’s straightforward about why. Regarding his own 2002 film, the western “Open Range,” Costner shared two distinct advantages to filming here - the landscapes and
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Experience Movie Magic the savings. But when scouting the Calgary area for the film, he did it under a blanket of snow, and had to hope it looked good when he returned to film!
Canadian crime series “Tin Star,” starring Tim Roth, set in a fictitious Canadian mountain town bearing a resemblance to Waterton. Hint: It is.
Making movies is often a constant effort to raise enough money, and Canada provides some clear advantages, both due to the (recently-limited) Alberta tax breaks and the lower value of our Canadian dollar. Costner admits he’d rather film in the U.S., but that the savings can’t be ignored. Which isn’t to say he doesn’t like it here...
Then there’s Fargo. The quintessentially creepy ‘great plains’ crime drama starring Ted Danson and Kirsten Dunst, which shot Season 2 in Fort Macleod, Calgary, and K-country just a few years ago. On that show, I actually got to be on set with the man himself. No swooning. Just standing in the background, looking very cop-like.
“Canada is a very rich place to work, with some great actors. It’s very difficult to find a 360 degree panorama of unspoiled nature anywhere in the world anymore,” said Costner. But he found just the setting outside of Calgary on the Stony Reserve, where he built a western town from scratch.
And Ghostbusters 3 scenes were filmed in the Fort Macleod, Calgary and the foothills region to the west last summer.
Sixteen years later, Costner was back with the thriller “Let Him Go,” starring himself and Diane Lane. Scenes were shot at JD’s Restaurant in Didsbury, which had local ladies hanging out all day, hoping for a chance to swoon. He also shot back in Fort Macleod, which has stood in for everything from early 1900’s Calgary, in Paul Gross’ WW1 epic “Passchendaele,” to Wyoming in “Brokeback Mountain” and Montana in Costner’s latest. You can find a picture of the star at Johnny’s Restaurant on Main Street, along with a number of other famous faces.
To get a glimpse for yourself, it’s possible to visit locations used in all kinds of productions. One great resource for doing so is on the southwest Alberta website, which offers three maps.
For the many locations used in Brokeback Mountain, visit findingbrokeback.com/New_Maps/Select_Map.html Travel Alberta also has this: travelalberta.com/ca/articles/reel-adventures-in-alberta-1991 (It’s more up-to-date than 1991!) By: Allen Gibson Allen has lived in S. AB for a dozen years, working in
Television series lately include CBC’s “Heartland,” centered on High River and into the foothills, and the recent British
Photo Courtesy of Celestine Aerden @celestineaerden
tourism and once getting close enough to touch a star. He was not invited back to that set.
Photo Courtesy of Neil Zeller @neil_zee
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Shortly after 8 pm, the fire crackling and our bellies full of
chock-full of excellent, well-maintained campgrounds. Another
chips, hot dogs, and S’mores (there is no law stating you need
key reason why it scores high with camping fans!
to eat healthy on a boys-only camping trip) – I pulled out the banjo. You know, when in Rome. Of course, given the fact my
In spite of the massive and devastating Kenow Wildfire in
kids would much rather listen to Beyoncé than bluegrass, the
2017, camping in Waterton Lakes National Park could easily
pluckin’ didn’t gain traction. Plus, there were ghost stories to
be considered the quintessential Southern Alberta camping
tell. You, know when in Rome...or camping in Southern Alberta.
experience. Butting up against the ragged Rockies that abruptly rise from the grassy plains, Waterton Lakes is, first and fore-
If you ask me, Canada and camping go hand in hand. They’re
most, a place of striking natural beauty. The quaint townsite
like cake and ice cream. Beer and nachos. Yes, there’s some-
along the lake, the majestic prairies-meet-mountains scenery,
thing about our wild and remote places, our natural beauty,
and the numerous outdoor recreation options – such as biking,
that’s perfectly suited to the wonderful “sport” of camping.
hiking, canoeing, and fishing – make the Waterton area a prime location for camping.
Of course, one of the beautiful things about camping is you can do it in a variety of settings and it “works” just fine. In fact,
Although the popular Crandell Mountain Campground,
the many places you can pitch your tent – in valleys, forests,
which is situated in the lovely Blakiston Valley along the Red
badlands, and beside rivers or lakes – makes southern Alberta
Rock Parkway, was destroyed by the fire (it is currently being
one of the best regions for camping in the country.
rebuilt and scheduled to reopen in 2022), the Townsite Campground is a great substitute. The location, at the south end of
But, unless you’re a backcountry superstar - a Grizzly Adams,
the quaint townsite and on the rocky shores of Waterton Lake,
Survivorman, or Bear Grylls – you are going to need a nice
is ideal. You can walk basically everywhere you want to go
campground so you can relax and properly enjoy your beer,
and the amenities, like the newly-renovated showers and super
back bacon, and banjo. And, thankfully, southern Alberta is
clean restrooms, are above par.
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Experience Camping If you’re touring through Waterton and the southwest corner
and along the hoodoos, is relatively easy. The well-kept camp-
of Alberta and mountain camping is on your bucket list, you
ground features 120 RV and tent-friendly sites with powered
should have the Beaver Mines Lake Campground on your
and pull-through options. Many of the sites back onto a creek.
radar. This gem of a campground, which is located 20 km west of Pincher Creek in Castle Provincial Park, features tree-
Another great getaway can be found in Writing-On-Stone
framed sites along the shores of an awesome mountain lake.
Provincial Park near Milk River. Here you can enjoy year-round
Bring your fishing rod and you can fish right from your site!
camping and hike among hoodoos, explore ancient pictographs,
The hiking here, such as the rewarding (albeit difficult!) 10 km
and swim in the scenic river slicing through some of the most
journey to the top of Table Mountain, is outstanding. Fishing
striking badlands terrain in Canada.
and canoeing (there is a public boat launch) are also popular pastimes at Beaver Mines Lake Provincial Recreation Area.
Little Bow Provincial Park, Kinbrook Island Provincial Park, Aspen Crossing Campground, and Old Man River Provincial
For a taste of something completely different, camping in the
Park are a few other options with excellent reviews.
striking Alberta Badlands can be unforgettable. In the morning and evening, just watching the golden, low-angled light peel
Due to its proximity from Calgary (1 hr southwest of the city),
across the eroded landforms can be surreal. The Dinosaur
our go-to is typically Bluerock in Sheep River Provincial Park.
Campground, which is located in the heart of the badlands
Here we can all play in the creek, enjoy amazing mountain
in Dinosaur Provincial Park, is a great getaway for families as
views, sit by the fire, eat S’mores, and, of course, enlighten all
the hiking, among the towering cottonwoods along the river
lucky listeners to some hillbilly banjo plucking. Photos and Story By: Andrew Penner
If you need it out here, we have it in here.
LOCALLY OWNED • LOCALLY OPERATED • LOCALLY FOCUSED Mount Royal 403.474.1113 MacLeod Trail 403.278.4040 McKenzie Towne 403.257.4729
Pacific Place 403.248.6400 Deerfoot 403.295.2800 Dalhousie 403.288.1100 Shawnessy 403.201.2002
Westhills 403.246.1961 Country Hills NE 403.226.9550 Beacon Hill 403.456.6428
Visit your local store or CanadianTire.ca for pricing 37 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com
Experience Waterton Lakes National Park
Photo Courtesy of Holly Heuver
Tucked away in the southwest corner of Alberta, is one of the gems of Canadaâ€™s national park system - Waterton Lakes National Park. Established in 1895, Waterton Lakes National Park is an ideal destination for hikers, campers or anyone who just wants to relax and enjoy the scenery. It is a unique park capturing the edge of the Alberta prairie grasslands and then within a kilometre rises to icy mountain peaks nearly 3000 m high. The three Waterton Lakes, nestling between two mountain ranges, are more than 150 m deep, the deepest in the Rockies. The northern, lower end of the main lake is in Canada, while southern, upper end of the lake is in Montana's Glacier National Park. Oil exploration and mining were part of its early history with the first drilling rig in western Canada operating on Cameron Creek. The Western Coal and Oil Company of Vancouver were responsible for the first settlement, now the Waterton townsite. Oil and mining activities were shut down within a few years, as the park began to develop its tourism industry.
In 1932, this park was united with Montana's Glacier National Park to create the world's first international peace park. In 1995 the two areas were declared aÂ World Heritage Site based on the exceptionally rich plant and mammal diversity, and on the outstanding glacial and alpine scenery. A visit to Waterton Lakes National Parks today offers a variety of serviced & wilderness camping opportunities, and extensive hiking opportunities among breathtaking landscapes. The hamlet of Waterton nestled against the lakeshore, offers year-round hotel, dining, and shopping opportunities. Across the bay from the hamlet on a hill overlooking the lake is the iconic, 86 room, Prince of Wales Hotel, built in 1927 by Great Northern Railway of United States. There are a number of websites providing details on all the parks attractions, facilities and events. Visit: mywaterton.ca. By: Lee Hart
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Experience Waterton Lakes National Park See full Map and Legend on pg 6-7
To fully experience Waterton pick up a copy of Waterton Lakes National Park or download it at ExperienceTravelGuides.com
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Experience Waterton Lakes National Park
Take a Hike
Watch Some Wildlife
You can’t come to the park without going on at least one hike! Favourite trails include the easy and rewarding Bertha Falls, the inspiring Crypt Lake Trail for thrill-seekers, the close to town Cameron Falls, and the favourite day hike Red Rock Canyon. These hikes are just the tip of the iceberg in the park, with so many more to keep even the most experienced hiker busy.
From the trails to the sidewalks in town, wildlife is abundant in Waterton. Bighorn sheep, deer, and other small animals can be seen wandering close to town and among the trails, while elk and mule deer are more commonly seen in the grasslands. Rarer sights include black bears, cougars, bobcats, moose, or lynx! Please remember to maintain a respectful distance when viewing all wildlife.
Rent a Kayak If you’re not into fishing, boating, or lounging on the beach, try a different water activity! Kayaks, paddleboards and canoe rentals are available right in town at Blakiston & Co. Being right in the water allows you to be fully immersed in the rugged and breathtaking landscapes of Waterton.
Visit the Red Chairs Parks Canada installed red Adirondack chairs across the whole country and they have quickly become a Canadian staple. Waterton has five of their very own chairs at Marina Point, Birder’s pull-out, Middle Lake boat launch, and 2 along the Lakeshore Trail. If you find a chair, snap a picture and use #sharethechair on your social media feeds.
Try a Parks Canada Activity Parks Canada offers free seasonal activities for all ages! These Activities include guided bird walks, campfire programs, after dark trail walks, photography lessons, discovery activities for children, and much more. Check out their website to see what they are offering when you’re in town! Visit pc.gc.ca Remember to keep in mind that some areas of Waterton Lakes National Park remain closed due to the 2017 Kenow Wildfire, though the town remains unaffected. Always check to see what is open and available. Visit mywaterton.ca
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Story and Photos By Holly Heuver
Experience Pincher Creek You won’t find too many more towns in southern Alberta with a deeper connection to the beginning of white man settlement of The West and early ranching days than Pincher Creek. Located about a 2.5 hr south of Calgary, the community sits on the open prairie just at the edge of foothills leading to the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountain range. It was an area well used by clans of the Blackfoot, Peigan and Kootenai tribes long before white men “discovered” it in the late 1860s. It was named after an early member of the North West Mounted Police found a pair of rusty pinchers, a tool used for trimming horse’s feet, in the creek around 1874. It was believed that, prospectors years earlier, probably lost the tool. The North West Mounted Police established a post and horse farm near a creek crossing in 1876. And when several of those constables completed their five years of service they essentially retired and remained in the area to try their hand at ranching. Thus, a settlement was started.
Pincher Creek has somewhat of a bitter/sweet connection to the ranching industry. It was only because the vast herds of buffalo had virtually disappeared from the prairie landscape, that some of the early ranching interests - pushing north from the United States - ventured to bring cattle into Canada. Finding good prairie grass and strong Chinook winds that kept the range open and free from snow, the area was regarded as good ranching country. By 1878 there were about 1,000 head of cattle in the Pincher Creek to the Fort Macleod area. The industry would continue to grow. Today Pincher Creek is a vibrant community of about 3,600 people, with modern shopping facilities, hotels and restaurants. It’s a popular launch point for visitors heading further west for year-round recreation activities - including skiing at Castle Mountain ski resort in winter, along with camping, hiking and excellent fishing opportunities during the other three seasons. By: Lee Hart
Learn more about services and recreational opportunities by visiting pinchercreek.ca
Photo Couresy of Travel Alberta/ Neil Zeller @neil_zee
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Experience Some of the Best Hiking Trails
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park
Discover the diverse landscape of Southern Alberta across mountain ranges, badlands, native grasslands, canyons, and coulees. Walk back in history at the site of the tragic Frank rockslide, hike amongst the hoodoos along the Milk River, or experience one of the world’s most exciting trails with a boat shuttle to the trailhead in Waterton. This, and more, awaits you on your hiking tour around Southern Alberta.
possible to follow the ridge on Turtle Mountain to reach the higher south summit where the slide began.
Crowsnest Pass Step back in time to explore the area around the Frank Slide, Canada’s deadliest rockslide. There are options for all abilities here as you hike through and above the giant slide path.
Castle Provincial Park Explore Castle Provincial Park, Alberta’s newest designated provincial park located near Pincher Creek.
Turtle Mountain and the area around the Frank Slide Known by the First Nations as the “mountain that moves,” Turtle Mountain is responsible for the rockslide of 1903 that buried the small mining town of Frank with over 100 million tonnes of rock. Learn more and take some short pathways at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. Strong hikers can hike to the north peak of Turtle Mountain in a 7 km return hike with 900+ metres of height gain. It’s also
If you want to climb Turtle Mountain be prepared for loose scree, steep hiking, and some exposure. Hiking poles and good sturdy boots will be your best friends on this adventure along with solid route finding skills.
Table Mountain rises above Beaver Mines Lake where there’s a nice campground with 5 rustic cabins and 90+ sites for RVs and tents. And some darn good fishing! Table Mountain is a 10 km return hike with 800 m of height gain. It is a great for fit hikers who can handle a steep climb. The hike takes you to a wide flat-topped plateau where you can either go left towards the Western Plateau or right towards the true summit. Either direction provides jaw-dropping views down to the lake as you peer over the edge of sheer cliffs.
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Experience Some of the Best Hiking Trails Expect some route finding and watch for trail markers through sections of loose scree. I recommend hiking poles for the steep descent along with a good pair of boots. This mountain is also very exposed along the plateau so avoid it on windy days. Waterton Lakes National Park Discover beautiful waterfalls and marvel in the abundance of wildflowers found in this park. Crypt Lake is rated as one of the World’s 20 Most Thrilling Trails, the Crypt Lake trailhead is reached by a 15 min boat ride across Upper Waterton Lake. Tickets can be purchased at the marina from the Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co. and it’s recommended that you get your tickets at least an hour in advance (or even the day before.) The Crypt Lake Trail is an 18 km return hike with 700 m of elevation gain. Highlights of this hike include 4 spectacular waterfalls, a ladder climb to a 18 m tunnel you’ll hike through, an exposed ledge with cable hand line, and finally the lake itself, hidden in a hanging valley. Going further, a rough track circles the lake where you cross the US border into Montana. Expect steep hiking past the third set of falls and be bear-aware
at all times. Bring bear spray, hike in a group, and make lots of noise throughout your hike. Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park Hike through a landscape of hoodoos, coulees, sandstone cliffs, and prairie grasslands as you explore the Alberta Badlands. The Hoodoo Trail takes you on a search for petroglyphs and pictographs etched and painted on the rock along the trail. The hike has a few with stairs and steep sections, but it’s a great trail for those camping at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. The 4.5 km return hike is very family-friendly, and kids will have fun scrambling on the rocks beside the trail. Note that the trail can get exceptionally hot in summer, so I recommend waking up early for this one and then spending the afternoon at the campground beach. You can also cool off by floating down the river from the campground down to the beach. For those wanting to camp, you’ll find a great campground here with 60+ sites, some with power, two group use areas, and three canvas wall tents for comfort camping. Photos and Story By: Tanya Koob
Tested for the jobs and joys of life in Canada.
LOCALLY OWNED • LOCALLY OPERATED • LOCALLY FOCUSED Mount Royal 403.474.1113 MacLeod Trail 403.278.4040 McKenzie Towne 403.257.4729
Pacific Place 403.248.6400 Deerfoot 403.295.2800 Dalhousie 403.288.1100 Shawnessy 403.201.2002
Westhills 403.246.1961 Country Hills NE 403.226.9550 Beacon Hill 403.456.6428
Visit your local store or CanadianTire.ca for pricing 43 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com
Must See Art Galleries Art has the ability to tell a million stories with just one picture, one sculpture, or one painting. Most everyone will interpret a piece differently and find something that their companion didn’t. Southern Alberta brims with artistic culture, having everything from lush prairie fields to harsh mountaintops to serve as inspiration. This list will take you to some of southern Alberta’s best galleries, but more importantly, showcase some of the province’s hidden gems.
Akokiniskway Gallery, Rosebud
Bluerock Gallery, Black Diamond
Lineham House Galleries, Okotoks
Nestled in the foothills, Bluerock Gallery is a sure thing stop. The gallery represents close to 200 local artists in mediums such as pottery, jewelry, and handcrafted wood furniture, as well as mixed media. Stop by on a Thursday from 6-9 pm for their free Drop-In Art Nights where they host workshops and other events. Not too far from Calgary, this gallery is packed with Alberta history in every art form imaginable.
This gallery lives and breathes historic Alberta. It is located in the original house of the Okotoks’ founding family in Olde Town. This gallery features southern Alberta artists and artisans. On the main floor, visitors can view the group shows of artists featured that quarter and browse artisanal items for sale. The second floor is home to the gallery’s associate artists who often work on-site. Stop by at the right time and you may get to chat one-on-one with an artist!
The Esplanade, Medicine Hat Since 2005, the Esplanade has been Medicine Hat’s cultural centre boasting a museum, theatre, and art gallery. With more than 3000 ft2 of gallery space, this is arguably one of southern Alberta’s largest. It features 10-12 travelling exhibitions on a yearly basis, from local to international artists. In addition to their touring exhibitions, they maintain a some permanent art collection for visitors to see year-round. For those looking to see art on a grand scale, this is your place.
For such a tiny place, the quaint hamlet of Rosebud is truly bursting with artistic culture. It’s one of the best stops for live theatre and home to the Rosebud Opera House. Just one block away in the historic United Church, the Akokiniskway Gallery features solely Alberta artists. The gallery opens 2.5 hr before performances at the Rosebud Theatre so it is best experienced as a little pre-show entertainment!
Garside Art Gallery & Studio, Longview If you are journeying along The Cowboy Trail, take a pit stop at the Garside Art Gallery & Studio. The gallery features the permanent collection of artist Debra Garside. This includes her popular photography series Wild Horses of Sable Island, the Streets of Longview Projects, Polar Bears, and her bronze statues. Guest artists of various mediums are also featured in this charming gallery.
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Lineham House Galleries
Lebel Mansion/Allied Arts Council, Pincher Creek Declared a Historical Resource in 1976, the Lebel Mansion has been a Pincher Creek landmark since its inception in 1910. First the private residence of Timothee Lebel and then turned into a municipal hospital, it is now home to the Allied Arts Council. The building offers a free public art gallery, pottery studio, community classes, and gift shop selling local arts. If you’ve been before, a new exhibit arrives every month, keeping the gallery fresh for any returnees.
For even more Art Galleries Visit TheMostBeautifulArtTourInAlberta.com
Mosaic Art & Gift Gallery, Nanton An eclectic stop for the true art lover, this is a vibrant gallery filled with a variety of work. Inside, you’ll find the creations of resident artists Barb Curle and Paul Canfield with art ranging from stained glass, tattoos, to paintings and everything in between. However, they might be most notable for the building’s exterior, an ongoing project to completely cover the front façade with a stained glass mosaic. For a little bit of light, make sure to stop by and absorb the positive vibe of this gallery.
Launstein Imagery Wildlife Art Gallery, Blairmore One of the newer galleries on the scene, Launstein Imagery Wildlife Art Gallery opened in 2016. From bears, bighorn sheep, to small marmots, the gallery features the work of the Launstein family and the wildlife they find in the Crowsnest Pass area. The love of animals is written across every photo, with captured moments that must have taken hours of patience. If visiting any of these galleries in the winter, be sure to check for winter hours as many small galleries and studios close down or limit their hours during the colder months. Happy viewing! Photos and Story By: Holly Heuver 45 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com
THE LEBEL Featuring Pincher Creek’s array of Art, Culture & History - The Lebel offers a range of programs that cater to a spectrum of skill levels. This experience is positively unique to each individual that walks through the door. Featuring over 60 local artists, the Lebel’s energy is humbling and authentic. www.thelebel.ca
696 Kettles Street Pincher Creek, AB
Experience Diamond Valley
Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta A Family is having ice-cream at Marv’s Classic Soda Shoppe in Black Diamond.
Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta / Colin Way Couple drinking beers on the patio at Westwood.
An important gateway to Kananaskis Country, the towns of Black Diamond and Turner Valley are located right on The Cowboy Trail and are steeped in western culture. This area is surrounded by recreational opportunities and people here are wonderful hosts to weary travellers of all ages.
Time stands still at Marv’s Classic Soda Shop. It’s a 50s diner and authentic soda fountain. The ambience will stir the heart of any senior and all those who enjoy a handmade hamburger and home-cut fries. You may not find a better milkshake!
At the turn of the 20th century, settlers moved here because high grade coal was discovered in the area. Even though coal is no longer mined here, “the world’s largest black diamond” is displayed on Centre Avenue. Rub it for luck! Located just 35 min southwest of Calgary, at the junction of Hwys 7 & 22, Black Diamond is just 15 min north of Longview and 5 min east of Turner Valley. The Chamber of Commerce here represents both communities, so by combining the names of the two towns, it goes by the name of Diamond Valley. That’s how we like to refer to them, because “Diamond” may refer to the many wonderful gems you’ll find here: artwork, jewellery, gifts, hand-crafted home decor, specialty clothing and a variety of great cafes & restaurants. And the pace here is much calmer than in the big city. Rusty Davidson has been travelling the world for over 40 years. He and his brother started importing the indigenous art styles of the Middle East, Asia, and South America before adding Teak Root furniture, colourful kites from Indonesia, Java, and Bali. Their collection is displayed at the Black Diamond Gallery.
Don’t be surprised if you see a dozen motorcycles parked just outside of the historic Black Diamond Hotel. The owners have just finished a soul-filling ride through the amazing landscapes in the area. Now, they’ve stopped for a pint and a hearty meal. You may notice a few changes since you were last here. The owners of The Westwood moved into the building south of the hotel. Check out their Sunday Brunch. Karen sold the Bluerock Gallery to an employee, so we’re not seeing big changes. They specialize in high quality handmade crafts created by Alberta artists. (See page 44 for more) Many local events in Diamond Valley are held at Millennium Park which is located in downtown Turner Valley. Come soak up the sun. For more info visit: visitblackdiamond.ca Turner Valley is also home to several restaurants, including the Chuckwagon Cafe which has received Calgary’s Best Burger award, twice. The Chuckwagon’s Flat Iron Eggs Benedict was featured on “You Gotta Eat Here”. This cafe is a very popular spot for breakfast and lunch. American tourists love it because they’ll receive a fair exchange rate on their US dollars, too.
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Experience Diamond Valley
Chuckwagon Cafe Here is one of those terrific hidden gems along the Cowboy Trail. Winner of “Calgary’s Best Burger” awarded by Avenue Magazine for 2 years in a row. Featured for their “Flat Iron Eggs Benedict” on the TV Show “You Gotta Eat Here” produced by the Food Network Canada.
Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta / Roth and Ramberg Friends looking at a map on main street in Black Diamond
Look for the little red barn at the 4-way stop in Turner Valley. Open at 8 AM daily. Ph: 403-933-0003
See full Map and Legend on pg 6-7
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Photos Courtesy of Town of Cochrane and Jo-Anne Oucharek
Located 36 km west of Calgary, Cochrane is an ideal getaway,
Cochrane Ranche Historic Site. Full of western memorabilia,
be it for an afternoon adventure or a weekend camping.
ask the staff about their 101 Hats Collection and the numerous examples of saddles, brands and barbed wire on display.
The town gets its name from Senator Matthew Cochrane, who established a ranch here in 1881. So, the townâ€™s western
Before World War I, Cochrane was home to a stone quarry,
roots run deep. This is cattle country, and it is home to both
a saw mill, and four brick plants. Skilled artisans combined
the Bert Sheppard Stockmenâ€™s Foundation Library, and the
their talents to construct buildings of quality and style. Today,
Tim Hall/ Cochrane Tourism Association
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Experience Cochrane Cochrane is still noted for its artisans, western heritage, and its
20 minutes west of the Ghost. And all along Hwy 1A, the bird-
watching is terrific! There are numerous events throughout the year, such as Outhouse Races on Main Street during the
One of the big draws here is MacKay’s Ice Cream! They’ve
Lions Labour Day Rodeo weekend.
been serving perhaps the best ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet in western Canada for the past 72 years. Some of their
Located at the junction of Hwys 22 & 567, just minutes north
more innovative flavours include Purple Yam, Chai Tea, and
of Cochrane, Spring Hill RV Park has become a favourite stop
Mayan Chocolate (with chili and cinnamon), although their
for travellers who rent their RV in Airdrie. Kick back and relax.
best seller is Chocolate. What’s your favourite?
This full-service park has everything: gas, food, supplies and a brand-new playground for the kids, too!
In recent years, Cochrane has earned a glowing reputation as a centre of outdoor recreation for such activities as wind
Come here and be prepared for a warm, western welcome. It’s
sports, paragliding, skydiving, water activities, golfing, hiking
a great place for those seeking rest and relaxation in a beautiful
and cycling. If you crave water sports, the Ghost Reservoir is
natural setting. Enjoy an easy hike at the Glenbow Ranch, or
only 15 minutes west along the scenic Hwy 1A. Do you prefer
a round of golf at Glen Eagles and discover Cochrane’s many
rock climbing? Be sure to check out Mount John Laurie just
dining delights. Come make memories!
Visit cochrane-tourism.ca for up-to-date event listings
Spring Hill RV Park
All amenities on site including gas station, propane, convenience store, fast food, liquor store, laundry, power/water/sewer to each site, dump station, pull through sites, showers and laundromat. Located 7 km north of Cochrane on the corner of Hwy 22 and Hwy 567. Reservations recommended.
Spring Hill RV Park
Phone: 403-932-2010 www.springhillrvpark.ca 49 | ExperienceTravelGuides.com
Campground Directory NOTE: For 2020 open and close dates are subject to change as well as the number of available sites. Visit AlbertaParks.ca for up to date information
Bow River 12 Three Sisters Lac Des Arcs 5,6 Bow Valley 5,6,9,17 Willow Rock 5,9,12,16 Sundance Lodges Mt. Kidd R.V. Park 1,5,6,19 Eau Claire 5,12 Sibbald Lake 5,7 Dawson Equestrian Canyon 5,7 Elkwood 5,6,7,9,17 Boulton Creek 6,7,9,16,17 Lower Lake 5,13 Mt. Sarrail 12 Interlakes Spray Lakes West 7,12 Beaver Flats Gooseberry 5 Little Elbow 6 Little Elbow Equest. 4,6 McLean Creek 5,6,9,18 Paddy’s Flat 5 Mesa Butte Equest. 4 North Fork Fisher Creek Bluerock Bluerock Equest. 4 Sandy McNabb 5,18 Sandy McNabb Equest. 4,18 Cataract Creek Etherington Creek 6 Etherington Creek Equest. 4 Greenford Indian Graves Regular 5,10,11,14 Indian Graves Equestrian 3,5,10,11,14 Strawberry Regular & Equestrian 4 Burnt Timber 7 Fallen Timber South 7 North Ghost 7 Waiparous Creek 7 Ghost Reservoir 2 Red Deer River North 7 Red Deer River South 7 James-Wilson 7,15, Fallen Timber North 7 Cartier Creek 7,
May 3 | Nov. 18 Apr. 13 | Nov. 18 May 3 | Sept. 2 May 3 | Oct. 7 Apr. 19 | Oct. 21 May 17 | Sept. 22 Year round May 15 | Sept. 2 May 3 | Oct. 7 Year round June 14 | Sept. 2 May 9 | Oct. 14 May 9 | Oct. 14 May 15 | Sept. 15 June 21 | Sept. 2 May 15 | Oct. 14 May 15 | Sept. 2 May 15 | Sept. 3 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 15 | Sep. 16 May 15 | Sep. 16 Year round May 15| Sept. 17 May 15 | Sept. 10 May 15 | Sept. 10 Year round May 15 | Sept. 17 May 15 | Sept. 17 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 15 | Sept. 2 May 16 | Sept. 15 May 16 | Sept. 15 May 15 | Sept. 2 May 16 | Sept. 2 May 16 | Sept. 2 Sept. 2 | Nov. 30 May 1 | Sept. 3 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 1 | Oct. 8 May 1 | Oct. 9 May 1 | Oct. 14 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Sept. 16 May 1 | Oct. 8 Apr. 28 | Sept. 18
1. Discount of 10% to all senior citizens (65 years and older). 2. Discount of $2.00 to Alberta seniors. 3. Plus $6.00 per corral (will accommodate 2 horses). 4. Price includes fee for two horses, each additional horse $6.00. 5. Playground available. 6. Reservations taken with $12.00 reservation fee (includes GST). 7. Opening dates subject to snow levels. 8. Price includes firewood.
$28/$40 66 $26 36 $26 28 $26/$40 173 $26/$33 124 $31.50 30 $32.50/41/43/48 229 $26 51 $26 134 $26 10 $26 50 $26/$40 130 $26/$39 118 $26 95 $26 44 tent $26 48 $26 50 $26 55 $26 85 $26 94 $32 46 $26/$33 170 $26 98 $33 15 $26 34 $26 30 $26 66 $33 17 $33 112 $39/$40 41 $26 102 $26 61 $33 10 $26 13 $26 32 $26 6 $26/$33 20 $308 30 $308 55 $308 169 $308 53 $26 80 $308 14 $308 50 $308 17 $308 34 $20 12
59 131 34 35 88 69 • 35 96 112 21
9. Coin operated showers available. 10. Firewood for sale off service vehicle. 11. Off season reservations may be considered. 12. Food lockers available for cyclists. 13. Walk-in tenting sites closed. 14. Reservation fees is $ 5. Cancellation policy: no refunds but reschedule to another date without additional costs, provided notification received for weekends before Friday noon.
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403-673-2163 403-673-2163 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-673-2163 403-591-7122 403-591-7700 403-591-7226 403-673-2163 403-673-2163 403-591-7226 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 1-877-537-2757 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-949-3132 403-591-7226 1-877-537-2757 403-591-7226 403-591-7226 403-995-5554 403-995-5554 403-591-7226 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-851-0766 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198 403-637-2198
15. Reservation ONLY. 16. Power is 15 amp only. 17. Discount for 2nd unit in a power and water site is $4/day. 18. Discount for 2nd unit in a power site is $2/day. 19. All reservation changes are subject to a non-refundable change fee of $5.
Experience RV Cooking We often get asked, “What’s the difference between RV’ing and camping?” One big reason to head to the great outdoors in an RV, is food! There’s something about being out in nature - perhaps it’s all of the fresh air and exercise - that really whets the appetite. Although it is great fun to cook over a campfire, after a while, we can eventually get tired of hot dogs and marshmallows.
milk, or heat baby food. After the kids go to bed, curl up with a steaming bowl of microwaved popcorn! Eat Well. Ensure you have an adequate supply of some meats, vegetables, fruits, and grains. If your getaway is for more than a week, bring along some frozen vegetables and fruit juices or chunks, as well as your Vitamix and protein powder. Almond and coconut milk are great in your morning cereal and have a longer shelf life than dairy products.
In an RV, having a kitchen with a stove and oven means you can make the same kinds of foods that the children love at home, like spaghetti, chicken fingers, pizza and hamburgers. You can even pack meat in a fridge or freezer, so you have a wider range of dining delights.
If you have a large family, bring along a cooler that you can keep outside for all your beverages. It will save you a ton of space in your kitchen fridge for food. And use your campfire to cook half your meal so your kitchen isn’t overloaded.
If it’s raining, you can enjoy a nice family dinner together, indoors, around a real table. If you have a baby, you’ll love the convenience of having a stove to sterilize bottles, warm
Oh, and speaking of campfires, you’ll have lots of room in your RV to bring along gadgets, such as a rack, cast iron pot and a bush pie maker (aka pie iron). Don’t leave home without it!
Featured Campgrounds Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site reservation.pc.gc.ca/rockymountainhouse | 1-877-737-3783 Open May 15 – September 30 45 Sites | Fees: $26.06 - $122.64 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Disabled Access, Interpretive Program, Firepits Historic fur trade post along the North Saskatchewan River. Immerse yourself in stories of Indigenous Peoples and legendary explorers. Camp in a tipi, trapper tent, trapline cabin, RV or tent. Spring Hill RV Park, Cochrane springhillrvpark.com | 403-932-2010 Open Year Round | 121 Sites | Fees: $42 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump, Disabled Access, Firepits. Located 7km north of Cochrane. See page 49 for more information Adanac Adventures, Crowsnest Pass adanacadventures.com | 403-399-2331 Open Year Round | 10 Sites | Fees: $25 Ammenities: Firepits Clearwater Trading, Caroline clearwatertrading.ca | 403-722-2378 Open Year Round | 47 Sites | Fees: $25-$35 Ammenities: Flush Toilets, Showers, Sani Dump, Firepits. Proud to offer you a separate, private venue for all your events’ needs. Call us today! Check us out on Facebook @ clearwatertradingevents
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NATURE DEFINES US
Get Involved Get outdoors: Find out which NCC properties you can visit in your area. connect2nature.ca
Our country is filled with some of the most amazing natural habitats in the world. It’s what makes Canada, Canada – and it’s why we’ve spent more than 50 years protecting our irreplaceable natural spaces and the wildlife that they sustain.
Spend a day in the field: Become a Conservation Volunteer conservationvolunteers.ca Help lead the way: Become a Leader in Conservation natureconservancy.ca/ab-lic
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