Tonight's guest blog comes from our pal Josh Henry! Josh takes us on a tour of his top 5 picks of places to travel to in Alberta and the best hike to do at each place! Josh is using his 20's to travel the world and be the worlds best explorer, while at the same time being the cofound of Give Back Giveaway. Please read enjoy!
As someone who has lived in four different provinces and half a dozen cities around Canada, and roughly the same amount around the world, the “I’m new to the city/area” conversation has come up a lot in my life.
However, it’s approaching nearly a decade of my coming and going lifestyle in Alberta, and I’m feeling more like a local these days. There are things I love about each part of the country I’ve seen, visited and lived in, but Alberta seems to have the majority of my attention.
Working as an adventure guide in the past, I’ve been able to explore a lot of the province. I’ve taken people from all around the world and shown off the best Alberta and Western Canada has to offer.
From the horse covered prairie and ranchlands, to the white capped mountains and glacial blue lakes, the province doesn’t disappoint. And although I haven’t been everywhere, these are some of my all time favourites I’ve visited during my time in Alberta.
#1 Waterton National Park
I feel like this is Alberta’s best kept secret from the rest of the country. While everyone knows Banff & Jasper and typically B-lines it straight to those places, the equally stunning National Peace Park doesn’t get deserving attention. Which isn’t all bad - nobody likes rocky mountain traffic jams. While there are many things I love about this park one of my favourites is how it encompasses the meeting of the prairies and the mountains. Standing on a mountain top looking east towards the vastness of the prairies and rest of Canada is a pretty amazing feeling.
Hike to do - Carthew Alderson is pretty big at 20km but well worth the effort and gives off great views of the mountains becoming the prairies.
#2 Kootenay Plains PP and Abraham Lake
Tucked between Calgary and Edmonton, and Banff and Jasper, this tiny provincial park is at the entrance of where the North Saskatchewan river flows into Abraham lake. Even though the lake is man made it’s still spectacular and the mountains in this area are just as big and beautiful as Banff and Jasper’s, yet feel and look different than the Parks. Adventuring, camping, hiking, biking and just being outside is generally awesome here and you’ll feel like you have the whole place to yourself.
Hike to do - Siffleur Falls trail leads down a gorgeous canyon and eventually to a waterfall.
#3 Dry Island Buffalo Jump PP
Drive one hour southeast of Red Deer to this provincial park and you’ll find yourself engulfed in the stunning badlands. What I love so much about the badlands is how unsuspecting they are. They seem to come out of nowhere and are always more visually stunning then I think they are going to be. I love the historical feeling this area has too. I can imagine early settlers coming from the east and being just as stunned they have to cross these deep valleys.
Hike to do - Skip the hike and take in the scenery from a canoe or kayak and paddle down the Red Deer River.
It didn’t take me long to figure out everyone in Calgary loves K-country and it’s pretty obvious why. The trails, hikes, lakes, wildlife and scenery are endless and all on the city’s doorstep. I don’t take being able to get in the car and be on a hiking trail in 45-60 mins for granted. If big adventure is your thing K country delivers every time.
Hike to do - There’s so many! I love anything around Spray Lakes. Tent Ridge is one of my faves.
#5 Moraine Lake
It might be cliche for those of you born and bred in Alberta but this iconic Canadian mountain and lake is...well just that - an iconic symbol of Canada’s natural beauty. I went here more times than I can count while guiding and each time I was just as excited to drive down that road and see those ten peaks and turquoise waters. It’s the perfect symbol of how clean, bold and gorgeous our country is and I can’t help but get a nostalgic feeling every time I visit.
Hikes to do - Larch Valley is and Sentinel Pass is a winner. Also Consolation lakes is a nice easy stroll with a pretty stunning backdrop at the end.
There it is, my short list of a few of my favourite places I’ve visited, not only in Alberta, but in the world. Having been to over fifty countries now, I am fortunate to travel a lot with my non-profit the GiveBack GiveAway. What I enjoy so much about coming back to this province and this country is that I feel like I’m never done exploring it. The adventures here are always fresh, bold and truly never ending, and I’m proud to call it my home.
Back to Kathleen here! If you are someone you know would like to be a guest blogger on our blog drop us a line! Chat at chaaa next week Calgary - stay local!